It is not Peter who recognizes Jesus. It is John. But it is Peter who jumps into the water to get to Jesus faster. By my count this is the fourth time Peter has seen Jesus since the resurrection. Once, Jesus appears to Peter when he is alone (Luke 24:34), then twice Jesus appears to him with other disciples when they are behind locked doors (Luke 24:36-43 and John 20:26-31). Still Peter is eager to see him again.
Jesus is cooking breakfast onshore. He has brought fish and bread which is reminiscent of the feeding of the large crowd beside this same body of water (John 6:1-13) with the five loaves and two fish provided by a boy. Jesus adds to the fire some of the freshly caught fish. Again in this account (John 21:1-14) it seems that Jesus looks different ("None of the disciples dared ask him, 'Who are you?' They knew it was the Lord.") As with the two disciples on the road to Emmaus, they recognize him in the preparation of the food.
No doubt the disciples shared many meals with Jesus over the years and they recognized something distinctive in the way Jesus blessed and shared the food.
I think we may miss in this story that there is a multiplication of the fish that were caught (153 large fish) just as there was a multiplication of the fish and the bread in John 6. Jesus has revealed himself to the disciples not only in the blessing and sharing of the food but also in the multiplication of it to begin with.
For reflection: Do I recognize God's provision in the food that I have? Do I ask him to multiply it for those who are hungry?
Let us pray. Jesus, you multiplied the fish and the bread to feed not just a few but thousands. Show us how to multiply food today so that no one goes hungry.
I started this website and blog on May 1, 2012. I am a Catholic who has been in ministry for many years. I first developed what I would call a close relationship with Jesus in the early 1970s. Ever since then I have been praying with people for healing and other needs. It is because I have seen so many of these prayers answered that I am so bold as to offer to pray for you individually through this website and phone line.