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Breakfast on the Beach
Scripture: Matthew 20:17-19; Luke 24:9-12; Luke 24:...
Track 8 of 8 in the Slaves of Christ series
God exalted Jesus due to the unbroken chain of obedience that was his life, including this humbling moment. Jesus refused to exalt himself. This is why his name is above every name, because though he was the Lord and Master, he took on the title of a suffering slave. The radical reversal he lived out to perfection, the paradox Paul wrote about in Philippians, is precisely the nature of Christ the Master. If we become like him as a slave, many fish will be caught in our nets for his glory.

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Mike Nobis Speaker: Mike Nobis
Sunday School Teacher, Former Elder at Madison Park Christian Church. Mike is President of JK Creative Printers & Mailing in Quincy, IL. He is married to Pam and has three children, Tom, Tyler and Jennifer. Mike has three grandchildren: Ryne, Ivy and Alicia.

View all sermons by this speaker.

Breakfast with a Wounded Slave

It is astounding to me what the disciples understood about Jesus and what they didn’t understand. Many of us have read and heard about the accounts of Jesus all our lives and in most part, we can roll the events off our tongues like nothing. We told the stories of Jesus to our kids when they were little, some of us have been Sunday school teachers for several years and so we know a lot about Jesus and what he did and how he died. It is mind boggling to me how poorly the disciples understood who Jesus was and what he came to do.

The last supper and the reaction of the disciples toward Jesus washing their feet were somewhat surprising. As we studied, the foot washing was not some romantic looking gesture on Jesus part. The act of foot washing by Jesus would have been repugnant to the disciples to see their Messiah, the ruler of the world to stoop down as a slave and perform a slave’s task. Peter’s reaction was probably the reaction all the disciples hid deep inside themselves but not brave enough to express it.

Then came the crucifixion. To see their Messiah die like a common slave or criminal had to be crushing to them. Most of the disciples ran for the hills and hid. Only John and Peter tried to follow behind the crowd taking Jesus to see what they could do to help. We have to give Peter some points for bravery to sit in the courtyard of Caiaphas waiting for John to find out what was happening to Jesus. But when tested, Peter betrayed Jesus as predicted.

What did the disciples really believe about Jesus? What did they actually understand him to be? What is more startling to me is how quickly they forgot all that Jesus told them what would happen and how Jesus planned to fix the problem.

Matthew 20:17-19 " And Jesus, going up to Jerusalem, took the twelve disciples aside along the way, and said unto them, Behold, we go up to Jerusalem; and the Son of man shall be betrayed unto the chief priests and unto the scribes, and they shall condemn Him to death, and shall deliver Him to the Gentiles to mock, and to scourge, and to crucify Him. And the third day He shall rise again."

This is the third time that Jesus directly informed the twelve, about His coming death and resurrection. Mark 10:33-34 and Luke 18:31-33. At first, Jesus informed the twelve concerned His suffering in Jerusalem at the hands of the Jewish Sanhedrin, resulting in His death, from which he would be raised. Secondly, Jesus repeated the announcement, with the additional information that this would be by a personal betrayal. Now, Jesus added three further details meant to fill out the Apostles understanding of what was soon to come. It was these specific details which should have preoccupied them with His coming death but they didn't.

Why piece meal this important fact to the disciples? Why not just clearly explain what was going to happen and prepare the guys for a terrible end?

We notice, that Jesus graciously broke the news to the ones He loved, concerning His coming sufferings and death. He didn't tell them all at once but piece by piece filling them in on details, until finally explaining to them fully what would happen. Jesus knew, that although they wouldn't understand at this moment, they would remember the moment, etched on their heart for all eternity; Jesus knew that the sober occasion would be reflected on by the twelve Apostles over and over again; and Jesus knew that they would fail to grasp the full literal meaning until finally He manifested Himself after His resurrection.
What is astounding to me is what the disciples remembered from all that Jesus told them.

Luke 24:9-12 When they came back from the tomb, they told all these things to the Eleven and to all the others. It was Mary Magdalene, Joanna, Mary the mother of James, and the others with them who told this to the apostles. But they did not believe the women, because their words seemed to them like nonsense. Peter, however, got up and ran to the tomb. Bending over, he saw the strips of linen lying by themselves, and he went away, wondering to himself what had happened.

From what we see in scripture, why didn’t Peter and the other 11 praise God for the good news because Jesus did as he predicted? What were they thinking and why didn’t they put together all they were taught about this time?

The realization that Jesus was crucified and then he rose from the dead had to be a lot for the disciples of Jesus to comprehend. Only three times before Jesus came onto the scene had a human been brought back to life. Once when Elijah raised the widow’s son, twice when Elisha raised a Shumannite child and third when a dead man was accidentally dropped on the bones of Elisha and he came back to life. The concept of people coming back from the dead was very rare and only was restarted when Jesus started his ministry. Resurrection was mentioned several times by the prophets but was viewed as symbolic by the Jews and not an actual fact.

How might all the imagery of Jesus as a slave contribute to the misunderstanding of Jesus and his resurrection? If Jesus portrayed himself as a slave and then died as one, what would this do to the confidence the disciples had of Jesus as the Messiah?

How can we distinguish between the affection the disciples had for Jesus and their faith that he was truly the Messiah?

Luke 24:36-43 While they were still talking about this, Jesus himself stood among them and said to them, “Peace be with you.” They were startled and frightened, thinking they saw a ghost. He said to them, “Why are you troubled, and why do doubts rise in your minds? Look at my hands and my feet. It is I myself! Touch me and see; a ghost does not have flesh and bones, as you see I have.” When he had said this, he showed them his hands and feet. And while they still did not believe it because of joy and amazement, he asked them, “Do you have anything here to eat?” They gave him a piece of broiled fish, and he took it and ate it in their presence.

Why was it so hard for them to remember that Jesus would come back as he said he would?
Are there things we have a hard time believing about Jesus? If so, how much of this really makes it hard for us to truly follow him and give ourselves over to him completely? What truth about Jesus do we not understand or completely believe?

The scriptures don’t give us a complete detailed account of what took place during the 40 days after Jesus’ resurrection. We don’t know exactly what Jesus did and where he went. We don’t know exactly what the disciples did either or how this face to face encounter changed their lives. All we know is that the disciples went back to doing what they normally did in life. John records for us an encounter with some of the disciples and Jesus.

John 21:1-9 Afterward Jesus appeared again to his disciples, by the Sea of Tiberias. It happened this way: Simon Peter, Thomas (called Didymus), Nathanael from Cana in Galilee, the sons of Zebedee, and two other disciples were together. “I’m going out to fish,” Simon Peter told them, and they said, “We’ll go with you.” So they went out and got into the boat, but that night they caught nothing. Early in the morning, Jesus stood on the shore, but the disciples did not realize that it was Jesus. He called out to them, “Friends, haven’t you any fish?” No,” they answered. He said, “Throw your net on the right side of the boat and you will find some.” When they did, they were unable to haul the net in because of the large number of fish. Then the disciple whom Jesus loved said to Peter, “It is the Lord!” As soon as Simon Peter heard him say, “It is the Lord,” he wrapped his outer garment around him (for he had taken it off) and jumped into the water. The other disciples followed in the boat, towing the net full of fish, for they were not far from shore, about a hundred yards. When they landed, they saw a fire of burning coals there with fish on it, and some bread.

From this passage, give me your general observations. What do you find interesting and ironic?

I find a couple things interesting:

• The guys are back to doing what they normally do in life. Until Jesus comes into their lives they don’t see much difference in life as a whole.

• They didn’t recognize Jesus at first. They didn’t seem to be expecting him.

• Peter is the first out of the boat just like he was when he walked on water. Notice this time Peter didn’t walk on water. He just jumped in the water to get to Jesus as fast as he could.

• Jesus had already caught some fish and had breakfast ready for them.

But one thing I discovered most about this passage and all that we studied about Jesus, we never get what we expect from Jesus. The same was true with the disciples. Maybe that is why understanding Jesus as the Messiah from the perspective of a slave threw the disciples for a loop. I think a lot of our obedience problems comes from the same misunderstanding. We have the wrong image of Jesus, we worship Jesus from our incorrect perspective thus causing us to love and follow after Jesus made from our image and not the true image Jesus wants us to understand and live. He came as a slave so you and I would live as one also. A slave of Christ and a slave to our fellow man.

Here is what I mean, so much in scripture points to the magnificence and glory of God. In both the Old testament and the New we see massive images of his majesty, his power and strength, angels attending to his every need and command. Jesus is God Almighty, the Creator of all Heaven, the universe and the Earth. Yet, when Jesus shows up on the shore after his resurrection, we don’t see that picture at all. We don’t see Jesus expecting the Apostles to fall on their faces in worship to Almighty God on the beach. One would expect that to happen at the Temple anyway. What John describes is Jesus, a man who made breakfast for his friends, on the beach next to the Sea of Galilee.

What we see is the humble task of a slave. He fixes the meal for the disciples. We don’t know if this was Jesus custom every day. Only this time do we see Jesus fixing a meal the same way a slave would. And the meal is not a huge banquet. It was the meal of a low, humble slave.
Paul best explains this when he wrote to the Philippian church. Years later Paul knew exactly what Jesus wants all of us to know.

Philippians 2:6-11 Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a slave, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient to death—even death on a cross! Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

There is one more aspect of this meal that I find fascinating and something that the disciples won’t grasp until the Hold Spirit comes upon them at Pentecost. Jesus gave hints to it and here Jesus demonstrates concept again, But it has a different twist to it than most Christians understand.

Mark 1:16-20 As Jesus walked beside the Sea of Galilee, he saw Simon and his brother Andrew casting a net into the lake, for they were fishermen. “Come, follow me,” Jesus said, “and I will make you fishers of men.” At once they left their nets and followed him. When he had gone a little farther, he saw James son of Zebedee and his brother John in a boat, preparing their nets. Without delay he called them, and they left their father Zebedee in the boat with the hired men and followed him.

From this passage and a similar passage we read in Matthew, what does Jesus mean when he said he would make them into fishers of men? Does this apply to us as well?

But Jesus gives us a much different message during breakfast with some of his disciples. This message will carry forward after Pentecost and the effectiveness of the first century church was built on this one truth. It is the truth Jesus wants every Christina to understand and live out.

John 21:10-14 Jesus said to them, “Bring some of the fish you have just caught.” Simon Peter climbed aboard and dragged the net ashore. It was full of large fish, 153, but even with so many the net was not torn. Jesus said to them, “Come and have breakfast.” None of the disciples dared ask him, “Who are you?” They knew it was the Lord. Jesus came, took the bread and gave it to them, and did the same with the fish. This was now the third time Jesus appeared to his disciples after he was raised from the dead.

What are some observations you might have?

Jesus prepared a meal and shared it. But the meal was incomplete without some of the fish the disciples caught. There together Jesus and the disciples ate and enjoyed the morning. The message is that all of us are to partake in the meal of a slave by bringing to the beach all the fish we have caught. We don’t catch fish from the perspective of being great, the best, the most beautiful; we catch fish like Jesus caught fish by acting as and having the same heart of a slave toward others.

God exalted Jesus due to the unbroken chain of obedience that was his life, including this humbling moment. Jesus refused to exalt himself. This is why his name is above every name, because though he was the Lord and Master, he took on the title of a suffering slave. The radical reversal he lived out to perfection, the paradox Paul wrote about in Philippians, is precisely the nature of Christ the Master. If we become like him as a slave, many fish will be caught in our nets for his glory.

I often wondered why Jesus was so resistant to the demons crying out exactly who Jesus was. Any idea why?

Demons are like their father, Satan. They are liars like him. Yes, Jesus was who they said he was but they weren’t proclaiming that truth for truths sake, they were revealing the true Jesus to prevent his mission. They tried to speak the truth to portray a false image of why Jesus came, to be a slave to the world so we might become slaves to Christ.