John 21: Jesus Appears to His Disciples

Why did Peter and other disciples decide to go fishing?

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John 21:1–4 Sometime later, Jesus again revealed himself to the disciples. Simon Peter, Thomas called the Twin, Nathanael of Cana in Galilee, the sons of Zebedee, and two other disciples had gone to the Sea of Galilee.
“I am going fishing,” Simon Peter said.
The others said, “We will go too.”
They went out in the boat, fished all night, and caught nothing.
At dawn, Jesus stood on the shore, but the disciples did not know who he was.
King James
John 21:1–4 After these things Jesus shewed himself again to the disciples at the sea of Tiberias; and on this wise shewed he himself. There were together Simon Peter, and Thomas called Didymus, and Nathanael of Cana in Galilee, and the sons of Zebedee, and two other of his disciples. Simon Peter saith unto them, I go a fishing. They say unto him, We also go with thee. They went forth, and entered into a ship immediately; and that night they caught nothing. But when the morning was now come, Jesus stood on the shore: but the disciples knew not that it was Jesus.

Peter could not have forgotten the earlier time when Jesus asked him to cast his net on the other side of the boat. When he heard that command a second time, why didn’t he immediately recognize Jesus?

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John 21:5–6 “Young men,” Jesus said, “have you caught anything?”
“Nothing,” they said.
“Cast your net on the right side of the boat, and you will catch plenty.”
When they did, they caught so many fish they could not pull the net back into the boat.
King James
John 21:5–6 Then Jesus saith unto them, Children, have ye any meat? They answered him, No. And he said unto them, Cast the net on the right side of the ship, and ye shall find. They cast therefore, and now they were not able to draw it for the multitude of fishes.

Why did Peter jump out of the boat, leaving everyone else to bring the fish?

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John 21:7–8 John said to Peter, “It’s Jesus!”
When Simon Peter realized who it was, he grabbed his clothes, jumped into the water, and swam toward shore.
Only a hundred yards from shore, the rest of the disciples followed in the boat, dragging the net full of fish.
King James
John 21:7–8 Therefore that disciple whom Jesus loved saith unto Peter, It is the Lord. Now when Simon Peter heard that it was the Lord, he girt his fisher’s coat unto him, (for he was naked,) and did cast himself into the sea. And the other disciples came in a little ship; (for they were not far from land, but as it were two hundred cubits,) dragging the net with fishes.

Where did Jesus get the bread, and the fish that were already cooking? Why did he ask Peter for more fish?

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John 21:9–10 When they reached shore, they saw a fire already prepared, a fish lying on the coals, and bread.
Jesus said, “Bring some of the fish you caught.”
King James
John 21:9–10 As soon then as they were come to land, they saw a fire of coals there, and fish laid thereon, and bread. Jesus saith unto them, Bring of the fish which ye have now caught.

How did this catch of fish compare with what was caught the previous time?

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Luke 5:4–7 When he finished speaking, he turned to Simon. “Go to deep water and let down your net for a catch.”
“Master, we have worked hard all night and caught nothing. But because you say so, I will go out and let down the net.”
This time, they caught so many fish their net started to break. They motioned for help from their partners and filled both boats so full they were on the verge of sinking.
John 21:11 Simon Peter went out and pulled the net to shore. There were 153 fish, yet the net was not torn.
King James
Luke 5:4–7 Now when he had left speaking, he said unto Simon, Launch out into the deep, and let down your nets for a draught. And Simon answering said unto him, Master, we have toiled all the night, and have taken nothing: nevertheless at thy word I will let down the net. And when they had this done, they inclosed a great multitude of fishes: and their net brake. And they beckoned unto their partners, which were in the other ship, that they should come and help them. And they came, and filled both the ships, so that they began to sink.
John 21:11 Simon Peter went up, and drew the net to land full of great fishes, an hundred and fifty and three: and for all there were so many, yet was not the net broken.

When Jesus said, “Come and eat,” was his identity in doubt in any way? Why?

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John 21:12–13 “Come and eat,” Jesus said.
None of the disciples dared ask, “Who are you?” They all knew he was Jesus.
Jesus took the bread, broke it, and gave it to them. He did the same with the fish.
King James
John 21:12–13 Jesus saith unto them, Come and dine. And none of the disciples durst ask him, Who art thou? knowing that it was the Lord. Jesus then cometh, and taketh bread, and giveth them, and fish likewise.

After the resurrection, how much time did Jesus spend with his disciples?

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John 21:14 This was the third time Jesus appeared to his disciples after he was raised from the dead.
King James
John 21:14 This is now the third time that Jesus shewed himself to his disciples, after that he was risen from the dead.

Why did Jesus ask if Peter cared? Why was he offended?

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John 21:15–17 After they had eaten, Jesus said, “Simon, son of Jonah, do you love me more than the others?”
“Yes, sir, you know I do.”
Jesus said to him, “Take care of my lambs.”
Again, Jesus said, “Simon, son of Jonah, do you love me?”
“Yes, sir, you know I do.”
Jesus said to him, “Take care of my sheep.”
A third time, Jesus said, “Simon, son of Jonah, do you love me?”
Peter was offended that his love had been questioned for a third time. “Sir, you know everything. You know that I love you.”
“Take care of my sheep,” Jesus said.
King James
John 21:15–17 So when they had dined, Jesus saith to Simon Peter, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me more than these? He saith unto him, Yea, Lord; thou knowest that I love thee. He saith unto him, Feed my lambs. He saith to him again the second time, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me? He saith unto him, Yea, Lord; thou knowest that I love thee. He saith unto him, Feed my sheep. He saith unto him the third time, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me? Peter was grieved because he said unto him the third time, Lovest thou me? And he said unto him, Lord, thou knowest all things; thou knowest that I love thee. Jesus saith unto him, Feed my sheep.

How was Peter helped by knowing something about his future?

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John 21:18–19 “I tell you the truth. When you were young, you dressed and went wherever you wanted. But when you are old, you will put out your hands, and someone else will dress you and take you where you do not want to go.” He said this to indicate the kind of death by which Peter would glorify God. Jesus said to him, “Follow me.”
King James
John 21:18–19 Verily, verily, I say unto thee, When thou wast young, thou girdedst thyself, and walkedst whither thou wouldest: but when thou shalt be old, thou shalt stretch forth thy hands, and another shall gird thee, and carry thee whither thou wouldest not. This spake he, signifying by what death he should glorify God. And when he had spoken this, he saith unto him, Follow me.

Why was Peter concerned about John?

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John 21:20–23 Peter looked back to the disciple whom Jesus loved, the one who had leaned against Jesus at the supper and asked who would betray him. “Sir, what about him? How will he die?”
“If I want him to live until I return, that is not your concern. You must follow me.”
A rumor spread that this disciple would not die, but that is not what Jesus said. He only said, “If I want him to live until I return, that is not your concern.”
King James
John 21:20–23 Then Peter, turning about, seeth the disciple whom Jesus loved following; which also leaned on his breast at supper, and said, Lord, which is he that betrayeth thee? Peter seeing him saith to Jesus, Lord, and what shall this man do? Jesus saith unto him, If I will that he tarry till I come, what is that to thee? follow thou me. Then went this saying abroad among the brethren, that that disciple should not die: yet Jesus said not unto him, He shall not die; but, If I will that he tarry till I come, what is that to thee?

In the digital age we have now, why can’t the world contain all the books that should be written?

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John 21:24–25 This disciple is the eyewitness who recorded the events, so we know his testimony is true. If all that Jesus did were told, the whole world could not contain all the books that should be written.
King James
John 21:24–25 This is the disciple which testifieth of these things, and wrote these things: and we know that his testimony is true. And there are also many other things which Jesus did, the which, if they should be written every one, I suppose that even the world itself could not contain the books that should be written. Amen.