Passage – John 21:1-19
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. 15 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!”
Peter the restored disciple
In the Right Place
On the Day of Pentecost Peter and the disciples were in the right place, they were where Jesus had told them to be and as a result doing what Jesus had called them to do.
In John chapter 21 we see something different. We see that Peter and some of the disciples were not in the right place, they were not doing what Jesus had called them to do.
How did he get from the ordinariness of John 21 to the wonder of being a disciple at Pentecost?
Jesus restored him to the right place.
Over the past weeks we have been encouraged to introduce others to Jesus. If we are honest many in our churches are not in the right place to do this. As disciples we need to be restored.
First we need to look out for the warning signs that we are living in the wrong place.
- We will no longer have: the joy of worshiping God,
- the awe and hope in our lives as think of the wonder of heaven,
- the confidence and reassurance of following Jesus.
- The joy and challenge of Scripture and prayer.
- We’re not telling others about Jesus.
- Our lives will be filled by chasing after the same idols that the world does.
- Our priorities will not be on building treasure in heaven but on earth.
So we need to ask ourselves, are we different now than we were before we became Christians?
Are we different from the non Christians around us?
Are we living in ordinariness or in the wonder of being a disciple?
The journey to restoration
Remember when we met Jesus – in John 21 Jesus reminded Peter of their first encounter, when Peter gave up fishing to follow Jesus. And the joy of that decision.
Remember our Calling – As Peter remembered deciding to follow Jesus, he would also have remembered that Jesus called him to catch men, to be a fisher of men. This was to be the mission and purpose of his life.
As we remember these it start to bring us to the right place, restoring us as disciples.
The life of a disciple
The disciples motivation is to love Jesus.
If we were sitting beside Jesus and he said:
“do you truly love me more than these?“
What would he be pointing to?
As we seek to be Jesus’ disciples, let us love Jesus more than anything else.
The disciple lives to serve Jesus. We do this by:
“Feed my lambs.”
We are to be involved in the spiritual nourishment of new believers and the young.
How do we as a church do this?
“Take care of my sheep.”
This means to shepherd and it implies that we all should be involved in the pastoral care of fellow Christians. Connecting with and loving one another.
How do we as a church do this?
Jesus said in John 10:16 I have other sheep that are not of this sheep pen. I must bring them also. They too will listen to my voice, and there shall be one flock and one shepherd.
We are to be involved in building up the flock, the church, by introducing others to Jesus.
“Feed my sheep.
This is similar to the previous 2, it reinforces them them, telling us how important it is that we are involved in the spiritual nourishment of Christians.
How do we as a church do this?
Jesus give himself for us the church. And the church will suffer attack, spiritual war is real and Satan wants to destroy each of us, and he will use our failures to stop us loving and serving. He want us to just be passengers at church, aimlessly sitting in the pews, never feeling the fulfilment and blessing of serving, telling others about Jesus, shepherding, loving, sharing life together, praying with, studying with and encouraging each other, challenging and being challenged, nurturing and being nurtured, nourishing and being nourished.
Let us hear the encouragement from Jesus at the end of this passage and Follow him. let us be restored disciples.
Questions to consider for personal study or in Life Groups.
- After his failure, Peter finds himself going back to what he knew best, fishing. Why do you think this was? At this time how might Peter have been feeling? How might you have responded if you were in his place and failed as he did?
- In spite of what Peter had done and how he may have been feeling, Jesus meets him in all of this. Peter’s reaction wasn’t to run away ashamed, rather, he runs towards Jesus. What does this tell us about Jesus? What does it say to us about Peter’s view of Jesus? How does this speak into our own situation when we fail?
- Peter is restored BY Jesus and will go on to be a restorer of others THROUGH Jesus. As we look to introduce Jesus to others, how might these verses speak to us in our own context as disciples who want bring restoration to our world and its people? Are there any concrete example of how this might apply to your own life at the minute?
As I reflect what have I found interesting?
As I reflect what has challenged my life, attitudes and actions?
Is there one practical step I can apply to my life to help me to become more like Jesus?
How would this help me to introduce others to Jesus?
Is there there anything I need to pray about, explore further or extra help I need?
Is there someone I should share with, pray with or encourage?