John 21. Forum Discussion

Doubt

Sometimes we might feel like our problems are so big that nothing can help. That we are doomed to failure. We may even feel this way, despite having a strong faith. It is human nature. Satan loves to put doubt in our heads.

What Jesus does with the fish at His appearance at the Sea of Galilee is a reminder to all of us just how easy it is for Jesus to help us.

His disciples go out fishing, just as they were doing prior to meeting Jesus. They catch nothing all night. Jesus appears and tells them where to cast their nets and they catch 153 large fish only 100 yards from shore! John writes in John 21:11, “Simon Peter went up and dragged the net to land, full of large fish, one hundred and fifty-three; and although there were so many, the net was not torn.”

We know the miracles that Jesus has performed and what He can do. The hard part for us may be letting go of the control that we seek in our lives. 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 rely on Him. Even if it does not make sense to, “The world,” it is important to Jesus that we show Him this type of trust and respect. Here are a few scriptures that speak to this point:

Romans 12:2 - 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.”

Psalm 146:3 - Do not trust in princes, in mortal man, in whom there is no salvation.”

Proverbs 28:26 - He who trusts in his own heart is a fool, but he who walks wisely will be delivered.”

Psalm 27:10 - For my father and my mother have forsaken me, but the Lord will take me up.”

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

John writes in verse 7 and 8, “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.” He swam to the beach (about 100 yards) and then 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 hears that it is Jesus, he puts on his outer garment, jumps into the Sea of Galilee, swims 100 yards to shore, and then pulls in their catch! Peter was filled with joy and excitement to be with Jesus again. His passion for Jesus is something to behold!

This was the third time that Jesus appeared to the disciples after he was raised from the dead.

Later in the chapter we have another example of Jesus taking care of people, this time through His disciples. God works through other people. God works through us.

Jesus asks Peter three times if he loves Him. Why three times? Could it be because Peter had denied Jesus three times not too long ago? Maybe Jesus wanted to let Him know that Jesus still had plans for him and that he was still wanted by Jesus, and that he was still loved?

Peter responds that he does love Jesus, and each time Jesus has a different command. Let’s look at all three exchanges:

  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 lambs.”

Three times He asks Peter if he loves Him. Three times Peter responds that he does. Then Jesus asks Peter to:

  • “Tend My lambs.”
  • “Shepard My sheep.”
  • “Tend My lambs.”

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 and protecting them. Likewise, Jesus commands all of us to love our neighbor. Providing, protecting, and nourishing are a big part of how Jesus expects us to live our lives. He wants us to take care of each other.

Lastly, John writes in verse 25, “And there are also many other things which Jesus did, which if they were written in detail, I suppose that even the world itself would not contain the books that would be written.”

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Everyone has a story about their faith. What is your story?

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Virtual Bible Study

Everyone has a story about their faith. What is your story?

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John

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.

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tommy

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!

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