A Personal Encounter With Jesus – John Lindell

John 21:15-17 – When they finished eating, Jesus asked Simon Peter, “Simon son of John, do you love me more than these?” Simon replied, “Yes, Lord, you know I love you.” Jesus said to him, “Feed my lambs.” Jesus asked a second time, “Simon son of John, do you love me?” Simon replied, “Yes, Lord, you know I love you.” Jesus said to him, “Take care of my sheep.” He asked a third time, “Simon son of John, do you love me?” Peter was sad that Jesus asked him a third time, “Do you love me?” He replied, “Lord, you know everything; you know I love you.” Jesus said to him, “Feed my sheep. (John 21:15-17 CEB)

  • John is closing out his gospel in chapter 21
  • There are 4 Post-resurrection appearances of Jesus in John.
  • Jesus is here seen to help Peter recover after his personal failure and shame.
  • Some focus on the multiple uses of Love – agape & phileo. Godly & brotherly.
  • Jesus asks if Peter has agape love – Peter says I have phileo love.
  • It’s not just about Greek (quality of love) forms
  • Some also try to fit Jesus into 3x’s love – vs – 3x’s denial interchange…It is so much more.

John 21:1-2 – After this Jesus revealed himself again to the disciples by the Sea of Tiberias, and he revealed himself in this way. Simon Peter, Thomas (called the Twin), Nathanael of Cana in Galilee, the sons of Zebedee, and two others of his disciples were together. (John 21:1, 2 ESV)

  • Jesus is all about revealing himself in chapter 21
  • Peter is struggling with a sense of failure. He is feeling that He has let Jesus down.
  • Jesus come to the disciples and to restore Peter.

John 21:3 – Simon Peter said to them, “I am going fishing.” They said to him, “We will go with you.” They went out and got into the boat, but that night they caught nothing. (John 21:3 ESV)

  • This is Peter quitting. (“I am going fishing.”)
  • He is going back to his old life. 
  • He goes not to “a” boat, but “the” boat…a specific boat…his boat.
  • Jesus had previously called Peter to be a “fisher of men (Luke 5:10).”
  • Peter’s dream has apparently exploded. (after following Jesus for 3 years and then publicly denying him)
  • This is after the disciples discovered the tomb was empty.
  • This is after Jesus appeared to those gathered in the upper room.
  • Jesus was in and out. It didn’t go back to way it used to be with Jesus. (A close connection with Peter.)
  • Prior to now, in the timeline, there was no resolution for Peter.
  • The problem with quitting: You take others with you.
  • Peter took others fishing with him. Peter’s influence was felt by others.

John 21:4-7 – Just as day was breaking, Jesus stood on the shore; yet the disciples did not know that it was Jesus. Jesus said to them, “Children, do you have any fish?” They answered him, “No.” He said to them, “Cast the net on the right side of the boat, and you will find some.” So they cast it, and now they were not able to haul it in, because of the quantity of fish. That disciple whom Jesus loved therefore said to Peter, “It is the Lord!” When Simon Peter heard that it was the Lord, he put on his outer garment, for he was stripped for work, and threw himself into the sea. (John 21:4-7 ESV)

  • They are tired and grumpy…They are in a quitting frame of mind.
  • They have to wonder “who is the comic on the beach?” who tells them to cast on the other side.

John 21:8-12 – The other disciples followed in the boat, dragging the net full of fish, for they weren’t far from shore, only about one hundred yards. When they landed, they saw a fire there, with fish on it, and some bread. Jesus said to them, “Bring some of the fish that you’ve just caught.” Simon Peter got up and pulled the net to shore. It was full of large fish, one hundred fifty-three of them. Yet the net hadn’t torn, even with so many fish. Jesus said to them, “Come and have breakfast.” None of the disciples could bring themselves to ask him, “Who are you?” They knew it was the Lord. (John 21:8-12 CEB)

Luke 5:2-7 – Jesus saw two boats sitting by the lake. The fishermen had gone ashore and were washing their nets. Jesus boarded one of the boats, the one that belonged to Simon, then asked him to row out a little distance from the shore. Jesus sat down and taught the crowds from the boat. When he finished speaking to the crowds, he said to Simon, “Row out farther, into the deep water, and drop your nets for a catch.” Simon replied, “Master, we’ve worked hard all night and caught nothing. But because you say so, I’ll drop the nets.” So they dropped the nets and their catch was so huge that their nets were splitting. They signaled for their partners in the other boat to come and help them. They filled both boats so full that they were about to sink. (Luke 5:2-7 CEB)

  • This is a parallel story to Peter’s quitting story (Luke 5:2-7+)
  • There is symmetry. Fishing during the day.
  • Jesus is taking Peter back to the beginning.
  • Jesus is taking Peter back to his “stunning and life-changing” original experience.
  • This is the question: What has changed?
  • Failure clogs our vision. It takes our eyes off of Christ.
  • 21:9 Jesus makes breakfast.
  • This is only the 2nd time “fire” is mentioned in John. 
  • (The 1st time is when Peter is warming his hands in the courtyard prior to his denial of Christ.)
  • The symbolism is strong for Peter.

John 21:15-17 – When they finished eating, Jesus asked Simon Peter, “Simon son of John, do you love me more than these?” Simon replied, “Yes, Lord, you know I love you.” Jesus said to him, “Feed my lambs.” Jesus asked a second time, “Simon son of John, do you love me?” Simon replied, “Yes, Lord, you know I love you.” Jesus said to him, “Take care of my sheep.” He asked a third time, “Simon son of John, do you love me?” Peter was sad that Jesus asked him a third time, “Do you love me?” He replied, “Lord, you know everything; you know I love you.” Jesus said to him, “Feed my sheep. (John 21:15-17 CEB)

  • Simon – Do you love more than business, income, image, status, and daily concerns?
  • Jesus is assuring Peter – I am still the same. I have not changed…Have you changed?
  • Feed my lambs, my sheep, my sheep = I called to be a fisher of men/souls…not fish.
  • Can you remember your passion from the beginning?
  • Jesus is saying: Peter, I am not done with you. It’s time to move beyond your failure. I have an amazing destiny for you….If you are willing? If you remember?
  • Personal Application:  Are you more aware of your failures than you are of HIS glories.  
  • Christ hasn’t changed.  He is not angry with you.  He simply wants to restore you and give you a destiny.  
  • Jesus wants to make you breakfast.  (We want to make you breakfast…)
  • He wants to serve you so that you will serve him
 
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