Just Announced: Philippians Sermon Series

Summary: By providing food for the disciples Jesus demonstrates his continued willingness to journey with the disciples


John 21:1-14

Why All The Fish?

Have you ever had post-exciting-event-syndrome?

It is the syndrome which happens when you have been planning an event for a long time … a wedding, a special party, a holiday, a house move

You have been putting your energy and time and commitment into this event.

Maybe you have been talking about it incessantly.

And showing everyone all the different plans and decorations.

You have been excitedly watching the Face Book Event to see who is coming.

Then you have this great time.

… then when the event is all over you sit around and wonder, “Now what?”.

Do you know what I am talking about?

Well I think that the disciples went through post-exciting-event-syndrome.

We read about it in John 21:1-14

The setting is the Sea of Tiberias.

Which is the name the Romans use for the Sea of Galilee.

(A map was on the data presentation)

The map helps to get an idea of where we are.

Jesus comes from Nazareth. Peter from Capernaum.

You can see Magdala – that is where Mary Magdalene comes from.

Cana is where Jesus did his first miracle – the very un-Baptist action of changing water to wine!

From the map it has become obvious what has happened.

The disciples have gone back to that which is familiar. This is where Jesus first met most of them … and where He first called most of the them.

Here we find a group of seven disciples.

Simon Peter – who we know well.

Thomas … not the doubter … but Didymus.

Nathanael from Cana. He was the disciple who was convinced nothing good could come from Nazareth.

The sons of Zebedee – who we know as James and John.

John is also called “the disciple whom Jesus loved”.

Two other disciples. We are not told who, and it is no use trying to guess.

So what we have is a gathering of disciples … seven out of the eleven.

Why are they in Galilee?

Some people say it is because they have given up.

They know Jesus is alive but they really haven’t become convinced of the calling He has for them, or a full understanding of the task at hand.

So they are acting in a disobedient way because they have not gone out and taken up the mission work Jesus had called them to do.

I think those people who give the disciples a hard time are wrong.

Here is why.

Firstly they are doing exactly what Jesus told them to do.

Jesus says this before His death

32 But after I have risen, I will go ahead of you into Galilee.”

Matthew 26:32

The angels at the tomb say this to Mary.

7 Then go quickly and tell his disciples: ‘He has risen from the dead and is going ahead of you into Galilee. There you will see him.’ Now I have told you.”

Matthew 28:7

So it isn’t an issue of them slacking off. They are doing what they were told. They are to go back to the place where we started and wait.

Secondly they have not been given their commission yet

8 But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”

Acts 1:8

18 Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 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,20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”

Matthew 28:18-20

Thirdly the pouring out of the Holy Spirit has not happened yet.

The pouring of the Spirit was really the starters gun for them to get going.

Jesus made this very clear right through-out His ministry.

So don’t be too hard on them.

The fact that they are in Galilee is not a sign of rebellion, or cowardice, or cold-feet.

What has happened is that they have found themselves in a bit of limbo.

What do men do when they are in limbo?

They get hungry – since most of them are fishermen a good way to stop being hungry is to go and fish.

Now here is an interesting fact.

Every time the New Testament mentions fishing, nothing is caught until Jesus gets involved.

They applies to literal fish.

It also applies to us being “fishers of not-yet-believers”.

The same message keeps coming – Jesus is a handy person to have around when you want to catch fish.

So this theme continues in our text.

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