Jesus

It was Jesus

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John 21 Bible Study

John 21:4-14 Jesus

John 21:15-25 Do You Love Me?
JOHN 21:4-5  4 But when the morning had now come, Jesus stood on the shore; yet the disciples did not know that it was Jesus. 5 Then Jesus said to them, “Children, have you any food?” They answered Him, “No.”

Why didn’t they recognize Jesus when He called out to them?
According to John 21:8, Jesus was about 100 yards away (1 cubit = 18 inches, which is half of 1 yard).

What else may have kept them from recognizing Jesus?
If Jesus was calling from the eastern shore, the "morning" (John 21:4) sun could have been rising behind Him.

JOHN 21:6-8  6 And He said to them, “Cast the net on the right side of the boat, and you will find some.” So they cast, and now they were not able to draw it in because of the multitude of fish. 7 Therefore that disciple whom Jesus loved said to Peter, “It is the Lord!” Now when Simon Peter heard that it was the Lord, he put on his outer garment (for he had removed it), and plunged into the sea. 8 But the other disciples came in the little boat (for they were not far from land, but about two hundred cubits), dragging the net with fish.

Who shouted, “It is the Lord! (John 21:7)”
The "disciple whom Jesus loved" (John 21:7), which is how John, the writer of this Gospel, refers to himself.

How was he able to see Jesus?
He most likely wasn’t.

Then how did he know that it was "the Lord"?
The monster catch most likely reminded him of how Jesus originally had called them to be His disciples: "When He had stopped speaking, He said to Simon, 'Launch out into the deep and let down your nets for a catch.' But Simon answered and said to Him, 'Master, we have toiled all night and caught nothing; nevertheless at Your word I will let down the net.' And when they had done this, they caught a great number of fish, and their net was breaking. So they signaled to their partners in the other boat to come and help them. And they came and filled both the boats, so that they began to sink. When Simon Peter saw it, he fell down at Jesus’ knees, saying, 'Depart from me, for I am a sinful man, O Lord!' For he and all who were with him were astonished at the catch of fish which they had taken; and so also were James and John, the sons of Zebedee, who were partners with Simon. And Jesus said to Simon, 'Do not be afraid. From now on you will catch men.'" (Luke 5:4-10)

What was Peter's reaction?
He left everything - the fish, the boat, the other disciples - behind and plunged into the water to get to Jesus first.

Why did he at least put on his outer garment?
He had been fishing in his undergarment and probably want to stand before Jesus in more than just that.

What does John and Peter’s reaction here remind you of?
How they reacted when Mary Magdalene brought news that Jesus' body wasn't in the tomb. On both occasions, John was the faster, both to get to the tomb and to recognize Jesus on the shore. But Peter was the first to step in, both into the empty tomb and into the water to get to Jesus in the passage above. And for that, Peter has the upper hand: while it's important to recognize Jesus for who He is, to make Him our Lord, we must step or plunge into a relationship with Him.

What is especially commendable about Peter being the one to try to get to Jesus first?
The last time Peter was the focus of Jesus' attention, this is what had happened: "Having arrested Him, they led Him and brought Him into the high priest’s house. But Peter followed at a distance. Now when they had kindled a fire in the midst of the courtyard and sat down together, Peter sat among them. And a certain servant girl, seeing him as he sat by the fire, looked intently at him and said, “This man was also with Him.” But he denied Him, saying, “Woman, I do not know Him.” And after a little while another saw him and said, “You also are of them.” But Peter said, “Man, I am not!” Then after about an hour had passed, another confidently affirmed, saying, “Surely this fellow also was with Him, for he is a Galilean.” But Peter said, “Man, I do not know what you are saying!” Immediately, while he was still speaking, the rooster crowed. And the Lord turned and looked at Peter. Then Peter remembered the word of the Lord, how He had said to him, “Before the rooster crows, you will deny Me three times.” So Peter went out and wept bitterly." (Luke 22:54-62) Given how he had failed, one would expect Peter to keep to himself and shy away from even raising his eyes toward Jesus. Instead, he couldn't wait to come before his Lord, and that holds a valuable lesson for Christians when we fail and sin. Our pride and Satan will try to tempt us to hide from God as Adam and Eve did after sinning. Instead, we must heed Peter's example and come before the Lord yet again, confess our sins to Him, believing "If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness." (1 John 1:9) and seek His help to repent from those sins.

JOHN 21:9-14  9 Then, as soon as they had come to land, they saw a fire of coals there, and fish laid on it, and bread. 10 Jesus said to them, “Bring some of the fish which you have just caught.” 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 broken. 12 Jesus said to them, “Come and eat breakfast.” Yet none of the disciples dared ask Him, “Who are You?” - knowing that it was the Lord. 13 Jesus then came and took the bread and gave it to them, and likewise the fish. 14 This is now the third time Jesus showed Himself to His disciples after He was raised from the dead.

How many "large fish" (John 21:11) did they catch?
153, so many so that "they were not able to draw it" (John 21:6) into the boat

So who provided the food for the breakfast?
Jesus. He already had "fish laid" (John 21:9) on coal and "bread" (John 21:9) prepared, and even the 153 fish were His doing. He just let the disciples enjoy the privilege of participating in His work.

What had Peter and the others who were experienced fishermen caught before Jesus showed up?
"Nothing." (John 21:3)

What lesson is there for us and the so-called 'modern' techniques of evangelism?
The church in the West is awash in seminars, conferences, books and videos on strategies and techniques of evangelism. Yet when the dust settles, the number of fish that can be dragged ashore and presented before the Lord are few. In contrast, the church in the developing world neither has nor even knows about such strategies and resources. All they have is the Bible and prayer, yet their nets get filled full of large fish. When people in the "developed" West depend on human knowledge and expertise, which is sold for money, to do God's will, is it any wonder that He lets them catch as much as the disciples caught by relying on theirs? If we want our nets to be filled again, we must clean out the clutter from Christian bookstores, seminars and conferences, and fill them with the Word of God, and then drop to our knees and pray to God to do His will His way and to receive all of the credit and glory for the catches.

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