Book of John 21:1-25

Book of John 21:1-25

This is final summary of John’s written Gospel.

Jesus Appears to Seven Disciples, Peter and 6 other disciples return to fishing.  Wonder what the other disciples did.  Go home?

John 21:1 After these things Jesus showed Himself again to the disciples at the Sea of Tiberias, and in this way, He showed Himself:

The disciples went from Jerusalem to Galilee, by the order of Jesus, who told them He will meet them there.

Lord Jesus said after these things, He will reveal and showed Himself in Galilee area.  The Sea of Galilee was renamed for the Roman emperor Tiberias Caesar. Jesus told them to go to Galilee. 

Matthew 28:10 Then Jesus said to them, “Do not be afraid. Go and tell My brethren to go to Galilee, and there they will see Me.”

Matthew 28:16-17 Then the eleven disciples went away into Galilee, to the mountain which Jesus had appointed for them.  (17)  When they saw Him, they worshiped Him; but some doubted.  Interesting.  Why?

Important??  Mt. Tabor, near Sea of Tiberias.  Before Pentecost.

John 21:2 Simon Peter, Thomas called the Twin, Nathanael of Cana in Galilee, the sons of Zebedee, and two others of His disciples were together.

Sons of Zebedee:  James, whom Herod killed with the sword, and John, the writer of this Gospel:  Two others probably Andrew and Philip; which is very likely, since they were both of Bethsaida, a city in Galilee, and not far from the sea of Tiberias. Uncertainly what the disciples to do.

John 1:44 Now Philip was from Bethsaida, the city of Andrew and Peter.

John 21:3 Simon Peter said to them, “I am going fishing.” They said to him, “We are going with you also.” They went out and immediately got into the boat, and that night they caught nothing.

They went back to where they know and their previous occupation and probably for their protection from the Jewish priests.  Immediately went out:  Why, maybe to get their mind straight with all that has happened to them and to follow Jesus’s instructions.

Remember, Peter was a professional fisherman and the 7 went to Galilee with Peter as they were told to do it.  Peter knew about fishing, being familiar with the region and fishing at the best time at night.  They were now waiting for Jesus’ appearance to them. Is this during 40 days before Pentecost.

John 21:4 But when the morning had now come, Jesus stood on the shore; yet the disciples did not know that it was Jesus.

Perhaps the apostles did not recognize Jesus because they were preoccupied with their work. In addition, there was not much light at this time of day.  Maybe too great of a distance to recognize Jesus or maybe Jesus had assumed another form.

Mark 16:12 After that, He appeared in another form to two of them as they walked and went into the country.   {another form?}

John 21:5 Then Jesus said to them, “Children, have you any food?” They answered Him, “No.”

Children is a common greeting that working men used amongst themselves.

Also could be translated as immature Christian, little or young child.

Have you any food: The question from the shore was probably regarded as a request to buy fish. The disciples answered that they had nothing to sell.  Jesus said, have you any fish.

John 21:6 And He said to them, “Cast the net on the right side of the boat, and you will find some.” So they cast, and now they were not able to draw it in because of the multitude of fish.   {fishing in morning light better than the night light}

A miracle.  Our God supplies.  All 7 unable to draw the net and tugging at the net.  Why right side, who knows, maybe it right side was nearest the shore, where there was less probability of taking fish and shallow part from the water’s edge.

Two disciples, Peter and John, were very intimate with each other, and communicated their thoughts freely to one another, remember, Passover.  

1st and Last miracles were both in Galilee.  Water pots of water turned to wine {2:7}, fishes full nets {21:11} 

John 21:7 Therefore that disciple whom Jesus loved said to Peter, “It is the Lord!” Now when Simon Peter heard that it was the Lord, he put on his outer garment (for he had removed it) and plunged into the sea.

Notice, John recognizes Jesus first and told Peter, then first to act, going to Jesus by swimming to Him.   Naked: This means he had only his tunic or undergarment on.

Mark 14:51 Now a certain young man followed Him, having a linen cloth thrown around his naked body. And the young men laid hold of him,

John 21:8 But the other disciples came in the little boat (for they were not far from land, but about two hundred cubits), dragging the net with fish.

The boat couldn’t move quickly enough for Peter, and he didn’t want John to be first again.  Competition? Peter left John and the others to bring in the fish.   The hard work for the disciples.

About 100 yards, a football field away.  That is a long way to swim.  The disciples were towing the net full of fishes all along in the water.

John 21:9 Then, as soon as they had come to land, they saw a fire of coals there, and fish laid on it, and bread.

These fish did not come from the ship, just added to the breakfast, a miracle again for fish on the fire and bread.  At least it is not Sushi. 

John 21:10 Jesus said to them, “Bring some of the fish which you have just caught.”    {Jesus just invited the disciples to breakfast}.

The disciples noticed that the resurrected Jesus was still a humble servant. He took the trouble to prepare a fire and cook the food for His disciples.

John 21:11 Simon Peter went up and dragged the net to land, full of large fish, one hundred and fifty-three; and although there were so many, the net was not broken.  {does this show Peter physical strength} {why 153?}

The other disciples help Peter bring the fishes to shore, Peter being the leading person in this affair.  They took the time to count the fishes.

John 21:12 Jesus said to them, “Come and eat breakfast.” Yet none of the disciples dared ask Him, “Who are You?”—knowing that it was the Lord.      {again, show Jesus servant nature to others}

Acts 10:41 not to all the people, but to witnesses chosen before by God, even to us who ate and drank with Him after He arose from the dead.

Why did they not ask Jesus a question, His altered appearance, filled them with awe, or afraid of being told for their unbelief and hardness of heart if they asked a question.  What do you think.

The scholars say this is one of the most puzzling verses in the Bible: it raises more questions than it answers. What does that mean?

Isaiah 52:14 Just as many were astonished at you, So His visage was marred more than any man, And His form more than the sons of men;

The effect of the beatings of Mt 26:67,68; 27:27-30. Jesus was Not recognizable as a human.  Could Jesus fix His looks not?

They ripped off Jesus beard, is this why they didn’t recognize Him, at first

Isaiah 50:6 I gave My back to those who struck Me, And My cheeks to those who plucked out the beard; I did not hide My face from shame and spitting.

John 21:13 Jesus then came and took the bread and gave it to them, and likewise the fish.

Jesus is often seen eating with His disciples after His resurrection. This is a picture of intimate, friendly fellowship.

Jesus came and took his place as the master of the feast, and head of the family; and taking up the bread, as was his usual method, he asked a blessing over it, and gave thanks for it.

John 21:14 This is now the third time Jesus showed Himself to His disciples after He was raised from the dead.

The third time he had showed himself to the disciples, or apostles.  The first time was his appearance to the ten apostles, on the evening of the day of the resurrection (John 20:19). The second was to the eleven (Thomas was now present) one week later (John 20:26).

Jesus and Peter, other disciples were there.  Public restoration of Peter.  After their breakfast Jesus spoke directly to Peter.

John 21:15 So when they had eaten breakfast, Jesus said to Simon Peter, “Simon, son of Jonah, do you love {G25} Me more than these?” He said to Him, “Yes, Lord; You know that I love {G5368} You.” He said to him, “Feed My lambs.”

Silence appears to have reigned during the meal; Jesus did not interrupt the disciples while they were eating, then Jesus just asked if Peter loved Him more than the other disciples.

Two Greek verbs with related meanings are used in this passage. Greek agapaô is selfless, self-giving love, the kind of love God has for his human creations; “phileô” is the love friends or brothers have for each other

G25:  agapao  {ag-ap-ah-o};   G5368:  phileo  {fil-eh-o}

Why did Jesus say to feed my lambs, the younger and more tender part of the flock, weak believers, newborn babes:

Isaiah 40:11 He will feed His flock like a shepherd; He will gather the lambs with His arm, And carry them in His bosom, And gently lead those who are with young.

John 21:16 He said to him again a second time, “Simon, son of Jonah, do you love Me {G25}?” He said to Him, “Yes, Lord; You know that I love {G5368} You.” He said to him, “Tend My sheep.”

Tend means to shepherd. Lambs need to be fed while; sheep need to be guided.  Jesus emphasized that the lamps were His sheep, not Peter’s.

John 21:17 He said to him the third time, “Simon, son of Jonah, do you love Me {G5368}?” Peter was grieved because He said to him the third time, “Do you love Me?” And he said to Him, “Lord, You know all things; You know that I love {G5368}  You.” Jesus said to him, “Feed My sheep.

We notice there are three distinct charges here given to Peter;

Feed my lambs, Tend my sheep, Feed my sheep.

Peter denied the Lord Jesus at least three times. Here he affirmed his love for the Lord for the third time.  3 testimonies out of Peter’s mouth.  Jesus restored Peter in the presence of the other disciples.

Jesus now speaks of Peter’s death. when he would be totally under the control of Roman executioners. 

John 21:18 Most assuredly, I say to you, when you were younger, you girded yourself and walked where you wished; but when you are old, you will stretch out your hands, and another will gird you and carry you where you do not wish.”       {Peter did not wanted it to happen}

Stretch out your hands:  a prediction of Peter’s martyrdom.

Crucified by Romans in Nero’s circus in A.D. 67; upside down by his own request.  Remember, Peter wife died when he died by the Romans.

Peter hinted at his death, as early church tradition that Peter was crucified upside down by Nero.

2 Peter 1:13-14 Yes, I think it is right, as long as I am in this tent, to stir you up by reminding you,  (14)  knowing that shortly I must put off my tent, just as our Lord Jesus Christ showed me.  

As a side, with Peter being crucified, a fact that is probable, as he was not a Roman citizen.  Paul was a Roman citizen, he was beheaded, sometime around mid-60’s, a few years before Jerusalem fell.  Peter knew how he was going to die, most of his life.

Interesting:  By the time John recorded these verses Peter had been dead more than twenty years.

John 21:19 This He spoke, signifying by what death he would glorify God. And when He had spoken this, He said to him, “Follow Me.”

{about 34 years later}

By what death – In these words two things are implied:

  1. That Peter would die a violent death; and,
  2. That his death would be such as to honor and glorify God.

Peter will always have this in the back of his mind.  Remember, we talked about Peter wife was there when they both died.

Jesus and the Beloved Apostle, John

John 21:20 Then Peter, turning around, saw the disciple whom Jesus loved following, who also had leaned on His breast at the supper, and said, “Lord, who is the one who betrays You?”

John 13:23-26 Now there was leaning on Jesus’ bosom one of His disciples, whom Jesus loved.  (24)  Simon Peter therefore motioned to him to ask who it was of whom He spoke.  (25)  Then, leaning back on Jesus’ breast, he said to Him, “Lord, who is it?”  (26)  Jesus answered, “It is he to whom I shall give a piece of bread when I have dipped it.” And having dipped the bread, He gave it to Judas Iscariot, the son of Simon.

Peter saw disciple John following them.

John 21:21 Peter, seeing him, said to Jesus, “But Lord, what about this man?”    

Notice, Jesus just challenge Peter, but what was Peter’s first response was not tell Jesus yes, but turning around he looked at the other disciples, John.  What about him.

man – John was considered a man, being the youngest of them.

Peter wanted to know if John too would suffer a violent death or how shall it fare with him or what is in store for him.  I am sure the other disciples follow, because what comes up later.

No Christian should keep his eyes on another Christian but should look unto Jesus (Heb 12:1, 2). Jesus deals with each Christian individually.

John 21:22 Jesus said to him, “If I will that he remain till I come, what is that to you? You follow Me.”

Lord Jesus just told Peter that he should be concerned with following God’s will himself and not worrying about God’s will for others.

It is the testimony of church history that John did not die until about the close of the first century, many years after the other apostles were at rest.  He took care of Jesus’ mother, Mary.  Was it because Jesus knew all of the others would be dead before His mother would die.

John 21:23 Then this saying went out among the brethren that this disciple would not die. Yet Jesus did not say to him that he would not die, but, “If I will that he remain till I come, what is that to you?

The rumor among the brethren was that Jesus would return before John died, so he would not die.  Rumors and gossip among the brethren spread like wildfire.

John 21:24 This is the disciple who testifies of these things, and wrote these things; and we know that his testimony is true.

This is basically John’s signature to his Gospel.  John testimony about Jesus life, what He did and why, words and works of Jesus wonderful life have been recorded.

John 21:25 And there are also many other things that Jesus did, which if they were written one by one, I suppose that even the world itself could not contain the books that would be written. Amen.

John said what we have gone through is truthful, but not everything that happen, especially signs, and wonders, and miracles, which were done by him, that are neither recorded in this, nor in any of the other Gospels.

We have just completed the Book of John and we have done the Book of Mark.  I would like to start the Book of Luke about Jesus early life.

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