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Summary: Is anything holding us back? Let’s discuss putting the mistakes of the past behind us and moving forward. Let’s discuss how Jesus helped his disciples move forward after their failures in John 21:1-19.

Is anything holding us back? Let’s discuss putting the mistakes of the past behind us and moving forward. Let’s discuss how Jesus helped his disciples move forward after their failures in John 21:1-19.[1]

John 21:1-5 Afterward Jesus appeared again to his disciples, by the Sea of Galilee. It happened this way: Simon Peter, Thomas (also known as Didymus), Nathanael from Cana in Galilee, the sons of Zebedee, and two other disciples were together. “I’m going out to fish,” Simon Peter told them, and they said, “We’ll go with you.” So they went out and got into the boat, but that night they caught nothing. Early in the morning, Jesus stood on the shore, but the disciples did not realize that it was Jesus. He called out to them, “Friends, haven’t you any fish?” “No,” they answered.

The disciples failed Jesus. They went fishing and failed to catch anything. Highly educated, very intelligent people run this world and fail miserably. We are all no different than Jesus’ disciples. With Jesus’ guidance, they made an enormous catch. He invited them put their fish with his bread for breakfast.

John 21:6-7 He said, “Throw your net on the right side of the boat and you will find some.” When they did, they were unable to haul the net in because of the large number of fish. Then the disciple whom Jesus loved said to Peter, “It is the Lord!” As soon as Simon Peter heard him say, “It is the Lord,” he wrapped his outer garment around him (for he had taken it off) and jumped into the water.

A common net was flax about 6 yards or meters across with small lead weights around the outside. It was thrown to open up as it hit the water. The weights dropped and the net encircled the fish. Men then jumped into the water to retrieve the net, often naked.[2]

The fish were then sorted and counted so that each received a fair share. Day laborers usually helped with the duties. Fishermen probably knew the local Aramaic language, Hebrew and also Greek, the language of trade. Jesus arrived and advised the experts. Who would let a stranger advise their business!

John 21:8-13 The other disciples followed in the boat, towing the net full of fish, for they were not far from shore, about a hundred yards. When they landed, they saw a fire of burning coals there with fish on it, and some bread. Jesus said to them, “Bring some of the fish you have just caught.” So Simon Peter climbed back into the boat and dragged the net ashore. It was full of large fish, 153, but even with so many the net was not torn. Jesus said to them, “Come and have breakfast.” None of the disciples dared ask him, “Who are you?” They knew it was the Lord. Jesus came, took the bread and gave it to them, and did the same with the fish. This was now the third time Jesus appeared to his disciples after he was raised from the dead.

Would Jesus restore us too after a grievous sin? Can a pastor be restored after grievous sin? They had all acted like cowards, felt guilty and ashamed, and so went home. Jesus provided fish and invited them to breakfast. It was time to move on from their grief and fear.

John 21:15-17 When they had finished eating, Jesus said to Simon Peter, “Simon son of John, do you love me more than these?” “Yes, Lord,” he said, “you know that I love you.” Jesus said, “Feed my lambs.” Again Jesus said, “Simon son of John, do you love me?” He answered, “Yes, Lord, you know that I love you.” Jesus said, “Take care of my sheep.” The third time he said to him, “Simon son of John, do you love me?” Peter was hurt because Jesus asked him the third time, “Do you love me?” He said, “Lord, you know all things; you know that I love you.” Jesus said, “Feed my sheep.

In Greek, love [agapé] can mean a wrong kind of love. Men loved darkness (John 3:19), the praise of men more than God (John 12:43), this world more than Paul (2 Timothy 4:10). Peter was taught to show brotherly love [philia], “feed my sheep.” (John 21:1-19).

Love [agapé] finds its greatest expression in an act of brotherly love [philia], dying for our brothers/friends (John 15:13). Jesus also taught that He expects us to show love to Him in acts of brotherly love towards the needy, like foreigners, homeless, sick and prisoners (Matthew 25:31-46).

Does God give second chances, recovery from our mistakes? Should a minister be reinstated after repentance? Jesus reinstated Peter. How many of us have completely ruined something? Have we hurt our family? Have we betrayed a friend? Have we denied Jesus? If we want a second chance, God is willing.

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