Summary: John Chapter 21 is the final lesson in this series. At the Sea of Tiberias, Jesus performs His final recorded miracle and reinstates Peter.
John Chapter 21
Read verses 1-14
The Sea of Tiberias is very much connected with the ministry of our Lord Jesus Christ before and after His resurrection.
This is an amazing group of men.
Here is Simon Peter, warm hearted, yet often impulsive.
Here is Thomas, that magnificent skeptic, who has a question mark for a brain.
Here is Nathanael, the wisecracker, who was also a doubter at the beginning.
Here is James and John, sons of thunder (Zebedee), and John is the writer of this Gospel.
And there are two other disciples here who are not named.
Perhaps this small group of men represents a cross section of society; perhaps this little group represents you and me.
It was springtime at the Sea of Tiberias, and the warm winds made ripples near the shore.
The surrounding hills were green and beautifully adorned with wild flowers.
The disciples fished all night and they caught nothing.
Now they are restless and frustrated.
It’s easy to fish when you’re catching fish, but it’s frustrating when you don’t catch any fish.
I can remember when I was a teenager, my father and I fished all day long out from "Stump Hole Landing" at Lake Santee.
We caught nothing that day.
These disciples knew how to fish, but that night of total failure was also in the plan and purpose of God.
In verse 4, I think it was a normal experience that the disciples “knew not that it was Jesus.”
Jesus was in His glorified body and He could not be recognized.
Jesus asked if they had any meat and they gave him a short answer, “No.”
That’s the question Jesus is bound to ask every one of us someday: “Did you catch anything?”
“Did you win anyone to Christ because of your testimony and witness?”
I hope your answer will not be the same as the answer the disciples gave: “No, we haven’t caught a thing.”
In verse 6, the whole thought here is that Jesus directs the lives of His own.
Jesus gives us His instructions, and these instructions are to be obeyed.
When we fish according to His instructions, the nets are filled to capacity.
Notice that the net does not break even though it’s full.
The net is strong, the net keeps us eternally safe.
Notice in verse 7 that Peter is naked.
Peter may not have the discernment of John, but have you noticed that at every opportunity Peter gets as close as possible to his Lord?
The other men sit in the boat and wait until they get to shore, but not Peter.
Peter can’t wait, and he cast himself into the sea to be close to his Lord.
In verses 8-11, we see the last recorded miracle of Jesus.
This is the only miracle of Jesus recorded after His resurrection.
Folks, we are no longer joined to the baby in Bethlehem, but today, we’re joined to a resurrected, living, glorified Christ, who sits at God’s right hand.
There are several things of importance here in Jesus’ final recorded miracle:
1. Jesus uses the possessions people have as a basis for His miracles.
The disciples are fishing and they catch nothing, but the Lord Jesus gives them an abundant harvest of fish.
At Cana, the water pots were empty, and the Lord Jesus filled the water pots with water, and then changed the water into wine.
God asked Moses what he had in his hand, and Moses says it’s a rod, and with that rod Moses possessed, God performs His miracle for Israel.
David is faithful as a shepherd, and with his shepherd’s crook God gives him a scepter to hold in his hand.
It’s interesting that whatever you already possess, God can use.
Have you asked God lately to help you to use your possessons to help someone in need?
2. Another thing of interest here is that whatever God does, He does in abundance.
The water pots were full of wine, and the people had much wine left over.
The baskets of food left over were in abundance after the more than 5,000 were fed.
The nets were full of fish.
3. Also notice that Jesus already had fish laid on a bed of coals for the breakfast, but Jesus asks for some of the fish the disciples caught.
Jesus always accepts our Christian service to Him.
There was another time when Peter caught a miraculous number of fish, recorded by Luke.
It was in the early days of Jesus’ ministry, and Jesus was calling Peter to be a fisher of men.
That time the net broke and many fish swam away.
This time the net held and it did not break.
With the Word of God, with the Gospel of a risen, glorified Christ, the Gospel will not only save, but it will hold, safe and secure, in the arms of our God.