Here we are. We are on the brink of a New Year. There is always something exciting about rolling the calendar over. It almost feels therapeutic to know that you have an acitve part in something brand new.
A couple years ago Trish and I purchased our very first new vehicle together. Up until then we had always purchased used vehicles. I have to admit that there have been too many lemon purchases and clunker deals in my personal vehicle history report. However, after adding up some recent repair costs and looking at some needed ones, we decided that it would be financially better for us to try and get into something new.
There is something to be said about being to very first one to sit in the drivers seat of a brand new vehicle. Your fingers are the first to adjust the mirrors, customize the radio and fiddle with the instrumentation. But we all know that we really get excited about is our foot being the first to put the pedal down and take off down the highway. Oh yah.
I also have to admit that the new car smell is also a very real thing. It is hard to describe, but if you have ever smelled it, you will never forget it.
I mention those things to strike a cord and get us thinking about 2021. We stand at the brink of a whole new day, and Jesus stands with us.
The Bible tells us that after Jesus had risen from the grave, He made a few guest appearances to those He knew.
In John 21, we are told that Jesus continued to do this, but in a new way.
After this, Jesus revealed Himself again to His disciples by the Sea of Tiberias. He revealed Himself in this way:
Simon Peter, Thomas (called “Twin”), Nathanael from Cana of Galilee, Zebedee’s sons, and two others of His disciples were together.
“I’m going fishing,” Simon Peter said to them.
“We’re coming with you,” they told him. They went out and got into the boat, but that night they caught nothing.
When daybreak came, Jesus stood on the shore. However, the disciples did not know it was Jesus.
“Men,” Jesus called to them, “you don’t have any fish, do you?”
“No,” they answered.
“Cast the net on the right side of the boat,” He told them, “and you’ll find some.” So they did, and they were unable to haul it in because of the large number of fish.
Therefore the disciple, the one Jesus loved, said to Peter, “It is the Lord!”
This passage continues to intrigue me on a number of levels. How could the disciples NOT know that this was Jesus on the shore of a lake? It’s not like they hadn’t witnessed Him standing on the shore of the sea of Galilee before.
Also, John tells us that the disciples also did NOT recognize His voice. Remember that they had just spent approximately three years listening to Him speak, but they thought His voice was one of a stranger.
So how come they did not know it was Jesus?
I think the point is this. Jesus was doing something new.
John tells us at the very beginning of this scene that Jesus was revealing Himself in a completely new way.
The word that is used to describe the revealing of Jesus in John 21 is an extremely rare word.
The verb used here has only been used once by Mark but not by the others.
In John’s Gospel as whole, this word has also not been used to speak about Jesus’ previous resurrection appearances.
However, it is a word that has been used to speak about the revelation that only takes place in Jesus.
John the Baptist came to reveal Jesus to Israel (1:31).
At the wedding in Cana, Jesus revealed His glory (2:11).
The light of Jesus reveals the work of God (3:21).
The healing of the a blind man revealed the works of God (9:3).
Jesus revealed the name of the Father to His people (17:6).
So what does all this mean? It means that there is definitely something unique about Jesus that reveals the glory of God here in this world. Yes.
Jesus is also the source and place for the glory and work of God among us. Yes.
However, the usage of this word in John 21 also means that Jesus is doing something greater than just physically re-appearing to His friends. Jesus is making Himself known in completely new ways.
So friend, will you believe and continue to believe that in this world we can experience and continue to experience the newness of Jesus here on earth?
Will you believe and continue to believe that Jesus desires to make Himself know to you in completely new ways this year?
If so, then believe with me that Jesus is still standing on the shores of our seas right now.
Believe with me that Jesus is still speaking to us during our moments of frustation and angst.
Believe with me that Jesus knows what we need and will adundantly provide.
As we head into 2021, believing in the Risen Lord means that we can still experience the reality of His presence, hear what He has to say and be recipients of His grace in completely new ways!
So bring it on 2021, because a brand new Jesus is waiting to bring about brand new things in my life and yours.
I’m ready to jump in and put the pedal down.
How about you?