‘Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice!’ Philippians 4:4
For about forty days, after Jesus had been raised from the dead and before His Ascension, His disciples had been living with a tremendous task without knowing how to fulfil it: ‘As the Father has sent Me, I am sending you’ (John 20:21). This commission did not only apply to the twelve apostles, for Philip, who preached the Gospel to Samaria and who led the Ethiopian eunuch to Jesus, was no apostle but one of the first deacons.
Actually, everyone who belongs to Jesus has received this command. So the forty days between Easter and Ascension Day can be compared to the age we live in. For we too have been given the huge task to continue the work Jesus commissioned His disciples to do, and we do not know how to go about it either! So we fully understand Peter’s words: ‘I’m going out to fish’ (:3). Yes, of course, why not. It is certainly no sin to earn your daily bread! So most of us just go along with him.
The tremendous task Jesus gave us, fades into the background and we are more and more consumed with the cares and worries of daily life. If God blesses us in this, we will be very grateful to Him. But when the tide turns, little is left of the joy of faith and our trust in Him. It appears that after all you must look after everything yourself.
And the result after a hard night’s work, with great competence… It is too silly for words, nothing, not a single fish. Enough to make anyone mad. Or might it be that we realize in the adversities that Jesus has something to say to us?