Summary: Following the resurrectio, Peter and some of the other disciples went out for an unsuccessful night of fishing. The next morning, they had a miraculous encounter with Jesus, and after breakfast, Peter was three times restored by Jesus
1.) This morning, I want us to examine another of the post- resurrection appearances of Jesus to the Apostles.
A.) This account would have been quite soon after the resurrection, and is listed as the third time Jesus appeared to the disciples.
2.) As you recall, a number of the apostles were by trade fishermen.
A.) But for much of the past 3 ½ years they had left the fishing industry to be some of the closest
followers of Jesus.
3.) When we look at the scene this morning, they had already seen Jesus after His resurrection, but there was kind of an uncertainty as to what was ahead, or what their role would be.
A.) some have expressed thoughts on this passage that Peter was going back to the fishing industry, and leaving the ministry of Christ.
B.) I am not completely sure that this was the case, but at the end of the account, Jesus does ask Peter for his complete allegiance in following Him.
I. PETER AND SOME OF THE APOSTLES GO FISHING.
-- John 21:3
1.) Peter said: “I’m going fishing”.
A.) The sound and smell of the sea called them.
aa.) Certainly anyone who has the sea in their blood can relate to this.
ab.) When I head down towards home, one of the first things I do rather it is summer or winter is open the window of the car for a few minutes so I can breathe in the smell of the ocean.
B.) Finally Peter could resist no more.
ba.) The sea and fishing had been in his blood and a big part of who he was.
bb.) For a few years now he had for the most part left the fishing industry.
C.) After the resurrection Peter was just waiting around and felt the need to do something.
ca.) It was only natural for Peter that what he would seek was to get back out on the water.
D.) I think that Jesus understood the heart of Peter, and what was happening in his heart.
da.) Later on when they met Jesus on the beach, Jesus did not rebuke Peter for going back to the water, but only had Peter reaffirm the priority of Jesus Christ in His life.
2.) We’ll go with you.
A.) Our lives have an impact on others.
B.) These eleven men and Jesus had become very close over the previous 3 1/2 years.
C.) When Peter decided to go fishing it was not the entire group of the apostles that went, but 7 out of the group of eleven that went fishing.
D.) We do not know where the other four of the apostles were, but just that they were not here at this time.
E.) It might even be that some of the others were not too excited about the water, or being on a boat, or fishing.
3.) We neither live nor die to ourselves.
A.) Rom. 14:7
B.) Peter by his desires, and influence had caused others of the disciples to also follow him in a time of fishing.
II. THERE WERE NO FISH CAUGHT..
-- John 21:1-3
1.) They caught nothing.
A.) Certainly to have been out all night fishing, and to come back to shore with an empty boat was not an exhilarating experience for these men.
B.) I want you to see what a major thing this must have been.
ba.) Anytime when a fisherman leaves the wharf and spends an entire night on the water fishing only to come back to shore with nothing more than a tired body, and an empty boat it is never a great feeling.
bb.) But this was not like any regular time of fishing.
\ bba.) You see three and a half years earlier these men had put their boats and fishing gear up, and had gone ashore with Jesus.
bb.) In all likelihood, this was the first time in three and a half years these men had been working the sea, for a harvest.
bc.) Peter had dreamed of the sea;
bca.) I am sure he must have told many stories of his fishing with these men.
bcb.) Now they were all excited.
bcc.) These men who had heard Peter tell of the excitement when they would pull that net up from the sea full of fish, must have been so excited to wait for that net to come back on the boat full of fish.
bcd.) Well the big moment arrives. The men pull up the net. Can you imagine the feeling as the sun was rising over the water and they pulled in the nets expecting a big catch and there see perhaps only some seaweed, and maybe a few pieces of driftwood, but nothing of any value.