Summary: Even after the disciples had abandoned Jesus in his suffering, he still has a mission for them. And he still has a mission for you, his forgiven child. Parts: A. A night of waiting. B. A repeated miracle. C. A promise and blessing.
Text: John 21:1-14
Theme: The Risen Jesus Even Sends Out Screw-ups
A. A night of waiting
B. A repeated miracle
C. A promise and blessing
Season: Easter 3c
Date: April 18, 2010
Web page: http://hancocklutheran.org/sermons/The-Risen-Jesus-Even-Sends-Out-Screw-ups-John21_1-14.html
Grace and peace to you from God our Father and our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Amen. The Word from God through which the Holy Spirit points us to Jesus is John 21
"After these things Jesus again showed himself to the disciples by the sea of Tiberias. He did it in this way:
"Simon Peter, Thomas (called Didymus), Nathanael from Cana in Galilee, the sons of Zebedee, and two others of the disciples were together. Simon Peter says to them, "I'm going fishing." They say to him, "We're also coming with you." They went and got in the boat. That night they caught nothing.
"When it was already early morning, Jesus stood on the shore; nevertheless, the disciples did not know that it was Jesus. So Jesus says to them, "Fellows, you don't have any fish, do you?" They answered him, "No."
"He said to them, "Throw your net on the right side of the boat, and you will find some." So they did, and they were not able to draw it in any longer because of the number of fish. Then that disciple, whom Jesus loved, says to Peter, "It is the Lord." So after hearing that it was the Lord, Simon Peter tied his outer cloak around himself (for he had taken it off), and threw himself into the sea. The other disciples came with the little boat, dragging the net of fish, for they were not far from the land, only about three hundred feet.
"Then when they got out on land, they say a charcoal fire there and fish and bread lying on it. Jesus says to them, "Bring some of the fish which you have caught now." So Simon Peter went and drew onto the land the net filled with 153 large fish. Even though there were so many, the net didn't tear.
"Jesus says to them, "Come, have breakfast." None of the disciples dared to question him: "Who are you?" knowing it was the Lord. Jesus comes, takes the bread, and gives it to them, and does the same with the fish. This was already the third time Jesus appeared to the disciples after rising from the dead." (John 21:1-14)
Dear friends in Christ, fellow saints washed clean in the blood of our risen Savior:
A. A night of waiting
1. If you were one of the disciples waiting for Jesus, what might have been going through your mind?
All this waiting was taking too long. Hadn't the angel told the women: "Tell his disciples and Peter, 'He is going ahead of you into Galilee. There you will see him, just as he told you'" (Mark 16:7 NIV)? Here they were. But now what?
And if you or I had been one of them, what kind of nervous apprehension would have paced relentlessly in our hearts? If you were Peter, who had denied Jesus three times (John 18:17, 25-27), what was he going to say to you? Thomas had doubted the testimony of the other disciples, dismissing them as fools or liars. He had demanded to touch Jesus himself (John 20:25). He still would be blinded by unbelief, if Jesus had not appeared again a week after Easter inviting him to touch his wounds (John 20:27). Three years earlier Nathanael had boldly declared that Jesus was the Son of God, the King of the Jews (John 1:49). He had abandoned his God and King in the Garden of Gethsemane. And what about James and John, those sons of Zebedee? They had wanted to sit at Jesus' right and left in his kingdom and claimed they could drink his cup with him (Mark 10:35-39). But they couldn't even stay awake to pray with him in that hour of darkness (Matthew 26:37-44), and then they fled like the others (Matthew 26:56).
"Peace be with you" (John 20:19, 26 NIV), Jesus had said on both of those Sunday nights when he had appeared to their group before. Peace with God. That's why he had died. To pay for even their despicable sins. To reconcile them to God through his sacrifice. The Lamb of God slaughtered for them.
But even with such divine forgiveness, how could they ever be suitable witnesses for Jesus? After three years of around-the-clock training, seven days a week, they had failed so miserably. Yes, Easter night Jesus had again said, "As the Father has sent me, I am sending you" (John 20:21 NIV). But Jesus had never failed in any part of the mission the Father sent him to this earth to accomplish. They had already messed up so many times. How could Jesus send ever out screw-ups like them?