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  • Dr. Phil Newton



(Used by Permission.)

Please enjoy the “GOSPEL” as found in “The Leather Journal” of Pastor Phil Newton of South Woods Baptist Church. Other ministries can be found at This is presented by “The Inverted Christian” blog located at We exist to meet your spiritual needs through different presentations of the Gospel Message of Jesus Christ. Contact us if we can be of service.

“Glory and Simplicity”

“This is now the third time that Jesus was manifested to the disciples, after He was raised from the dead” (John 21:1–14).

After the resurrection of Jesus, He manifested Himself to the disciples from time to time (cf. 1 Cor. 15:6). Each disclosure of the God-Man who had secured eternal redemption and ratified the new covenant with its multiple promises through His death, gave the disciples increased assurance of power for gospel mission ahead. They would not be speaking about the mere memory of a deceased friend but announcing the glory and triumph of Jesus over sin and death as the Lord who reigns forever. Every encounter with the risen Christ gave them a deeper consciousness of His eternal glory as the Man of our race exalted to reign over His kingdom without end. Yet wondrously, each manifestation of Jesus to His disciples had both glory and simplicity. He carried on an interpretive conversation with two disciples on the Emmaus Road. He appeared in the closed room to ten of the disciples, where He ate broiled fish in their presence, showing the beauty of glorified humanity. In John 21, among other things (see vv. 15–23), Jesus met seven of the disciples in the act of their normal occupation of fishing.

These experienced fishermen knew how to catch fish. It had been their livelihood. Yet laboring all night, they caught nothing. Then Jesus appears on the shoreline, but at the moment they didn’t realize it was Him. He spoke, “Children, you do not have any fish, do you?” He knew that these skilled fishermen had come up empty despite their efforts throughout the night. They worked. They did all that they knew to do. Yet their labors at this mundane job were empty. Jesus told them to cast the net on the righthand side of the boat and they would find a catch. They didn’t argue (see Luke 5) or recount to Him how they had excelled at their work for years. They just simply, humbly followed His word and filled the net beyond capacity. Jesus showed them, even in the labor where they were skilled and experienced, they needed Him. They needed the humility to listen to Him and trust Him. They needed ears to hear Him and follow, even in the most menial of tasks. They were to live life in dependence upon Jesus, even in those things in which they had great skill. They were to see life as about Him, following His will, doing His bidding, seeing His hand at work, enjoying His generosity in meeting their needs.

As an eyewitness, John tells the count of 153 large fish hauled to shore. What did they find? The resurrected Lord of glory who reigns over creation, who had established an eternal kingdom, who reversed the effects of the fall, who by the act of His self-giving sacrifice atoned for sin—this exalted One had built a fire and cooked breakfast to satisfy these men wearied by a long night of labor. Jesus met them in a simple, practical way. While He sustained the universe, He prepared breakfast for these He loved. His care went beyond eternal issues of the soul to feed them bread and fish, and to enjoy one another with Jesus in their midst.

Jesus manifests Himself in providing for normal needs. No doubt, they fed on the richness of the risen Christ, yet He met them with food simply provided. They were to see and experience Jesus in the grandeur of His glory, and to see and experience Him in the simplicity of ordinary life. Jesus was to be their all—in forgiveness of sins and in daily bread. We have such a Lord, exalted in infinite glory, yet meeting us in the daily needs of life. Let us look to Him with gratitude, living life in Him even in the little things. Jesus manifests His care in simple matters of life.

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