Summary: 7th of 7 messages on the transformation by Jesus of Simon into Peter. This message focuses on the breakfast questions of Jesus in John 21.
From Ordinary to Extraordinary
The Transformation Began in Amazement…
at what Jesus taught and gave to people – both healing and forgiveness
Amazement Led to Obedience…
even when Simon didn’t think it would make a difference
Obedience Grew Into Faith…
that moved Simon to get out of the boat and walk on water – for a ways
Faith Became Conviction…
that Jesus was the Messiah and the son of God – even though Simon didn’t understand about the cross of Jesus to come
Conviction Hardened Into Pride
He refused to wash dirty feet and then tried to one up Jesus and the others by offering his head and his hands. It wasn’t about washing feet but service and love.
Pride is Broken... when Simon Peter denies Jesus three times before dawn. His bold statments proclaiming his faith and fidelity are shattered in denial and he weeps bitterly.
Now his brokenness becomes humble service... when Jesus restores Peter on the beach
From Ordinary to Extraordinary
Let’s Set the Scene
Peter has denied Christ Jesus in the courtyard of the High Priest. Jesus has been crucified and has risen from the dead. He has appeared to the disciples and instructed them to wait for the power of the Holy Spirit comes upon them.
John takes up the story in verse 1 of chapter 21. Simon has announced (verse 3) that he is going out to fish and the other disciples follow after him.
That sounds like Simon doesn’t it. In fact it sounds like most of us. The last several days have been pretty stressful. Sometimes a guy just needs to go fishing. So they get in the boat and head out to fish.
I see them fishing by rote memory. They would talk in brief bursts about some moment they shared in the last several days and then they would lapse into silence as they set the nets and then gathered them in. Before they knew it dawn was breaking. They fished all night but without success.
They were about 100 yards off the shore when a figure in the dim light of morning on shore shouted across the water “Did you catch any fish”. This is a normal question that people on shore often shout to those coming in from a fishing excursion. But this time instead of holding up a stringer with the fish or holding up the big one that didn’t get away they had to answer, “No.”
Then the person on shore said, “put your nets down on the right side of the boat and you’ll find some”.
Can’t you just feel the electricity of that moment? There was something very familiar about this. Three years ago on this very lake a rabbi had asked them to go out again and let down their nets after fishing all night. When they follow the instructions of the man on shore and pulled up 153 fish in one load it was Simon that literally climbed out of the boat and thrashed his way through the water to Jesus. The other disciples with a little more decorum pulled the boat up on shore to find Jesus with a fire cooking some fish and with bread enough for everyone to have breakfast.
This is the third time they have seen Jesus since the resurrection but it’s probably the first time they were together like this as they had been many times over the past three years as the wandered through Galilee, Samaria, and Judah on the way to Jerusalem.
Simon Peter had just a couple of weeks previous had deny Jesus three times as He was being tried in the Sanhedrin Courts. And now, Peter can’t wait for the boat to reach the shore – he is out of the boat racing to Christ. Why? Wouldn’t the natural reaction been to hide behind the other disciples in the boat? After all he had denied Jesus.
I believe this event shows us several important things that in the next few verses we will see explicitly stated – The first of which is that Peter loved Jesus and wanted to be with him more than anything else in the world.
Before we go on to look at what we learn about Peter and Jesus through this event I do want to point out an important lesson. Jesus had prepared breakfast for his disciples! John tells us (v9) that there was a fire with bread and fish cooking upon it. Yet John tells us that Jesus asks them to bring some of the fish they had caught, at his instruction, as well (v10). Again we could pass over this very quickly but I think we would miss a vital spiritual lesson. The meal would be partly what Christ had provided and partly what they had caught in obedience to His instructions.