JOHN 21:19-25 THIS HE SPOKE, SIGNIFYING BY WHAT DEATH HE WOULD GLORIFY GOD. AND WHEN HE HAD SPOKEN THIS, HE SAID TO HIM, “FOLLOW ME.”

31May

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." 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?"  21 Peter, seeing him, said to Jesus, "But Lord, what about this man?" 22 Jesus said to him, "If I will that he remain till I come, what is that to you? You follow Me." 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?" 24 This is the disciple who testifies of these things, and wrote these things; and we know that his testimony is true. 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.

 A committed Christian’s will is content with following.

 19 This He spoke, signifying by what death he would glorify God. And when He had spoken this, He said to him, "Follow Me."2Pe 1:14

Follow Me” This is a PRESENT ACTIVE IMPERATIVE as is v.22. This is related to the renewal and reaffirmation of Peter’s call to leadership

Our Lord’s words, “Follow Me!” must have brought new joy and love to Peter’s heart. Literally, Jesus said, “Keep on following Me.” Immediately, Peter began to follow Jesus, just as he had done before his great denial.

Peter later wrote that Christians who follow Jesus Christ faithfully to the point of dying for Him bring glory to God by their deaths

1Pe 4:14 If you are reproached for the name of Christ, blessed are you, for the Spirit of glory and of God rests upon you. On their part He is blasphemed, but on your part He is glorified. 15 But let none of you suffer as a murderer, a thief, an evildoer, or as a busybody in other people's matters. 16 Yet if anyone suffers as a Christian, let him not be ashamed, but let him glorify God in this matter.

He lived with this prediction hanging over him for three decades

2Pe 1:14 knowing that shortly I must put off my tent, just as our Lord Jesus Christ showed me.

Notice that Jesus does much more than predict Peter’s death. John wishes us to understand that Jesus went so far as to predict the way in which Peter would die: “(Now Jesus said this to indicate clearly by what kind of death Peter was going to glorify God.)” (verse 19). Peter’s previous effort to resist the arrest of Jesus was contrary to the gospel, and this is why Jesus rebuked him and abruptly ordered him to stop resisting His arrest. The death which Peter will experience is a death that will glorify God. Jesus also indicates that Peter will die in his old age, and thus he is informed that his death is not imminent. But his death for the Savior’s sake is certain: Notice it says that his death would glorify God. How? Because anybody who dies for their faith in Jesus Christ is a glory to God.

I agree with those who see here a prophecy that Peter truly will follow Jesus, by dying on a Roman cross:

More important is the way stretch out your hands was understood in the ancient world: it widely referred to crucifixion (Haenchen, 2. 226-227). … Bauer (p. 232) proposed long ago that this ‘stretching’ took place when a condemned prisoner was tied to his cross-member and forced to carry his ‘cross’ to the place of execution. The cross-member would be placed on the prisoner’s neck and shoulders, his arms tied to it, and then he would be led away to death.

The words, “Follow Me,” constitute the first calling of the disciples (Matthew 4:19; Mark 1:17; John 1:43). As time passed, these words took on a much deeper meaning. Following Jesus meant putting Jesus above family (Matthew 8:22). It meant a whole new way of life, where former practices would be unacceptable (Matthew 9:9; Mark 2:14). Before long, Jesus let His disciples know that following Him meant taking up one’s cross (Matthew 16:24; Mark 8:34). (At this point in time, our Lord’s reference to “taking up one’s cross” was, at best, understood symbolically.) For the rich young ruler, it meant giving up his possessions (Matthew 19:21; Mark 20:21). And now, for Peter, it means not only carrying on the Master’s work, but taking up a very literal cross. It would seem that at every point where following Jesus is more precisely defined, another challenge to follow Him is given. So it is in our text.

I fear that Christians today understand these two words, “Follow me,” in a superficial way. When Paul writes, “For to me to live is Christ and to die is gain” (Philippians 1:21), we interpret his words in a somewhat self-indulgent fashion. We suppose that Paul means living as a Christian is glorious, trouble-free, and fulfilling. It is, to put it plainly, “the good life.” In other words, we get to live it up here, and then when we die, it gets even better. There is a certain sense in which this is true. But we must understand Paul’s words in the light of what Jesus is telling Peter here, in our text, about following Him.

To follow Christ is to walk in His steps, to live as He lived, to serve others as He did, and to lay down your life for the sheep, like Him. In Philippians chapter 1, Paul is therefore saying, “For me, to live is to live just as Christ did, taking up my cross daily, laying down my life for His sheep.”

"Obedience to Jesus' command, Follow Me, is the key issue in every Christian's life. As Jesus followed the Father's will, so His disciples should follow their Lord whether the path leads to a cross or to some other difficult experience."

Peter got the message. He was willing to lay down his life for the Savior.

Do you know what Jesus is saying to him here? "Peter, you're going to grow old, “because He says, "When you’re old, so you're going to have a full life, Peter. And when it comes to the end of your life, you're going to be crucified."

That means, to Peter, that when it comes down to the crux at that hour, he's going to confess Christ and die for Him, right? Now don't you think that's good news to Peter who last time he had a chance to die for Jesus blew it? And so He says, "Peter, I'm going to give you another chance, you're going to live a full life and then at the end you're going to hang in there, it's going to come down to a life/death issue and you're going to stand up and say I believe in Jesus boldly and you're going to die for it." Now I can imagine the thrills were shooting up Peter's back like crazy because he was going to get a chance to prove his love for Jesus.

Peter committed his life to Christ and Christ said, "Peter, you'll live for Me and you'll die nailed to a cross." That's the destiny that God had designed for Peter. That's a beautiful promise. O Peter I'm sure in his heart just was saying over and over again...if I only had another chance...if I only had another chance to show the Lord I could be faithful in a crucial situation...if I only had one more chance to show Him my love in a life/death thing, O I'd do it, I'd do it. And so the Lord says, "Peter, you'll do it...you'll do it." And, you know, it's a good thing He told Peter cause Peter would have lived his whole life a nervous wreck thinking that every time he came to a real issue he'd blow it. And a leader with no confidence is no leader at all. And the Lord knew that Peter would worry himself about this so the Lord says, "Peter, you can relax through your whole ministry. When it comes to the end, you'll proclaim My name, you'll die a crucifixion death, don't worry about it."

  1. Following Jesus means being where He is. Jesus said in John 12:26 that, "If any man serve Me, let him follow Me that where I am, there will My servant be also." In other words, Jesus wants servants to go where He goes. That's the first thing about following. You go where He goes. Real simple. And in all the days of your life, in all the circumstances of your life, in all the places of your life, in all the relationships of your life, you should be able to say when asked, "Why are you here?" I'm here because I'm following Jesus and this is where He's led me today.
  2. Following Jesus means to pattern our lives after His attitudes. His holiness and His purity and His obedience to God becomes the pattern for us. Jesus said in Matthew 5:48, "Be ye perfect even as I am perfect." We are to pattern our lives after Him. As He was faithful to the Father and obedient, so are we to be faithful and obedient..
  3. Thirdly, following Jesus means a willingness to suffer sacrifice for His sake. That's the nitty-gritty. Are you willing to do that? In Matthew 16 Jesus said, "If any man follow Me, take up his cross," right, "and follow Me." Now that's talking about the suffering sacrificial side of following Jesus.

But what does it mean to take up your cross, to bear your cross? in those days the victims of crucifixion bore the crossbeam of their own cross on their back as they marched to crucifixion. And in Matthew, as this was being spoken, the people in Galilee would well understand it because when the Roman General Varus had broken the revolt of Judas of Galilee, he crucified as a punishment two thousand Jews and he placed their crosses along all the roads leading through Galilee so that everywhere that everybody went they saw people hanging on crosses, two thousand of them. And all these people had borne the crossbeam on their back to their own death.

What Jesus is saying here is that means to be willing to sacrifice yourself for a cause. That's what it means. And Jesus is saying the same thing, are you willing to sacrifice everything you hold dear, everything you love, all the stupid little things that occupy your time, all your dreams and all your ambitions to be obedient to His cause? That's the real issue.

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?" Joh 13:23,25; 20:2

 21 Peter, seeing him, said to Jesus, "But Lord, what about this man?"

22 Jesus said to him, "If I will that he remain till I come, what is that to you? You follow Me."

Mt 16:27-28; 25:31; 1Co 4:5; 11:26; Re 2:25; 3:11; 22:7,20

"Follow...you follow Me, Peter." What does He mean? He means, "Peter, get your eyes off of everybody else," like Paul said in 1 Timothy 4:16, I love this, "Take heed unto thyself."

  1. Following Jesus means Peter’s job was to follow, not to meddle into the lives of other believers. Beware when you get your eyes off the Lord and start to look at other Christians! “Looking unto Jesus” should be the aim and practice of every believer (Heb. 12:1–2). To be distracted by ourselves, our circumstances, or by other Christians, is to disobey the Lord and possibly get detoured out of the will of God. Keep your eyes of faith on Him and on Him alone.

This does not mean that we ignore others, because we do have the responsibility of caring for one another (Phil. 2:1–4). Rather, it means that we must not permit our curiosity about others to distract us from following the Lord. God has His plan for us; He also has plans for our Christian friends and associates. How He works in their lives is His business. Our business is to follow Him as He leads us (see Rom. 14:1–13).

But why was Jesus singling him out? What about the rest? What about John? At some point, it appears that Jesus and Peter have gone off by themselves, apart from the others. Verse 20 seems to indicate that Jesus and Peter are walking by themselves, with John following behind, at a distance. Peter turns around and sees John, some distance away. He and John had been closely associated in the fishing business, and even as disciples. Later, they will work very closely together as apostles, as we see in the Book of Acts. Peter could not resist asking Jesus about John’s fate. If Peter had to die to follow Jesus, was this also true of John? Peter seems to have the same attitude toward suffering. If he had to suffer, then surely John should be expected to suffer in just the same way, for the same period of time

This description highlights his intimacy with Jesus. That intimacy was evidently a factor in Jesus’ plans for John to which He proceeded to refer (vv. 22-24). These plans included his writing this Gospel (v. 24). Therefore by presenting the writer as an intimate of Jesus, John was establishing his credentials as a reliable eyewitness of what he reported. A second reason is that this description also reminds the reader of John’s intimacy with Peter. This helps us understand Peter’s question about Jesus’ will for John. Peter evidently wanted to know what would happen to his young friend if he himself was going to suffer crucifixion.

 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?”

  1. Following Jesus means people play their parts and God puts it all together.

Peter was guilty of giving too much attention to John, when our Lord had narrowed the focus of the discussion to Peter’s love, and Peter’s service. Jesus further indicated to Peter that he would glorify his Master by his death, a death that was similar to His death, a death by crucifixion. Peter had fixed his attention on John. From John’s words here, we know that others erred in the same way Peter had. It was a popular misconception that Jesus promised John that he would not die until His return. It was only that—a popular misconception—and John corrects it here.

  1. Following Jesus means we are not here to compete with each other. Here we have the problem of rivalry and competition in the church. The Gospels clearly indicate that Jesus eliminated competition as a motivation for Christian activity. But it is rare to find that in practice today. The church has followed the world in this regard, competing and struggling within itself, thereby diminishing its message, and often destroying its effectiveness. Jesus says we do not have to worry about what others are doing, but to be faithful to what God has given us to do; he will put it all together.

This is how the church should operate. We are to fulfill the gifts God has given us. He will put it together. We are not in competition with anybody; we do not have to struggle for position. We each have been given a ministry, not only leaders, preachers and teachers, but to everyone has been given the gifts of the Spirit, and they define our ministry.

The twelfth chapter of First Corinthians indicates there are two things we must never say: Because we have gifts given us by the Lord, we must never say to anybody, "I have no need of you," (1 Corinthians 12:21). But how many times we hear that in the church: "We have no need of you. We can get along fine." I have heard churches boast that they had no need of any other church because they had adequate resources of their own. But that is not in accord with the mind of the Lord.

The second thing we must never say is, "You have no need of me. I as so ungifted, so poor, I have nothing to offer." You cannot say that. You have gifts which the Spirit of God has given to you and you alone. Thus we must not look at one another and ask, "Lord, what do you want to do with him?" Jesus' word is, "That is none of your business. Follow me. I will put it all together."

The reference to Jesus’ return is probably a reference to the Rapture rather than the Second Coming in view of what Jesus had promised these disciples in 14:1-3.

By the time John was writing this Gospel, Peter was probably already dead. If this is the case, then what is John’s purpose in writing about this incident? It is clearly not for Peter’s benefit. John tells us his reason for writing about this. It was to clear up the misconception some had that John would not die before the coming of our Lord. Jesus did not say that John would be alive at His return. He simply told Peter that if it was His will that he (Peter) die, and that John remain alive until His return, that was of no concern to Peter—it was none of his business. Death, like everything else, falls within the boundaries of our Lord’s sovereign control of all things. If death is God’s business, His sovereign business, then it is not Peter’s business to raise questions about John’s death. 

John himself is not so taken with himself. John keeps the focus on our Lord, and on the truths He spoke.

  1. Following Jesus means Our eyes should not be on ourselves, but on Christ. Our focus should not be on what others are doing for Christ, or what God is doing for them. Our focus should be on Him, and on our love for Him, as shown by our loving service to His flock.

This is the “Great Commission” of John’s Gospel. It is certainly different from the Great Commission of Matthew’s. But when you stop to think about it, the point of both Gospels is the same. Matthew emphasizes the authority of our Lord, and the Lord’s command to make disciples. John focuses on our love for the Lord, and the privilege we have to show our love for Him by caring for those He loves, in a way that is consistent with His sacrificial death at Calvary. How simple, how beautiful that is! How effective the church would become if we would but return to it.

The last word here is for both the fisherman and the shepherd: We rest upon a reliable testimony.

  1. Following Jesus means our words are concerned with Jesus.

 24 This is the disciple who testifies of these things, and wrote these things; and we know that his testimony is true. Joh 19:35; 3Jo 1:12,14

So, the beloved disciple is identified, ‘these things’ refer to the gospel. We have this very curious plural ‘we’. What’s going on here? Is John schizophrenic as he finishes the book? “We, me, myself, we write this.”

The early church probably endorsed this letter somehow, this gospel. In fact, some believe that the church at Ephesus was the church that was involved in John’s assembly of the Gospel, and they said, “Yes, we’ve seen those things and we know that what John has borne witness of is true, and so we agree with these things.”

This description of the writer stresses the reliability of his witness. "These things" probably refers to the whole Gospel, not just what immediately precedes.

 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. Am 7:10; Joh 20:30

This  final  verse  along  with  the  one  preceding  it  returns  to  the  broad perspective with which this Gospel began in its prologue (1:1-18). The prologue presents the Word humbling Himself and entering the world in incarnation. This verse presents the world as not able to contain all the revelation that the Word made. John's final word was that what he wrote, and what everyone else could write, would be only a small part of what could be written to bring honor to Jesus Christ.

John has been very selective in what he has chosen to present as evidence in favor of his conclusion that Jesus is, indeed, the Son of God and the Savior of the world. And in his final words, John testifies that the words of this book are “the gospel truth.” It is not for lack of evidence that men are eternally lost. John has now set the evidence before his readers, and he urges each of us to draw the conclusions this evidence merits.

  • Obedience to Jesus’ command, Follow Me, is the key issue in every Christian’s life. As Jesus followed the Father’s will, so His disciples should follow their Lord whether the path leads to a cross or to some other difficult experience.
  • The false rumor about Jesus’ words to Peter show the possibility of misunderstanding God’s promises. Christians must seek to understand God’s Word accurately.
  • Peter and John have been off the scene (except for their books) for centuries, but you and I are still here. We are taking His place and taking their place. What a responsibility! What a privilege!
  • We can succeed only as we permit Him to transform us.
  • The verdict is clear. You should believe that Jesus is the promised Messiah—the Christ—and that by His sinless life and sacrificial death, your sins may be forgiven. And having believed the verdict, you should not only be overcome with His love for you, but you should be compelled by your love for Him, to serve Him as you shepherd His lambs. The evidence abounds; the verdict is clear. The question that remains is this: Given this evidence, how will you respond to Jesus Christ?

 Could we with ink the ocean fill,

  And were the skies of parchment made,

Were every stalk on earth a quill,

  And every man a scribe by trade,

To write the love of God above

  Would drain the ocean dry.

Nor could the scroll contain the whole,

  Though stretched from sky to sky.

He was saying you can't write about God's love, the whole universe couldn't handle it.

 Mark 8:36 "For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul?

 John 14:6 Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me. Have you trusted Him as your Savior? He can Save you if You ask Him based on His death, burial, and resurrection for your sins. Believe in Him for forgiveness of your sins today.

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“And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.”  -John 8:32

The world is trying to solve earthly problems that can only be solved with heavenly solutions.

30 SECOND DEVOTIONAL MINISTERING TO THE LEAST OF THESE

27May

Everyone His Love Ministries reaches out to is locked up in some way.  Some are locked up in bodies that don't work or the Nursing Home facility or in the wheelchair or bed they cannot get out of.  We minister to youth who are locked up because of behavior problems or their parents and their cry is we want to have a “REAL FAMILY”. Other kids are locked up because of crimes.  We reach those locked up correctional facilities; in addictions to drugs, depression, and suicidal thoughts.  Jesus came to give us life and set us free and these folks are not free that we minister to, but we can set them free through Christ Jesus. 

Mark 8:36 "For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul?

John 14:6 Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me. Have you trusted Him as your Savior? He can Save you if You ask Him based on His death, burial, and resurrection for your sins. Believe in Him for forgiveness of your sins today.

 “And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.”  -John 8:32

 Our mission is to spread the gospel and to go to the least of these with the life-changing message of Jesus Christ; We reach out to those the World has forgotten. 

hisloveministries.podbean.com #HLMSocial hisloveministries.net https://www.instagram.com/hisloveministries1/?hl=en Don’t go for all the gusto you can get, go for all the God (Jesus Christ) you can get. The gusto will get you, Jesus can save you. https://www.facebook.com/His-Love-Ministries-246606668725869/?tn-str=k*F

The world is trying to solve earthly problems that can only be solved with heavenly solutions

JOHN 21:14-19 JESUS SAID TO SIMON PETER, SIMON, SON OF JONAH, DO YOU LOVE ME MORE THAN THESE PART 2

24May

John 21:14 This is now the third time Jesus showed Himself to His disciples after He was raised from the dead. 15 So when they had eaten breakfast, Jesus said to Simon Peter, "Simon, son of Jonah, do you love Me more than these?" He said to Him, "Yes, Lord; You know that I love You." He said to him, "Feed My lambs."16 He said to him again a second time, "Simon, son of Jonah, do you love Me?" He said to Him, "Yes, Lord; You know that I love You." He said to him, "Tend My sheep." 17 He said to him the third time, "Simon, son of Jonah, do you love Me?" 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 You." Jesus said to him, "Feed My sheep. 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." 19 This He spoke, signifying by what death he would glorify God. And when He had spoken this, He said to him, "Follow Me."

 

Today we look a little closer at the three do you love Me statements and what they mean to us in practical terms of what we need to do and how we need to live in light of these questions.  Peter is like us in that he is not willing to totally commit to something unless we are sure WE can pull it off.  So, Jesus gives a prophecy of how Peter will die.  He tells Peter that he will live to be an old man and then they will put him on a cross. That he will glorify God through his death.  That is just like God to let us know, yes you have failed, yes you are hesitant to fully commit now because of your failure, but I am going to use you anyway. Also, I want to let you know that when it comes  time to stand up for me, you will not fail, you will not make the same mistake again and you will ultimately do the will of God as you are supposed to when it really counts.  2Co 9:15 Thanks be to God for His indescribable gift!

 

14 This is now the third time Jesus showed Himself to His disciples after He was raised from the dead. Joh 20:19,26

John said that this was the third post-resurrection appearance "to the disciples" (i.e., the apostles, cf. 20:19-23, 26-29). Chronologically this was at least Jesus' seventh post-resurrection appearance (cf. 20:11-18; Matt.

28:8-10; 1 Cor. 15:5; Luke 24:13-32; John 20:19-23, 26-29). Nevertheless it was the third appearance to the disciples, and the third appearance to the disciples that John recorded.

John viewed this appearance as further proof of Jesus' resurrection. Perhaps he viewed it as completing a full complement of testimonies since he drew attention to its being the third appearance to the disciples. The number three in Scripture sometimes connotes fullness or completeness (e.g., the three Persons of the Trinity). However by calling this appearance a "manifestation" (Gr. ephanerothe, cf. v. 1) John indicated that he also viewed it as a revelation of Jesus' true character. So far Jesus had reminded these disciples of lessons that He had taught them previously that were important for them to remember in view of their mission. He had also set the stage for an even more important lesson that would follow.

I believe there are lessons to be learned from this miracle in the light of its similarity to the great fish harvest of Luke 5. Because of the fishing miracle in Luke 5, Peter and the other disciples came to see Jesus (and themselves) in a whole new light. There, Peter realizes he is not worthy to be in the same boat with Jesus. In John 21, Peter and the others are once again awed by our Lord and His works. In both texts, these professional fishermen were not able to catch anything on their own, even though they were laboring in the area of their expertise.

Jesus taught them that He is the source of their success, He is the One Who, when obeyed, makes men fruitful fishermen.

In Luke 5, the disciples were called to leave their fishing boats and to become “fishers of men” (5:10). I believe that John 21:1-14 is a reaffirmation of that original call. The disciples are all waiting around, wondering what to do with their lives.

I believe that by means of this miracle Jesus reiterates and reinforces their original call, which came in Luke 5.

There are some interesting differences in these accounts as well—and lessons to be learned from them.

The most obvious (and probably the most important) difference is that in Luke 5, Jesus was in the boat. In John 21, Jesus is on the shore. You may think I am pressing the limits of this story, but there is a lesson here: “Jesus is able to guide, to provide for, and to watch over His disciples just as well (better?) from a distance, as He is able to care for them “up close and personal.” From 100 yards away, Jesus knew they had caught no fish. From 100 yards away, Jesus could guide them to an abundance of fish. Even before they saw Him, Jesus was prepared to provide for their needs. He had breakfast “on the table,” so to speak, when they arrived on shore. Were the disciples uneasy about Jesus going away, about Jesus leaving them to return to His Father? Such fears are unfounded. He is just as able to care for them when He is in heaven as He was to care for them while He was on earth. I think this was a significant part of the lesson He wanted them to learn.

That is why this story is included here -- to teach us that in the work of evangelizing, whether through mass evangelism or individual witnessing, God himself is working with us and will supply far more than we ever dreamed.

Both of these accounts refer to Peter as "Simon Peter." Recall that when the Spirit of God uses the name "Simon" Peter, the natural Peter, the one with whom we feel a kinship, the Peter in us all, is in view.

And three times, Jesus is going to ask Peter the same question, or at least, we think it’s the same question, but as we’ll see as we move through this there’s actually a subtle shift in this question that we can’t see in our English Bibles, right?

It’s a rich picture of how intimately Jesus knows His friend, Peter, and by implication, how He knows us.

So, not only the guilt of, “Oh, I failed, and I didn’t respond well,” but, “Let me restore you to a place of usability that’s far beyond your wildest imagination.”

We need to keep this in mind as well, especially those of us who are very aware of our own sins, and how we have failed…

No matter how great a person is, he may fall (cf. 1 Cor. 10:12).[i]

  • Would you begin to understand that nothing you will ever done will make Him love you more, -and nothing you have ever done will make Him love you less. And when you start there, I believe the prayer thing is going to take care of itself.” But we’re all in this performance quota, “I have to do this before God will look on me favorably.”

He could not have demonstrated His love more profoundly than He already has. Why would He then change that conditionally based upon our works? So the motivation is, “I love you, and I want to respond well to you.”

Not, “I need to pray more, I need to be more faithful, I shouldn’t have done that.” What a terrible way to live the Christian life. Ultimately, that performance mindset that you’re talking about is legalism. It’s an attempt to self-justify and we have to come back and say do we believe that Christ has paid it all, and that we’re accepted not because of what we do, - but because of what He has done? And Peter had to realize that as well. As we pick up this account in John’s Gospel, Jesus has just finished cooking breakfast for His friends, and He’s about to have a conversation with Peter.

to follow Christ as maybe we have promised to do. Jesus is in the business of restoration. I am inclined to understand verses 1-14 in terms of evangelism—being fishers of men. But it is not enough to simply bring a lost sinner to faith in Jesus Christ; that person should also be discipled, and thus brought to maturity in Christ. This seems to be implicit in the Great Commission:

Lu 24:33 So they rose up that very hour and returned to Jerusalem, and found the eleven and those who were with them gathered together, 34 saying, "The Lord is risen indeed, and has appeared to Simon!"

Mr. 16:7 "But go, tell His disciples--and Peter--that He is going before you into Galilee; there you will see Him, as He said to you."

Jesus is not seeking to correct (or even rebuke) Peter here for his three-fold denial. Jesus personally revealed Himself to Peter, probably before He appeared to the disciples as a group (1 Corinthians 15:5; Luke 24:34; Mark 16:7). I believe it is there that our Lord dealt with Peter’s three-fold denial, and forgave him. In our text, Peter is eager to be with our Lord. I believe this is because Peter’s sins have already been confronted and forgiven, and thus he has already been restored to fellowship with the Master

I am not even inclined to see this text as Peter’s restoration to leadership. There are some scholars who hold that Peter was restored to fellowship in his private interview with Jesus, and that this incident is his public restoration to leadership. I see the emphasis of this passage falling on humble service, not on leadership, per se.?????????

this passage is more about love than about leadership. Love for Jesus is demonstrated by faithfully caring for His sheep. So, too, when we care for the sheep whom our Lord loves, and for whom He gave His life, we show our love for the Shepherd.

caution should be exercised in making too much of the two different words for “love” which are employed in this text. The two verbs are agapao and phileo. The first two times Jesus asks Peter if he loves Him, the word for love is agapao. The third time Jesus asks, He employs the term phileo. Every time Peter responds to Jesus’ question, indicating his love, he employs the word phileo. The distinctions that some make between these two terms may hold true in some cases, and for some authors. They do not seem to hold true for John, who often uses different terms for the same concept. When commentators do seek to emphasize the distinctions between the two Greek words John uses, they do not agree as to what the meaning and emphasis of these terms are. We should keep in mind that when Jesus spoke to Peter and asked him these three questions, He spoke not in Greek (the language in which the Gospel of John is written), but in Aramaic, the language spoken by the Jews of that day. The change in words may have some significance, but I hardly think it is the key to understanding the passage.

Jesus began by addressing Peter as Simon the son of Jonas. In the Gospels, Jesus addressed Peter this way on only the most important occasions. These were his call to follow Jesus (1:42), his confession of Jesus as the Son of God (Matt. 16:17), and as he slept in Gethsemane (Mark 14:37).????????????

 When Jesus addressed Peter this way here, Peter probably realized that what Jesus was about to say to him was extremely important.

"His [Peter's] actions had shown that Peter had not wanted a crucified Lord. But Jesus was crucified. How did Peter's devotion stand in the light of this? Was he ready to love Jesus as he was, and not as Peter wished him to be?"

His will is content with following. His work is compelled by love. His way is committed to God. And his work, or his will is content with following, but his words are about Jesus.

Number one, his work is compelled by love. A real committed Christian operates on the basis of his love for the Lord. Two, his way is controlled by God. He has learned how to give his life totally to God and trust Him for it. His will is content with following. He's happy to do what Jesus leads him to do. Fourth, his words are concerning Jesus. His work is compelled by love. His way is controlled by God. His will is content with following. And his words are concerned with Jesus.

  1. A committed Christian operates on the basis of his love for the Lord.

 15 ¶ So when they had eaten breakfast, Jesus said to Simon Peter, "Simon, son of Jonah, do you love Me more than these?" He said to Him, "Yes, Lord; You know that I love You." He said to him, "Feed My lambs."

Each question begins with Simon, son of John. It’s funny to me that He names him Peter, but He never calls him Peter but one time. At least, it’s only recorded one time that He calls him Peter. He still calls him Simon. I think it has to do with the person of him before the Holy Spirit indwells him because in Acts he’ll be known primarily as Peter. But now, Jesus still calls him Simon.  Called Him Simon Peter every time something important occurred. Original calling, garden of gethsemane, and now.

Peter had denied that he was one of Jesus' disciples and that he even knew Jesus three times. Thus Jesus' question was reasonable. He wanted Peter to think about just how strong his love for Jesus really was.

"There can be little doubt but that the whole scene is meant to show us Peter as completely restored to his position of leadership. . . . It is further worth noting that the one thing about which Jesus questioned Peter prior to commissioning him to tend the flock was love. This is the basic qualification for Christian service. Other qualities may be desirable, but love is completely indispensable (cf. 1 Cor. 13:1-3)."

Our Lord’s addition of the words, “more than these do,” really got to the heart of the matter. Our Lord’s prediction of Peter’s denials came in the midst of Peter’s confident boasting that even if all the others denied Jesus, he certainly would not. In other words, Peter was claiming a higher level of devotion than the rest. Jesus is simply asking him to re-evaluate his boastful claim. And this Peter did. Peter could truthfully affirm that he did love Jesus, but he would not go so far as to claim that his love was greater than that of his fellow-disciples. He also speaks of his love in terms of the Savior’s assessment of it: “Yes, Lord, You know I love You.” To this our Lord replied, “Feed My lambs.”

There is some discussion over what Jesus means here. The verse could be translated (and understood) in several ways. (1) “Peter, do you love me more than these fish, more than this boat and the nets, and the things which represent your life of a fisherman?” (2) “Peter, do you love Me more than you love these men?” (3) “Peter, do you love me more than these men do?”

But a comparison of these two accounts reveals that what he means is, "Do you love me more than these men love me?" Before he denied Jesus, Peter had inferred that he loved Jesus much more than they. "All men will forsake you, Lord, but I will lay down my life for you," he had said. Clearly he regards himself as more faithful and more committed than the others, whom he expected would desert the Lord in a time of danger. Thus Jesus addresses these words to him, "Do you love me more than these?"

When we bring that into our context, taken together, “Peter, now that you’ve denied me three times, remember I told you you’d deny me? Now that you’ve denied me three times, can you tell me that you love me more than these people love me?” That’s the question He’s posing to him.

And Peter is saying, “Look, Lord you knew I was going to deny you three times, you know if I love you or not, Lord.”
Now, Peter is starting to develop a fuller Christology. This Jesus Christ knows everything about him. And He knows everything about him now. That’s why it grieved him, I think. Three times, “Lord, you know I love you. You know everything.”

Peter has learned some painful but necessary lessons. He does not judge himself in relationship to the others, but reads his own heart and replies, "Yes, Lord; you know that I love you." "Yes, Lord; you know that I love you." "Lord, you know everything; you know that I love you." He makes no mention of the others. Here is a great lesson on how we are to look at others. Peter indicates he has learned to read his Lord's mind better. In the Garden of Gethsemane he felt that his love for Jesus required that he assault the enemies of his Lord, but here he learns that he is responsible to feed the sheep of Jesus. That is the correct manifestation of love.

Jesus responded graciously by giving Peter a command, Tend My lambs” This is an PRESENT ACTIVE IMPERATIVE. All three of these statements are the same grammatical form.

Note that Christ gives Peter a new commission: he is now a shepherd (pastor) besides being a fisher of men. (See 1 Peter 5.) He is now to shepherd the lambs and sheep and feed them the Word of God. All Christians are expected to be fishers of men (soul-winners), but some have been called into the special ministry of shepherding the flock. What good is it to win the lost if there is no church where they might be fed and cared for?

When Peter sinned, he did not lose his Sonship, but he did fall away from his discipleship. For this reason Christ repeated His call, “Follow Me.” Christ also confronts Peter with the cross (v. 18), indicating that Peter would one day be crucified himself. (See 2 Peter 1:12–14.) Before we can follow Christ, we must take up the cross. When you recall that earlier Peter tried to keep Christ from the cross, this commandment takes on new meaning (Matt. 16:21–28).[ii]

He told Peter to tend (Gr. boske, feed) His lambs (Gr. arnia). Previously Jesus had referred to Himself as the Good Shepherd (10:14). Now he was committing the care of His flock to this disciple who had failed Him miserably in the past. Jesus had formerly called Peter to be a fisher of men, an essentially evangelistic ministry (Matt. 4:19). Now he was  broadening  this  calling  to  include  being  a  shepherd  of  sheep,  a pastoral ministry.

The image, however, changes from that of the fisherman to that of the shepherd. Peter was to minister both as an evangelist (catching the fish) and a pastor (shepherding the flock). It is unfortunate when we divorce these two because they should go together. Pastors ought to evangelize (2 Tim. 4:5) and then shepherd the people they have won so that they mature in the Lord.

Here is the chief work of a shepherd. Jesus says to Peter, "Feed my lambs"; "Tend my sheep"; "Feed my sheep." Three aspects of feeding are suggested here:

"Feed my lambs." Teach the children. Do not wait for them to grow up. Teach children from the Word what life is all about.

Peter was grieved because Jesus found it necessary to ask virtually the same question three times. I do not like to be asked the same question repeatedly. I conclude that either the person asking the question wasn’t paying attention (this could not be the case with Jesus), or that my answer was not acceptable or credible. The three-fold repetition must have registered with Peter as being related to his three-fold denial. Peter was grieved because he realized that the bold and even arrogant claims he had made proved to be empty. Peter is not distressed with Jesus; he is grieved over his own sin.

Jesus is not attempting to shame Peter; he is seeking to reaffirm his call to service. Did Jesus question Peter about his love for Him three times? Then note that three times Jesus instructed Peter to care for His sheep. Does Peter fear he has been cast aside as useless? Jesus tells him to return to His work, three times!

Peter really did love Jesus. But Peter needed to understand that his love for the Savior was not as great as he thought, just as his ability to catch fish was not as great as he seemed to think. In loving, and in landing fish, Jesus was supreme.

  • Even in the thing Peter did best (fishing), he could not hold a candle to Jesus, who proved to be far better at fishing than he. Peter sought to prove his love for Jesus by boasting about it, by arguing with his fellow-disciples about it (see Luke 22:24), and by being the first to draw his sword and lop off an ear, or perhaps even by being the first man into the water and onto the shore. These were not the benchmarks our Lord had established for testing one’s love for Him.
  • The proof of one’s love for God is sacrificial service —feeding our Lord’s sheep.
  • The way I understand verses 15-19 is something like this: “Peter, do you really love Me as much as you say? Then prove your love for Me by taking care of My sheep.” Jesus is the “Good Shepherd,” Who cares for His sheep (see John 10).
  • If Peter really loves his Lord, then his passion will be the Lord’s passion.

The circumstances must have reminded Peter of the scene of his denial. And if the circumstances as such did not remind him of this, what was about to happen was bound to do so. Note the following resemblances: 1. It was at a charcoal fire that Peter denied his Master (18:18). It is here at another charcoal fire (21:9) that he is asked to confess (his love for) his Master. 2. Three times Peter had denied his Master (18:17, 25, 27). Three times he must now own him as his Lord, whom he loves (21:15-17). 3. The prediction with reference to the denial had been introduced with the solemn double Amen (13:38; see on 1:51). The prediction which immediately followed Peter’s confession was introduced similarly (21:18).

Ps 1:1 Blessed is the man Who walks not in the counsel of the ungodly, Nor stands in the path of sinners, Nor sits in the seat of the scornful;

  • But it has been shown that the resemblance is even more pointed. In reverse order the same three ideas—1. following, 2. a cross, 3. denying—occur here in 21:15-19 as in 13:36-38.” William Hendriksen, Exposition of the Gospel According to John, II , p. 486.

John 21:15-17 is more about love than about leadership. “Peter if you’re going to love me, part of that will be shepherding and feeding and caring for my sheep, but the manifestation of those attributes come connected to your love to me. If you love me, Peter, you will shepherd the flock that I will give to you. My passion, Peter, will be your passion. The things I’m concerned about, Peter, will be the things you’re concerned about, if you love me.”

 16 He said to him again a second time, "Simon, son of Jonah, do you love Me?" He said to Him, "Yes, Lord; You know that I love You." He said to him, "Tend My sheep." Ac 20:28; Heb 13:20; 1Pe 2:25; 5:2,4

Now the first and third words for “feed”, “Feed my sheep… feed my lambs… “ is the same word. The middle word is the word I want to talk about. The middle word is the word shepherding. Some of your translations use the word “care for”, and it has the root of a pastor. In fact, the word that Jesus uses here for Peter to shepherd is the word for pastoring and for eldering. Pastoring is the gift, eldering is the function. It is a shepherd; one who cares for people. The shepherd-sheep relationship describes the spiritual task of leaders of God’s people. The command ‘to shepherd’ includes guiding, guarding, feeding, protecting.

Then, "Shepherd my sheep." The word means, watch over, guard them. In Peter's first letter he says to the elders to whom he is writing, "Feed the flock of God which is among you, taking the oversight thereof, watching out for them," (1 Peter 5:2). Try to discern where they are at, apprehend the coming dangers, warn and guard them. That is the work of a shepherd.

  • The verbal tense conveys urgency. It calls upon the elder to have the official life of devotion to serving the flock of God.”

 17 He said to him the third time, "Simon, son of Jonah, do you love Me?" 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 You." Jesus said to him, "Feed My sheep. Joh 2:24-25; 16:30

Jesus is the “Good Shepherd”; He is the Shepherd who came to lay down His life for His sheep. If Peter really loves Jesus, he will care for the Master’s sheep, and he, like the Master, will lay down his life for the sheep. Love manifests itself in service—humble, sacrificial, service.

            You become like the people you love. The things they love, you love. If Peter really loves his Lord, Who is the Good Shepherd, then Peter will surely seek to shepherd in the same way.

He will seek the lost sheep (evangelism). He will feed and tend the young and vulnerable lambs (discipleship). And, like the Good Shepherd, he will lay down his life for the sheep. That is why the Lord moves so quickly and easily from verses 15-17 to verses 18 and 19. Peter had assured his Lord that he was willing to die for Him (Matthew 26:35), and so he will. But he will not die in the manner that he once supposed—seeking to keep His Master from being arrested and crucified. Peter will die, as the Savior did, as a good shepherd, and for the sake of the gospel.

Finally, "Feed my sheep, my grown-up ones."

The instrument of feeding, of course, is the teaching of the Word of God. Open their minds to the thoughts of God. This is the missing element in the church today.

The primary function of shepherding is in teaching and explaining the Gospel and the Word to the flock of God.

People are not thinking the thoughts of God, not looking at life the way God sees it, but following blindly after the fantasies and the illusions of the world. What is necessary is the unfolding of the mind of God in obedience to the word of Jesus: "Teach the word." The weakness of the church flows from a famine of the Word of God.

  • Peter had learned not to make rash professions of great love. Therefore he did not compare his love for Jesus to the love of the other disciples as he had done before. He simply appealed to Jesus' knowledge of his heart.
  • Notice that throughout this interchange Jesus consistently referred to the sheep as His sheep, not Peter's sheep. Moreover Jesus described Peter's ministry in terms of acts, not in terms of an office. Later Peter wrote to elders urging  them  to  apply  these  same  viewpoints  to  their  pastoral ministry (1Pet. 5:1-4).

The Greek word for “sheep” at the end of John 21:17 means “dear sheep.

  1. A committed Christian’s way is controlled by God.

Having loved Jesus Christ to that extent that you'd give your life for Him, it's no problem to hand Him your life and let Him keep it. Didn't Paul say, "I'm confident that what I've given the Lord He'll keep till the day of Jesus Christ?" And as a Christian, you can say, "All right, Lord, I love You, here's my life, You've got it now, it's up to You to do what You want." Are you willing to say that? Whatever God's will is, he'll do it. The committed Christian yields the control of his destiny to God, no questions asked. Psalm 37:5 puts it this way, "Commit thy way unto the Lord, trust also in Him." Just let it go. Here's my life, God, and it's Yours, do whatever You want. And Paul says, "If I live, I live unto the Lord. If I die, I die unto the Lord. So, if I live, if I die, I'm the Lord's." See. I gave myself to Him.

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."

Joh 13:36; Ac 12:3-4

Peter had been learning how his self-confidence led to failure and how he needed to depend on Jesus more (i.e., "You know vv. 15, 16, 17). Jesus reminded Peter that as time passed he would become increasingly dependent on others even to the point of being unable to escape a martyr's death. Therefore, Jesus implied, Peter should commit his future to God rather than trying to control it himself as he had formerly tried to do.

    "The long painful history of the Church is the history of people ever and again tempted to choose power over love, control over the cross, being a leader over being led."

For Peter, following Jesus would involve more than teaching, it would ultimately involve pain, suffering, deprivation, and death. This was historically fulfilled.

Clearly this book was written after the death of Peter, as John records the way Peter would die. Eusebius, the church historian, tells us that when Peter went to Rome at the close of his life (by the way, he did not found the church at Rome at all; he went there much later), he was finally imprisoned, his hands were bound and he was led out to the place of execution, and there he was crucified. At his own request he was crucified upside down because he did not feel he was worthy to share the manner of his Lord's death.

Jesus is saying that preaching and teaching the Word of truth in a mixed-up world like ours will call for sacrifice. It may mean living in primitive conditions, under difficult circumstances, and not feeling harassed, but privileged, to teach and to suffer for the sake of the Word of God. Peter found this to be true. He ultimately obeyed his Lord. He had said, "I will lay down my life for you," and Jesus replied, "You will indeed, not like you once thought, not in defense of me with a sword, but in the teaching and preaching of the Word. Eventually you will lay down your life for me."

  1. A committed Christian’s will is content with following.

 19 This He spoke, signifying by what death he would glorify God. And when He had spoken this, He said to him, "Follow Me."2Pe 1:14

Follow Me” This is a PRESENT ACTIVE IMPERATIVE as is v.22. This is related to the renewal and reaffirmation of Peter’s call to leadership

Our Lord’s words, “Follow Me!” must have brought new joy and love to Peter’s heart. Literally, Jesus said, “Keep on following Me.” Immediately, Peter began to follow Jesus, just as he had done before his great denial.

Peter later wrote that Christians who follow Jesus Christ faithfully to the point of dying for Him bring glory to God by their deaths

1Pe 4:14 If you are reproached for the name of Christ, blessed are you, for the Spirit of glory and of God rests upon you. On their part He is blasphemed, but on your part He is glorified. 15 But let none of you suffer as a murderer, a thief, an evildoer, or as a busybody in other people's matters. 16 Yet if anyone suffers as a Christian, let him not be ashamed, but let him glorify God in this matter.

He lived with this prediction hanging over him for three decades

2Pe 1:14 knowing that shortly I must put off my tent, just as our Lord Jesus Christ showed me.

Notice that Jesus does much more than predict Peter’s death. John wishes us to understand that Jesus went so far as to predict the way in which Peter would die: “(Now Jesus said this to indicate clearly by what kind of death Peter was going to glorify God.)” (verse 19). Peter’s previous effort to resist the arrest of Jesus was contrary to the gospel, and this is why Jesus rebuked him and abruptly ordered him to stop resisting His arrest. The death which Peter will experience is a death that will glorify God. Jesus also indicates that Peter will die in his old age, and thus he is informed that his death is not imminent. But his death for the Savior’s sake is certain: Notice it says that his death would glorify God. How? Because anybody who dies for their faith in Jesus Christ is a glory to God.

I agree with those who see here a prophecy that Peter truly will follow Jesus, by dying on a Roman cross:

More important is the way stretch out your hands was understood in the ancient world: it widely referred to crucifixion (Haenchen, 2. 226-227). … Bauer (p. 232) proposed long ago that this ‘stretching’ took place when a condemned prisoner was tied to his cross-member and forced to carry his ‘cross’ to the place of execution. The cross-member would be placed on the prisoner’s neck and shoulders, his arms tied to it, and then he would be led away to death.

The words, “Follow Me,” constitute the first calling of the disciples (Matthew 4:19; Mark 1:17; John 1:43). As time passed, these words took on a much deeper meaning. Following Jesus meant putting Jesus above family (Matthew 8:22). It meant a whole new way of life, where former practices would be unacceptable (Matthew 9:9; Mark 2:14). Before long, Jesus let His disciples know that following Him meant taking up one’s cross (Matthew 16:24; Mark 8:34). (At this point in time, our Lord’s reference to “taking up one’s cross” was, at best, understood symbolically.) For the rich young ruler, it meant giving up his possessions (Matthew 19:21; Mark 20:21). And now, for Peter, it means not only carrying on the Master’s work, but taking up a very literal cross. It would seem that at every point where following Jesus is more precisely defined, another challenge to follow Him is given. So it is in our text.

I fear that Christians today understand these two words, “Follow me,” in a superficial way. When Paul writes, “For to me to live is Christ and to die is gain” (Philippians 1:21), we interpret his words in a somewhat self-indulgent fashion. We suppose that Paul means living as a Christian is glorious, trouble-free, and fulfilling. It is, to put it plainly, “the good life.” In other words, we get to live it up here, and then when we die, it gets even better. There is a certain sense in which this is true. But we must understand Paul’s words in the light of what Jesus is telling Peter here, in our text, about following Him.

To follow Christ is to walk in His steps, to live as He lived, to serve others as He did, and to lay down your life for the sheep, like Him. In Philippians chapter 1, Paul is therefore saying, “For me, to live is to live just as Christ did, taking up my cross daily, laying down my life for His sheep.”

"Obedience to Jesus' command, Follow Me, is the key issue in every Christian's life. As Jesus followed the Father's will, so His disciples should follow their Lord whether the path leads to a cross or to some other difficult experience."

Peter got the message. He was willing to lay down his life for the Savior.

Do you know what Jesus is saying to him here? "Peter, you're going to grow old, “because He says, "When you’re old, so you're going to have a full life, Peter. And when it comes to the end of your life, you're going to be crucified."

That means, to Peter, that when it comes down to the crux at that hour, he's going to confess Christ and die for Him, right? Now don't you think that's good news to Peter who last time he had a chance to die for Jesus blew it? And so He says, "Peter, I'm going to give you another chance, you're going to live a full life and then at the end you're going to hang in there, it's going to come down to a life/death issue and you're going to stand up and say I believe in Jesus boldly and you're going to die for it." Now I can imagine the thrills were shooting up Peter's back like crazy because he was going to get a chance to prove his love for Jesus.

Peter committed his life to Christ and Christ said, "Peter, you'll live for Me and you'll die nailed to a cross." That's the destiny that God had designed for Peter. That's a beautiful promise. O Peter I'm sure in his heart just was saying over and over again...if I only had another chance...if I only had another chance to show the Lord I could be faithful in a crucial situation...if I only had one more chance to show Him my love in a life/death thing, O I'd do it, I'd do it. And so the Lord says, "Peter, you'll do it...you'll do it." And, you know, it's a good thing He told Peter cause Peter would have lived his whole life a nervous wreck thinking that every time he came to a real issue he'd blow it. And a leader with no confidence is no leader at all. And the Lord knew that Peter would worry himself about this so the Lord says, "Peter, you can relax through your whole ministry. When it comes to the end, you'll proclaim My name, you'll die a crucifixion death, don't worry about it."

  1. Following Jesus means being where He is. Jesus said in John 12:26 that, "If any man serve Me, let him follow Me that where I am, there will My servant be also." In other words, Jesus wants servants to go where He goes. That's the first thing about following. You go where He goes. Real simple. And in all the days of your life, in all the circumstances of your life, in all the places of your life, in all the relationships of your life, you should be able to say when asked, "Why are you here?" I'm here because I'm following Jesus and this is where He's led me today.
  2. Following Jesus means to pattern our lives after His attitudes. His holiness and His purity and His obedience to God becomes the pattern for us. Jesus said in Matthew 5:48, "Be ye perfect even as I am perfect." We are to pattern our lives after Him. As He was faithful to the Father and obedient, so are we to be faithful and obedient..
  3. Thirdly, following Jesus means a willingness to suffer sacrifice for His sake. That's the nitty-gritty. Are you willing to do that? In Matthew 16 Jesus said, "If any man follow Me, take up his cross," right, "and follow Me." Now that's talking about the suffering sacrificial side of following Jesus.

But what does it mean to take up your cross, to bear your cross? in those days the victims of crucifixion bore the crossbeam of their own cross on their back as they marched to crucifixion. And in Matthew, as this was being spoken, the people in Galilee would well understand it because when the Roman General Varus had broken the revolt of Judas of Galilee, he crucified as a punishment two thousand Jews and he placed their crosses along all the roads leading through Galilee so that everywhere that everybody went they saw people hanging on crosses, two thousand of them. And all these people had borne the crossbeam on their back to their own death.

What Jesus is saying here is that means to be willing to sacrifice yourself for a cause. That's what it means. And Jesus is saying the same thing, are you willing to sacrifice everything you hold dear, everything you love, all the stupid little things that occupy your time, all your dreams and all your ambitions to be obedient to His cause? That's the real issue.

 Mark 8:36 "For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul?

 John 14:6 Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me. Have you trusted Him as your Savior? He can Save you if You ask Him based on His death, burial, and resurrection for your sins. Believe in Him for forgiveness of your sins today.

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“And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.”  -John 8:32

The world is trying to solve earthly problems that can only be solved with heavenly solutions.

 

30 SECOND DEVOTIONAL JOHN 6 FOLLOWING JESUS NO MATTER WHAT

20May

Hi, I ‘m Marty McKenzie with His Love Ministries.  In John 6 when Jesus began to speak about the hard things of the Bible such as living for Him and Him only and that we can only come to Him if it has been granted to us by His Father, most of His followers left.  He asked the disciples will you leave too? But Simon Peter answered Him, "Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life.  Most people today will not stand up for the Word of God.  They would rather compromise and go with the popular opinion than be disliked.  So which one are you a compromiser, or will you follow Christ no matter what it may cost you?

Mark 8:36 "For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul?

   John 14:6 Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me. Have you trusted Him as your Savior? He can Save you if You ask Him based on His death, burial, and resurrection for your sins. Believe in Him for forgiveness of your sins today.

 “And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.”  -John 8:32

 Our mission is to spread the gospel and to go to the least of these with the life-changing message of Jesus Christ; We reach out to those the World has forgotten. 

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The world is trying to solve earthly problems that can only be solved with heavenly solutions

JOHN 21:10-17 JESUS SAID TO SIMON PETER, SIMON, SON OF JONAH, DO YOU LOVE ME MORE THAN THESE PART 1

17May

John 21:10 Jesus said to them, "Bring some of the fish which you have just caught." 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. 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. 13 Jesus then came and took the bread and gave it to them, and likewise the fish. 14 This is now the third time Jesus showed Himself to His disciples after He was raised from the dead. 15 So when they had eaten breakfast, Jesus said to Simon Peter, "Simon, son of Jonah, do you love Me more than these?" He said to Him, "Yes, Lord; You know that I love You." He said to him, "Feed My lambs." 16 He said to him again a second time, "Simon, son of Jonah, do you love Me?" He said to Him, "Yes, Lord; You know that I love You." He said to him, "Tend My sheep." 17 He said to him the third time, "Simon, son of Jonah, do you love Me?" 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 You." Jesus said to him, "Feed My sheep.

 

In this very familiar section of Scripture we see Jesus telling the disciples after they have fished all night to cast the net again and they catch so many fish they almost sink the boat.  They need to recognize without Him they can do nothing, as do we.  Then He feeds the disciples with fish He has created for their breakfast in the same fashion He multiplied the fish and the loaves at the feeding of the 5000 men and their families.  He then proceeds to restore Peter by asking him three times do you love me.  That is the question of all time, do we love Jesus more than others, more than things, more than anything.  As the old song says I would rather have Jesus than silver or gold, than riches untold, I rather have Jesus than anything this world affords.

Jesus invites us to labor with them,  Little boy brought his fish and bread, they caught it and hauled it in.

The “fire of coals” would certainly remind him of the fire at which he denied the Lord (John 18:18). It is good for us to remember the past; we may have something to confess.

10 Jesus said to them, "Bring some of the fish which you have just caught."

Even though there was already one fish (Gr. opsarion, singular) on the fire Jesus instructed the disciples to bring some of the fish (plural) that they had caught. He would not provide for their physical needs by multiplying the food miraculously as He had done in the past. Now He would use the product of their labor to satisfy their need. Nevertheless it was clear that their fish had been the result of His miraculous provision. Perhaps this was all symbolic of how Jesus would carry out His mission through His disciples in the future compared with how He had done it during His pre- cross ministry.

But notice that Jesus then invites the disciples to bring the fish they have caught. This beautifully suggests the way God works with man. As I read through the Scriptures I am continually astonished at the privilege given us by God of being co-laborers with him. Human labor was involved in almost all of the miracles of Jesus. For instance, our Lord multiplied the bread and fish which the boy had to feed the multitude, but he first sent the disciples searching through the crowd to see what they could supply. The wonder of this is that God, who could easily do it all himself, nevertheless gave them the great privilege of being co-workers with him.

What he invites you to do may be a very simple thing. You may have opportunity to share your faith with your neighbors. While that may seem an insignificant thing now, when history has come to an end and we are all gathered on the shore with Jesus this may well become the greatest thing you have ever done. We will see ourselves as tremendously privileged to have worked with God in what he was doing in this world.

 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.

A spiritual lesson here is that great blessing comes to one’s efforts when he follows the Lord’s will.

Peter either organizes the landing of the fish or he's the one who hauls it in. Now, if you've ever been in the water playing with your children when they're small, you can have two or three of your small children kind of hanging on you and you can still get around the water, right? Because the buoyancy displacement makes them not as heavy as if you were on land. On land you might be able to move a step or two but you sure can't haul them around the water, right?
So you envision Peter. They can't get over the gunnel of the ship because it's so heavy, but he can sort of man handle it in the water up to the side and then the disciples would organize the getting of all the fish out before they could slip back into the Sea of Galilee.
Why 153 fish? Well it's almost comical, commentators write pages of what the number 153 means. They have spiritualized allegorizations into all kinds of things in the Bible and it's almost comical to read, but unfortunately they happen to believe the stuff they write.
I am one hundred percent convinced that it means there were 153 fish. And if you know anything about fishing, what does any good fisherman do? You count your fish. Notice the text says large fish? No one ever says, "I caught 153 little fish.  John tells us it was 153 large fish. Much has been made of the number 153, but it may be enough to note that the author knew the exact number of fish caught, and that it was a great quantity. Such details give credibility to one’s testimony, and John certainly provides us with details.

There have been many symbolic explanations of the meaning of the 153 fish. One of the more credible of these is as follows. Jesus formerly told His disciples that they would become fishers of men, an obvious metaphor (Mark 1:17). If the fish here represent the converts that Jesus would miraculously provide for His disciples to "catch," perhaps their large number represents many converts and the fact that Jesus is the one who is responsible to bring the converts in to us.

Mt 13:47 "Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a dragnet that was cast into the sea and gathered some of every kind,

48 "which, when it was full, they drew to shore; and they sat down and gathered the good into vessels, but threw the bad away. 49 "So it will be at the end of the age. The angels will come forth, separate the wicked from among the just,

Mt 25:32 50 "and cast them into the furnace of fire. There will be wailing and gnashing of teeth."

The fact that the net did not break may symbolize the capability of the gospel to "catch" many people without failing.

We are blessed by Laboring with the Lord

They have much patience and persistence, and they will not quit. They know how to cooperate with one another, and they are skilled in using the equipment and the boat. What examples for us to follow as we seek to “catch fish” for Jesus Christ!

We are indeed “fishers of men,” and there are “fish” all around us. If we obey His directions, we will catch the fish.

But the main emphasis in this account is: success cannot occur without the recognition that the power of God is needed. This is not new truth. In Psalm 127 the psalmist said, "Except the Lord build the house, they labor in vain who build it. Except the Lord guard the city, the watchman watches in vain," (Psalms 127:1 KJV). But it is very common in the church today to see people rely on strictly human methods, with no recognition of the fact that God must supply.

Eph 3:20 Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us
 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. Ac 10:41

Jesus, as the host, invited the disciples to dine with Him. Perhaps He was reminding them of their last meal together in the upper room just before His arrest. In the ancient Near East a host who extended hospitality to others and provided food for them was implying that He would defend them from then on.

Consequently Jesus' invitation may have been a promise of commitment to them like the oriental covenant meal. Such a meal involved acceptance, forgiveness, and mutual commitment. By accepting His invitation the disciples were implying that they were committing themselves to Jesus afresh.

"Three 'invitations' stand out in John's Gospel: 'Come and see' (John 1:39); 'Come and drink' (John 7:37); and 'Come and dine' (John 21:12). How loving of Jesus to feed Peter before He dealt with his spiritual needs. He gave Peter opportunity to dry off, get warm, satisfy his hunger, and enjoy personal fellowship. This is a good example for us to follow as we care for God's people. Certainly the spiritual is more important than the physical, but caring for the physical can prepare the way for spiritual ministry. Our Lord does not so emphasize 'the soul' that He neglects the body."

Jesus then invites the disciples to join Him for breakfast. We are not actually told that they ate some of their fish for breakfast, and I am inclined to believe that Jesus supplied their entire meal. This was true of the bread, it would seem, and I think it was true as well for the fish. If Jesus had not already prepared a sufficient quantity for all these men (something a little hard to believe), then He could simply have fed them the same way He fed the 5,000, on the other side of the sea. These men had worked hard to provide for themselves, and they had nothing to show for it. Then they come to Jesus, who has more than enough to meet their needs. And in the process, He provides this great catch, enough to supply for their future needs.  I suspect that Jesus had them bring some of their fish so they could actually see how great the catch was. Once again, it would seem as though Jesus did not look exactly as He did before His death and resurrection. Even after the disciples had gotten close enough to get a good look at Jesus, they were still wondering to themselves, “Is this really Him?” They wanted to ask, but no one dared. They knew it was Jesus, but He probably did not look exactly as He had before, and so they just found it hard to believe.

"Come. Have breakfast. You've been fishing all night. You're worn out. Come. Have breakfast."
There's a charcoal fire and the smell of fish grilling on it. There are hunks of bread by the stones there maybe.

It is a great picture. I think we lose, again, a sense of the idea that the disciples, these appearances by Jesus were not every day or commonplace. There was still awe and wonder at when He appeared and what He had come to tell them.
Try to envision yourself coming off this boat, you know with your particular first century garb. You are wet, tired, cold and hungry and you haven't had the advantage of a thermos full of coffee. You've been out there on the water all night. It's cold and you’re weary and you have nothing really to show for it. Then you come in and here's Jesus.
And of course Peter is thinking to himself, "I've been here before. This has happened to me before."
Because back at his conversion this is how Jesus called him. He had a night where he had fished and hadn't caught anything and Jesus sends him back out in the morning and he catches a boatload of fish and he comes before Jesus and he says, "I am a sinful man."   And Jesus says, "Follow Me."
 13 Jesus then came and took the bread and gave it to them, and likewise the fish.

 14 This is now the third time Jesus showed Himself to His disciples after He was raised from the dead. Joh 20:19,26

John said that this was the third post-resurrection appearance "to the disciples" (i.e., the apostles, cf. 20:19-23, 26-29). Chronologically this was at least Jesus' seventh post-resurrection appearance (cf. 20:11-18; Matt.

28:8-10; 1 Cor. 15:5; Luke 24:13-32; John 20:19-23, 26-29). Nevertheless it was the third appearance to the disciples, and the third appearance to the disciples that John recorded.

John viewed this appearance as further proof of Jesus' resurrection. Perhaps he viewed it as completing a full complement of testimonies since he drew attention to its being the third appearance to the disciples. The number three in Scripture sometimes connotes fullness or completeness (e.g., the three Persons of the Trinity). However by calling this appearance a "manifestation" (Gr. ephanerothe, cf. v. 1) John indicated that he also viewed it as a revelation of Jesus' true character. So far Jesus had reminded these disciples of lessons that He had taught them previously that were important for them to remember in view of their mission. He had also set the stage for an even more important lesson that would follow.

I believe there are lessons to be learned from this miracle in the light of its similarity to the great fish harvest of Luke 5. Because of the fishing miracle in Luke 5, Peter and the other disciples came to see Jesus (and themselves) in a whole new light. There, Peter realizes he is not worthy to be in the same boat with Jesus. In John 21, Peter and the others are once again awed by our Lord and His works. In both texts, these professional fishermen were not able to catch anything on their own, even though they were laboring in the area of their expertise.

Jesus taught them that He is the source of their success, He is the One Who, when obeyed, makes men fruitful fishermen.

In Luke 5, the disciples were called to leave their fishing boats and to become “fishers of men” (5:10). I believe that John 21:1-14 is a reaffirmation of that original call. The disciples are all waiting around, wondering what to do with their lives.

I believe that by means of this miracle Jesus reiterates and reinforces their original call, which came in Luke 5.

There are some interesting differences in these accounts as well—and lessons to be learned from them.

The most obvious (and probably the most important) difference is that in Luke 5, Jesus was in the boat. In John 21, Jesus is on the shore. You may think I am pressing the limits of this story, but there is a lesson here: “Jesus is able to guide, to provide for, and to watch over His disciples just as well (better?) from a distance, as He is able to care for them “up close and personal.” From 100 yards away, Jesus knew they had caught no fish. From 100 yards away, Jesus could guide them to an abundance of fish. Even before they saw Him, Jesus was prepared to provide for their needs. He had breakfast “on the table,” so to speak, when they arrived on shore. Were the disciples uneasy about Jesus going away, about Jesus leaving them to return to His Father? Such fears are unfounded. He is just as able to care for them when He is in heaven as He was to care for them while He was on earth. I think this was a significant part of the lesson He wanted them to learn.

That is why this story is included here -- to teach us that in the work of evangelizing, whether through mass evangelism or individual witnessing, God himself is working with us and will supply far more than we ever dreamed.

Both of these accounts refer to Peter as "Simon Peter." Recall that when the Spirit of God uses the name "Simon" Peter, the natural Peter, the one with whom we feel a kinship, the Peter in us all, is in view.

And three times, Jesus is going to ask Peter the same question, or at least, we think it’s the same question, but as we’ll see as we move through this there’s actually a subtle shift in this question that we can’t see in our English Bibles, right?

It’s a rich picture of how intimately Jesus knows His friend, Peter, and by implication, how He knows us.

So, not only the guilt of, “Oh, I failed, and I didn’t respond well,” but, “Let me restore you to a place of usability that’s far beyond your wildest imagination.”

We need to keep this in mind as well, especially those of us who are very aware of our own sins, and how we have failed…

No matter how great a person is, he may fall (cf. 1 Cor. 10:12).[i]

  • Would you begin to understand that nothing you will ever done will make Him love you more, -and nothing you have ever done will make Him love you less. And when you start there, I believe the prayer thing is going to take care of itself.” But we’re all in this performance quota, “I have to do this before God will look on me favorably.”

He could not have demonstrated His love more profoundly than He already has. Why would He then change that conditionally based upon our works? So the motivation is, “I love you, and I want to respond well to you.”

Not, “I need to pray more, I need to be more faithful, I shouldn’t have done that.” What a terrible way to live the Christian life. Ultimately, that performance mindset that you’re talking about is legalism. It’s an attempt to self-justify and we have to come back and say do we believe that Christ has paid it all, and that we’re accepted not because of what we do, - but because of what He has done? And Peter had to realize that as well. As we pick up this account in John’s Gospel, Jesus has just finished cooking breakfast for His friends, and He’s about to have a conversation with Peter.

to follow Christ as maybe we have promised to do. Jesus is in the business of restoration. I am inclined to understand verses 1-14 in terms of evangelism—being fishers of men. But it is not enough to simply bring a lost sinner to faith in Jesus Christ; that person should also be discipled, and thus brought to maturity in Christ. This seems to be implicit in the Great Commission:

Lu 24:33 So they rose up that very hour and returned to Jerusalem, and found the eleven and those who were with them gathered together, 34 saying, "The Lord is risen indeed, and has appeared to Simon!"

Mr. 16:7 "But go, tell His disciples--and Peter--that He is going before you into Galilee; there you will see Him, as He said to you."

Jesus is not seeking to correct (or even rebuke) Peter here for his three-fold denial. Jesus personally revealed Himself to Peter, probably before He appeared to the disciples as a group (1 Corinthians 15:5; Luke 24:34; Mark 16:7). I believe it is there that our Lord dealt with Peter’s three-fold denial, and forgave him. In our text, Peter is eager to be with our Lord. I believe this is because Peter’s sins have already been confronted and forgiven, and thus he has already been restored to fellowship with the Master

I am not even inclined to see this text as Peter’s restoration to leadership. There are some scholars who hold that Peter was restored to fellowship in his private interview with Jesus, and that this incident is his public restoration to leadership. I see the emphasis of this passage falling on humble service, not on leadership, per se.?????????

this passage is more about love than about leadership. Love for Jesus is demonstrated by faithfully caring for His sheep. So, too, when we care for the sheep whom our Lord loves, and for whom He gave His life, we show our love for the Shepherd.

caution should be exercised in making too much of the two different words for “love” which are employed in this text. The two verbs are agapao and phileo. The first two times Jesus asks Peter if he loves Him, the word for love is agapao. The third time Jesus asks, He employs the term phileo. Every time Peter responds to Jesus’ question, indicating his love, he employs the word phileo. The distinctions that some make between these two terms may hold true in some cases, and for some authors. They do not seem to hold true for John, who often uses different terms for the same concept. When commentators do seek to emphasize the distinctions between the two Greek words John uses, they do not agree as to what the meaning and emphasis of these terms are. We should keep in mind that when Jesus spoke to Peter and asked him these three questions, He spoke not in Greek (the language in which the Gospel of John is written), but in Aramaic, the language spoken by the Jews of that day. The change in words may have some significance, but I hardly think it is the key to understanding the passage.

Jesus began by addressing Peter as Simon the son of Jonas. In the Gospels, Jesus addressed Peter this way on only the most important occasions. These were his call to follow Jesus (1:42), his confession of Jesus as the Son of God (Matt. 16:17), and as he slept in Gethsemane (Mark 14:37).????????????

 When Jesus addressed Peter this way here, Peter probably realized that what Jesus was about to say to him was extremely important.

"His [Peter's] actions had shown that Peter had not wanted a crucified Lord. But Jesus was crucified. How did Peter's devotion stand in the light of this? Was he ready to love Jesus as he was, and not as Peter wished him to be?"

His will is content with following. His work is compelled by love. His way is committed to God. And his work, or his will is content with following, but his words are about Jesus.

Number one, his work is compelled by love. A real committed Christian operates on the basis of his love for the Lord. Two, his way is controlled by God. He has learned how to give his life totally to God and trust Him for it. His will is content with following. He's happy to do what Jesus leads him to do. Fourth, his words are concerning Jesus. His work is compelled by love. His way is controlled by God. His will is content with following. And his words are concerned with Jesus.

  Mark 8:36 "For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul?

 John 14:6 Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me. Have you trusted Him as your Savior? He can Save you if You ask Him based on His death, burial, and resurrection for your sins. Believe in Him for forgiveness of your sins today.

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“And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.”  -John 8:32

The world is trying to solve earthly problems that can only be solved with heavenly solutions.

30 SECOND DEVOTIONAL FOR I AM NOT ASHAMED

13May

Hi, this is Marty McKenzie with His Love Ministries.  In Romans 1:16 Paul says For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes. In 1Corinthians 15:3-4 it says the Gospel of Jesus Christ is that He died for our sins, He was buried and rose again the third day.  It is the power to change lives, to forgive sins, and make us a new creation, so why aren’t we telling people about the Good News of the Gospel? says If we are ashamed of Him, He will be ashamed of us.

Mark 8:36 "For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul?

 John 14:6 Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me. Have you trusted Him as your Savior? He can Save you if You ask Him based on His death, burial, and resurrection for your sins. Believe in Him for forgiveness of your sins today.

hisloveministries.podbean.com #HLMSocial hisloveministries.net https://www.instagram.com/hisloveministries1/?hl=en https://www.facebook.com/His-Love-Ministries-246606668725869/?tn-str=k*F

 

“And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.”  -John 8:32

 

The world is trying to solve earthly problems that can only be solved with heavenly solutions.

JOHN 21:1-11 JESUS SAID TO THEM, CAST THE NET ON THE RIGHT SIDE OF THE BOAT, AND YOU WILL FIND SOME

10May

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: 2 Simon Peter, Thomas called the Twin, Nathanael of Cana in Galilee, the sons of Zebedee, and two others of His disciples were together. 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. 4 But when the morning had now come, Jesus stood on the shore; yet the disciples did not know that it was Jesus. 5 Then Jesus said to them, "Children, have you any food?" They answered Him, "No." 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. 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. 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. 9 Then, as soon as they had come to land, they saw a fire of coals there, and fish laid on it, and bread. 10 Jesus said to them, "Bring some of the fish which you have just caught." 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.

  The Purpose of chapter 21 The Conclusion Or Epilogue

This Chapter is here for 5 reasons:

  1. Helps us understand Peters prominent position in the church
  2. How are we to relate to the risen Christ
  3. Give us a Balance between Nurturing the saved and winning the lost
  4. Refutes the false rumor that Jesus coming back before John died
  5. Clear expression of how to love Christ. If you love me keep my commandments

We are blessed by Laboring with the Lord.  The disciples have learned how to cooperate with one another and how to obey Jesus. What examples for us to follow as we seek to “catch fish” for Jesus Christ! There are “fish” all around us. If we obey His directions, we will catch the fish.

The expression, "By hook or by crook," originated from the 21st chapter of the Gospel of John. A hook is the symbol of a fisherman, while a crook is the symbol of a shepherd. Here then in this chapter are symbolized the two ministries of the church: fishing and shepherding. That is how the work of God goes forward.

Chapter 21 contains instruction for those who have come to faith in Him and explains how they are to serve Him as they carry out their mission (20:21-23). Many of the prominent themes in the rest of the Gospel recur here.

"Some critics have argued that this chapter is anticlimactic after the great conclusion in chapter 20, and therefore was written by another (anonymous) writer. But the language evidence does not support this notion. In addition, other great books of Scripture have appendixes after reaching a grand climax (cf. e.g., Rom. 16 following Rom. 15:33). Thus John 21 is neither without value nor out of harmony with other Bible books."

The structure of this chapter is similar to the rest of the Gospel. John first narrated an event (vv. 1-14) and then related Jesus' teaching based on that event (vv. 15-23). Finally he concluded his Gospel (vv. 24-25).

In many ways, “frustrating” also describes what it must have been like for the disciples during that 40-day interval between Jesus’ resurrection and His ascension. With few exceptions, the disciples had spent three wonderful years with Jesus. They traveled together, ate together, camped out at night together, and shared a common purse. Their private, relaxing times together were exceedingly few and far between, but at least they were continually in close contact during the time of our Lord’s earthly ministry.

The last few hours our Lord spent with His disciples before His arrest were private and uninterrupted. After the horror of our Lord’s arrest, trials, and crucifixion, it would be tempting to think of this 40-day interval as a time of wonderful fellowship for our Lord and His disciples, but this was not really the case. For one thing, the disciples expected Jesus to immediately commence His kingdom, but it quickly became evident that this wasn’t happening. For another thing, the disciples were not really seeing a great deal of their Lord. After Jesus appeared to them, and they were convinced that He was alive, they were filled with joy. But if the disciples were thinking they would now be spending a lot of time with Jesus once again, they were wrong. Things had changed. This change was first indicated to Mary by our Lord, when He appeared to her after His resurrection:

John 20:16-17 16 Jesus said to her, “Mary.” She turned toward him and cried out in Aramaic, “Rabboni!” (which means Teacher). 17 Jesus said, “Do not hold on to me, for I have not yet returned to the Father. Go instead to my brothers and tell them, ‘I am returning to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God’” (NIV).

Jesus informs Mary that things are no longer going to be as they once were. Jesus was not going to be with His disciples on earth much longer, but was returning to His Father, as He had indicated earlier. He promised that after His ascension, He would dwell among them, and in them, through the Holy Spirit, but at the time they had no idea what He meant.

And so the disciples found themselves relating to Jesus in an entirely different way during this 40-day period of time. They were formerly with Him day and night. Now, they only saw Him from time to time. Eight days passed from the time Jesus first appeared to His disciples (John 20:19-23) to the time of His second appearance (John 20:26). He appeared to them only a handful of times in those 40 days (see 1 Corinthians 15:5-7). He came and went in such a way that they never knew when to expect Him. And He did not always look exactly the way He once did—there was something different about Him, which sometimes caused them to wonder whether or not it was really Him (see Mark 16:12; Luke 24:16, 31; John 21:12). I’m sure the disciples wished for the “good old days,” when they enjoyed much more intimate fellowship with Him. Jesus, however, was “weaning” them from those days, because He would no longer dwell among them as He once had. He was soon to ascend into heaven to be with His Father.

There were other things that made this time difficult. These were perilous days. The tomb of Jesus had been sealed and was under Roman guard, by order of Pilate. When Jesus was raised from the dead, the Jews and the Roman soldiers agreed on a cover-up. They sought to explain the resurrection and the empty tomb by circulating the story that Jesus’ disciples had stolen His body. This would have been a serious crime. The disciples could have been the targets of a manhunt. No wonder they were hiding out in a locked room when Jesus came to them (John 20:19, 26).

In addition to this, there was really very little the disciples could do during these 40 frustrating days. They were told to wait until they were given power from on high. The Holy Spirit had not yet come, because Pentecost was still a few days away. These men were not yet transformed, nor were they supernaturally empowered to heal the sick, raise the dead, or proclaim the gospel. The kingdom was on hold, there was little for them to do, and Jesus was seldom seen or heard from.

It was not an easy time for the disciples at all. I can imagine that Peter could have gone home, only to find Mrs. Peter standing in the doorway, with her hands on her hips. “Peter,” she might have said sharply, “we’ve got bills to pay and mouths to feed. When are you going back to work? How long are you going to wait around, wondering what to do with yourself?” All of the disciples must have been thinking similar thoughts. They had families to support. They had to do something. They couldn’t just wait around …

Why would we be surprised that it was Peter who decided to do something? Why would we find it unusual for Peter to speak out? This is precisely where the final chapter of John’s Gospel takes up.

  1. Command - vs 1-6- Manifested or Revealed Himself to the Seven Disciples

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

John recorded still another post-resurrection appearance of Jesus to His disciples. It undoubtedly occurred during the 32-day period between Thomas' confession (20:28) and Jesus' ascension (Acts 1:9).

Same as the sea of Galilee.  Called different names depending on where they are, Emperor Tiberius officially named it that. Evidently most of his original readers would have known it by this Roman name.

They were to learn something new about Him from this revelation.

 2 Simon Peter, Thomas called the Twin, Nathanael of Cana in Galilee, the sons of Zebedee, and two others of His disciples were together. Mt 4:21; Joh 1:45

The exact number may be another detail designed to add credibility to the account,  or  John  may  have  been  hinting  that  a  complete  number  of disciples was present. Seven was a number that symbolized completeness to the Jews (cf. Gen. 2:2-3; et al.). He may have been implying that the lesson that Jesus taught here was applicable to the full complement of disciples.

Book starts with 6 disciples and ends with 7? Anything to do with the completeness now of the work being done?

Peter is always named first

His name expresses the grace of God, He was impetuous, vacillating, moody, sees us as who we can be

Thomas called the Twin

Nathanael of Cana in Galilee

The sons of Zebedee – James and John

and two others of His disciples - Probably Andrew and Phillip

 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.

Some expositors have interpreted Peter's words as a renunciation of his calling as Jesus' disciple. They believe he meant that he intended to return to his former occupation as a fisherman permanently. However there is no basis for this conclusion in the text. Indeed when Peter learned that Jesus was standing on the shore he jumped into the water to get to Jesus as quickly as he could (v. 7).

Mt 26:32 "But after I have been raised, I will go before you to Galilee."

Mt 28:7 "And go quickly and tell His disciples that He is risen from the dead, and indeed He is going before you into Galilee; there you will see Him. Behold, I have told you."

 Mt 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."

 Mt 28:16 Then the eleven disciples went away into Galilee, to the mountain which Jesus had appointed for them.

Mr. 16:7 "But go, tell His disciples--and Peter--that He is going before you into Galilee; there you will see Him, as He said to you."

For the third time in John’s Gospel, our Lord appears to His disciples. This time He reveals Himself to seven of His disciples as they are fishing on the Sea of Tiberias — the Sea of Galilee (John 6:1). Most of these men were fishermen by trade. When Peter informed them that he was going fishing, they knew he was not planning to go out and do a little fly fishing on the Sea of Galilee, hoping to catch a fish or two. They understood that Peter was going back to work as a fisherman. They all must have had financial obligations they needed to meet. In addition, they needed to eat. And so those who were with Peter agreed to go fishing with him. There seemed to be nothing better to do. I do not find this decision to go fishing something unbefitting for a disciple. It was better for them to be doing something productive than nothing at all.

The first miraculous catch of fish came fairly early in the ministry of our Lord. Jesus was teaching beside the Sea of Galilee, and the crowds were pressing in on Him. There were at least two boats pulled up on shore nearby. One belonged to Peter and his brother Andrew, the other to James and John (and apparently their father—see Luke 5:2-11). These men had been out fishing all night, unsuccessfully, and were now washing their nets. Jesus got into Simon Peter’s boat and asked him push out from shore, so that He could use the boat as His speaker’s platform. When Jesus finished teaching, He told Peter to launch out into deeper waters and to lower the nets for a catch. Peter gently protested, informing Jesus that they had just spent the entire night fishing, without success. Nevertheless, Peter did as his Master instructed. As the nets were drawn in, it was evident that they had a huge catch of fish, so large that the nets were beginning to tear. Peter and his brother gestured to their partners, James and John, who came alongside with their boat. They filled both boats so full with the fish that they began to sink. Peter fell at Jesus’ knees (they were still in the boat) and said, “Go away from me, for I am a sinful man, Lord!” (Luke 5:8). Jesus comforted the men with these words, “Do not be afraid; from now on you will be catching people” (5:9). It would seem that from this point in time, they ceased fishing for their livelihood and followed Jesus wherever He went.

In John 21, we read of a very similar miraculous catch of fish. It is my opinion that it took place at virtually the same place, with the same boats, and most of the same fishermen. You will recall that before His crucifixion, Jesus told His disciples that He would go ahead of them to Galilee (Matthew 28:7; Mark 14:28). Then, after His resurrection, Jesus instructed His disciples to meet Him in Galilee (Matthew 28:10; Mark 16:7). The disciples who have gone fishing with Peter may very well be in Galilee because they have done what Jesus instructed them to do—go to Galilee, where He will meet them. This took them out of Jerusalem and Judea, the source of the strongest Jewish opposition. Like most of the disciples, Peter was a Galilean. These were his old “stomping grounds.” If they had been waiting for some time, Peter might well have concluded that they may as well occupy themselves by doing something profitable. And so he announced to his colleagues that he was going fishing.

 4 But when the morning had now come, Jesus stood on the shore; yet the disciples did not know that it was Jesus. Joh 20:14

Likewise the breaking of this new day is perhaps symbolic of the new era that was opening up for them as Jesus' disciples, though they did not realize that yet. Jesus' instruction would change the course of their lives forever.

 5 Then Jesus said to them, "Children, have you any food?" They answered Him, "No." Lu 24:41

Much of the fishing in the Sea of Galilee was done at night in those days as it is yet today. Fishermen used torches to attract the fish to the boat and then netted them. But although they were expert fishermen, the disciples had labored throughout the night and had caught nothing. That must have been a rather unusual experience for them. Yet as this account makes clear, it was the Lord's intention that they catch nothing on this occasion.

Now the question that Jesus asked is a number of observations. First it's framed expecting a negative answer. What the expected answer? "Well of course not," And that's exactly the way Jesus has framed the question.

"Haven't you caught any fish?" "You haven't caught any fish, have you?" That would be the English equivalent. "You haven't done so well, have you?" I think their answer is sort crestfallen. "No."

Failure is a very demoralizing thing. Some of you have tried hard to accomplish something. Like these fishermen, you have expended much energy and utilized all your resources but gained nothing in return. But although failure is a painful experience, valuable lessons can be gained through it.

Here is what one writer said about this failed night of fishing:

The night of failure was not without its lessons and its benefits. We can do worse than fail. We can succeed and be proud of our success. We can succeed and burn incense to the net. We can succeed and forget the Hand whose it is to give or to withhold, to kill or to make alive.

People who think they have done it all themselves are common today. Every now and then I meet someone who claims to be a "self-made man." I have discovered, however, that most self-made men worship their creator! Yet nothing is more revealing of human ignorance than the claim to be a self-made man. That is to take for granted all that has been provided for them all throughout their lives, without giving a thought for Who provided it. Yet, were it not for God's providing hand, we would have neither the opportunities nor the resources to begin with.

Success -- yes, even spiritual success -- can be a snare and a ruin, while failure can be an unspeakable benefit. Failure is often the only test by which the real worth and quality of a man or woman can be tried. It is in failure that a man begins to think, to wonder where his failure comes from, to look around and seek for the reasons, to put into his work double watchfulness and double energy, and to look upwards to Him who can turn failure into a glorious achievement.

John goes on to show what God can do with a night of failure.

Now many of your translations, unfortunately, render the word "friends." The word is not friends. The word is children. In fact it's a diminutive term. It's “little children.” And I think when the translators gloss over it and call it "friends" it is unfortunate because you want to see Jesus Christ here as coming on the scene as a fatherly, loving, compassionate friend of theirs. And it's sort of like the Brits would say, "Lads. Or boys in our language"

Or if you're a dad with three or four sons, and they might even be grown sons, and you would say, "Sons." There is a real endearing and graciousness in the tone of the word. "Little children." Who else uses the phrase "little children" in the NT? John in First John. Little children. Little children. Little children. It's caring and compassionate and rich.

One can sense the discouragement and mild embarrassment in the disciples' "no." Jesus was in the process of teaching these men their personal inadequacy even in the type of work they knew best and had most experience with. It was important that they articulate their failure.

 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 In the Luke 5:5 account, Simon tries to pull them in and the nets are breaking, remember? They almost make the boats sink, remember? So these two are two different stories. Luke 5:5 account says: "Master, we worked hard all night and caught nothing, but I will do as You say and let down the nets."

Maybe there was a little hint of that again; There's enough differences in the stories that we know these are two different incidents; one early in the disciples' life and one right prior to Christ's ascension. In verses seven to nine the disciples recognize Him: they were not able to draw it in because of the multitude of fish. Lu 5:4,6-7

Their nets had been hanging over the left-hand side of their fishing boat.

The unknown authority on the shore now promised that if they would cast their net on the right-hand side they would catch some fish. Such a suggestion must have seemed ludicrous to these seasoned fishermen. The idea that such an insignificant change would accomplish anything was laughable. Yet amazingly the disciples followed Jesus' orders.

Nevertheless it seems clear that even after they obeyed the unknown armchair fisherman on the shore this dark morning they still did not realize that He was Jesus.

The reason for the disciples' obedience is not as important as the fact of it. Had they not obeyed Jesus' command they would have failed to catch any fish. However because they obeyed, they experienced overwhelming success, success far exceeding their natural ability.
Jesus knew that these men had worked all night and had caught nothing. I am tempted to think that Jesus actually orchestrated things so that these men would not catch anything. Anyway, Jesus let the fishermen know that He knew they had caught nothing. He then instructs them to cast out their nets on the right side of the boat, assuring them that when they do so, they will find some fish. I don’t know why these weary fishermen did it, but for some reason they were willing to make one last effort. When they drew in their nets, they did not contain just a few fish, or even a lot of fish. Their nets were virtually filled with fish.

These men would reflect on this experience and realize that Jesus had been teaching them how important it was to obey His word. Obedience to Jesus was the key to supernatural success. Indeed obedience to His word even though they did not know it was His word yielded an unbelievable reward.

It was at this point that John seems to have realized what was happening

 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. Joh 13:23; 20:2

Again John realized something about Jesus before Peter did (cf.  20:8).  Probably  he  sensed  that  a  miracle  had happened,  and  he  remembered  that  a  few  years  earlier  Jesus  had performed a similar miracle (Luke 5:1-11). True to the pictures we have of them in the New Testament John exhibited quick insight and Peter quick action.

Now the identity of Christ is no longer obscure. They know who He is and they can see Him. This incredible catch quickly reveals to John that it's the Lord. Peter connects the dots and before we know it characteristically he's thrown himself in the water.

Apparently he wanted to get to Jesus faster than his boat and net now full of fish would allow. He showed no concern for the fish; he willingly let them go. His only desire was to get to Jesus.

This was not the first time that Peter had met Jesus after the Crucifixion. Jesus had appeared to Peter evidently on Easter morning (1 Cor. 15:5) and undoubtedly on Easter evening (20:19-23; cf. Mark 16:14). Peter had also seen Jesus the following Sunday when Thomas made his profession of faith (20:26-29). Therefore we should not conclude that Peter would have been reluctant to see Jesus now because of his denial in the high priest's courtyard. Peter's moment of reconciliation with Jesus had already passed.
Now there's a little bit of a question if you read the text carefully. He's stripped for work. I don't think he's naked but I think he's down to the bare minimum of what he could have on. He's going to gird himself with something and jump into the water. Now if you've come to the edge of the water you take as much off as you can before you jump in not to be encumbered by your shoes or your coat or whatever else you have, right? So why is Peter putting something on?
There are a couple of little hints in the text that are kind of fun. This is the same word only found in John thirteen where Jesus girds Himself to wash the disciples' feet. And so now we see Peter girding himself. I think Peter is sort of, if you will, working hard and sweating and so he's probably hot and smelling like fish, certainly like the lake water. And so he puts on the minimum amount of clothing when he comes out of the water to see Christ.
John wants us to see these little connections about Jesus and girding up to serve and Peter girding himself as he goes to see his Lord, his friend and starting to put this thing together. When the disciples had followed Peter to go fishing, they don't follow him to jump in the water. It's about one hundred yards to the shore according to the text. It's a pretty good measurement.

Fishermen usually worked in their light undergarments (Gr. chiton, not underwear). Peter evidently put his outer garment (Gr. ependytes) on so when he reached land he would be properly clothed albeit soaking wet. Normally people take unnecessary clothing off before going swimming. Peter's somewhat irrational behavior seems to be another indication of his strong desire to get to Jesus quickly. He was again demonstrating his characteristic extravagant loyalty to his Lord (cf. 20:6).

So we have the boat, some think there are two boats, a larger fishing boat and a smaller like dingy type boat. We can't know for sure.
Instinctively, he knew that the man on the beach was Jesus. And now that he knew, he told Peter as well. That was all it took for Peter. He tucked in his outer garment and plunged into the sea, swimming to shore to see Jesus.

Someone has remarked that what we find here is typical of both Peter and John. John was the first to understand; Peter was the first to act.  We cannot be sure that Peter actually arrived on shore first. One thing does seem certain: Jesus must have personally forgiven and restored Peter on His previous, private meeting with him (see Luke 24:34; 1 Corinthians 15:5). Peter certainly shows no reluctance to see Jesus face to face here!

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.

If I were one of the other disciples, I would have been perturbed with Peter for leaving me behind with a full net and an unsecured boat, still several hundred feet from shore. They seem to have learned from the miracle in Luke chapter 5 that it was unwise to try to empty the net full of fish into the boat—since their two boats nearly sank on that occasion. And so they simply drug their bulging nets behind the boat and made their way to shore, with their nets still in the water, teaming with fish.

Jesus supplied the original fish and all we have originally comes from the hand of the Lord.  James 1.17

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

John's narrative sort of creates a setting here of a number of things. He mentions a charcoal fire. If you've been with us in the study only one other time in the New Testament do we have the phrase charcoal fire. Do you remember where it is? It was with Peter's denial. Why does John, with an eyewitness touch, mark this little detail of charcoal fire at the denial and now he marks it again. What's about to happen?
Peter's restoration.
We can almost smell the smoke of the fish and a charcoal fire. First there's a charcoal fire as they're warming themselves and he bitterly denies Christ and breaks down and cries and now there's a charcoal fire with fish on it that Jesus prepares for him. Now they're about to be restored with a threefold question, "Do you love Me, Peter?" There are interesting eyewitness touches that John gives us

Jesus was setting the stage for a lesson He was about to teach the disciples and especially Peter.

Bread and fish were common staples, but again they recall earlier miracles that Jesus had performed. He had miraculously provided meals for 5,000 and later 4,000 males plus women and children with bread and fish.

Notice that He had already provided some fish for them before the disciples got out of their boat and pulled the fish that they had caught to shore.

Several things here have parallels in the work of fishing for men. Notice that Jesus supplied the original fish and bread for this breakfast. When the disciples landed, the charcoal fire was already lit, and fish and bread were lying there. This is indicative that all that we have come from the hand of God. We did not provide this world or the food that is in it. We do not provide the opportunities that come our way. Many of them come to us right out of the blue. Behind all of this the hand of God has already been at work. He has already put us in the right place, leading us into situations we could never have designed ourselves. We operate by his grace and according to his efforts.

Before His crucifixion, Jesus had served His disciples by washing their feet (13:1-17). Now He continued to serve them as their risen Lord by providing them with a warm fire and breakfast (cf. v. 13).

Jesus invites us to labor with them,  Little boy brought his fish and bread, they caught it and hauled it in.

The “fire of coals” would certainly remind him of the fire at which he denied the Lord (John 18:18). It is good for us to remember the past; we may have something to confess.

10 Jesus said to them, "Bring some of the fish which you have just caught."

Even though there was already one fish (Gr. opsarion, singular) on the fire Jesus instructed the disciples to bring some of the fish (plural) that they had caught. He would not provide for their physical needs by multiplying the food miraculously as He had done in the past. Now He would use the product of their labor to satisfy their need. Nevertheless it was clear that their fish had been the result of His miraculous provision. Perhaps this was all symbolic of how Jesus would carry out His mission through His disciples in the future compared with how He had done it during His pre- cross ministry.

But notice that Jesus then invites the disciples to bring the fish they have caught. This beautifully suggests the way God works with man. As I read through the Scriptures I am continually astonished at the privilege given us by God of being co-laborers with him. Human labor was involved in almost all of the miracles of Jesus. For instance, our Lord multiplied the bread and fish which the boy had to feed the multitude, but he first sent the disciples searching through the crowd to see what they could supply. The wonder of this is that God, who could easily do it all himself, nevertheless gave them the great privilege of being co-workers with him.

What he invites you to do may be a very simple thing. You may have opportunity to share your faith with your neighbors. While that may seem an insignificant thing now, when history has come to an end and we are all gathered on the shore with Jesus this may well become the greatest thing you have ever done. We will see ourselves as tremendously privileged to have worked with God in what he was doing in this world.

 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.

A spiritual lesson here is that great blessing comes to one’s efforts when he follows the Lord’s will.

Peter either organizes the landing of the fish or he's the one who hauls it in. Now, if you've ever been in the water playing with your children when they're small, you can have two or three of your small children kind of hanging on you and you can still get around the water, right? Because the buoyancy displacement makes them not as heavy as if you were on land. On land you might be able to move a step or two but you sure can't haul them around the water, right?
So you envision Peter. They can't get over the gunnel of the ship because it's so heavy, but he can sort of man handle it in the water up to the side and then the disciples would organize the getting of all the fish out before they could slip back into the Sea of Galilee.
Why 153 fish? Well it's almost comical, commentators write pages of what the number 153 means. They have spiritualized allegorizations into all kinds of things in the Bible and it's almost comical to read, but unfortunately they happen to believe the stuff they write.
I am one hundred percent convinced that it means there were 153 fish. And if you know anything about fishing, what does any good fisherman do? You count your fish. Notice the text says large fish? No one ever says, "I caught 153 little fish.  John tells us it was 153 large fish. Much has been made of the number 153, but it may be enough to note that the author knew the exact number of fish caught, and that it was a great quantity. Such details give credibility to one’s testimony, and John certainly provides us with details.

There have been many symbolic explanations of the meaning of the 153 fish. One of the more credible of these is as follows. Jesus formerly told His disciples that they would become fishers of men, an obvious metaphor (Mark 1:17). If the fish here represent the converts that Jesus would miraculously provide for His disciples to "catch," perhaps their large number represents many converts and the fact that Jesus is the one who is responsible to bring the converts in to us.

Mt 13:47 "Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a dragnet that was cast into the sea and gathered some of every kind,

48 "which, when it was full, they drew to shore; and they sat down and gathered the good into vessels, but threw the bad away. 49 "So it will be at the end of the age. The angels will come forth, separate the wicked from among the just,

Mt 25:32 50 "and cast them into the furnace of fire. There will be wailing and gnashing of teeth."

The fact that the net did not break may symbolize the capability of the gospel to "catch" many people without failing.

We are blessed by Laboring with the Lord

They have much patience and persistence, and they will not quit. They know how to cooperate with one another, and they are skilled in using the equipment and the boat. What examples for us to follow as we seek to “catch fish” for Jesus Christ!

We are indeed “fishers of men,” and there are “fish” all around us. If we obey His directions, we will catch the fish.

But the main emphasis in this account is: success cannot occur without the recognition that the power of God is needed. This is not new truth. In Psalm 127 the psalmist said, "Except the Lord build the house, they labor in vain who build it. Except the Lord guard the city, the watchman watches in vain," (Psalms 127:1 KJV). But it is very common in the church today to see people rely on strictly human methods, with no recognition of the fact that God must supply.

Eph 3:20 Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us

Mark 8:36 "For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul?

 John 14:6 Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me. Have you trusted Him as your Savior? He can Save you if You ask Him based on His death, burial, and resurrection for your sins. Believe in Him for forgiveness of your sins today.

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“And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.”  -John 8:32

The world is trying to solve earthly problems that can only be solved with heavenly solutions.

30 SECOND DEVOTIONAL REACHING FOR THE PRIZE PHILIPPIANS 3:12-14

6May

Hi, I’m Marty McKenzie with His Love Ministries.  To sum up Phil 3:12-14,  Paul said I have not already attained, nor am I perfect; 13 but one thing I do 14 I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.  The goal is to be like Christ here on earth, the prize is to be made like Him in Heaven.  Many have died climbing the Alps, one grave reads he died climbing . Are you continually climbing one step at a time with the goal of being like Jesus?

12 Not that I have already attained,[a] or am already perfected; but I press on, that I may lay hold of that for which Christ Jesus has also laid hold of me. 13 Brethren, I do not count myself to have [b]apprehended; but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, 14 I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.

   John 14:6 Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me. Have you trusted Him as your Savior? He can Save you if You ask Him based on His death, burial, and resurrection for your sins. Believe in Him for forgiveness of your sins today.

 “And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.”  -John 8:32

 Our mission is to spread the gospel and to go to the least of these with the life-changing message of Jesus Christ; We reach out to those the World has forgotten. 

hisloveministries.podbean.com #HLMSocial hisloveministries.net https://www.instagram.com/hisloveministries1/?hl=en Don’t go for all the gusto you can get, go for all the God (Jesus Christ) you can get. The gusto will get you, Jesus can save you. https://www.facebook.com/His-Love-Ministries-246606668725869/?tn-str=k*F

The world is trying to solve earthly problems that can only be solved with heavenly solutions

JOHN 20:24-31 JESUS SAID TO HIM, “THOMAS, BECAUSE YOU HAVE SEEN ME, YOU HAVE BELIEVED. BLESSED ARE THOSE WHO HAVE NOT SEEN AND YET HAVE BELIEVED.”

3May

John 20:24 Now Thomas, called the Twin, one of the twelve, was not with them when Jesus came. 25 The other disciples therefore said to him, "We have seen the Lord." So he said to them, "Unless I see in His hands the print of the nails, and put my finger into the print of the nails, and put my hand into His side, I will not believe." 26And after eight days His disciples were again inside, and Thomas with them. Jesus came, the doors being shut, and stood in the midst, and said, "Peace to you!" 27 Then He said to Thomas, "Reach your finger here, and look at My hands; and reach your hand here, and put it into My side. Do not be unbelieving, but believing." 28 And Thomas answered and said to Him, "My Lord and my God!" 29 Jesus said to him, "Thomas, because you have seen Me, you have believed. Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed." 30 And truly Jesus did many other signs in the presence of His disciples, which are not written in this book; 31 but these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that believing you may have life in His name.

 

The disciples keep on telling Thomas that they have seen the Lord, but Thomas refuses to believe unless he sees for himself.  Remember he is only asking for what the others have already experienced.  So, we will see Jesus make a personal appearance eight days later so that Thomas can see Him and believe. Jesus offers for Thomas to put his finger in His side and in hands where they have been pierced by the nails that held him to the cross.  Then Thomas makes that greatest of all confessions of faith when He says My Lord and my God.  Jesus tells Thomas he is blessed because He saw and believed, but there is a greater blessing for those who just take it by faith that He rose from the grave. He finishes up the chapter by giving us the purpose statement of the whole book of John. He wrote about the seven signs that we might trust in Christ and have eternal life forever because of Jesus.

John's previous pictures of this disciple present him as a loyal and courageous, though a somewhat pessimistic, follower of Jesus. His more common identification as a doubter comes only from the present event. Thomas had no doubts that Jesus had died. This is another evidence that Jesus really did die.

The Greek text clarifies that the other disciples kept saying (Gr. elegon, imperfect tense) that Jesus was alive. In spite of this repeated verbal testimony by those who knew Him best, Thomas refused to believe (cf. 4:48). He had become so thoroughly convinced that Jesus was dead, as evidenced by his references to Jesus' wounds, that he could not see how Jesus' crucifixion could be overcome.

24 Now Thomas, called the Twin, one of the twelve, was not with them when Jesus came. Joh 11:16

How much Thomas missed because he did not meet with the other disciples on the Lord's Day

Heb.10:22-25 

He had to endure a whole week of fear and unbelief unnecessarily.

 25 The other disciples therefore said to him, "We have seen the Lord." So he said to them, "Unless I see in His hands the print of the nails, and put my finger into the print of the nails, and put my hand into His side, I will not believe."

The disciples seem to have been convinced of our Lord’s resurrection, except for Thomas who was not there. He did not see the resurrected Lord, nor did he behold the Savior’s wounded hands and side. And so it was that when Thomas was told that Jesus had appeared to them, he refused to believe. He insisted that in order for him to believe, he would have to see Jesus with his own eyes. He would have to personally inspect the Lord’s nail-pierced hands and His pierced side. Only then would he believe. Before we become too harsh with Thomas, let me remind you that the other disciples did not believe until they saw, either. Thomas is really demanding to see the same things that convinced the others. He is not asking for anything more than what the others saw.

Eight days passed. Apparently Jesus did not appear to any of His disciples during this period of time.

 26 ¶ And after eight days His disciples were again inside, and Thomas with them. Jesus came, the doors being shut, and stood in the midst, and said, "Peace to you!"

Jesus again materialized in the presence of these disciples as He had a week earlier (v. 19). He also repeated His benediction (v. 21). Perhaps Jesus did these things because the disciples had told Thomas that He had appeared this way and had said these things. This would have bolstered Thomas' faith.

 27 Then He said to Thomas, "Reach your finger here, and look at My hands; and reach your hand here, and put it into My side. Do not be unbelieving, but believing." 1Jo 1:1

Jesus knew what Thomas had said even though He had not been physically present when he had said it. This is further proof of Jesus' deity. The purpose of this test was not just to satisfy Thomas' curiosity, however. It was to bring him to faith that Jesus was the resurrected Messiah.

When Jesus appears to Thomas we have this road of unbelief that goes into a road of belief.  And, again, John’s whole effort is to show how people come to faith and believe in Christ.  Thomas had heard the report.  In fact, the text, the word “see” is a very important verb all the way through this whole story.  They had seen Him.  They had seen the Lord.  “I’m not going to believe until I can see.”  It’s like I’m putting the finger in the nail print.  Until I can see, I won’t believe.  That’s the whole context that John’s setting up for us.  Thomas is a thoroughly a skeptic.

Now, we often call him “Doubting Thomas” and we want to be careful with that.  We want to be careful of overstating the case of any of the disciples.  I’ve encouraged all of us not to sort of wail on Peter and we’ll see Peter one day.  And I don’t want to wail on Thomas because we’re going to see Thomas one day; and I think Thomas is given to us for all of us who have that little skeptic, unconvinced - Thomas is the spiritual Missouri.

 “Unless you show me, I’m not going to believe you.  I’ve got to see it with my own eyes before I believe it.  I don’t believe this thing.”

 And the Sunday after resurrection Sunday, the disciples are together, Thomas is now with them, they’ve tried to convince him, “He still won’t believe.”

 I think the more profound part of this is not when Jesus says, “Reach here.”  Not that He shows Himself to Thomas.  I think the profound part is He knew what Thomas had said.  In one sense, that’s more profound than the miracle, if you will.

 Now, play this one out if you want to get a little nervous.  If Jesus Christ knew Thomas’ doubt, does He know yours?  Does He know the sin that you and I toy with?  Does He know the fears and the skepticism and the lust of our heart and the lust of our eyes and the pride of our life?  Seems to me it’s a pretty good case for omniscience.  I don’t necessarily like it, but I believe it and I believe that’s one of the main lessons He wants us to see.

 Well, Thomas’ confession is really unrestrained.  He just sort of blurts out, “My Lord and My God!”  And there’s nothing in the text that tells us what he did.  In other words, we don’t know if Jesus took his hand and poked his finger in His own hand.  Or if Thomas said, “Okay, let me check this out.”

In fact, I think the text is intentionally blank with Thomas’ physical process because whatever you’d have done, that’s what he did.  In other words, Christ is sort of meeting and condescending to Thomas and I think He does to you and me, too, in our doubts.  So, we don’t know precisely what he does, but his response is powerful.

Immediately, Jesus turns His attention to Thomas. He summons Thomas to come and to put his finger where the nails had pierced His hands, and to feel His side where the spear had pierced it. He challenged Thomas to forsake his unbelief and to believe.

Since John does not tell us that Thomas actually felt the wounds of our Lord, it may well be that after seeing Jesus alive he no longer required this proof. It may have taken this sight to convince Thomas, but once convinced, Thomas got it right. He does not merely profess a belief that Jesus has risen from the dead. Thomas professes to believe in what the resurrection proved—that Jesus was God, and that He was Lord (verse 28). Thomas now has it right.

 28 And Thomas answered and said to Him, "My Lord and my God!"

For a Jew to call another human being "my Lord and my God" was blasphemy under normal circumstances (cf. 10:33). Yet that is precisely who Thomas believed Jesus was. It is also who John presented Jesus as being throughout this Gospel. Both titles were titles of deity in the Old Testament. Thomas had come to believe that Jesus was his lord in a fuller sense than before, and he now believed that Jesus was fully God.

In fact, it is perhaps the climax of the entire Gospel of John, that one sentence.  “My Lord and my God!”

 The first person pronoun is unusual when you talk about my Lord and my God.  In fact, you won’t find it in the Bible, except under Thomas’ declaration.  It’s one of the greatest “Aha’s” in all the Scripture.  And it serves a wonderful purpose the way John orchestrates His Gospel and puts it all together.

The  repeated  pronoun  my  does  not  diminish  the universality of Jesus' lordship and deity, but it ensures that Thomas' words are a personal confession of faith. Thomas thereby not only displays his faith in the resurrection of Jesus Christ, but points to its deepest meaning; it is nothing less than the revelation of who Jesus Christ is. The most unyielding sceptic has given to us the most profound confession."

Now Thomas believed as his fellow disciples had come to believe (cf. v.25). His confession is a model that John presented for all future disciples. It is the high point of this Gospel (cf. 1:1, 14, 18).

John's witnesses to Jesus' deity

  1. John the Baptist “This is the Chosen One [literally, “Son”] of God” (1:34)
  2. Nathaniel              “You are the Son of God” (1:49)
  3. Peter                             “You are the Holy One of God!” (6:69)
  4. Martha “You are the Christ, the Son of God” (11:27)
  5. Thomas                             “My Lord and my God!” (20:28)
  6. John the Apostle    “Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God” (20:31)
  7. Jesus                            “I am the Son of God” (10:36; see also 4:26; 8:58)

Nobody has previously addressed Jesus like this. It marks a leap of faith. In the moment that he came to see that Jesus was  indeed  risen  from  the  dead  Thomas  came  to  see something of what that implied. Mere men do not rise from the dead in this fashion.  The One who was now so obviously alive, although he had died, could be addressed in the language of adoring worship."

I want you to notice Jesus’ response to Him.

 29 Jesus said to him, "Thomas, because you have seen Me, you have believed. Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed." 2Co 5:7 For we walk by faith, not by sight.;

It confirmed the reality of Thomas' belief, and it prepared for the beatitude that followed (cf. 13:17). "Blessed" (Gr. makarios) does more than just describe the person in view as happy. It also declares him or her acceptable to God (cf. Matt. 5:3-12).

Jesus pronounces a blessing upon those who don’t get to see and yet have faith in Him.  Jesus is saying, “It’s a good thing that you believe, Thomas, as a result of the sign.  But it’s a blessed thing if you believe and you don’t get to see the proof of the thing that you want proven.”

And so we see God in His grace condescending to Thomas but also God in His grace telling us that not all of us are going to get to see the things that would cast our doubts aside.

Most believers have believed on Jesus because of sufficient evidence without the physical confirmation that Thomas required (cf. v. 8; 1 Pet.1:8-9). Those were the people whom Jesus had in view when He made this statement. This beatitude does not make believers who live after Jesus' ascension superior to those who saw Him in the flesh. Rather it guarantees their blessing by God.

When Jesus makes that blessing statement, “Blessed are those who have not seen and yet believe,” He Absolutely had us in mind. He’s thinking of those who throughout the centuries would believe without seeing the resurrection.

"Thomas's declaration is the last assertion of personal faith recorded in this Gospel. It marks the climax of the book because it presents Christ as the risen Lord, victorious over sin, sorrow, doubt, and death. It also presents the faith that accepts not only the truth of what Jesus said but also the actuality of what he was—the Son of God. In the experience of Thomas, the writer has shown how belief comes to maturity and how it changes the entire direction of an individual life."

"The growth of belief depicted in the Gospel of John thus moves from an initial acceptance on the testimony of another to a personal knowledge marked by loyalty, service, and worship; from assumption of the historicity and integrity of Jesus to a personal trust in Him; from an outward profession to an inward reality; from practicing His teachings to acknowledging His lordship over life. Full belief may not be attained instantly; yet the initial and tentative belief is not to be despised."

Based on a story of faith.  Based again on the intrinsic power of the Gospel story.  That He lived, He died, He was buried and He came back from the grave.  And those who trust in that are extraordinarily blessed. There is compelling evidence for the death, burial and resurrection of Christ; but ultimately, even with all of that evidence -

It comes down to faith.

Reviewing what it would take to cover something like this up.  It’s impossible, to cover something like that up.  And to think about these eleven inept men who’ve run away at the fear of being somehow associated with Jesus a couple of days before are now so emboldened to steal the body and cover it up.  Talk about the extraordinary leap of faith.  It takes more imagination and fiction to think they could pull that off than that Christ really came back from the dead.

And the Gospel writers don‘t say it, but we have to be sure that there were many who had a compelling desire to produce the body and demonstrate that this rumor going around that Jesus had been resurrected was just that, a rumor.  But no one was able to demonstrate.

 Well, from Caiaphas on down, the most powerful, political religious group of men could not produce a body.  And you know what?  No one ever will.

Think about Lee Strobel, the Chicago journalist who has written a number of books to provide evidence for the reality of Christ, the truth of the Scriptures.  And he wrote a book on the case for the cross where he examines the evidence.  And as wild as it may be to consider it, there’s no conclusion you can come to that makes any more sense than that Jesus is who He says He was and He was raised from the dead.  It’s just one piece of evidence after another.

1Pe 1:8 whom having not seen you love. Though now you do not see Him, yet believing, you rejoice with joy inexpressible and full of glory, 9 receiving the end of your faith--the salvation of your souls.

Although you’ve not seen Him, you love Him.  You don’t see Him now, but you believe in Him.  And this is Peter.  This is the Peter who ran away and three times denied His Lord.  And I’ve got to believe Peter is in the room when He appears again with Thomas.  And I wonder if in the inspired movement of the Spirit of God when these words are penned, if all is not meant for us to piece together. “You’ve not seen Him, but you love Him.  You’ve not seen Him but you believe in Him.”  And you’re blessed in that process. 

If you add up the Synoptics you have thirty-five miracles, little debate on the exact number, but thirty-five miracles, signs, that Jesus performed, John records only seven key ones.

Now get the flow of the book.  It’s very important.  They’ve not seen the risen Christ.  They’re looking for the body.  The Christ appears resurrected.  The fear is turned to joy.  Doubting individuals are convinced.  Their doubt is now taken away.  He really believes and Jesus says, “When you go out, you proclaim forgiveness as part of this gospel message.  You teach the people that the covenant, the new covenant, provides for forgiveness.  That’s what this is all about.”

 30 And truly Jesus did many other signs in the presence of His disciples, which are not written in this book;  Joh 21:25

 31 but these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that believing you may have life in His name. Lu 1:4; Joh 3:15-16; 5:24; 1Pe 1:8-9(NKJV)

It’s okay if you saw and believed, but you’re blessed if you believe and you didn’t get to see.  And then John says, “These signs that Jesus has done, a lot more of them happened, but these were written so you’ll believe.”

What does he want for us to believe?  The signs.  John the Gospel writer has said now for twenty chapters, he said, “I wrote all this so that you’ll believe.  And I punctuated it with these miracles so that you’ll believe.”

Jesus even said, “If someone comes back from the dead they won’t believe.”

But John says, “I want to record these signs so that you’ll believe.”

When Jesus Christ performs a miracle it’s always for a purpose.  The word sign is a stem of signifying.  The sign signifies something.  Take for example the blind man, John nine.  He’s blind from birth.  What’s the point?  Jesus has power over creation.  Sure.  That’s not the real point.  The real point is all of us are blind and we need new sight and Jesus says, “I am the light of the world.  I am the one who gives you new sight.  I create new hearts.  I create new eyes.  I create new people.” 
That’s what Jesus’ message is.  So the sign of the blind man being cured, being given new eyes, is not just a, “Wow!  He cured somebody.”  It’s, we’re all spiritually blind and we need curing.  Are you with me?  So John says, “All these signs signify something about Christ and our condition and they’re written so you and I will believe.”

A SUMMARY OF THE SEVEN SIGNS IN JOHN

Sign

Significance

Belief

Unbelief

Reference

Changing water to wine

Jesus' power over life,(source)

The disciples

 

2:1-11

Healing the official's son

Jesus' power over distance

The official and his household

 

4:46-54

Healing the paralytic

Jesus' power over time

The paralytic?

The Jews

5:1-9

Feeding the 5,000

Jesus' power over quantity

Some people in the crowd

 

6:1-15

Walking on the water

Jesus' power over nature

The disciples

 

6:16-21

Healing a man born blind

Jesus' power over creation and misfortune

The blind man

The Pharisees

9:1-12

Raising Lazarus

Jesus' power over death

Martha, Mary, and many Jews

The Jewish Authorities

11:1-16

His presentation of Jesus as the divine Son of God certainly has universal application.

"There cannot be any doubt but that John conceived of Jesus as the very incarnation of God."

John's purpose was not academic. It was not simply that people might believe intellectually that Jesus is the divine Messiah. It was rather that they might believe those foundational truths so they could possess and experience the life of God fully (cf. 10:10). This divine life affects the whole person, not just the intellect. Moreover it affects him or her forever, not just during that person's present lifetime.

Let’s look at a couple of lessons

John's clear purpose statement concludes the body of this Gospel.

  1. The graveside can bring incredible grief in life, but the faith of the believer moves on beyond the grave.

We’re separated and we miss people bitterly because we love them.”
That’s what death is, a separation, right?  And we long to see them.  And it’s very common for people to dream about a reunion and I think Mary is sort of that person.  She’s hanging on and she’s hurt and Jesus says, “Mary.”
And she turns.  The point of that:  turn away from the graveside and see the resurrection.  Turn away from your grief and see life is beyond the grave, right?  And we must do the same as we process through our grief.  Grief is tough, it’s not meant to be simple.  It’s tough.  But the believer in Christ has hope that the world doesn’t have.

  1. Suffering is universal, misery is optional.”
    Some of you know the name Charles Wedemeyer.  He was a very successful coach who is now a quadriplegic and can’t even speak.  One hundred percent dependent upon other people.  And he says, through her interpretation, “Suffering is universal, misery is optional.”
    And, you know, all of us are going to suffer and hurt and grieve in life, but to remain miserable is an option and the believer in Christ must look beyond the circumstances and say, “You know, this earth is a rotten place sometimes.  My faith is in the next life.”

      God’s peace only comes through Christ.  John fourteen to John sixteen Christ had gone at length to say, “My peace I leave with you.  Not as the world do I give, but my peace I give to you.  Peace be with you.”
    Earlier it said his spirit was troubled and He says, “I’m going to give you peace.”  Three times in this text, “Peace be with you.  Peace be with you.  Peace.”

They’re afraid of the Jews, they are fearfully grieving their loss.  “Peace be with you.  Peace.”  He’s dispelling their anxiety. 

Isa 26:3 You will keep him in perfect peace, Whose mind is stayed on You, Because he trusts in You.

Ps 4:8 I will both lie down in peace, and sleep; For You alone, O LORD, make me dwell in safety.

Phil 4:6-9 Paul says a peace that surpasses all comprehension that will guard your heart and your mind in Christ Jesus.  How many of us have never even come close to understanding that?  And that’s the resurrection peace that Christ gives. 

  1. Jesus Knows Everything - If Jesus Christ knew Thomas’ doubt, does He know yours? Does He know the sin that you and I toy with? He knows the fears and the skepticism and the lust of our heart and the lust of our eyes and the pride of our life?
  2. "Thomas's declaration of personal faith marks the climax of the book because it presents Christ as the risen Lord, victorious over sin, sorrow, doubt, and death. It is our example. Romans 10.9-11
  3. What proof do you seek? 

See, the reasons we don’t believe, the reasons we doubt are not because we’re so smart or clever.  The reason we doubt is because if we believe, we therefore must submit and obey.  And that’s not fun.  It’s not fun to do the right thing when sin wants to do the wrong thing.  But the believer in Jesus Christ submits and he says, “You know, God, I don’t understand it all, but by Your grace and kindness I’m going to follow You even when I can’t see to believe, I believe You.”

Mark chapter nine.  The man who has brought his seizure ridden epileptic demonized son to the disciples who can’t do anything for him.  Jesus comes back with Peter, James and John from the mount of transfiguration.  An extraordinary passage, where the man wants to believe but what great honesty.  “Help me in my unbelief.  I want to believe you.”
And Jesus doesn’t condemn him Or shame him or anything, Or say, “What kind of faith is this?”  In fact, the message is really a double-edged message because He says, “Oh unbelieving generation, how long will I be with you?”  That precedes His comment to the father.  I think His primary target is the disciples.
It’s like when you discipline one child in front of your whole family.  You’re telling them all the same issue, but the one’s on the hot seat.  And Christ is saying to you, “Don’t you get it?  This is not your power.  This is not you.  You have to move beyond that.”
And with a few words the Lord does a miracle of healing.
Would we say to Jesus, “Lord, I believe.  Help my unbelief.” I hope so.  I often do.  I want to believe Him, I hope to believe.
And belief and faith are not the little engine that could.  It’s not, “I think I can, I think I can, I think I can,” and if I exercise enough of that faith, then God will come through.  Faith is confident assurance of things hoped for.  Meaning, I want this outcome.  With a conviction of things not yet seen.  I don’t know the outcome, I don’t know the verdict.  So I’m trusting Christ, I’m believing in Him, I’m hoping for this outcome.  I’m convicted in the sense I’m planted, but I don’t know what’s going to happen.
And ultimately your faith is not in the outcome, it is in the one who controls the outcome

 Mark 8:36 "For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul?

 John 14:6 Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me. Have you trusted Him as your Savior? He can Save you if You ask Him based on His death, burial, and resurrection for your sins. Believe in Him for forgiveness of your sins today.

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“And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.”  -John 8:32

The world is trying to solve earthly problems that can only be solved with heavenly solutions.

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