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Summary: Exposition of John 21:1-19

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INTRO:

How many of you have ever feel frustrated and a failure? I grew up in a broken home. I know the results of a failed marriage. As a teenager, my school report card told me I was a failure. All those “D;s” made me feel like I was "Dumb and Dumber." My unsaved father had a bad name that he called me. When I told him that I was going to Bible school, he responded, “If you want to waste your life, go ahead, but don’t come crawling back me.” I am having a wonderful time “wasting” my life.

My father does not understand that anything outside of God’s will is failure and frustration. Even His disciples did not understand this. He had to teach them in John 4:34,

“My food is to do the will of Him who sent me and to finish his work.”

Do you feel you fail in the Christian faith? Are you frustrated being a believer?

God is never a God of failure or confusion. He is never frustrated and He never fails. We must understand this. Israel had to learn it. They sat in captivity in Babylon. God’s people in captivity. Does that sound odd to you? That is an oxymoron, a contradiction. No wonder they were frustrated. Some were so frustrated that they were going to fortunetellers and dreamers and sorcerers.

Jeremiah the prophet speaks God’s word to them in 29:11,

"For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.

And God is speaking that to us today, to each of you. God has plans for you. And it includes prosperity and safety and security and provision and protection.

Isaiah 14:27 teaches us a principle about God and frustration:

“For the Lord of hosts has planned, and who can frustrate it?”

The answer is simple. Ourselves. When we are disobedient. We frustrate God and ourselves when we move out of His plans and program.

I sense the Holy spirit leading me to tell you about a group of 7 young men who felt like utter failures. And it their own entire fault. They brought it upon themselves.

The disciple John was one of those 7 boys. When he came to the end of his writing, he remembered that day of failure. He shares it with us.

SCRIPT: John 21:1-19

BODY:

“1 Afterward Jesus appeared again to his disciples, by the Sea of Tiberias. {1 That is, Sea of Galilee} It happened this way: 2 Simon Peter, Thomas (called Didymus), Nathanael from Cana in Galilee, the sons of Zebedee, and two other disciples were together.”

There they were together, seven men. Really they were all teenagers and early twenties. But each was controlled by the past. And that is outside God’s will.

Their leader was gone. They had watched Him be crucified on a cross. And they had all run away in fear. Yes, they had witness that He had risen from the dead. He had appeared to friends and family. Bur they still felt very alone. Memories of the past had captured them

First was PETER. He was suffering from the hangover of denial. When a slave-girl confronted him, Peter defended himself violently. Luke records his three denials in 22:54-62.

Matthew tells us at this third denial that in 26:74,

“Then he began to call down curses on himself {he talked ugly} and he swore to them, “I don’t know the man!”

That is when he heard an unusual sound. Remember now, it was midnight. Two men heard the rooster crow: Peter and Jesus. And Luke 22:61 says that,

“The Lord turned and looked at Peter.”

Jesus had last spoken to him with His eyes. Peter would never forget that look. And God is looking at you and me today. He is looking at Grace Fellowship. What does He see?

Verse 62 says,

“And he went outside and wept bitterly.”

And Peter had all the memories of failure plaguing and harassing him.

Thomas had his own problems. He was a confirmed pessimist. He is known as “doubting Thomas.” He saw the worse in everything. The cup was always half empty for Thomas.

When Thomas knew that Jesus was walking into a dangerous situation, he threw up his hands in despair n John 11:16,

“Then Thomas (called Didymus) said to the rest of the disciples, "Let us also go, that we may die with him.”

Even after Jesus is raised from the dead, he is questioning and skeptical, as John 20:25 says:

“Unless I see in His hands the imprint of the nails, and put my finger into the place of the nails, and put my hand into His side, I will not believe.”

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