Jesus Appears to Seven Disciples:
(Read John 21:1-14)
In this chapter we read about our Lord's appearance to seven disciples and the restoration of Peter. Jesus appeared again to the disciples by the Sea of Galilee. After the resurrection of Jesus, Peter decided to go for fishing. It was his vocation when Jesus called him to follow. Though he did not invite others, some disciples volunteered to go with him. There is no indication that Peter intended to return to his old occupation permanently. May be his decision influenced others negatively to join him. They caught nothing during the night. Peter may have failed again in his impulsiveness. Then in the early morning hour they heard a voice of a stranger from the shore “Children, do you have any fish?" They said no. Jesus said, "Through your net on the right side of the boat and you will find some". They obeyed Jesus. There was something compelling about this stranger's command. They caught 153 large fish and the net was not torn. They could not draw in the net because it was so heavy. Then John said to Peter "It is the Lord”. How did John recognize Jesus? Jesus had done this before (Luke 5:4-11). Immediately Peter jumped into the water and reached the shore. Other disciples joined Peter. By that time Christ had already prepared a meal for them. Jesus asked them to bring some fish that they have just caught. Thus Christ manifested His glory. Jesus invited them to come and dine. He served them bread and fish. They ate in silence under the weight of their guilt. Only Jesus could fill the net. Fisher men changed into fishers of men. Jesus is filling the church with saved souls (Acts 2:41). Without Christ we can do nothing (John 15:5).
Jesus Restores Peter:
(Read John 21:15-19)
Here we see one of the greatest conversation of restoration in the history (John 21:15-17). When Peter realized that he had denied his Lord, he went out and wept bitterly (Luke 22:62). Peter also knew that Jesus had forgiven him. He denied Jesus three times. Now the Lord asks Peter to affirm his love three times. Jesus asked Peter "Simon, son of John, do you love me more than these"? The Lord was probing the sincerity of Peter's love. First two times Jesus used the word Agape. It is the God's sacrificial love. Jesus asked Peter "Do you love me with a sacrificial love? Peter responded with a different word Phileo, which means deep friendship love. Peter replied "Lord you know everything; you know that I love you". Thus Peter affirmed his devotion to the Lord before receiving the call to feed the sheep. Jesus reaffirmed his ministry to Peter by saying "Feed my sheep". Jesus knew that Peter would fail again yet His grace is sufficient for him (Gal 2:11-21). Jesus is the good Shepherd who gave his life for the sheep. He is also the chief Shepherd who restores His sheep. They are the under His care. And when the chief Shepherd appears, they will receive the crown of glory for their faithful service (1 Pet 5: 2-4). Love for God must be our motivation to serve Christ. If we love God, we will obey him (John 14:23). Then we love the things Christ loves and hate what He hates. Those who love the Lord will long for His return. Like Peter, we all have failed the Lord many times. When Peter repented, he was restored. The grace of God brings godly sorrow that turns us from sin to our forgiving Savior. Jesus will restore all those who come to him in repentance. Christ is seeking devotion and commitment from his disciples. The first and the last invitation Peter received from the Lord was “follow me” (Mark 1:17; John 21:19). Do you follow Jesus Christ?
(Read John 21:18-25)
Peter was told to expect a death similar to the one his Lord experienced (21:18). The phrase, “When you are old” may indicate that Peter will have a long and useful years of service. Peter’s attention immediately turned to John. He asked Jesus, what about John? Jesus said to Peter, “You just follow me”. Peter was not fully transformed yet. He was distracted by the thought about the future of John. It is easy to be distracted by other's calling in the ministry. We must not compare us with others but remain committed to our calling. Every Christians has a unique role in the ministry of the gospel. The good shepherd leads his sheep as he pleases. The disciple mentioned in verse 24 refers to John who wrote the gospel. The entire Gospel is the testimony of John about the deity of Jesus Christ. John says that he could wrote only a small portion of what Jesus has done. Jesus is asking each one of us this question, "Do you love me"? Have you accepted Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior? God bless you all.