John 1:40-42, John 21:1-17



We are going to talk about a special guy from the Bible today…

If he were a personal computer, he’d be the MITS Altair 8800.

If he were a cell phone, he’d be the Motorolla DynaTAC 800x.

If he were an Atari game, he’d be Pong.

If he were a supreme court justice, he’d be John Jay.

If he were a PGA champion, he’d be Jim Barnes.

If he were a car, he’d be a Benz Motorwagen.

If he were a host of Wheel of Fortune, he’d be Chuck Woolery.

If he were a sneaker, he’d be Keds.

What I mean by these silly examples is that this guy is an original. The guy we will focus on today was one of the original followers of Jesus Christ and perhaps one of the most famous. He’s one of the core 12 followers who became Apostles and he is part of the inner circle. He is most often seen as the leader of the group and wrote 2 books in the New Testament… 3 if you want to get technical. Peter is one of the first Christians.

We are in a series in John 1. John 1 mentions Peter and so does the very last chapter of John. So we are going to spend a brief amount of time in John 1 because it was Peter’s life in John 21 that really grabbed my attention.

What do we read about Peter in the Scriptures?

What does Peter’s life in Christ teach us?

READ John 1:40-42

40 Andrew, Simon Peter's brother, was one of the two who heard what John had said and who had followed Jesus. 41 The first thing Andrew did was to find his brother Simon and tell him, "We have found the Messiah" (that is, the Christ). 42 And he brought him to Jesus. Jesus looked at him and said, "You are Simon son of John. You will be called Cephas" (which, when translated, is Peter).

We talked about last week how Andrew believed that Jesus was the Christ and the first thing he did was find his brother Peter and introduce him to Jesus. That is significant. In this passage, Jesus immediately gives Simon a nickname based on his personality and all that Jesus knew he would be… Peter… a name meaning “rock.” Throughout the Gospel we see Peter charging forward in his role as a disciple of Jesus and he has his ups and he has his downs. It is not smooth sailing for Peter.

In John 6, Peter declares that he would not desert Jesus because Jesus has the words of life.

In John 13, Peter doesn’t want Jesus to wash his feet because he feels unworthy.

In John 13, Peter declares he would lay his life down for Jesus.

In John 18, Peter defends Jesus with a sword when He is arrested.

In John 18, Peter three times denies he even knows Jesus.

In John 20, Peter discovers the empty tomb.

We then come to John 21 which is where we will spend the majority of our time today. It is a large passage, so I want to go a few verses at a time and dig into what we find there. Peter has much to share with us by his life.


READ John 21:1-3

Afterward Jesus appeared again to His disciples, by the Sea of Tiberias. It happened this way: 2 Simon Peter, Thomas (called Didymus), Nathanael from Cana in Galilee, the sons of Zebedee, and two other disciples were together. 3 "I'm going out to fish," Simon Peter told them, and they said, "We'll go with you." So they went out and got into the boat, but that night they caught nothing. 4 Early in the morning, Jesus stood on the shore, but the disciples did not realize that it was Jesus. 5 He called out to them, "Friends, haven't you any fish?" "No," they answered. 6 He said, "Throw your net on the right side of the boat and you will find some." When they did, they were unable to haul the net in because of the large number of fish.

I am not going to disparage the angling skills of Peter and the other disciples, but this is not the first time they fished all night and caught nothing. Maybe Peter and the others were just terrible fishermen… I don’t know… but they catch nothing. All their hard work had come to nothing. Luke 5, very early in Jesus’ ministry, records a similar set of circumstances and Jesus doing the exact same thing with the exact same results.

Why is Peter fishing? We don’t know. He could have needed money to provide for his family. He could have wanted to do something to occupy his time. It was a strange time when some have seen Jesus and they knew Jesus was risen from the dead, but past that, they were not sure what to do. Many things were unsure for these men.

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