Studies In The Book Of John
John 21:1-4 “(1) After these things Jesus shewed himself again to the disciples at the sea of Tiberias; and on this wise shewed he himself. (2) There were together Simon Peter, and Thomas called Didymus, and Nathanael of Cana in Galilee, and the sons of Zebedee, and two other of his disciples. (3) Simon Peter saith unto them, I go a fishing. They say unto him, We also go with thee. They went forth, and entered into a ship immediately; and that night they caught nothing. (4) But when the morning was now come, Jesus stood on the shore: but the disciples knew not that it was Jesus.”
A. Jesus appeared to the disciples at the sea of Tiberias, which was in Galilee (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sea_of_Galilee), and was also called the sea of Galilee (John 6:1).
1. Jesus promised to appear to His disciples there (Matthew 26:32).
2. The angel told them to go to Galilee to see Jesus (Matthew 28:5-7 and Mark 16:6-7).
B. Peter, Thomas, and the sons of Zebedee (James and John; Mark 10:35) went fishing.
1. Peter, James, and John were fishermen by trade (Matthew 4:18-22).
2. It is good that the disciples were willing to provide the means to meet their physical needs (II Thessalonians 3:7-10).
a. While the disciples were focused on preaching, they depended on support for their needs (Matthew 10:5-15).
b. Preachers are certainly worthy of support (I Corinthians 9:4-11).
c. At this stage, the disciples were in a stage of limbo that continued until they received the gift of the Holy Spirit (Luke 24:49 and Acts 1:8).
3. While fishing for food is authorized, the surprise here is that they were not looking for Jesus to appear unto them. Remember, doubts were still prevalent among the disciples of our Lord (Matthew 28:16-17 and Mark 16:12-14).
John 21:5-10 “(5) Then Jesus saith unto them, Children, have ye any meat? They answered him, No. (6) And he said unto them, Cast the net on the right side of the ship, and ye shall find. They cast therefore, and now they were not able to draw it for the multitude of fishes. (7) Therefore that disciple whom Jesus loved saith unto Peter, It is the Lord. Now when Simon Peter heard that it was the Lord, he girt his fisher's coat unto him, (for he was naked,) and did cast himself into the sea. (8) And the other disciples came in a little ship; (for they were not far from land, but as it were two hundred cubits,) dragging the net with fishes. (9) As soon then as they were come to land, they saw a fire of coals there, and fish laid thereon, and bread. (10) Jesus saith unto them, Bring of the fish which ye have now caught.”
A. Jesus referred to the disciples as “children” (Matthew 13:38 and John 13:33).
1. For one, they are the children of God (Galatians 3:26-27).
2. Secondly, a teacher may spiritually look at his students as children in a certain way (I Thessalonians 2:4-8, I Timothy 1:2, and Titus 1:4).
B. The Lord has dominion over all things, including the fish of the sea (Jonah 1:17 and Jonah 2:10).
1. Jesus did perform miracles involving fish (Matthew 17:24-27).
2. Peter should have taken close account of what was going on for he had seen the Lord do this same thing in the past (Luke 5:1-11).
C. There is not clarity as to whether or not Peter was completely nude or just in little clothing. Thus, we must not draw conclusions wherein there is uncertainty (Proverbs 30:5-6 and I Peter 4:11).
1. One can be called naked for having on inadequate clothing (Exodus 28:42).
2. David was partially clothed when he danced before the Lord (II Samuel 6:14), but was seen as uncovered [stripped] by Michal (II Samuel 6:20).
John 21:11-14 “(11) Simon Peter went up, and drew the net to land full of great fishes, an hundred and fifty and three: and for all there were so many, yet was not the net broken. (12) Jesus saith unto them, Come and dine. And none of the disciples durst ask him, Who art thou? knowing that it was the Lord. (13) Jesus then cometh, and taketh bread, and giveth them, and fish likewise. (14) This is now the third time that Jesus shewed himself to his disciples, after that he was risen from the dead.”
A. The disciples were given the opportunity to eat with our risen Savior (Luke 24:42-45).
1. The need for Jesus to eat shows He had returned in human form rather than in the form of a spirit (cf. Luke 4:1-2).
2. This will aid the disciples when they are acting as witnesses to the fact that Jesus was resurrected from among the dead (Acts 10:38-42).
B. The disciples now realize that it is Jesus, but we’ve seen such confidence prior to this as well (John 6:69 and John 16:30).
1. In times past they did not ask questions of our Lord when they should have (Mark 9:32, Luke 9:45, and John 4:27).
2. At this point, they know who Jesus is, for He had now appeared to His disciples for the third time after His resurrection (John 20:19 and John 20:26).
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