Breakfast on the Beach—A Lesson in Welcome

Date: January 15, 2024

“‘Now come and have some breakfast!’ Jesus said… Then Jesus served them the bread and the fish.” (John 21:12a,13)


When is the last time you said, “Welcome!” to someone at the door of your home? “A home is a home if it’s visited” goes the South African proverb of the Zulu people.

            Some cultures truly excel at hospitality. For example, “Africans are generally hospitable people who gladly welcome friends and strangers into their homes. They sacrificially share food, even breaking into the seeds stored for next year’s planting in order to prepare a good meal.[1]

But when you hear the word “hospitality,” you may mistakenly think of “entertaining.” There’s a huge difference between the two, with one focusing on me and the other on you. “Entertaining” is about impressing others with your neighborhood, the size of your TV or your cooking, rather than welcoming them with the desire to get to know them. One writer put it like this: “Hospitality burns the rolls because it was listening to a story.”[2]

Jesus didn’t even have a home of His own and yet He gave us a beautiful example of hospitality recorded in the Bible book of John. He stood on the beach of the Sea of Galilee where his disciples had been fishing all night. When they came to shore, “they found breakfast waiting for them—fish cooking over a charcoal fire and some bread”(John 21:9) “‘Now come and have some breakfast!’ Jesus said…”Then Jesus served them the bread and the fish”(John 21:12a,13).

Wherever you live, there are people around you who desperately long to hear the word “Welcome!”–into your home, your presence and your life.

[1] Thomas, Eliza, and Melanie Clinton. “9 Fascinating Proverbs to Help You Understand an African Worldview.”IMB, 16 Aug. 2017,

[2] Wilkin, J. (2016, April 9). Why hospitality beats entertaining. The Gospel Coalition.