Summary: John 21:1 The Appearance of Jesus


JOHN 21 1-13


I. SITUATION : * John 21:1-4

A. Sorrow. 21:3

B. Struggle. 21:3

C. Silence. 21:3

II. SURPRISE: ** John 21:4, 5

A. Sunshine. 21:4

B. Surname. 21:5

C. Sincerity. 21:5

III. SECURITY: *** John 21:6-13

A. Sufficient. 21:6-11

B. Supplication. 21:12

C. Serving. 21:13

Finding Jesus, again, was something the disciples had to do. The “old” Jesus was laid in the tomb. The “new” Jesus was now alive. Not fully understanding the Cross and His Salvation, they were mystified about His death and His purpose. Here, in John’s gospel, he relates to us something that transpired out along a sea side where seven of His disciples found the Master, again. They were not the same after this encounter.

I see three things in these verses of John. The first thing I note is the SITUATION of the long night and the short morning. Next, I see the SURPRISE that greeted them as they recognized that it really was a live Jesus and not a dead hero. Then, I see the SECURITY He offered them and us as He met them that morning so long ago.

* THE SORROW: John 21:1-4; There was/is no way to gauge the depth of sorrow that these grown men suffered when they saw their Friend and their Hope nailed to the cross. They just could not believe it. For over three years they walked and talked with Him and they just thought it would go on like that for ever. But, He was dead and they had to pick up their lives and go on living-so they thought.

John 21:3; For Peter and the other fishermen of the group, that meant going back to their original job as fishermen. Yet, climbing into that boat, casting out the net, rowing to where the fish was supposed to be, was not exhilarating to them anymore. That night had to be filled with Sorrow. So often our nights are filled with sorrow: sorrow over broken health, ruined lives, depleted finances, wayward family members, lost jobs and the list goes on and on. Many are the nights that we labor in vain and are filled with great Sorrow.

John 21:3;Next, I see the Struggle that these men endured. These men were accomplished fishermen. They knew where the fish were. They knew how far down the fish were swimming, they knew how to catch the fish-but not this night. They struggled on and on, and their labor was fruitless. Oh, how often that mirrors our lives! We struggle in the darkness, we know what to do, we have been down the road before, we have all the answers, but we struggle and struggle and our catch is nil. We cannot seem to get ahead, bills pile up, life becomes more complex, our health deteriorates, our friends move away or they stop speaking to us, and we struggle constantly waiting for the break in the darkness and nothing happens. We are laboring all night and catching nothing.

John 21:3; I also note the Silence. There was no Jesus with whom to talk. The sea mocked their hearts. The Silence was deafening. Alone, they labored and the night wore on. Sometimes we get in that straight. We would like to talk to someone, to confide in someone and no one is near to listen or to help. Sometimes we enter the night that is filled with Silence and we toil all night long, wanting to talk to Jesus, but He seems so far away. We would love to have Him come and sit beside us in our boat of life and talk with us, but He seems to have gone away on a far journey. These disciples toiled all night in Sorrow and in Silence and caught nothing.

Ah, but wait, as the Psalmist said, “Joy comes in the morning.”

** THE SURPRISE: John 21:4, 5; What a Surprise these men had in store for them when the morning light dawned.

Not seeing any other people through out that night, as far as john relates to his reader, these disciples suddenly saw Someone on the shore, with a fire sizzling, and evidently some thing to eat. It was, as if this Person, appeared out of nowhere. Surely they would have seen any person walking along the beach as the sun arose. The fishermen among the seven were trained to notice details: the formation of gathering clouds, the shifting of the wind, the change in the temperature, the appearance of the sea’s surface-all of these were details that would indicate a change in the location and feeding of the fish. The fishermen knew how to notice small details. Here, they would have seen anyone walking along the sea side, but not this time.

Yet, there, as the sun began to dispel the night of Sorrow and Silence, stood a man, nursing a fire, and gently cooking a delicious breakfast. Isn’t that just like our Lord? When we have labored so long in Silence and in Sorrow and came up empty with all of our labors, suddenly, there He stands preparing a feast for us: a feast of answered prayers; a feast of His divine presence; a feast of tenderness and compassion; a feast that only He can prepare for a hungry child of God.

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