When the sun came up, Jesus was standing on the shore, but the disciples did not know that it was Jesus. Jesus called out, “Friends, have you anything to eat?” They answered, “Nothing.” Then he said to them, “Throw the net on the right side of the boat and you will find something.” When they had lowered the net, they were not able to pull it in because of the great number of fish.
Then the disciple Jesus loved said to Peter, “It’s the Lord!” At these words, “It’s the Lord!” Simon Peter put on his clothes, for he was stripped for work, and jumped into the water. The other disciples came in the boat, dragging the net full of fish; they were not far from land, about a hundred meters.
When they landed, they saw a charcoal fire with fish on it, and some bread. Jesus said to them, “Bring some of the fish you’ve just caught.” So Simon Peter climbed into the boat and pulled the net to shore. It was full of big fish—one hundred and fifty-three but, in spite of this, the net was not torn.
Jesus said to them, “Come and have breakfast.” And not one of the disciples dared to ask him, “Who are you?” for they knew it was the Lord. Jesus came and took the bread and gave it to them, and he did the same with the fish.
This was the third time that Jesus revealed himself to his disciples after rising from the dead.
This is a poignant scene. An encounter between Master and disciples. The latter were trying to preserve their unity. Peter who stands as their leader tries to explore another possibility for their group. He wants to go back to their old trade as fishermen. Perhaps there is something for their group there. And the others with him decided to go along. But even that does not give them a positive hope. They have no fish caught no matter how much they tried. Even the art of fishing abandoned them. As seeming hopelessness slowly settles in, and then the stranger came.
The Lord still unrecognized went to them in their moment of need when all seem bleak. Their very skills abandoned them but the Lord did not. When everything else fail us, the Lord will not. That is why the apostles afterward to the last man remained steadfast and true to Jesus until death. He their Lord proved to them many times over, despite their unfaithfulness that He can always be relied on, no matter what.