Not enough room in the whole world
Jesus did many other things as well. If every one of them were written down, I suppose that even the whole world would not have room for the books that would be written.
John 21:25 (NIVUK)
John 21, the story of the miraculous catch of fish, is a great story. It occurs by the Sea of Galilee. You can imagine the hot sun, the distant sound of voices and lapping water, the smell of herbs from the hills carried on warm breezes.
This was the third time Jesus had appeared to disciples after rising from death. Peter, Thomas, Nathanael, the sons of Zebedee, two unnamed disciples, and the narrator John (the disciple that Jesus loved) are there. They fish at night and catch nothing. In verse 4 Jesus appears on the shore, unrecognised, calling to them to cast on their boat’s right side. They do, and catch 153 fish. John then recognises Jesus (v.7) and tells Peter. They bring their boat about 100 metres to the shore. Jesus has made a fire with fish and bread on it and he asks them to bring some of their catch, and gives them breakfast. Jesus is humble and attentive to his disciples.
Jesus then asks Peter three times if he loves him (vv.15-17). Just a few weeks previously Peter had denied Jesus three times, avoiding the cross. Jesus proceeds to assure Peter – in front of the others – that Peter will face the cross again, and this time will die in total faith. He reinstates Peter this way, publicly, and then tells Peter to follow him. In doing so, Peter notices John also following and asks, ‘Lord, what about him?’ Jesus tells him that’s none of his concern (vv.20-22). Jesus patiently shows by this that our spiritual journeys are not all alike.
Verse 24 states that the writer is John, and the testimony is true. So this captivating story full of relational detail and meaning can be trusted.
But something follows after the ending! Verse 25 has John stating: ‘Jesus did many other things as well. If every one of them were written down, I suppose that even the whole world would not have room for the books that would be written.’
The ongoing works and wonders of Jesus are continuing through generations past and to come. They are being written in so many books, but if the world knew everything about Jesus and what he is doing, there is still not enough room for them in the whole world!
Heavenly Father may your Holy Spirit work in us that we can add to unwritten stories that reflect Jesus. In his name, Amen
Study by Andrew Montgomery
About the writer:
Andrew Montgomery is a Deacon in the Edinburgh congregation of Grace Communion International.
Gilmerton New Church
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