John 21:1-19


Life of Christ #60


After appearing before various people at the tomb, on the Road and in the (Upper) Room, Jesus now appears to seven men by the sea.  Jesus had instructed his followers to go to Galilee where He would appear to them again.  They had left the business, sorrows and excitement of Jerusalem to return to the home turf where many of these men had been fishermen before they were called to be “fishers of men”.


It is here by the sea of Tiberias, or Galilee, according to verses 1-3 that Peter decided to return to something he knew well, fishing.  Other disciples decided to go with Him. 


It is here that these men especially Peter, were forced to think. It is here, if we know what’s good for us, we will force ourselves to think, and to ask ourselves some tough questions.


1. AM I FLEXIBLE? – Vss. 4-6


The disciples would have started fishing at dusk and finished at dawn. Verse 3 tells us that they caught nothing.


Perhaps that’s a picture of your Christian life.  You profess to be a follower of Jesus and have tried to do what is right, but time after time you have failed miserably.


Vs. 4 – Jesus was present. He is God. He saw the whole thing.  The disciples did not know that it was Jesus. They were close to shore, but did not know that He was there.


We labor at trying to live the Christian life, trying to be good, trying to be a good witness and fail.  Jesus sees it all!


Vs. 5 – Jesus asks the question, “Do you have any food?” or “Did you Catch anything?” “Did you have a good fishing trip?”


The answer was a simple and an honest “No!”


We don’t like to admit failure, but when we have failed, it is best to be honest about it!  We’ve failed to be good Christians. We’ve failed to serve well. We’ve failed to be an effective witness.


Vs. 6 – Jesus gives instructions, “Cast your nets on the other side of the boat and you will be successful!”


The disciples had been fishing on one side of the boat, now Jesus tells them to be flexible.  Try the other side. Do it His way!


It had been only two or three weeks before when Jesus had told them in the Upper Room, “for without me ye can do nothing.”


When the disciples stopped doing it their way, and started doing it His way, they caught fish. They were successful.


So it is with us. When we stop doing things our own way, and follow Jesus’ directions without question, then we will be successful!


The Apostle had discovered this truth and explained it this way in Galatians 2:20 - I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.


So think!  “Am I flexible? Am I still doing things in my own strength and in my stubborn will?  Or am I doing things Jesus’ way. Learning from Him, and allowing Him to control what I do?” 




Read Vss. 7-14

Peter in his usual excitement rushed to Jesus.

The disciples came to land and had a remarkable catch of 153 fish.

They found that Jesus had already started breakfast. He told them to bring some of the fish with them.

The great invitation was “Come and Dine”.


Eating together is meant to be an intimate, friendly time.  It is a time to talk. It is a time to get to know someone better.

Jesus invited his disciples to a time of fellowship with Him.


A Christian has many privileges, not the least of which is to spend intimate time of fellowship with Him. He is available for us. He invites us to fellowship with Him.


We fellowship with Him when we talk to Him and listen for Him to talk back.

We fellowship with Him when we read His Word and listen for Him to speak.

We fellowship with Him when we meditate on His Word. John 15:4-5,7


AM I FERVENT? Vss. 15-17


By a fire Peter had publicly denied Jesus.

By a fire Jesus, lovingly, but firmly confronts Peter.


Jesus had warned Peter of the denial, but Peter had professed that he would never deny Jesus. Matthew 26:33-35


Vs. 15 – Jesus asked Peter, “Do you love me so fervently that you love me more than these disciples?”     


Peter was afraid to answer as boldly as he had in the past. He had failed. He had been forgiven, but he did not trust himself.  So he answered, “Lord you know that I am very fond of you and that I have brotherly love for you.”


Vs. 16 – Jesus asks Peter again. “Peter, without comparing yourself to anyone else do you love me fervently?”


Peter is again careful. “Lord you know that I am very fond of you and that I have brotherly love for you.”


Vs. 17 – There were three denials, there are three questions. “Peter, do you have a brotherly love for me?”  Peter is hurt. But the Lord will hurt us to make us think.


Peter again answers, “Lord, you know all things. You know my heart. You know I love you.”


We often fail our Lord Jesus Christ after we have made great professions of love and allegiance.  We like Peter need to confess those times of failure as sin. 


Then, we might here the Lord saying to us, “Do you love me fervently? Do you love me as a friend?” In our grief we are hesitant to make the grand boasts of allegiance that we had once made.


But from deep within we need to be able to say in all honesty, “Lord, you know all things. You know that I love you.”


So each of us needs to ask the question, “Am I fervent?” Do I love the Lord? After all that is the first and most important commandment of all. Matthew 22:37-38


My friend, Jesus Christ died for you. He gave His life for you.  That is why we are to trust Him as our Savior.  If He is your Savior he is worthy of all of your love. Isaiah 53:5-6  


AM I FAITHFUL? – Vss. 15-18


Jesus had a plan for Peter’s life.

Peter had failed.

Peter had reaffirmed His love for Jesus.

Peter was to “Feed His lambs, and to feed his sheep.”

Peter was called to be a “fisher of men”. Matthew 4:19


Peter was called to be a fisherman and a shepherd in the early church.

How did He do?


On the Day of Pentecost and on other occasions he spoke messages that literally brought thousands to faith in Christ. He was a fisher of men.


Throughout the early days of the church Peter was part of the leadership.  And he wrote two epistles that to this day help to shepherd Christ’s sheep.


Vs. 18 – Peter was faithful to death. This verse implies crucifixion.  Peter was a martyr for Christ’s sake.


Every Christian has been given jobs to do.

Every Christian is a steward or custodian of gifts and abilities that Christ wants us to use to bless others.

We are required to be faithful. Ephesians 2:10, 1 Corinthians 4:2


So, think! Ask yourself, “Am I faithful to what the Lord Jesus has called me to do?” Or you might have to ask an even more basic question “Do I know what Jesus wants me to do?”  If you don’t know, you need to ask Him to show you, and to actively look for the answer!




Jesus very plainly gave Peter a formula for success.

Jesus told Peter, “Follow me!”


What does it mean to follow Jesus?

Well, quite frankly, you can’t truly follow someone unless you believe in that person.


You can not truly follow Jesus until you have trusted Him as your Savior! John 3:36


To trust Jesus as Savior is to believe that He died for your sins, and that He is your only hope for Heaven.  It is not trusting my own works, morality, or ability. It is recognizing my total sinful helplessness, and trusting that Jesus’ work on the cross is sufficient to save me.     


You can not truly follow Jesus unless you trust Him as your Savior.


The next step to follow Jesus, is to surrender my own life to live the life that He wants me to live.  It is dying to self to live in pursuit of obedience to one Lord and Master.


Someone has well said, “If Jesus is not Lord of all, he is not Lord at all!” Luke 9:23-24


Now, think!

Is Jesus Lord of your life?  Are you following Him or living independently of Him?   


With all that is going on Easter Sunday, it is hard to think.  But think you must do because your whole life depends on it!