After Jesus had been crucified, and had risen from the dead, Peter and six other disciples decided to go fishing. Perhaps they were thinking of returning to their earlier way of life. Anyway, they spent a fruitless night, catching nothing, and in the early morning Jesus appeared to them on the shore.

After enquiring if they had any fish, Jesus told them to cast their nets on the right hand side of the boat, and to their amazement their nets were rapidly filled with fish, almost to breaking point.

On reaching shore they discovered Jesus had a fire burning and had a meal of bread and fish cooking on the hot coals. Nevertheless, he told his disciples to bring some of the fish they had caught. Jesus could easily have prepared enough food without their help, after all he had fed much larger crowds in the past.

This meal however, was to be the result of his efforts and theirs, rather like the future work he had in mind for them.

Missionaries can spread the good news, but it is the Holy Spirit who brings conviction. As Jesus said: “Without me, you can do nothing.

Many of the apostles had been fishermen and knew the importance of working as a team. Teamwork was also needed if they were to be ‘fishers of men’. Not everyone however, is called to be a missionary, but missionaries need the support of others.

The Prayer and Self-Denial appeal gives everyone the chance to support the work of mission and ‘become part of the team’.


Ian Carlson