Refreshment in Refuge
by Gina Burgess
Jesus saved the best for last. This eighth sign John notes for us is found in John 21. One would think this was the least of the signs after seeing Jesus turn water into wine, heal the sick and the lame, feed 5,000 people with no more than two fish and five loaves of bread, walk on water, heal a man blind from birth, and raise a man from the decaying dead.
This sign is one of assurance. Jesus was showing His disciples the importance of obedience. “I write these things, little children, that you may be assured of your hope,” John wrote much later because he recognized how huge a role hope plays in the Christian life. Jesus wanted us to be sure of His intimate interest in every detail of our lives and His assurance of rewards to obedience gives us great hope in our daily living.
When He told the disciples to cast the net on the right side of the boat, and they hauled in 153 fish in a net that should have burst from the weight of them all, Jesus proved miracles would happen when we consistently and constantly obeyed His directions. Blessings would always follow. He would always supply our needs if we put Him first. Simply, it is God’s way.
But there is more. Jesus adhered to the law of the land in that Romans required seven witnesses to a testament, and here there were seven disciples engaged in labor while that waited for Jesus to come meet them. They were not wasting time lolling in a tavern or at one of their homes; but they were industriously at work providing for themselves and their families. Seven disciples gathered together and Jesus is there. We are told to assemble together, Jesus said, “When two or more are gathered in My name, there I am also.” It is His promise to us illustrated in a very physical way, we are to labor together for our mutual benefit, be obedient to Him in all things, testify to the truth of Jesus and His words, and miracles and blessings will follow in abundance sufficient for all our needs. How great is that?
Isaiah 40:11 He will feed His flock like a shepherd; He will gather the lambs with His arm, And carry them in His bosom, And gently lead those who are with young.
Ezekiel 34:23 I will establish one shepherd over them, and he shall feed them—My servant David. He shall feed them and be their shepherd.
Isaiah 40:31 But those who wait on the LORD Shall renew their strength; They shall mount up with wings like eagles, They shall run and not be weary, They shall walk and not faint.
Here is the crux of the message Jesus was illustrating to His disciples. We can toil all night doing exactly what we are supposed to do, but with Jesus all our efforts come to naught. We must depend upon Him. Jesus showed Himself after their night’s fruitless toil. When we’ve done within our own strength, Jesus lifts up the downtrodden and heavy laden. Only He knows the perfect time and perfect place for labor to bear fruit.
Not only perfect timing, but Jesus also knows all things hidden, even to the depths of the sea (Job 16:5). Nothing happens in secret that He will not bring to light. Since He knows all, why not be totally honest with Him in all things? Why lie to Him or to ourselves? Since we have entrusted our lives into His hand, isn’t it better to also obey and submit our will into His greater will? Why is it so difficult to relinquish control into more powerful and wiser hands than our own?
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She is the author of several books including: When Christians Hurt Christians, The Crowns of the Believers and others available in online bookstores. She authors several columns, using her God-given talent to shine a light in a dark world. You can browse her blog at Refreshment In Refuge.
If you'd like to take a look at some Christian fiction and Christian non-fiction book reviews before the books hit the book store shelves, check out Gina's book reviews at Upon Reflection
Gina is a partner and COO of Common Sense Marketing Strategies, LLC that owns Authors Community and eBookChristian.com
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