“Instruction, Service and Restoration”
John 21 At the beach! A model for ministry.
A. The disciples – ___________________________________________________________
1. We see from verse 3 that Peter is still in charge: “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.” .
2. But they fished all night and caught nothing. ___________________________________
3. After a night of frustration, Jesus engages with the 7 on the boat by asking a question: “Children, have you any food?” NIV - “Friends, haven’t you caught any fish?” ______
4. The Lord is gracious, He doesn’t belittle them. The call is to “friends” or as the NKJV renders it, “children”. Whichever is the better translation, both are terms of endearment.
The instruction – “And He said to them, ‘Cast the net on the right side of the boat, and you will find some.’” Verse 6. Now these are fishermen, commercial fishermen. ___________
1. The result was immediate. “So they cast, and now they were not able to draw it in because of the multitude of fish.” God’s ways are above our ways and His ministry is the ministry of multiplication, not just addition. We are encouraged to submit ourselves fully to God. Whatever we hold back will not be able to produce His fruit.
The service – When they get to shore what they find they wanted has already been provided: “Then, as soon as they had come to land, they saw a fire of coals there, and fish laid on it, and bread.” Jesus was serving them but then He magnified their effort, He did not diminish it: “Jesus said to them, ‘Bring some of the fish which you have just caught.’” The Lord includes us in His service. ___________________________________________________
The restoration – Now Jesus deals with Peter. The three times that Peter is asked about love is a process of restoration. Verse 15 – “So when they had eaten breakfast, Jesus said to Simon Peter, “Simon, son of Jonah, do you love Me more than these?”
1. What “these” – __________________________________________________________
2. Simon, son of Jonah – _____________________________________________________
3. “Do you love Me?” – Jesus asks do you “agapao” Me? This is the Greek word love that we understand is the love of God and the love with God in community.
4. Peter answers, “Yes, Lord; You know that I love You.” The term Peter uses is “phileo”, what we refer to as brotherly love, which is a fine type of love and in some Scripture references is ascribed to God as well, but it is not sufficient by itself to describe love within the kingdom of God. God’s love is a higher love and the Cross of Calvary is the visible reminder of how high this profound love is.
5. So the Lord leads Peter to greater understanding through his commission after each answer:
Feed My lambs – boske/arnia “feed lambs”
Tend My Sheep – poimaine/probate “shepherd sheep”
Feed My sheep – boske/probate “feed and shepherd sheep”
The Lord in His answer is articulating a progression of care for Peter to undertake. God’s flock has already been established but new lambs are about to enter in.
So here is my summation of chapter 21. Disciples follow the Lord’s instruction and provide service to those in need and the opportunity for restoration will be presented. Remember, last week we looked at Paul’s simplified call in 2 Corinthian’s 5 to step up to the ministry of reconciliation. (another word for restoration).
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