We are dealing with the period between Passover and Pentecost which are 50 days. 40 of those Jesus was with His Disciples teaching and imparting to them the fullness of all what He taught them the last 3 and a half years. Most of the teaching was mostly with a audience. Then these 40 days Jesus was only with His disciples and with a different and spiritual level of intimacy.
However all of the disciples went through a process of failure, and dealing with the trauma of Jesus’ death, and being completely disoriented from the Resurrection. All of them except John failed Jesus. So with the other 10 (Judas having betrayed then killed himself) they all fled, Peter having denied his connection with Jesus. So all perceived that there was unfinished business. There must have been barriers between all.
John’s Gospel tells us that Peter gathered the others and said “Let’s go fishing”. They returned to the profession they exercised before Jesus called them. This can show us that Peter had desisted from any mission with Jesus. They did not understand why Jesus was raised again after their political ideas of the Messiah were shattered through His death.
They had no idea how Jesus would deal with their failure. So the only way to deal with their failure they return to the Sea of Galilee. However they battle all night and catch nothing.
Jesus is waiting for them on the shore. He simply asks “Children, have you anything?” What a statement. Places them in relationship with Jesus, as children, people who are learning. He deals with their failure by securing their relationship TO Him. We all fail, and in failing Him we immediately become insecure. When Jesus teaches them in those 40 days He breathes on them to receive the Holy Spirit. This is so that they begin to understand their mission. They reply that they had caught nothing and Jesus directed them and they caught great catch.
When they said “It is the Lord” Peter disrobes himself and dives into the sea to get to Jesus. He simply shows that he is naked and weak before Him, and says I have nothing to show, nothing to be proud of. It is an unconscious act from a place of failure.
When they arrive Jesus already had fish on the spit above the fire. Enough to feed them all. He must have commanded the fish to jump out of the water. He shows by feeding them that His love for them surpasses their failing in love. What a scene to meditate on, what a way Jesus had to deal with their failure. Compare them here in this scene and compare with the Day of Pentecost we see how Jesus prepares them. And how we also in our interactions with Jesus how we are prepared by Him through failure.
They failed Him in their identification with Him before men. Their association with Jesus presents risks. He was hated by many and we know by end time Scriptures that this hatred will rise up again and our association with Jesus will cost our lives.
They failed in their love to Him, sharing in His pain, sharing in the walk of condemnation on the Via Dolorosa all the way to Golgotha.
They failed in their understanding of Him, that this event of His Death was all part of an eternal plan. They are left confused, confounded in hiding in the Upper Room from where they celebrated the Passover Seder.
They failed in their faith in His Person, they did not believe the women who had seen Him risen and glorious.
I think in these scenes we can picture ourselves and our failings and we can identify and be prepared for, and how Jesus despite all this does not see our failings but our potential in Him. Our failings as much as the disciples did not exclude them from the preparation that Jesus took them through. And our failings do not exclude us, as like Peter we disrobe ourselves from pride.