Sunday, 12th April 2020
Rev Daniel Xi An Poon
Then, the same day at evening, being the first day of the week, when the doors were shut where the disciples were assembled, for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood in the midst, and said to them, “Peace be with you.” (John 20:19)
Jesus came back to life and instead of blaming anyone, the first thing He said to the disciples was “peace be with you”. Jesus came to bring peace not destruction. In John 20:26, Jesus also came to Thomas even though he didn’t believe that Jesus has resurrected. Jesus still loved Thomas as much as He loves you and me, He didn’t want anyone to lose peace.
Then Jesus said to them, “Do not be afraid. Go and tell My brethren to go to Galilee, and there they will see Me.” (Matthew 28:10)
It clearly showed that Jesus asked all 11 disciples to wait for Him at Galilee, but from John 21:1-2, we can see that only 7 disciples went. For the followers of Christ, the challenge is in the waiting. We don’t like to wait. We want things to happen straight away, and when we don’t want to wait, we tend to follow our own way.
Simon Peter said to them, “I am going fishing.” They said to him, “We are going with you also.” They went out and immediately got into the boat, and that night they caught nothing. (John 21:3)
In John 21:3, the disciples also followed their own way and for the whole night they caught nothing. However in Acts 1:12-14, again Jesus asked them to wait, and there were 120 people waiting, they prayed together until the Holy Spirit come! Our attitude in the waiting is very important and it determines if we can receive what God wants to give to us!
From the beginning of 2020, God has revealed to us in Bread of Life South Auckland that we should open our homes, start cell groups and preach the Gospel to those who don’t know Him. But no long after the COVID-19 struck and we all had to be in lock-down. God’s plan is higher than ours, because we didn’t realise that during the lock-down time, we actually have more opportunity to outreach to our friends and families through the internet! The way God does things is often very unpredictable and unimaginable.
And it just like what Jesus said in John 21:6, “Cast the net on the right side of the boat, and you will find some.” It was day time and for the experienced fishermen, it would be impossible to catch fish at that time, especially after whole night of trying. But the disciples obeyed and caught the boat-load of fish!
After they caught the fish, the disciples were having breakfast with Jesus, and that’s why Jesus asked Peter if he loved Him. The first time and the second time when Jesus asked Peter, He was referring to the ‘Agape Love’, which is the sacrificial love, but both time Peter replied that he had the ‘Phileo Love’ for Jesus, which is the friendship love. So the third time when Jesus asked Peter, He also used ‘Phileo Love’ because Jesus was willing to be at Peter’s level, to love him for who he was.
Jesus doesn’t need us to prove ourselves, He loves us and wants to use us even when we fail Him. Can we respond to Jesus with love during this lock-down time and to bring His love to more people?