I hope you were blessed by our journey through the Gospel of John. I hope you will join me on the next journey through the Book of Revelation. The link for it is studyinrevelation.wordpress.com. I hope it will bless you also. Don’t forget if you have any questions, talk to me. I’ll be glad to answer them.
After the disciples have dined with Jesus, He talks with Peter. Three times Jesus asks Peter does he love him. Three times Peter confesses his love for Jesus. Each time Jesus tells Peter to feed His flock. He calls His flock by two different names, which are lambs or sheep. Lambs are tender and need much care and tending to because they are young. Sheep need caring for and leading. They need rest at certain times. They need a shepherd who knows how to be responsible for not only their care but their protection and health as well. Note what 1 Peter 5:2 says: “Feed the flock of God which is among you, taking the oversight thereof, not by constraint, but willingly; not for filthy lucre, but of a ready mind.” This is a humble responsibility for the one called to this ministry.
When Jesus asks the question the third time, note verse 17 where Peter is “grieved” by Jesus’ repeated question. At this point, Peter says that Jesus knows all things. He knows that he loves Him. At this point, Jesus goes on to make His statement. He tells Peter that when he was young, he was independent. He could move about and do what he wanted to do. Things will change when he will get old. When he will get old, others will clothe him, lead him around, and most of all, he will be carried to places where he will not want to go. Verse 19 clarifies this statement by saying that it signifies the death he should glorify God. He tells Peter to follow Him.
Peter turned and saw the beloved disciple, and he asks the Lord what shall this man do? Jesus tells Peter what concern is that of his if that man tarries until He returns. This statement spread like wild fire among the brethren that this man should not die. It must be understood that Jesus did not say that. What He did say was “If I will that he tarries till I come, what is that to thee?” Isn’t it something how leaving out one sentence can change the meaning of a statement?
The last two verses of this gospel reveal who the “disciple” is. He is the author of the gospel. His testimony is true because he is an eyewitness to the earthly ministry of the resurrected Christ. His last statement is amazing. It leaves the reader realizing that this narrative is but a summary of the teachings and miracles of Jesus Christ. Jesus did so much that it could not be recorded!
I just published a post about the disciples of Jesus Christ. He had told them that He would rise from the dead. After His resurrection, He appeared to different people, and they testified of His appearance. Their testimonies served as evidence to the truth of His words. Their testimony was met with unbelief.
I am not here to discuss that portion of John 21 with you today. I want to talk about how the gospel said at one point they were seen as hiding because they were afraid for their lives. In another gospel, they went back to doing what they were doing before they met Jesus, which was fishing. For 3 1/2 years they traveled with Jesus hearing His teachings and watching the miracles He performed. Recorded in Matthew 28:19:19-20 Jesus gives them instructions on what they must do as His followers. Notice the first word “go.” Get moving disciples! You have a divine assignment to do because you have a call on your life!
Let me bring my thought home. If we’ve gotten to the place in our lives where we are seeking the will of God for our lives, and He tells us, are we doing it?
Are we obedient or are we on the run? Have we chosen to remain in what is familiar? People are waiting for us to fulfill what we have been called to do. Somebody is waiting for us to speak that word that we have been given by the Lord. That song that we hesitate to sing will bless and encourage somebody and help them to hold on a little while longer. Whatever it is somebody is waiting for it. We are needed somewhere, and He has anointed and equipped us for the task He has called us to.
Yesterday we should have gone forth to do what God called us to do. Will you go forth today? Time is moving fast, and we need to be about our Father’s business!
The writer lets us know who is present at this appearance. Notice who is mentioned first. Simon Peter. He was the man who wanted to walk on water with Jesus, and Jesus bid him come. He began to sink because he took his off Jesus, and Jesus had to reach out and rescue him. Peter the one who denied him three times before the cock crowed twice. He was ashamed, and yet Jesus forgave him. He became a great man of God. Why? Because Jesus saw something in him that Peter did not know was living inside himself. What a mighty God we serve! Thomas called Didymus. Nathanael of Cana in Galilee, the sons of Zebedee, along with two other of his disciples.
Yet these men did not consider the words and instructions of Jesus Christ that they had been given. They went back doing what they had been doing all their lives—fishing. Jesus was gone—or so they thought. It was nighttime, and they were unsuccessful in their endeavors. Then when early morning came, something happened that changed their lives forever. Jesus showed up! He was on the shore, and they did not know it was He.
Jesus then asks them if they have any meat, and they respond by saying no. He answers them by telling them to cast their net on the right side of the ship. When they do this, they get so many fish they are unable to gather their nets. They caught a multitude of fish! The Provider of all things in our lives had spoken to them. John identifies who is speaking, and he tells Peter that it is the Lord. When Peter hears this, he covers himself with his fisherman’s coat because he is naked. He then dives into the sea. Concerning the fisherman’s coat that Peter put on, I did some research, and found out two views. One was a scholarly view, and the other view came from Jewish writers. I would like to share with you what the Jewish writers have to say about this article of clothing.
It was a straight garment, which a man put on next to his flesh to dry up the sweat. It was a very fit item for him to swim in. It covered his nakedness. It would be understandable for him to be very naked because he was surrounded by men. Therefore, it was not at all indecent or unbecoming for him to be dressed in such a manner.
After Peter left the ship to swim ashore, the other disciples came ashore by traveling on a small ship. Apparently, they were not far from the shore as well. As they came ashore, they dragged the net, which was full of fish. Verse 11 says that the number of fish amounted to 153, and the net did not break. Once they were on shore, they saw that Jesus had started a fire cooking fish and bread. Jesus tells them to bring the fish that they had caught.
Once all the disciples were onshore and settled, Jesus invites them to “Come and dine.” I believe that this phrase is something that you and I should stop and investigate. Although upon first glance, it may appear simplistic, I have found that the more simplistic on the surface, the more rich in the depth.
Since it was so early in the morning, it would seem that Jesus would have said come and take a breakfast rather than a dinner. Therefore, it may signify here, not what we properly call dining, but eating a morning’s meal. It is to be observed that he does not say go and dine, but come and dine. This means along with himself. He does not send His disciples elsewhere for food. He invites them to come to Him, to hear His word, which is food for faith. They are to wait in His house where plenty of provision is made, and to attend on His ordinances. All are to feed upon Jesus, and to feed with Him. All are heartily welcome.
Notice that none of the disciples asked Him who He is because they recognize Him at this point. Jesus feeds them natural food in the form of bread and fish. This section of John 21 ends in verse 14 by stating that this is the third time that Jesus has shown Himself to His disciples after He rose from the dead.