As I hear the heavenly crunch of my corn-based sugar-covered breakfast cereal against my molars, I can picture myself breaking my morning fast with Jesus and his disciples on the shore of the Galilee Sea.
This design started as a joke but turned into something far more profound.
When I first discovered this passage, I thought it was hilarious that Jesus said the words “Come and eat breakfast.” It’s not even a paraphrase! For some reason it was a shock to me that Jesus participated in such mundane activities as breakfast. But even in breakfast, he was accomplishing more than simply feeding his disciples’ bodies.
The night before he was crucified, Jesus told his disciple Peter that Peter would deny him 3 times before the next morning. Peter retorted that he would never. Yet, later that night, while standing around a fire with some strangers to keep warm, Peter did just that. As soon as he realized what he had done, he fled in shame. Away from the fire, into the dark of night. He had failed at keeping his word, and he had failed Jesus.
A couple weeks later, after Jesus death and unbelievable resurrection, he appeared to his disciples while they were out fishing. They had caught nothing all night. Jesus shouted to them from shore to try fishing on the other side of the boat. They did this and caught more than their nets could hold. Peter jumped overboard to greet Jesus on the shore. There was a warm fire burning with fish already roasting over it.
Jesus called the disciples over with the words, “Come and eat breakfast.” He welcomed them all back around the fire. He asked Peter 3 times if he loved him, paralleling the tree times he denied Jesus. With Peter’s affirmation, Jesus forgave him and issued the instructions to “feed his sheep”—an allusion to the church.
Every morning, when you eat breakfast, you can thank God for feeding your body and soul. You can watch the sunrise, knowing once again that his mercies are new every morning. No matter how dark the night, no matter how deep our failings, he greets us in the morning with the breakfast of his forgiveness.