Why would Jesus repeat a miracle? He had given his disciples a great catch of fish years earlier (Luke 5). Didn’t they know he could push all the fish in the lake into their nets?
But the disciples were weak men like us. They needed all the reminders of Jesus’ love and power that they could get. Especially after their fear and betrayals of Holy Week. In this fishing account, not only would they recall the earlier catch of fish; the breakfast of bread and fish would have reminded them of a couple of other miracles. In this after-Easter miracle, God’s grace and power were evident. And when they sat down to eat with Jesus, they were assured once again of his friendship.
Jesus repeats his miracles in our lives too. He performed the amazing miracle of washing our sins away at our Baptism. He repeats that miracle each time we repent and are forgiven. He does it again when he provides his body and blood as we gather at his altar. And he pours out that forgiveness every time we open his Word and read his wonderful Gospel message.
Jesus builds our faith so it will go into action. The earlier catch of fish was the prelude to Jesus’ calling the disciples to “catch men”; they then “left everything and followed him.” Now, after Easter, they’d gone back to fishing; but Jesus once again had other fishing for them to do (21:15ff). Jesus likewise builds us up before he sends us out to serve him in our vocations.
“It is the Lord!” is the Easter refrain (cf. 20:18, 20:25, 20:28) that moves us, like Peter, to live the new life we have in our Lord.