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Summary: Peter and Christ after the Resurrection

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AM MESSAGE – 05-02-04

“Three Simple Questions”

John 21

INTRO:

- Matt.28:10 – Jesus tells the women at the tomb to have the Disciples meet him in Galilee

READ JOHN 21:1—8

1. Have you caught any FISH?

- (v. 3) Peter literally says, “I going to back to what I know.” The Greek phrase here means, “I’m retiring.”

- “Have you ever faced a time of disappointment, or discouragement, and thought, ‘That’s it. I quit. I’m not going to do this anymore. I’ll go back to …”

- Disciples fished all night…were exhausted, tired, and discouraged. And then here’s this dude who wants to know if they’ve caught anything. The question phrased in the Greek was done in such a manner so as to form a rhetorical question.

<< Illus. Working on the coffee table as a child. “What are you doing?”

Which led to… “Do you want me to tan your hide?” >>

- “God asks questions of us to see where we are spiritually.

- He asked Adam “Where are you?” (Gen. 3:9)

- He asked Sarah “Is anything too hard for the Lord?” (Gen 18:4)

- He asked Ezekiel “Son of Man, can these bones live?” (Ez. 37:3)

- “Jesus established with his question what the disciples were doing wrong: They were attempting to work outside of His direction.” We also can be like the disciples. As we work, and do not see visible results, we become tired, exhausted, and discouraged. And sometimes we work all day at the wrong job.

- “When you and I are not where God wants us to be, there will be no results, no fish.”

- (v. 6—7) But even in the midst of this night-without-fish, John recognized Jesus.

- “How can we realize that God is wanting us to remain in Him?

- “We can recognize Christ’s presence through his prior activity.”

- Malachi 3:6 – “I the LORD do not change.” Hebrews 13:8 – “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.”

- “Do you recognize God at work in your situation? It was the same Lord who had not allowed them to catch a thing all that night that sent the 153 fish that into the net that morning. He is only one who knows where the fish are.”

- “Christ’s nature is the same as it has always been…and his question to us will always be the same: “Are you doing the work for which I sent you? Or are you trying to do something that I have not asked you to do?”

*** (V. 11) Note about the net: God may stretch us, but He’ll never break us ***

READ JOHN 21:15—19

2. What PRIORITY have you made me?

- Jesus was asking Peter where in his list of priorities Christ lay. I think Christ asks these questions of the other disciples as well, including contemporary ones.

- “What is Number One in your life? Family? Friends? Work? Social Standing? Money?”

- Luke 14:33 – “Any of you who does not give up everything he has cannot be my disciple.”

- “The Rich Young Ruler in Luke 18 wouldn’t make Jesus first in his life…he went away very sad. Ananias and Sapphira in Acts 5 wouldn’t make Jesus first in their lives…they went away very dead.”

- “Jesus is asking today, “___________ (your name here), do you love me more than anything else? Or do you love me because you feel you ought to?”

- We (Christians) have a responsibility to those who are brought into the kingdom. Lambs are newer, less mature Xians who need to be protected in their faith. Sheep are mature Xians who need to be nurtured and led by a shepherd.

- Feeding His sheep and taking care of His lambs means that we are commissioned to disciple, or instruct, those who come to Christ in our church (Psalm 100:3).

- Matt. 28:19—20: “Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you.”

- “Next time you go to a hospital, look at the amount of space that is set aside for birthing, in relation to that set aside for healing.” Yes, new lambs need to be born, but in today’s world, the crying need is for tender care and nourishment to be given to the lambs.

<< ILLUS. Robert Louis Stevenson -- Grew up in small town in Scotland (turn of the 20th Century) (man lighting gas lamps) -- "There is the man who is punching holes in the darkness!">>

- “Our PRIORITY is to tend, feed, nourish and if necessary, facilitate healing for God’s sheep. By being obedient to the instructions Christ gives to us (feeding his sheep – tending his lambs), we become a people who would “punch holes in the darkness.”

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