John Chapter 21:10-25
Memory verses for this week:
30:7 Two things have I required of thee; deny me them not before I
die: Prov 30:8 Remove far from me vanity and lies: give me neither
poverty nor riches; feed me with food convenient for me: Prov 30:9
Lest I be full, and deny thee, and say, Who is the LORD? or lest I
be poor, and steal, and take the name of my God in vain.
In last week’s study, we saw the Lord
appearing to the disciples for the third time as Peter and several
of the other disciples decided to go fishing. They had toiled all
night and caught no fish. Jesus beckons to them from the sea shore
and tells them to cast their nets again on the other side of the
ship, and they brought up so many fish that they could not lift the
net into the boat. They, and we, learned that when God is the one
providing, many times the blessings are so great that we can not
contain them. This week we conclude our study of the book of
Feeds the Disciples
John 21:10 Jesus
saith unto them, Bring of the fish which ye have now caught.
John 21:11 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.
John 21:12 Jesus
saith unto them, Come and dine. And none of the disciples durst ask
him, Who art thou? knowing that it was the Lord.
We see that the
disciples bring in the fish they had caught by dragging in the net
with the smaller boat that was on the ship they were fishing in.
Simon Peter grabs the net and pulls it to land, and they had caught
153 fish, while they on their own had caught none. We mentioned
last week that many times on our own, we will not do well. But let
Jesus come on the scene or let God be the one that empowers our
work, and we can accomplish great things. It truly goes back to
our earlier teaching on the vine and the branches. Without Jesus,
we as branches can do little. But when our power comes forth of
God, we are not limited. As the bible says, “All things are
possible with God.” Jesus now tells the disciples to come and dine
with Him. Earlier from the ship, only John had recognized the Lord,
but now all of the disciples recognize who it is that is speaking to
John 15:4 Abide in me, and I in you. As the
branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no
more can ye, except ye abide in me.
John 15:5 I am the vine, ye are the
branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth
forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.
John 15:6 If a man abide not in me, he is
cast forth as a branch, and is withered; and men gather them, and
cast them into the fire, and they are burned.
John 15:7 If ye abide in me, and my words
abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto
John 15:8 Herein is my Father glorified,
that ye bear much fruit; so shall ye be my disciples.
John 21:13 Jesus
then cometh, and taketh bread, and giveth them, and fish likewise.
John 21:14 This
is now the third time that Jesus showed himself to his disciples,
after that he was risen from the dead.
As we look back
over our past few studies, we know that Jesus came to the disciples
the first time when they were assembled together in a locked room on
the first day He arose from the grave. He had talked with Mary
Magdalene, and told her to go and tell them that He would soon
appear to them. And later that day, He came to all of them. (Except
for Thomas, who doubted and refused to believe.)
John 20:13 And they say unto her, Woman,
why weepest thou? She saith unto them, Because they have taken away
my Lord, and I know not where they have laid him.
John 20:14 And when she had thus said, she
turned herself back, and saw Jesus standing, and knew not that it
John 20:15 Jesus saith unto her, Woman, why
weepest thou? whom seekest thou? She, supposing him to be the
gardener, saith unto him, Sir, if thou have borne him hence, tell me
where thou hast laid him, and I will take him away.
John 20:16 Jesus saith unto her, Mary. She
turned herself, and saith unto him, Rabboni; which is to say,
John 20:17 Jesus saith unto her, Touch me
not; for I am not yet ascended to my Father: but go to my brethren,
and say unto them, I ascend unto my Father, and your Father; and to
my God, and your God.
John 20:18 Mary Magdalene came and told the
disciples that she had seen the Lord, and that he had spoken these
things unto her.
John 20:19 Then the same day at evening,
being the first day of the week, when the doors were shut where the
disciples were assembled for fear of the Jews, came Jesus and stood
in the midst, and saith unto them, Peace be unto you.
John 20:20 And when he had so said, he
showed unto them his hands and his side. Then were the disciples
glad, when they saw the Lord.
John 20:21 Then said Jesus to them again,
Peace be unto you: as my Father hath sent me, even so send I you.
We know that by
Thomas not being there and doubting, God used this as a great
opportunity to witness to everyone who hears the Gospel. After
eight days had passed, Jesus appeared unto them all as we saw at the
end of Chapter 20.
John 20:26 And after eight days again his
disciples were within, and Thomas with them: then came Jesus, the
doors being shut, and stood in the midst, and said, Peace be unto
John 20:27 Then saith he to Thomas, Reach
hither thy finger, and behold my hands; and reach hither thy hand,
and thrust it into my side: and be not faithless, but believing.
John 20:28 And Thomas answered and said
unto him, My Lord and my God.
John 20:29 Jesus saith unto him, Thomas,
because thou hast seen me, thou hast believed: blessed are they that
have not seen, and yet have believed.
John 20:30 And many other signs truly did
Jesus in the presence of his disciples, which are not written in
John 20:31 But these are written, that ye
might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that
believing ye might have life through his name.
II. A Test of
John 21:15 So
when they had dined, Jesus saith to Simon Peter, Simon, son of
Jonas, lovest thou me more than these? He saith unto him, Yea, Lord;
thou knowest that I love thee. He saith unto him, Feed my lambs.
The Lord calls
Peter, the one who at times faltered and failed, to service. Jesus
wants Peter to feed His lambs. A closer look at these verses finds
in the Greek and Hebrew, the word Jesus used to ask Peter if he
loved Christ was “agapao” The definition of the word according to
my Greek dictionary in my computer was: “from agan (much); to love
(in a social or moral sense):--(be-) love (-ed). “ True love, the
agape love, is total and unfaltering love that God gives to man.
When Peter replied,
in the Greek, he used the word “phileo” Phileo’s definition was
“to be a friend to (fond of [an individual or an object]), i.e. have
affection for (denoting personal attachment, as a matter of
sentiment or feeling; while agape love is wider, embracing espec.
the judgment and the deliberate assent of the will as a matter of
principle, duty and propriety: the two thus stand related very much;
the former being chiefly of the heart and the latter of the head);
spec. to kiss (as a mark of tenderness):--kiss, love. In other
words, Peter replied that he loved Jesus more like a friend would
love another friend. Not near the emphasis that Jesus’ love was to
In the English
language, we have only one word that translates to love. In the
Greek, they had three words. “Agapao” meaning a true and noble
perfect love (God’s love for man), “Phileo” meaning the love of man
or brotherly love or friendship, and “eros” denoting the sexual love
between a man and a woman. The Greeks had degraded this word and
made “Eros” a god as well as Venus and Cupid. Unfortunately in this
degraded world we live in, many have no knowledge of any other type
of love due to the portrayal of bad movies and advertisements being
driven by sexual innuendoes. I want to make it clear that this
type of love was never mentioned in Jesus’ discussion with Peter.
John 21:16 He
saith to him again the second time, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou
me? He saith unto him, Yea, Lord; thou knowest that I love thee. He
saith unto him, Feed my sheep.
John 21:17 He
saith unto him the third time, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me?
Peter was grieved because he said unto him the third time, Lovest
thou me? And he said unto him, Lord, thou knowest all things; thou
knowest that I love thee. Jesus saith unto him, Feed my sheep.
I find it quite
interesting that Peter denied the Lord three times, and now Christ
asks him if he loves
Him three times.
Sometimes we need to be questioned and asked if our love is true.
If we are not careful, our heart can grow cold and we can be in
church going through the motions and not living the life that honors
and glorifies the Lord. Jesus makes Peter affirm his devotion to
Him three times. And when God repeats anything in the Bible, it has
reason and meaning. For the lambs to be fed was very important to
Jesus. We have discussed before how much the Church means to
Christ. The Jewish nation was called the wife of God, and the
church will one day soon be the bride of Christ. God wants us to
be found perfect and without spot when Jesus returns to take us out
of this old world.
Eph 5:24 Therefore as the church is subject
unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in every
Eph 5:25 Husbands, love your wives, even as
Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it;
Eph 5:26 That he might sanctify and cleanse
it with the washing of water by the word,
Eph 5:27 That he might present it to
himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such
thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish.
Eph 5:28 So ought men to love their wives
as their own bodies. He that loveth his wife loveth himself.
Eph 5:29 For no man ever yet hated his own
flesh; but nourisheth and cherisheth it, even as the Lord the
Eph 5:30 For we are members of his body, of
his flesh, and of his bones.
Eph 5:31 For this cause shall a man leave
his father and mother, and shall be joined unto his wife, and they
two shall be one flesh.
Eph 5:32 This is a great mystery: but I
speak concerning Christ and the church.
It is interesting
that the second time Jesus asks Peter if he loves him, he asks if he
loves Christ with “agape” love. Each time, when Peter replies, he
replies with “you know I love you” using the “phileo” love or the
friendship type love. When Peter was grieved at the third
question, Jesus did use the “phileo” type love. Peter may not have
been able to love at this great level, and honestly I don’t know if
any of us can. “Agape” love is pure and perfect, and we in our
human form are so imperfect that perhaps it is beyond our grasp.
But we should keep trying to understand that kind of love and show
it one to another. A love that seeks not to be rewarded, but gives
and gives with no expectation of anything in return. That is the
kind of love God gives to us. As the song says, “Oh for the love
of the One up above, oh for the love of God.” Jesus gives a direct
command to Peter, and he was to feed the lambs and the sheep. When
you think about it, Peter lost his commission in a way around a
little fire of coals the night the Lord was betrayed. And here,
sitting around a campfire of coals, Jesus gives him a new a new and
direct commission. Every preacher, every pastor that is called of
God to be in the ministry, are all to feed the Lord’s lambs. Not
only are we to reach the lost, but we are to disciple them. Their
soul may be secure when they get saved, but they have a life to
face. And that life can be a life of joy, peace and happiness when
they know how to live for God. If not, it can be a life of failures
and disappointments as Satan leads them down a primrose path of one
mistake after another. Only by growing in God’s word daily can we
hope to fight off the fiery darts of Satan. Satan does not want a
young Christian to be discipled. A lamb on its own is easy prey
for wolves. But with a shepherd around that lamb, it can be
protected and nourished. That I is God’s plan. Every believer
should immediately present themselves for baptism, giving them the
opportunity to be in a local church. And then, get involved in
Sunday School, church, and every bible training program available.
And not limit it to that. On your own, day after day, dig into the
Word and find deeper meaning. Three hours of nourishment a week
will not suffice for seven 24 hour days. Compare the spiritual
food to the physical food we eat. Eat once or twice a week and see
how strong you’ll be. Same principle applies without spiritual
Remember the words
of Jesus when he had fasted forty days and Satan came unto Him.
Luke 4:2 Being forty days tempted of the
devil. And in those days he did eat nothing: and when they were
ended, he afterward hungered.
Luke 4:3 And the devil said unto him, If
thou be the Son of God, command this stone that it be made bread.
Luke 4:4 And Jesus answered him, saying, It
is written, That man shall not live by bread alone, but by every
word of God.
Note not only are
to know some of the word of God, but it says “by every word of
In J. Vernon
McGee’s commentary, he said that if it had been left to him, he
would have chosen “Faith” as the supreme word of Christianity. But
it was not left to Him, and God chose “love” to be the most
important of the three. Love and charity are the same meaning in
1 Cor 13:13 And now abideth faith, hope,
charity, these three; but the greatest of these is charity.
So as Christians,
we are to be known for our love one to another. If people do not
know you love them, you need to make them understand. It is a
command from our Lord. Sometimes we may be misunderstood, but if we
do what Jesus tells us to do, everything works out right in the
John 13:34 A new commandment I give unto
you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also
love one another.
John 13:35 By this shall all men know that
ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.
A Task for Life
Verily, verily, I say unto thee, When thou wast young, thou girdedst
thyself, and walkedst whither thou wouldest: but when thou shalt be
old, thou shalt stretch forth thy hands, and another shall gird
thee, and carry thee whither thou wouldest not.
John 21:19 This
spake he, signifying by what death he should glorify God. And when
he had spoken this, he saith unto him, Follow me.
Jesus starts out on
this using words that Peter could relate to concerning being young
and old. We start out as babies and can’t do a thing for ourselves,
and we grow and become independent over time. But when we get old,
many times we have to look to others for help. In our Christian
walk, when we see things accurately, we know that Jesus carries us
many times when we can’t make it on our own. I wonder how many
times just this week that we were protected by God in various ways
that we may not even know. Jesus was forewarning Peter that he
would have to soon die for the honor and glory of God. A lot of us
like to be involved in Christianity when we get to benefit from all
the good that we receive of God, but when He asks of us to suffer,
many times we want to run and hide. We need to be willing to go
forth and be used, and be willing to go that last mile of our life
for God if He so chooses. Along the way, be sure you will be
attacked and maligned, because they misunderstood Jesus and
ultimately hung Him on the cross to die. How much less do we
deserve when we really stand up for the Lord. God help us to be
willing to go as far as He wants us to go.
Rom 8:17 And if children, then heirs; heirs
of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with
him, that we may be also glorified together.
Rom 8:18 For I reckon that the sufferings
of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory
which shall be revealed in us.
Rom 8:19 For the earnest expectation of the
creature waiteth for the manifestation of the sons of God.
Rom 8:20 For the creature was made subject
to vanity, not willingly, but by reason of him who hath subjected
the same in hope,
Rom 8:21 Because the creature itself also
shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious
liberty of the children of God.
John 21:20 Then
Peter, turning about, seeth the disciple whom Jesus loved following;
which also leaned on his breast at supper, and said, Lord, which is
he that betrayeth thee?
John 21:21 Peter
seeing him saith to Jesus, Lord, and what shall this man do?
John 21:22 Jesus
saith unto him, If I will that he tarry till I come, what is that to
thee? follow thou me.
We see Peter now
ask the Lord what will become of John. He knows that he will die
for the cause of Christ, but he now asks about John. He basically
tells him that what happens to John is not of consequence to Peter.
We need to realize that each of us will face different things in
this life. God may choose one of us to suffer and die for His
glory. He may let 10 of us die in the upcoming week, or may let the
majority live until He calls us out with that shout of the
archangel. But whatever our lot is in life, we need to realize
that it has been planned and made by the Sovereign God of the
universe, and it is the best for us. We may not realize it, and
when bad things come our way, we may not always deserve them, but it
we keep looking to Jesus, we have the victory.
John 21:23 Then
went this saying abroad among the brethren, that that disciple
should not die: yet Jesus said not unto him, He shall not die; but,
If I will that he tarry till I come, what is that to thee?
John 21:24 This
is the disciple which testifieth of these things, and wrote these
things: and we know that his testimony is true.
Some of the
disciples jump to conclusions and say John will never die until the
Lord comes back. That was not what Jesus said, although John was
one of the few who did not die a martyr’s death in the early days of
the church. Some people say they will not serve the Lord until they
get all their questions answered. If that is the case, most likely
they will never ever serve God, because I’ve been studying this
blessed book now for over 30 years, and I sure still have a lot of
questions. The one thing I have learned, is “Trust God”. Nothing
He has ever done to me has ultimately worked out for my own good.
It may have brought sleepless nights or great pain, but in the end
I’ve been a better Christian because of all the things that have
happened to me. If you are honest and look deep into your heart, I
think you’ll have to admit the same. Sometimes the results are bad
and we deserve them for wrong actions on our part. But many times,
we are falsely accused just like Jesus was in His ministry. But if
that is what has happened, be sure that you have a greater reward on
the other side.
1 Pet 3:12 For the eyes of the Lord are
over the righteous, and his ears are open unto their prayers: but
the face of the Lord is against them that do evil.
1 Pet 3:13 And who is he that will harm
you, if ye be followers of that which is good?
1 Pet 3:14 But and if ye suffer for
righteousness' sake, happy are ye: and be not afraid of their
terror, neither be troubled;
1 Pet 3:15 But sanctify the Lord God in
your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that
asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and
1 Pet 3:16 Having a good conscience; that,
whereas they speak evil of you, as of evildoers, they may be ashamed
that falsely accuse your good conversation in Christ.
1 Pet 3:17 For it is better, if the will of
God be so, that ye suffer for well doing, than for evil doing.
John 21:25 And
there are also many other things which Jesus did, the which, if they
should be written every one, I suppose that even the world itself
could not contain the books that should be written. Amen.
What a testimony to
the life of Jesus Christ. If everything that he did was written,
not all the books could contain them. I don’t know about you, but
I’m looking forward to sitting one day at the feet of Jesus, and
hearing about some of those “unwritten things” that He did. But
while we wait for His return, let us all be busy spreading the
Gospel, and doing good works to God’s honor and glory..
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Prov 4:18 But the path of the just is as the shining light, that
shineth more and more unto the perfect day.
Practice Random Acts of
Kindness. Each act spreads, and many will be blessed.