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Thursday, April 20, 2006

"Barbecue With Jesus"

"When they landed, they saw a fire of burning coals there with fish on it, and some bread" (John 21:9).

Photo of Donegal CreekWhen I'm in Kansas City, Missouri one thing I look forward to is eating some good barbecue.  Real barbecue involves slowly cooking meat over wood, usually in a pit.  While in the KC area three weeks ago we Weber boys sure enjoyed some great BBQ, at one point splitting a platter of brownies (or burnt ends) at Snead's BBQ in Belton, Missouri, the small town we grew up in. (You have to be familiar with bbq to know these terms!)

Consider today's text. "When they landed, they saw a fire of burning coals there with fish on it, and some bread" (John 21:9).  I ask three questions: Who started the fire?  Who caught the fish?  Who did the cooking?  Yesterday I wrote about how Peter and the other disciples had been out fishing all night and had caught nothing.  Early in the morning Jesus stood on the shore but the disciples did not recognize Him.  He gave them some specific directions leading to a great catch.

After the catch John recognized the Lord and Peter characteristically jumped out of the boat and waded ashore, with the others following in the loaded boat.  That's when the disciples come upon the "burning coals there with fish on it, and some bread."  Had Jesus already done a little fishing Himself?  Well I believe He must have, since in the very next verse, He says to them "bring some of the fish you have just caught".  Evidently He wanted these to add to the fish that were already on the fire.  He apparently also started the fire and cooked the fish and bread since there is no mention of anyone else waiting on the shore.

Then He says, "Come and have breakfast." I'm sure that morning barbecue* really tasted good. I have a friend in Missouri who recently told me of his fishing trips and fresh trout cooked over charcoal along the shore.  But even more than the physical meal, I'll bet the fellowship at this men's breakfast was just great!  I sure enjoy getting together with a bunch of men for breakfast but this one was incredibly special!

Of all the significant events that took place in the forty-day period between the resurrection and ascension this is quite a story to be providentially included in sacred Scripture.  I believe it's here as a reminder of the fellowship the Lord now wants to have with all His followers.  Years later John wrote of Christ saying, "Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with him, and he with me" (Revelation 3:20). 

He's still knocking.  Have you responded?  He still wants to come in and eat with us!

Be encouraged today,

Stephen C. Weber

Brooksyne's prayer:  Jesus, thank You for knocking on the door of my heart time and time again, until I finally opened the door.  Though You spoke to me I delayed because of my unbelief and rebellious heart.  But in opening the door I found boundless freedom from sin's chains that held me captive.  I found that in having daily fellowship with You I lack no good thing.  I've tasted and seen that You are good, Your mercies are new everyday, and Your abiding presence sustains me through the good and bad times.

* Technically barbecue is when you slow roast meat in a pit with a wood fire, although many use the term for grilling meats on charcoal and even a gas fire as well.

I am sure my perspective is subjective but Kansas City is the place for BBQ! Here are three of our favorite KC BBQ joints.
Arthur Bryant's  

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Scripture references are from The Holy Bible: New International Version. © 1984 by International Bible Society; NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE®, Copyright © 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission; and the King James Version.
Personal Mission Statement: "I am created by God to bring Him glory. Through God's Son Jesus Christ I have been redeemed and I make it my life's goal to please the Lord. My mission in life is to honor God through my faith and obedience and to prepare myself and all whom I may influence for eternity."

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