John Chapter 21

May 6, 2010

This Preaching in Shorts Bible study is on the Book of John. Each chapter is read verse by verse with the major points highlighted and discussed.

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John Chapter 21 from Preaching In Shorts on Vimeo.

John 21:1-25 (NIV)
1 Afterward Jesus appeared again to his disciples, by the Sea of Tiberias. It happened this way: 2 Simon Peter, Thomas (called Didymus), Nathanael from Cana in Galilee, the sons of Zebedee, and two other disciples were together. 3 “I’m going out to fish,” Simon Peter told them, and they said, “We’ll go with you.” So they went out and got into the boat, but that night they caught nothing. 4 Early in the morning, Jesus stood on the shore, but the disciples did not realize that it was Jesus. 5 He called out to them, “Friends, haven’t you any fish?” “No,” they answered. 6 He said, “Throw your net on the right side of the boat and you will find some.” When they did, they were unable to haul the net in because of the large number of fish. 7 Then the disciple whom Jesus loved said to Peter, “It is the Lord!” As soon as Simon Peter heard him say, “It is the Lord,” he wrapped his outer garment around him (for he had taken it off) and jumped into the water. 8 The other disciples followed in the boat, towing the net full of fish, for they were not far from shore, about a hundred yards. 9 When they landed, they saw a fire of burning coals there with fish on it, and some bread. 10 Jesus said to them, “Bring some of the fish you have just caught.” 11 Simon Peter climbed aboard and dragged the net ashore. It was full of large fish, 153, but even with so many the net was not torn. 12 Jesus said to them, “Come and have breakfast.” None of the disciples dared ask him, “Who are you?” They knew it was the Lord. 13 Jesus came, took the bread and gave it to them, and did the same with the fish. 14 This was now the third time Jesus appeared to his disciples after he was raised from the dead. Jesus Reinstates Peter15 When they had finished eating, Jesus said to Simon Peter, “Simon son of John, do you truly love me more than these?” “Yes, Lord,” he said, “you know that I love you.” Jesus said, “Feed my lambs.” 16 Again Jesus said, “Simon son of John, do you truly love me?” He answered, “Yes, Lord, you know that I love you.” Jesus said, “Take care of my sheep.” 17 The third time he said to him, “Simon son of John, do you love me?” Peter was hurt because Jesus asked him the third time, “Do you love me?” He said, “Lord, you know all things; you know that I love you.” Jesus said, “Feed my sheep. 18 I tell you the truth, when you were younger you dressed yourself and went where you wanted; but when you are old you will stretch out your hands, and someone else will dress you and lead you where you do not want to go.” 19 Jesus said this to indicate the kind of death by which Peter would glorify God. Then he said to him, “Follow me!” 20 Peter turned and saw that the disciple whom Jesus loved was following them. (This was the one who had leaned back against Jesus at the supper and had said, “Lord, who is going to betray you?”) 21 When Peter saw him, he asked, “Lord, what about him?” 22 Jesus answered, “If I want him to remain alive until I return, what is that to you? You must follow me.” 23 Because of this, the rumor spread among the brothers that this disciple would not die. But Jesus did not say that he would not die; he only said, “If I want him to remain alive until I return, what is that to you?” 24 This is the disciple who testifies to these things and who wrote them down. We know that his testimony is true. 25 Jesus did many other things as well. If every one of them were written down, I suppose that even the whole world would not have room for the books that would be written.

John Chapter 21

We have been looking at the way John has used the contrast between light and darkness to help illustrate the ministry of Jesus over and in a dark world. The darkness showed itself vividly in chapters 18 and most of 19, but in chapters 20 and 21 we see the light of Jesus break forth brightly again in the resurrection.

John 21:1-14

Now that the disciples were sure of the resurrection, they were still not so sure about what they were supposed to do, so, like a lot of guys with some spare time on their hands they decide to go fishing. Actually, they didn’t just go out to fish for recreation, it appears as they were going back to what they knew. But the call of Jesus on their lives from when He first called them was still in place, follow Me and I will make you fishers of men. Peter and six of the other disciples, including John and James, had been fishing all night and hadn’t caught anything. Jesus shows up on the shore and says, “How is that working out for you”? Not very well was the reply. Jesus tells the fisherman to throw the net out on the other side of the boat and they catch so many fish they can’t haul the net in. The disciple who Jesus loved (probably John but still maybe Lazarus) recognized Jesus and Peter jumps into the water and heads to shore as the rest of the disciples follow up in the boat towing the net full of fish.

Then Jesus makes them breakfast. You might have heard me say this before, but I am pretty sure that Jesus favorite food is a fish sand which, because He serves a lot of them up in the gospels. Even in His glorious resurrected body, Jesus is still serving His disciples, helping them fish, cooking them breakfast and now He ministers to His friend Peter.

John 21:15-19

Peter had denied the Lord three times, now Jesus restores Him three times and at the end of it all repeats the call that had started it with Peter, “follow me”. He is reminding Peter that he doesn’t need to go back to fishing, he is to continue in the ministry of Jesus of fishing for people.

John 21:20-25

Peter wants to know about the disciple who Jesus loved. Jesus tell Peter that what Peter needs to do is worry about Peters walk with Jesus, not anybody else. This is a good reminder for all of us. Each of us needs to focus on what our walk and purpose in the Kingdom of God is. We often waste a lot of time wishing we had someone else gifting or talents or ministry. When we compare ourselves to any one else it is always distracting from our own purpose. We are to be faithful to what God calls us to do and let Him direct the lives of others.

The invitation from Jesus to “Follow Me” is still as valid today as it was two thousand years ago. Our response to the invitation changes everything.

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1 thankful5 and/or Comment

  1. John says:

    Re: The disciple who Jesus loved (probably John but still maybe Lazarus)…

    As the saying goes, one has to take off their own shoes before they can take a walk in someone else’s moccasins, and similarly, when it comes to a case of The Bible vs. Tradition, one has to be willing to let go of the traditions of men in order to see the truth that is hidden in plain sight in the text of scripture. has a free eBook that compares scripture with scripture in order to highlight the facts in the plain text of scripture that are usually overlooked about the “other disciple, whom Jesus loved”. Since scripture is profitable for correction, you may want to weigh the testimony of scripture that it cites regarding the one whom “Jesus loved” and may find it to be helpful as it encourages bible students to heed the admonition, “prove all things”.

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