John 21 Commentary

John 21 commentary Bible study

John 21 Commentary Bible Study


John 21:4-8 Jesus
John 21:9-14 153 Fish
John 21:15-17 Do You Love Me?
John 21:18-25 Stretch Out Your Hands
John 21 Bible Study Questions (Handout)
JOHN 21:1  1 After these things Jesus showed Himself again to the disciples at the Sea of Tiberias, and in this way He showed Himself:

Where is the "Sea of Tiberias" (John 21:1)?
"Sea of Tiberias" is another name for the Sea of Galilee, which is also called the Lake of Gennesaret (photo). Tiberias is the city that King Herod built on the western shore of this lake and named after Caesar Tiberias to impress him.

JOHN 21:2  2 Simon Peter, Thomas called the Twin, Nathanael of Cana in Galilee, the sons of Zebedee, and two others of His disciples were together.

Who is "Nathanael of Cana" (John 21:2)?
Most probably apostle Bartholomew (see Nathanael).

So, how many of Jesus' apostles "were together" (John 21:2)?
If the "two others of His disciples" (John 21:2) are His disciples but not His apostles, then just five: Peter, Thomas the Twin, Nathanael/Bartholomew, James and John ("sons of Zebedee"). If the two unnamed disciples are His apostles as well, then seven.

Why were they there?
They were heeding the angel at the tomb of Jesus' resurrection: "But the angel answered and said to the women, 'Do not be afraid, for I know that you seek Jesus who was crucified. He is not here; for He is risen, as He said. Come, see the place where the Lord lay. And go quickly and tell His disciples that He is risen from the dead, and indeed He is going before you into Galilee; there you will see Him. Behold, I have told you.' So they went out quickly from the tomb with fear and great joy, and ran to bring His disciples word" (Matthew 28:5-8, see He is risen).

Where were the other four apostles?
If they heeded the angel above, either on their way to Galilee or in Galilee but not with the group above.

JOHN 21:3  3 Simon Peter said to them, “I am going fishing.” They said to him, “We are going with you also.” They went out and immediately got into the boat, and that night they caught nothing.

Why did they go "fishing" (John 21:3)?
Since the angel had told them that Jesus "is going before you into Galilee," they probably arrived in Galilee expecting to see Jesus waiting for them. When they found Jesus neither upon their arrival nor after waiting, Peter decided to go fishing and was joined by the others, at least two of whom were also fishermen by trade: "And Jesus, walking by the Sea of Galilee, saw two brothers, Simon called Peter, and Andrew his brother, casting a net into the sea; for they were fishermen... Going on from there, He saw two other brothers, James the son of Zebedee, and John his brother, in the boat with Zebedee their father, mending their nets..." (Matthew 4:18, 21)