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127: Jesus Meets with His Disciples in Galilee

May 15, 2009

Major Text: John 21:1-25

Outline:

  1. Jesus’ Third Appearance John 21:1-14
  2. Peter’s Commissioning John 21:15-23
  3. John’s Declaration John 21:24-25

Comments:

The disciples are now in Galilee per Jesus’ instructions. Seven have been out fishing and have not caught anything. Jesus shows up on the shore and asks them if they have caught any fish. They respond in the negative and Jesus tells them to try fishing on the other side of the boat. Immediately their catch is so large that they are unable to haul the net to the boat. John is the first to recognize that the person on shore is Jesus. Immediately Peter jumps out of the boat and swims toward shore leaving the others to handle the boat and the net.

Jesus has a fire going with some bread and some fish. But He asks for more fish from their catch so they can have breakfast together. After breakfast, Jesus begins to question Peter. Jesus asks him if he loves Him three times. The first question has to do with the phrase “more than these”. It doesn’t refer to Peter loving the Lord more than the other disciples but rather, loving the Lord more than fishing. The issue is what will happen to the disciples now that Jesus has died, is resurrected, and is headed for heaven to be with the Father. Will the disciples return to their former life or will they be “fishers of men”? After each response of Peter’s, the Lord responds saying “feed my lambs; care for His sheep; and feed His sheep”. The Lord is calling Peter to His ministry. He is to teach those new to the faith, care for those who are mature in the faith, and continue teaching those who are mature in the faith. It is both a physical and spiritual ministry of encouragement for those who believe Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God. Some say that Jesus asked Peter this same question three times to counter Peter’s denial of the Lord three times. This could very well be but it doesn’t have to be either. It is, however, an interesting thought.

Jesus proceeds to tell Peter about the death he will suffer. It appears there was much discussion that morning about what was to happen to each of the disciples. Peter asks Jesus about John’s future but Jesus says that is between Him and John. Peter is to concentrate on following Jesus. That is true for us all.

John concludes his gospel declaring that all he has written is true and that there is much more he could write but it would fill volumes. Essentially he is saying that this is more than enough information from which one can determine whether or not they will believe Jesus is the Christ.

Lessons/Applications:

1. Jesus is with us in all that we do and wherever we are. Look for His presence. Listen for His voice. Follow His direction. Fellowship with Him now and forever.

2. Loving God and following Him enables us to live and die according to His Will and for His Glory.

3. The lives of believers are similar [loving Him] but different [following Him] according to His Will.

4. Look at the life of Jesus as recorded in Scripture and trust Him as your Lord and Savior, the Son of God Incarnate.

Jesus’ Presence Proves His Sovereignty and His Faithfulness.

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