John 21

Humanity Redeemed | Week 9

Donna Gaines is the wife of Pastor Steve Gaines, a teacher, author of four books, and editor of A Daily Women’s Devotional.
Donna Gaines
February 9, 2022
November 17, 2020

During Week 9 of "Humanity Redeemed," Donna Gaines leads our study.

Week 9 - The Seashore

I. Jesus bore the penalty for our sin

The brash, bold, impulsive, Peter had committed the unthinkable. The one who said he would go with Jesus to death had denied he knew him. He had denied Christ at the very moment of His betrayal by the religious leaders, when all of His followers but John had scattered. He denied Him, not once but three times. In Peter’s mind there was no going back. He had committed the worst possible sin – he had denied he knew the Lord!

II. Jesus released us from the power of sin

Christ’s death, burial and resurrection had not only paid for our sin, but conquered it. He came out of the grave with the keys to death and hell. He not only paid the penalty for our sin, but He also released us from the power of sin. Desiring to reveal this truth to His disciples, Jesus in His resurrected form appeared to them on the seashore.

The disciples had been on a roller coaster of emotions. They had betrayed their Lord, then witnessed Him die. Grief was replaced by awe and inexpressible joy as He appeared to them in His resurrected form. Jesus had told them to go to Galilee. Maybe fishing was just what they needed to release some of their heightened emotions and calm their frazzled nerves.

Jesus appeared on the seashore and called out to the disciples. He told them to throw the net out on the right-hand side of the boat and they would find a catch.

Where else had this happened? Luke 5:1-11

This also reminds us of what Jesus said, “for apart from Me you can do nothing” (John 15:5). When we act on His command, He is able to do “far more abundantly beyond all that we ask or think according to His power that works within us” (Ephesians 3:20).

“It is by dying to our reliance on ourselves and our abilities that we discover resurrection life and the harvest of the kingdom” (The Message of John, Bruce Milne, Logos).

We are to listen for His voice through His Word and the inner promptings of His Spirit as He makes us fishers of men. He invites us to fellowship and communion around a meal. This invitation to the intimacy of a meal, is a foreshadowing of the day He will gird Himself and serve us at the Marriage Supper of the Lamb (Revelation 19:9).

“When they arrived/embarked on the land, an important sight met them. It was none other than a charcoal fire (anthrakian). This word appears only in two places in the entire New Testament, and both of them are related to Peter in the Gospel of John (18:18; 21:9). The first forms a setting for Peter’s denial and the second for his reinstatement; the first concerns the darkness of an evil night and the second the morning of new possibilities” (The New American Commentary, Gerald L. Borchert, Logos).

“The Lord’s lovingkindnesses indeed never cease, for His compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness” (Lamentations 3:22-23).

Realizing it was the Lord, Peter put on his outer garment and made his way to the shore. Although he had failed Jesus greatly, he knew Christ was still his only hope. Here we see the tender mercy of our Lord. After eating with the disciples, He questions Peter in their presence. They all knew of his betrayal and now they would all witness his recommissioning.

A. He asked him, Peter do you love (agapao) Me more than these?

(Matthew 26:33, 35; Luke 22:33; John 13:37)

Peter responded, “Yes, Lord; You know that I love (phileo) you”.

Jesus said, “Tend my lambs.”

B. Do you (agapao) Me?

Peter responded, “Yes, Lord; You know that I love (phileo) you”. Jesus said, “Feed My sheep.”

C. Do you (phileo) Me?

Peter was grieved that He asked him the third time and responded, “You know all things; You know that I love (phileo) you.”

Jesus said, “Tend My sheep.”

Jesus met Peter where He was to take him where only Christ could lead him. Only Jesus knew that after Peter was filled with the Holy Spirit he would preach on the Day of Pentecost and 3,000 would be saved. Only Jesus knew that Peter would faithfully serve alongside John and the other disciples, spreading the good news of the gospel and tending the flock of God.

“This ministry ‘is described in verbs, not nouns: Tend, feed, not Be a pastor, hold the office of pastor. And the sheep are Christ’s sheep, not Peter’s. Not, Tend your flock, but Tend my sheep’ (Barrett, Essays, pp. 165–166). That Peter fulfilled the terms of the service required of him receives its best attestation in 1 Peter (esp. 5:1–4)” (The Gospel According to John by D. A. Carson, Logos).

1 Peter 5:1-4

III. Jesus will one day remove us from the presence of sin

Christ prophesied of Peter’s faithfulness and eventual death by martyrdom.
“In this context, the younger Peter carries the positive connotations of freedom, while old here signals not serenity but restriction and martyrdom. More important is the way stretch out your hands was understood in the ancient world: it widely referred to crucifixion” (The Gospel According to John by D. A. Carson, Logos).

If Peter had any doubt that he would be able to stay faithful, Jesus calmed his fears. Jesus stated emphatically that the next time Peter was faced with a life or death situation he would be faithful to Christ. He would literally die for Him.

Looking back Peter sees John, the disciple whom Jesus loved. In true fashion, he asks what will become of John? Jesus is quick to tell him not to be concerned about the other disciple, to instead focus on following Him.

That too is our job. We are not to be looking around but to fix our eyes on Jesus, take up our cross, and follow Him.

God is writing your story. The fact that you are still here is evidence that He has not completed your narrative. Is there evidence of His power in your life?

“As Peter discovered, and as Paul was to find later (cf. 1 Timothy 1:12–16), no matter how desperate our failure, or how deep-seated our shame, he can forgive and renew us and then use us in his service. Failure is never final with God” (The Message of John, Bruce Milne, Logos)

Hallelujah! What a Savior! Our Lord and King is coming again! As we are about to move into the Advent season, remembering His first coming, may we watch and prepare for His second. Until our faith is made sight – may we follow Him!