John 21: 1-25, Epilogue.
Heavenly Father, we come before you with soft hearts, clear minds, and teachable spirits, in Jesus’ name, Amen.
VV1-3, 1 Afterward, Jesus appeared again to his disciples, by the Sea of Galilee. It happened this way: 2 Simon Peter, Thomas(also known as Didymus), Nathanael from Cana in Galilee, the sons of Zebedee, and two other disciples were together.3 “I’m going out to fish,” Simon Peter told them, and they said, “We’ll go with you.” So they went out and got into the boat, but that night they caught nothing.
Seven of the disciples assembled in Galilee for a fishing expedition led by Peter. They went back to fishing in the Sea of Galilee, or the Sea of Tiberius, named after Tiberius Caesar. They did not catch any fish throughout the night.
V4-7, 4 Early in the morning, Jesus stood on the shore, but the disciples did not realize that it was Jesus. 5 He called out to them, “Friends, haven’t you any fish?” “No,” they answered. 6 He said, “Throw your net on the right side of the boat and you will find some.” When they did, they were unable to haul the net in because of the large number of fish. 7 Then the disciple whom Jesus loved said to Peter, “It is the Lord!” As soon as Simon Peter heard him say, “It is the Lord,” he wrapped his outer garment around him (for he had taken it off) and jumped into the water.
Early in the morning, Jesus stood on the shore but they did not recognize Him. He asked them, whether they caught any fish and they said none. Jesus instructed them to cast the net onto the right side of the boat and when they did so, the net was full of fishes. When they cast the net with their own effort, they were not successful. When they cast the net in obedience to Jesus, they were very successful. John recognized Jesus and told Peter, “it is the Lord”.
V8-14, 8 The other disciples followed in the boat, towing the net full of fish, for they were not far from shore, about a hundred yards. 9 When they landed, they saw a fire of burning coals there with fish on it, and some bread. 10 Jesus said to them, “Bring some of the fish you have just caught.” 11 So Simon Peter climbed back into the boat and dragged the net ashore. It was full of large fish, 153, but even with so many the net was not torn. 12 Jesus said to them, “Come and have breakfast.” None of the disciples dared ask him, “Who are you?” They knew it was the Lord. 13 Jesus came, took the bread and gave it to them, and did the same with the fish. 14 This was now the third time Jesus appeared to his disciples after he was raised from the dead.
They counted the number of fishes and it was 153. Jesus made a fireplace and invited the disciples to eat breakfast with Him. Jesus asked the disciples for bring some of their fish. This was the third time the Risen Christ showed Himself to His disciples.
V 15-18, 15 When they had finished eating, Jesus said to Simon Peter, “Simon son of John, do you love me more than these?” “Yes, Lord,” he said, “you know that I love you.” Jesus said, “Feed my lambs.” 16 Again Jesus said, “Simon son of John, do you love me?” He answered, “Yes, Lord, you know that I love you.” Jesus said, “Take care of my sheep.” 17 The third time he said to him, “Simon son of John, do you love me?” Peter was hurt because Jesus asked him the third time, “Do you love me?” He said, “Lord, you know all things; you know that I love you.” Jesus said, “Feed my sheep. 18 Very truly I tell you, when you were younger you dressed yourself and went where you wanted; but when you are old you will stretch out your hands, and someone else will dress you and lead you where you do not want to go.”
Because Peter had denied Jesus three times, Jesus confronted Peter three times. Jesus asked Peter, do you love (agape) me and Peter answered, I love (phileo) you. Jesus asked Peter again, do you love (agape) me and Peter replied I love (Phileo) you. Jesus again asked Peter, do you (phileo) me and Peter replied, I love (phileo) you. After each of the three confrontations, Jesus told Peter to feed His lamb, tend His sheep, and feed His sheep.
V 19-25, 19 Jesus said this to indicate the kind of death by which Peter would glorify God. Then he said to him, “Follow me!” 20 Peter turned and saw that the disciple whom Jesus loved was following them. (This was the one who had leaned back against Jesus at the supper and had said, “Lord, who is going to betray you?”) 21 When Peter saw him, he asked, “Lord, what about him?” 22 Jesus answered, “If I want him to remain alive until I return, what is that to you? You must follow me.” 23 Because of this, the rumor spread among the believers that this disciple would not die. But Jesus did not say that he would not die; he only said, “If I want him to remain alive until I return, what is that to you?” 24 This is the disciple who testifies to these things and who wrote them down. We know that his testimony is true. 25 Jesus did many other things as well. If every one of them were written down, I suppose that even the whole world would not have room for the books that would be written. Amen.
“Stretching out of the hand” speaks of crucifixion. Jesus prophesied that Peter will die by crucifixion. Peter wanted to know what will happen to John but Jesus told him not to worry about John. The gospel of John ended with a high note, “Jesus did many other things as well. If every one of them were written down, I suppose that even the whole world would not have room for the books that would be written”.
Heavenly Father, thank You that we have come to the end of John’s Gospel. Thank You for traveling with us onboard this exciting and wonderful journey of faith, in Jesus’ name we pray, Amen.