8 Now the other disciples came in a little boat, dragging the net of fish, for they were not far away from the land, about two hundred cubits (about 100 yards (91 metres)).
9 Then, when they disembarked on the land, they saw a coal fire with fish laying on it and bread.
It would seem that the disciples were not all on the same boat; since John records that ‘other disciples came in a little boat’.
It was the other disciples who appear to have hauled in the catch of fish that Jesus had miraculously given to them. Peter set off to go to Jesus. Eventually they all arrive at the shore, where they discover that Jesus has a fire going and was cooking bread and fish on it. This was a meal that Jesus was preparing for His weary disciples.
This incident tells us that whatever form His resurrected body took Jesus was still able to do physical things. We see this also in one of His other resurrection appearances in Luke’s gospel:
41 They were still disbelieving, but because of their joy and amazement He said to them: “Do you have any food here?”
42 Then they gave to Him a piece of broiled fish.
43 And taking it He ate it in front of them – Luke 24.41-43.
In Luke’s gospel Jesus dispels any thoughts that He was a ghost, or that His body was not a real physical body. Yet we are aware that He was different in that He could pass through walls, locked doors, and appear in different locations.
A number of years ago a lady related to Rachel and I how she had been visited by an angel, who was positioned at the end of her bed. Before her eyes the angel ascended up to the ceiling and passed through it out of her sight.
Many others have had similar angelic experiences where they have been visited by angels who have had a normal human appearance. They have suddenly appeared to carry out a particular task. Once that task was completed the angel has left them.
The writer to the Hebrews tells us all:
Don’t forget to show hospitality to strangers, for some who have done this have entertained angels without realizing it! – Hebrews 13.2 (NLT).
The inference is that the angels may appear to us clothed in a normal human, physical body, and then suddenly disappear from our view. This is just how it was with Jesus on His resurrection appearances to His disciples.
This occasion on the beach appears to be one of those occasions.