Can you imagine the Creator of the world inviting you to breakfast? And not only that, then He prepares your meal and serves you. Well, that’s exactly what happened to Jesus’s disciples. We find this account in John 21.
There, we learn about seven of Jesus’s disciples who were fishing in the Sea of Galilee at daybreak. They had fished all night and caught nothing when Jesus appeared on the shore. The disciples didn’t recognize Him at first, but then He asked them to cast their nets again. In minutes, they had caught more fish than their nets could hold, and they knew who He was.
John exclaimed, “It is the Lord!” (John 21:7). Peter was so excited, he jumped right out of the boat and swam to shore! The others dragged the miraculous haul to shore—153 fish in all—then the men hurried to greet Jesus.
John 21:9–13 tells us that when the disciples got to land, they saw a charcoal fire with fish laid out on it and bread. Jesus invited the disciples to have breakfast with Him. What a beautiful scene.
After the meal, Jesus gave the disciples some wise instruction, but I believe we can learn much from the circumstances of the breakfast itself. In fact, this is my favorite part of the story, because it reminds me of a simple truth.
If we want to live as Jesus lived, we must serve others as Jesus did.
Serving is often overlooked and can even feel insignificant, but it is essential to Christian living. It was the exact reason Jesus came.
Matthew 20:28 tells us that “the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many” (NIV). To serve others with joy, our hearts must be humble. In Matthew 11:29, Jesus describes Himself as “gentle and humble in heart.”
I can’t say that I am always humble and gentle at heart when it comes to service. Let’s take an example from my household, like when the dishes are piled up in the sink, as they often are.
Just the sight of them can make my heart grow frustrated. I start cleaning the dishes, but internally, I am entertaining some major self-dialogue like: “I am the only one doing the dishes. No one else in the family is helping me.”
Thoughts like this make my heart grow hard and cold. Before long, my frustration bubbles over, and I say to my kids and husband, “Guys, I have already washed twenty or thirty dishes. Can you all come and help too?” (Insert slightly raised voice.) Notice: I have even counted the dishes I’ve washed, including small spoons and forks. (Do you get an idea of my ridiculousness?)
I don’t think Jesus counted how many fish He cooked that morning. I don’t think He was angry that the disciples were out on the water while He was on the shore cooking. No. He lovingly prepared breakfast. And He did the work with gladness.
That’s not always me. Yes, I do the work, but too often, I’m not really serving. My heart isn’t glad, and I am not gentle or humble.
That’s not how I want to be. So to change my attitude, I’ve started listening to worship music while doing the dishes. It calms my spirit and reminds me that washing is a way to serve my family and the Lord. If Jesus my Savior came “not to be served, but to serve,” then why shouldn’t I serve happily and humbly as well?
Are you joining Jesus in the good work of serving others with gentleness and humility? Or are you doing the work but with a grumbling heart?
Let’s reflect Jesus in every act of service for His glory. Pray with me: “Lord Jesus, help me to serve others humbly. Allow me the privilege to be Your hands and feet on earth, so others can see You in everything I do. In Jesus’s name, amen.”