We are told in the first verses of the book of Acts that Jesus, “presented himself alive to [his apostles] after his suffering by many proofs, appearing to them during forty days and speaking about the kingdom of God.” (Acts 1:3)
How do you prove to someone that you are alive? Well Jesus said, “See my hands and my feet, that it is I myself. Touch me and see.” (Luke 24:39) When his disciples still had trouble believing, Jesus asked for a piece of fish and “he took it and ate it before them.” (Luke 24:43) On another occasion Jesus showed up on the seashore where he had set up, “a charcoal fire…with fish laid out on it, and bread” and he said to his disciples who had just come to shore from fishing, “Come and have breakfast.” (John 21:9 & 12) But more signature of suprise than serving breakfast, Jesus repeated a miracle these disciples remember from the very start of their walk with Jesus. Years before, Jesus had shown up on the sea shore after the disciples had experienced a lousy night of fishing. He told them to once again drop their nets which suddenly filled to overflowing. Here again after the resurrection Jesus’ disciples were fishing and from the shore Jesus called out, “do you have any fish?” “No” came the reply, but Jesus said, “cast the net on the right side of the boat, and you will find some.” AND did they, such a large quantity that, “they were not able to haul it in.” (John 20:5-6)
Would your life of faith be easier if Jesus would just prove to you that he was alive? I’d like to suggest that he never stopped. For forty-days with many proofs he presented himself alive to his first disciples, and he still does for you and me. Granted, some of those proofs were only for the apostles. Don’t expect to see him with your eyes or touch him with your hands—at least not until his return. But Jesus continues to surprise us with abundance when we are not expecting it—and it’s is not always fish. It’s an outpouring of love from a Christian friend or family member. It’s renewed period of health after a long struggle with pain or illness. It’s a celebration of a significant anniversary in a marriage that once was on the rocks. It’s a longstanding debt finally paid off. It’s the birth of a new generation in the family, a child, grandchild, or even great-grandchild. Honestly, we don’t have to go fishing for these proofs it’s simply a matter of what Paul calls walking “by faith and not by sight.” (2 Corinthians 5:7) When we do, we’ll see the proofs of the living Jesus all around us.
As Jesus said to one of his disciples, “Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.” (John 20:29)
In the Risen Jesus,