Summary: Significance of Jesus’ third post resurrection appearance to the Disciples, by the Sea of Tiberias (John 21). Comparing with Calling of Disciples in Luke 5:1-11


We have Experienced Easter, the death and resurrection of Jesus. we are now within the 40-day period where the resurrected Jesus appeared, talked, ate and prepared people, in particular the Disciples, for ministry.

Scripture verse an appendix to John’s gospel.

see John 20:30-31

"Jesus did many other miraculous signs in the presence of his disciples, which are not recorded in this book. But these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name."

John 21:25

"Jesus did many other things as well. If every one of them were written down, I suppose that even the whole world would not have room for the books that would be written."

It’s as though John completed his gospel at the end of chapter 20, then thought, but wait!!! There is more. You have got to know this!!!

John had another fishing encounter with Jesus which is recorded in Luke 5. "the calling of the Disciples". It is interesting to compare this pre-resurrection account with John’s post-resurrection account. Distinctly two seperate events, but, what teachings and spiritual insights can be found by studying them.

So we read about the breakfast meeting Jesus had with the disciples.

It was the third meeting with the Disciples after resurrection "This was now the third time Jesus appeared to his disciples after he was raised from the dead." John 21:14

First two were in a prayerful setting

John 20:19

"On the evening of that first day of the week, when the disciples were together, with the doors locked for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you!”"

John 20:26

"A week later his disciples were in the house again, and Thomas was with them. Though the doors were locked, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you!”"

John 21

Jesus meets Disciples in there everyday situation.

Compare Luke 5 with John 21

What was their Spiritual state?

Spiritual state, calling of disciples compared with the sending of disciples.

Fish represent the souls to be saved by Jesus’ disciples, “Don’t be afraid; from now on you will catch men.”

No catch

On both occasions the nights fishing had not produced any fish.

Luke 5:5

"Simon answered, “Master, we’ve worked hard all night and haven’t caught anything."

John 21:3

"So they went out and got into the boat, but that night they caught nothing."

In Luke Jesus gets into the boat, in John he remained on the shore.

In Luke, Jesus needed to be physically close to the disciples, to comfort, reassure and encourage them. In John, he chose to not join them in the boat, they were on their own.


As a kid I remember learning to ride a bike. I’m sure we can all visualize our mum or dad bolting on the training wheels, placing us on the bike and holding us from behind as we pump our small legs and peddle, off we go!.

I had some important lessons on momentum and gravity in my early years. Being the youngest of three children, It was important not to be left behind. So when my brother and sister learnt to ride, I too had to!. We all were taken up this huge (well it looked big to me at the time) hill, with our bikes (no stabilizers) and one by one let go down the hill. Well, I was first, I got about half way, hit a pot hole and my bike stopped, but I didn’t. My brother was next, he came screaming past me, the hill turned to the right at the bottom, he didn’t. And, lastly, my sister, the eldest, rode past me, down the hill and round the corner for a perfect ride.

Another incident I remember was the neighbors’ driveway. I recall looking with expectation from the top of the driveway, thinking the slight incline down would be exciting. And without hesitation, off I went, as I gained speed, the peddles went faster and faster until they were so fast my feet couldn’t stay on them. Now this shouldn’t have been a problem, but for the fact that the peddles also doubled as the brakes. Bang!!! I careered into our neighbors’ roller door. Momentum!!

Just as mum had to decide when to let go and allow us kids to find our own way, it was time Jesus let the disciples find their way, sure they could still see him, but he is no longer physically in the boat, he is on the shore.

Jesus will not physically be with the disciples (in the boat), but he is still there, if we look hard enough.

I have become quite fond of fish this year, our house has one of those cascading ponds with a fountain. With great enthusiasm the kids and I went to the local fish shop and bought some fish, 3 gold fish and a really nice black fish with a fan tail which looked beautiful swimming in the brightly lit tank at the shop. We rushed home, did the bag in the water for ten minutes thing, and released them into the pond. After, I counted the fish, one, two, three…. Again one, two, three… the beautiful black fish which looked so good in the shop was unseen, you see he blended in perfectly with the bottom of the pond!!! He is there, just you can’t see him!! We called him The Phantom!!

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