Summary: When Jesus appeared to the 7 Disciples after His resurrection at the Sea of Galilee, He wanted them to be busy while they waited for His coming.
“Fish Or Cut Bait”
TEXT: John 21:1-14
INTRODUCTION: We continue in our series on the Post-Resurrection appearances of Jesus.
This is the 3rd appearance that Jesus makes to His 11 Disciples after His resurrection (21:14) … not counting the appearance to the 2 on the Road to Emmaus (not 2 of the 12):
1st – Sunday Night, Resurrection Day, in the Upper Room WITHOUT Thomas.
2nd – Sunday Night, a week later, in the Upper Room WITH Thomas.
3rd – HERE … sometime later … in response to the message from the angel to the 2 Mary’s – Mt. 28:7
The Disciples went to Galilee … and waited, and waited, and waited … no Jesus!
Waiting is HARD, isn’t it?
Here we find 7 of the Disciples gathered together in a little group.
The other 4 were probably there … but gathered together in another group.
It’s hard to wait for Jesus to do something … when it seems like He’s not doing anything.
o Have you ever prayed for a loved one’s salvation … and still waiting?
o Have you ever prayed for a job … and still unemployed?
o Have you ever prayed for a situation to improve … and it hasn’t gotten any better?
You might ask: “Where’s Jesus?”
That’s what they were saying here.
Peter just HAD to do something … he couldn’t sit still.
Do you know some people like that? They can’t just DO NOTHING … they have to be DOING SOMETHING … that’s Peter!
Peter decides to go fishing … WHY FISHING?
I’ve read several different THEORIES on that.
1.- FIRST – Peter may have wanted to go back to the beginning, where he first met Jesus – Mark 1:16-17
Where did you first meet the Lord?
For some of you, it was in a Sunday Morning Worship Service.
For others, it was in a Bible Study … while talking with a friend … V.B.S. (that’s where I met Jesus) … a counseling session …
WHEREVER it was, sometimes we need to go back to that experience and get our salvation experience REFRESHED.
We need to evaluate it … was it REAL?
If it WAS, then we might need to RE-FOCUS on the BEGINNING of our walk with Jesus … RE-CONFIRM our assurance of salvation … and RE-COMMIT ourselves to a living and real relationship with Jesus.
Maybe that’s what Peter was doing … he was wanting to get off by himself to RE-FOCUS on what Jesus wanted to do in his life.
2.- SECOND – Peter may have wanted to QUIT … go back to his fishing trade.
Things hadn’t worked out the way he had it all planned out.
TRUE … Jesus had risen from the dead … Peter saw that first-hand.
BUT … Rome was still in power … Tiberius was still the Emperor … Pontius Pilate was still the Governor … the Pharisees & Sadducees & Scribes were still corrupt.
What difference had the resurrection of Jesus really made?
Peter might as well go back to fishing.
At least, in the fishing business, he had some control … some expertise … some past success.
His whole world had fallen apart … and even the resurrected Jesus hadn’t corrected all the wrongs and made them right.
Do you ever feel this way?
Have you ever asked yourself the question: “What difference has Jesus really made in my life … Am I really better off because I’m a Christian?”
I’m sure all of us have had our doubts as we’ve journeyed down the road of life.
BUT – You can’t QUIT!
There’s no such thing as resigning as a Christian … or returning your Church Membership for a refund … or going back to the way you were before you were saved.
Jesus never promised you that He would give you a smooth flight … just a safe landing!
He never promised you smooth sailing or calm seas … just a safe harbor.
If you are truly Born-Again, you can’t just quit … and give back your salvation.
In the first place, if you are truly saved, you wouldn’t WANT to.
In the second place, if you are truly saved, you don’t NEED to.
Maybe Peter wanted to go back to a less complicated life of fishing … like he was doing before he met Jesus.
BUT … he wouldn’t ever be happy.
He had met Jesus! AND … nothing could ever fill the void, if he left Jesus out of his life.
Sometimes, Christians revert back to “life before Jesus” … we call it BACK-SLIDING.
What happens when you BACK-SLIDE? You go back to the old life … a life of AVOIDING Church attendance … Bible reading … prayer time … quiet time with God.
BUT … you’ll never be happy … BECAUSE … once you have experienced the resurrected Jesus … nothing can fill the void when you leave Jesus out of your life.