The Reality of Jesus


There’s a beautiful moment captured in John 21 in which Jesus appears to seven of His disciples after He had been resurrected from the dead. The reason I love this story so much is because I find that I can relate perfectly to how the disciples must’ve felt that particular day. It was a day in which seemed as though everything was back to normal, or as we often say “back to reality”. The fact that the disciples walked with Jesus and learned from Him leading up to His crucifixion was undeniable, and un-mistakenly life changing for all of them.  However, as Jesus was no longer with them, they went back to doing what they figured was the most natural thing for them to do… they went fishing.


John 21:3

 “Simon Peter said, “I’m going fishing”. 

“we’ll come, too,” they all said. So they went out in the boat, but they caught nothing all night. 


There are days and moments in our life that require us to do what feels the most appropriate. In fact, I’d be willing to say most days are like this. Typically, we wake up, go to work, eat our meals, and spend time with those we love while trying our best to be kind to those we find difficult. This is exactly what the disciples did, they woke up, went to work, and tried to live into the reality that was right in front of them. For them it was rather gloomy, they no longer had Jesus next to them, and they had just spent the night working without catching a single fish.

Then something amazing happens…


John 21:4-6

At dawn Jesus was standing on the beach, but the disciples couldn’t see who he was. He called out. “fellows, have you caught any fish?” 

“No”, they replied. 

Then he said, “throw out your net on the right-hand side of the boat, and you’ll get some!” 

So they did, and they couldn’t haul in the net because there were so many fish in it. 


The mission of Jesus is to show us the Reality behind our own reality. He came to tell us that there is far more in store for those that love Him. Often times we have our nets tossed to the wrong side, and we need people to remind us of that. Often times we forget all together that there is more to life than meets the eye. Common Ground exists to show kids the reality of Jesus. There are circumstances that exist in some of the kids lives that are sorrowful. We have kids that are living in the reality of broken homes and painful pasts. If Common Ground had the goal to fix all of these problems, then we would truly fail. However, we strive to paint what we see as the bigger picture, the picture of Jesus. Jesus came so that despite our circumstances in life, we can find life in Him.

Through years spent sharing this simple truth to the youth, we have seen just how loving our Father is. We have seen how in the regular day-to-day tasks and routines we find ourselves in, that God is still with us and knows what’s best for us. More than anything, we have seen how kids have found hope, the hope that can only be found in the reality of Jesus. 


-Matt Johnson 









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