John 21 Lesson

Trusting Jesus


Have you ever felt like your problems were so big that nobody could help you?  

Most of us have felt that way at some point in our lives.

Even those of us with a strong faith.  


As John concludes the writing of his Gospel, he tells the story of how Jesus provided for His disciples.   The disciples had been fishing all night and had caught nothing.   Jesus appeared on the beach and said to them:

  • “Cast the net on the right-hand side of the boat and you will find a catch.” John 21:6.

The disciples (who did not realize this was Jesus) did what He said, and they quickly caught 153 fish!

This story is a reminder to us of just how easy it is for Jesus to help us.   Thanks to the Bible, we know about the miracles that Jesus performed and how He changed the lives of so many people.   And yet, doubt still has a way of creeping in and wreaking havoc with our faith.  


Instead of trusting Jesus, sometimes our egos get in the way, and we try to tackle life’s problems on our own.  

This is not what our Savior wants us to do!

Instead, Jesus wants us to let go of the control that we seek and to put our trust in Him.   He wants us to be vulnerable and to fully rely on Him.  

It is important to Jesus that we show Him this type of trust and respect.   Here are four scriptures that speak to this point: 

  1. “Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.” - Romans 12:2,
  2. “Do not trust in princes, in mortal man, in whom there is no salvation.” - Psalm 146:3,
  3. “He who trusts in his own heart is a fool, but he who walks wisely will be delivered.” - Proverbs 28:26,
  4. “For my father and my mother have forsaken me, but the Lord will take me up.” - Psalm 27:10.


It is interesting to see the reaction of the disciples once they realized that it was Jesus on the beach.   Every disciple except one remained in the boat to drag the catch that they had to shore.  

That one exception was Peter. 

This is the same Peter that cut off the ear of the high priest's servant.  It seems that Peter may have been the most impulsive of Jesus' apostles.       

John writes:

  • “So when Simon Peter heard that it was the Lord, he put his outer garment on (for he was stripped for work), and threw himself into the sea.” – John 21:7.

Peter swam to the beach (about one hundred yards).

When the other disciples got there with the fish, Peter went up and drew the net to land.  

Can you visualize that in your head?  

As soon as he heard that it was Jesus, he put on his outer garment, jumped into the Sea of Galilee, swam one hundred yards to shore, and then pulled in their catch!  

Peter was filled withjoyand excitement to be with Jesus again!

Later in Chapter 21, Jesus asked Peter three times if he loved Him.  

Why did He ask Peter three times?  

Could it be because Peter had earlier denied Jesus three times?   

Maybe Jesus wanted to let Peter know that He still had plans for him, that he was still wanted, and that Jesus still loved him.

Jesus asked Peter if He loved Him three times.  

Peter responded each time that he loved Jesus, and each time Jesus responded with a different command.   The three exchanges are as follows (John 21:15-17). 

  1. Jesus: “Simon, son of John, do you love Me more than these?”   Peter: “Yes Lord, You know that I love You.”   Jesus: “Tend My lambs.” 
  2. Jesus: “Simon, son of John, do you love Me?”   Peter: “Yes Lord, You know that I love You.”   Jesus: “Shephard My sheep.” 
  3. Jesus: “Simon, son of John, do you love Me?”   Peter: “Lord, You know all things; You know that I love You.”   Jesus: “Tend My sheep.”

Three times Jesus asked Peter if he loved Him.   Three times Peter responded that he does.   Then Jesus gave Peter three separate commands:

  1. “Tend My lambs.”
  2. “Shepard My sheep.”
  3. “Tend My sheep.”

Jesus is making His expectations clear to Peter and His other disciples.   He wants them on His team, tending to the needs of the flock (His followers) and protecting them.   After Peter had denied Jesus three times, he may have felt that he was no longer of any use to the Lord. 

By welcoming Peter back, Jesus let him know that He was forgivenand that there was important work to be done!

We need to realize the same thing.


No matter how big our problems are, Jesus can fix them!

Sometimes in life, our egos tell us that we can “go it alone” and we forget how important it is to include Jesus in our day-to-day lives.

After the disciples had fished all night and not caught anything, Jesus showed up and helped them.

In an instant, they went from having no fish to having so many fish they could not eat them all.

That is the way it is with us too.

Sometimes our problems seem so big that we feel our situation is helpless.

When we turn to Jesus, even the biggest problems can be solved in the blink of an eye!

We will conclude our study on the Gospel of John with the following scripture. It reminds us of the importance of faith in our lives:

  • “And without faith it is impossible to please Him, for the one who comes to God must believe that He exists, and that He proves to be One who rewards those who seek Him.” – Hebrews 11:6.


Virtual Bible Study

1) What did today’s Bible study make you think or feel?
2) What questions do you have?
3) How can you apply what you have learned to something specific in your life?


Click To Join The Discussion

Jesus restored Peter— fully

Pat Dermody

As we travel through life, we are often faced with seemingly insurmountable problems. Often they remain and we wonder why is God not helping us. It is similar to our saying no to a child because we can foresee problems they do not. These problems are not often resolved the way we want them to be. But the point is whether life goes the way we plan or not, we must, through our Faith, place our trust in God. We have free will to listen or try to do it our way. He has a plan for us and our faith is a gift to carry us through the many difficulties life presents with trust. Let go, let God.

Pat Dermody

Yes. Amen

Virtual Bible Study

1) What did today’s Bible study make you think or feel?
2) What questions do you have?
3) How can you apply what you have learned to something specific in your life?



With the Coronavirus impacting people all over the world, I think this is a great opportunity to spread the Gospel! In the United States, there is so much fear and anxiety in the news. It's refreshing to be able to step away and focus on God's word and admire pictures of His creation. I am spending every morning looking at Virtual Bible Study. I hope that others are enjoying it as well.


We used to vacation on a Lake when I was a child. There was a dog named Rusty that would get so excited every time a water skier would pass the dock. Rusty would leap into the water and swim towards the skier. It was all in vain as the skier quickly went away and good 'ole Rusty would just turn around and doggy paddle back to shore.

That is the thought that comes to mind when I read this chapter. Peter got so excited when John told him that it was Jesus standing at the shore that he leaped out of the boat and swam approximately 100 yards to shore.

That thought makes me smile. It also inspires me. That is the kind of love for the Lord that I aspire to have. It takes work and adjustments everyday. But there is no better place to spend our time and our energy. Jesus loves us and is waiting for us. And unlike that water skier that skied away, Jesus won't leave us. Thanks for the study!