Sermons

Summary: This is a pictorial presentation of Jesus' resurrection appearance to Peter & 3 other disciples at the Sea of Galilee. It deals with Peter's feelings of having denied Jesus. (Powerpoints available - #351)

MELVIN NEWLAND, MINISTER

RIDGE CHAPEL, KANSAS, OK

(Powerpoints used with this message are available at no charge. Just email me at mnewland@sstelco.com & request #351. Because of the pictures used this is a rather large file, 8,809 KB, so be patients if it takes a few minutes to download from your server.)

NOTE: The narration for this service was adapted from Max Lucado's book, "He Still Moves Stones" pages 135-141, (Word Publishing, 1993)

The Powerpoint photographs were produced by the LUMO Project and made available on www.freebibleimages.org.

TEXT: John 21:1-14

(PP - JESUS)

WELCOME & OPENING PRAYER

HYMN: BECAUSE HE LIVES! by William Gaither (Vs's 1 & 3)

CHORUS: HE IS LORD! by Word Music (Twice)

HYMN: ALELUIA, ALELUIA by Christopher Wordsworth (Vs's 1 & 2)

TEXT: John 21:1-14

The sun was in the water before Peter noticed it - a circle of gold on the surface of the sea. A fisherman is usually the first to spot the sun rising over the hills. It means his night of labor is finally over.

(PP - PETER)

But not for this fisherman. Though the light reflected on the lake, the darkness lingered in Peter's heart. The nets at his feet were empty, but Peter wasn't thinking about that.

His thoughts were far from the Sea of Galilee. His mind was in Jerusalem, reliving an anguished night.

(PP - JESUS IN CROWD)

As the boat rocked, his memories raced: the clanking of the Temple guards, the flash of a sword & a wounded servant, a healing touch by Jesus, a rebuke for Peter, soldiers leading Jesus away.

"What was I thinking?" Peter mumbled to himself as he stared at the bottom of the boat. Why did I run? Peter had run; he had turned his back on his dearest friend & ran. We don't know where.

(PP - PETER BEHIND FENCE )

He had bragged, "Everyone else may stumble . . . but I will not" (Matthew 26:33). Yet he did. Peter did what he swore he wouldn't do. "Everyone else may stumble . . . but I will not. Everyone else . . . But. . ." A war waged within him.

At that moment the instinct to survive clashed with his allegiance to Christ, & for just a moment allegiance won. Peter stood & stepped out of hiding & followed them till he saw the torch-lit crowd in the courtyard of Caiaphas.

(PP - PETER SEATED)

He stopped near a fire & warmed his hands. The night had been cold. The fire was hot.

Luke wrote that "Peter followed at a distance" (Luke 22:54). He was loyal . . . from a distance. The problem was, Peter was seen. Other people near the fire recognized him.

"You were with him," they had challenged, "You were with the Nazarene." Three times people said it, & each time Peter denied it.

Please understand that the main character in this drama is not Peter, but Jesus, who knows the hearts of all people, who knew the denials by his friend.

(PP - JESUS LOOKING)

How do we know Jesus knew? Because of what He did, "Then the Lord turned & looked straight at Peter" (Luke 22:61). When the rooster crowed, Jesus turned. His eyes searched for Peter & they found him.

Peter would never forget that look. Though Jesus' face was already bloody & bruised, his eyes were firm & focused. They were a scalpel, laying bare Peter's heart.

And now, days later on the Sea of Galilee, it wasn't the resurrection that occupied his thoughts. It wasn't the empty tomb. It wasn't the defeat of death. It was the eyes of Jesus seeing his failure.

This wasn't the first night Peter had spent of the Sea of Galilee. After all, he was a fisherman. He, like the others, worked at night. He knew the fish would feed near the surface during the cool of the night & return to the deep during the day.

(PP - 2 BOATS)

No, this wasn't the first night Peter had spend on the Sea of Galilee. Nor was it the first night he had caught nothing. There was that time three years before . . .

Most mornings Peter & his partners would sell their fish, repair their nets, & head home to rest with a bag of money & a feeling of satisfaction. This particular morning there were no fish & no money & no satisfaction. They had worked all through the night but had nothing to show for it except weary backs & worn nets.

And, what's worse, everyone knew it. Every morning the shore would become a market as the villagers came to buy their fish, but that day there were no fish.

Jesus was there that morning, teaching. As the people pressed there was little room for Him to stand, so He asked Peter if his boat could be a platform. Peter agreed.

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