Summary: In John 21 we find the disappointed and the disappointing coming face to face.


1. Have you ever been disappointed? Had a confidence broken? How did it make you feel?

2. Have YOU ever disappointed someone? broken confidence? let someone down? How did they feel? How did you feel? What was it like to face them again?

3. These can be harsh experiences -- difficult to overcome whether we are the one who was disappointed or the one who did the disappointing.

4. In John 21 we find the disappointed and the disappointing coming face to face.

I. The Sea of Galilee -- a Scene of Reconciliation (John 21)

A. Peter, who left his nets and boat to follow Jesus, has returned to his former life.

1. Anyone who has ever fished can identify with what these men experience that night.

2. Fishing on Galilee was not a relaxing, lazy way to spend an evening. It was hard work.

3. No doubt these fishermen were disappointed as they returned with the dawn with nothing to show for their night’s work.

B. Waiting for them on shore was the resurrected Lord Himself!

1. How could they not have recognized Jesus? (Some distance away & difficult to see through the mist of the morning. Not looking for Jesus. Unable to comprehend.)

2. This was not the first morning these disciples had returned from a night of disappointing fishing & not the first time Jesus met them on the shore. (Luke 5:1-7)

a. No satisfaction. Worked all night & nothing to show for their labor but weary backs & empty dirty nets.

b. Jesus met the disciples on the shore & asked to borrow Peter’s boat. Might as well use it for a pulpit, it hadn’t been much good for anything else that morning.

c. When Jesus finished with the crowd, he turned to Peter with another request. He wanted Peter to go fishing again. (Read verse 4)

d. Jesus spake.

Peter protested. (Read v.5a) They had just worked hard -- all night -- had tried to catch fish -- & nothing!

e. Common sense said it was time to clean up & go home. Logic said to cut your losses and get out of there. Experience said pack it up and get some rest. BUT, Jesus said, try one more time! (Read v. 5b)

f. It didn’t make any sense, but Peter had been around Jesus long enough to know that His presence made a difference. The impossible became possible when Jesus was around. With Jesus the illogical suddenly became logical. The wedding in Cana, the sick child of the royal ruler -- Jesus made things different!

g. So, the boat goes out. The anchor is set and the nets fly. Suddenly they were in danger of sinking under the strain of the catch!

h. Peter’s life was never again the same after that catch. He turned his back on the sea to follow Jesus.

3. Peter’s life has come full circle. He is back in the same sea, same boat and the same experience. But this isn’t the same Peter. You can’t live with Jesus for three years and not be changed. He has seen too much, heard too much, experienced too much to be the same fisherman he was.

4. As these weary fishermen row toward shore after adisappointing night of fishing someone shouts from the shore to try the other side. Why not? What have they got to loose?

5. Deja vu? A long night. An empty net. A call to cast again. A deluge of fish flopping in the boat. Their eyes look to the shore & John exclaims, "It is the Lord." Without hesitation Peter undresses, dives into the water and swims

to shore.

6. Peter wet, and shivering stands before Jesus who has prepared a charcoal fire and is ready to fry fish for breakfast. What a wonderful scene of grace!

This was not the first time we saw Peter, Jesus, and a charcoal fire.

1. After the arrest of Jesus in the garden, Peter followed Him to the house of the high priest (read John 18:15-18 & Luke 22:56-60).

2. This was the same Peter who had confidently affirmed his allegiance to Jesus (Mat. 26:31-35), cut off the ear of the servant of the high priest (John 18:10-11) , and confessed faith in Jesus when so many others were confused.

3. Three times confident, bold Peter denied any knowledge of Jesus.

4. Read Luke 22:61 Peter turned his back on his dearest friend and they both knew it. He betrayed Jesus as surely as did Judas. For one brief moment there were no soldiers, no accusers, no priests -- just two old friends locked in each others eyes. The disappointed and the disappointing spoke volumes with one brief glimpse into the eyes and heart of each other.

II. On the shore of the Sea of Galilee, Jesus reached out to a disappointing Peter.

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