"Breakfast by the Sea"
"After these things Jesus showed Himself again to the disciples at the Sea of Tiberias, and in this way He showed Himself: Simon Peter, Thomas called the Twin, Nathanael of Cana in Galilee, the sons of Zebedee, and two others of His disciples were together. 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. But when the morning had now come, Jesus stood on the shore; yet the disciples did not know that it was Jesus. Then Jesus said to them, "Children, have you any food?" They answered Him, "No." 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."
"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. 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. Then, as soon as they had come to land, they saw a fire of coals there, and fish laid on it, and bread. Jesus said to them, "Bring some of the fish which you have just caught." 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. 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. Jesus then came and took the bread and gave it to them, and likewise the fish. This is now the third time Jesus showed Himself to His disciples after He was raised from the dead."
The Restoration of Peter
"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." 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." 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." "
The Beloved Disciple and His Book
"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?" Peter, seeing him, said to Jesus, "But Lord, what about this man?" Jesus said to him, "If I will that he remain till I come, what is that to you? You follow Me." 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?" This is the disciple who testifies of these things, and wrote these things; and we know that his testimony is true. "
"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".
“An Epilogue”: The Risen Son of God….”The Master of Life”
Jesus Appears to 7 of the Remaining 11 Disciples (Verses 1-3)
Once again after the resurrection Jesus shows Himself to his disciples at the Sea of Tiberias. Jesus had appeared to them already a few times before and each time it was unexpected. Christ has many ways of making himself known to his people usually in his ordinances, but sometimes by his Spirit he visits them when they are employed in common business, like the shepherds who were keeping their flocks by night. Jesus had promised to meet them in Galilee and in the 1st verse. He kept His word to them. In verse 4 Jesus was standing on the shoreline waiting for them and at this point, they did not recognize him. 7 of the disciples Simon Peter, Thomas called “Didymus, Nathaniel of Cana, James and John the sons of Zebedee along with 2 other unnamed disciples. It is believed that the 2 unnamed disciples are Phillip of Bethsaida and Andrew of Capernaum. (vs. 1-2)
Here’s three points we can apply to what the 7 disciples did that we can immediately benefit from here:
1. It is good for the disciples of Christ to spend time together; not only in solemn religious assemblies, but in common fellowship away from the church. As you will find many of us have things in common besides the Christian faith. Fellowship with fellow believers promotes unity and a "common bond" with likeminded believers in Jesus Christ. "Fellowship is one of the 4 "Biblical pillars" in which the Christian church sets upon. The other 3 are: Stewardship, Evangelism, and Bible Doctrine.
We are allowed to have common conversation, participate in wholesome extra recreational activities such as sports, have a shared interest in common business and daily events happening in the community, the city and state, as well as countrywide and overseas. Fellowship away from the worship experience in the church can help you get to know fellow worshippers on a more personal level without being detrimental toward one another. By doing this Christians both testify and increase their affection to, and delight in, each other, and edify one another both by discourse and example. These 7 had fishing experience in common.
2. Christ chose to manifest himself to them when they were together; not only to countenance Christian society, but that they might be joint witnesses of the same matter of fact, and so might corroborate one another's testimony. Here were seven together to attest this, on which some observe that the Roman law required seven witnesses to a testament.
3. Thomas was one of them, and is named next to Peter, as if he now kept closer to the meetings of the apostles than ever, especially after he had seen Jesus in the closed room with the rest and saw the nail prints in both hands and was prompted by Jesus to put his hand into the wound Jesus had in His side. After recognizing Jesus by the evidence he said he needed to believe, Thomas was a very changed man.
Notice, in the 3rd verse, Peter decides to go fishing and make this public to the rest. Apparently they were still somewhat in shock of the fact that Jesus was alive and they had seen Him post resurrection. They all took up Peter’s offer and they fished all night and caught nothing. (vs. 3) They were together because of 4 possible reasons:
They were tarrying and waiting on the coming of the Holy Spirit Jesus promised them, so they either went back to their trade, since they felt the need for employment and Jesus was no longer physically there to lead them, or this was a pleasure fishing trip
They didn’t wish to be idle. They needed something to do. When Jesus was with them and they were traveling with Him to make disciples, their needs were met by people they met along the way. With Jesus gone now and the fear of being jailed always looming, and possibly being killed by the Jews, they felt they had to tote their own weight. After all if they didn’t work, they may not have food to eat or money to barter for other necessities of life.
We can deduce that “providentially”, God so ordered it that they wouldn’t catch nothing all that night, so in the morning when Jesus blesses them with a full net of fish and they will see through this miracle that God controls the very fruits of our physical efforts and Jesus was truly. In those times of great and grievous disappointments, God has often will have miraculous plans for our moments of disappointment; designs that are very gracious. Remember: Even though man has dominion over the fish of the sea, the fowl of the air, the beast of the field and even those things that creep on and under the earth, neither of them are always at our beck and call. Only God knows the paths of the each animal, and He alone direct their paths
Their actions served as an example of the proper attitude a minister must have concerning their Missionary journey and the manner of how provisions are sometimes provided by God. Ministers of the gospel should be willing to labor, if necessary, for their own support, and should not esteem such labor dishonorable. God has made employment indispensable to man, and if the field of labor is not open in one way, they should seek it in another. If at any time the people withhold the supply of their needs, they should be able and willing to seek support in some other honest occupation.
Christian Service: Self Willed and Under Human Leadership (verses 4-6)
They fished all night and didn’t catch a thing. God deemed it so because they were about to experience another miracle from Jesus. As you recalled, they had this same experience before when Jesus had not gone to the cross. So, as it began to change into morning, Jesus stood on the shore. They could recognize Him because it was considerable dark, being the early morning and He asked:
Jesus: “Children, have you any meat?” (fish) “Did you catch Anything?”
You can sense a feeling of disappointment in their voices. (true fishermen feel despondent when they have fished all night and come back to shore empty handed)
Jesus: “Cast your nets on the right side of the ship and you shall find (fish).. Obviously Jesus gave these instructions this to jog their emotional state that they would recognize that He was the one standing on shore telling them where to cast their nets..
The moment they did as Jesus said, the net filled with large fish so heavy that they were not able to pull the net in without help.
Keep in mind that at this point, they still did not know that it was Jesus, however, like any good fishermen who wish not to come to shore empty handed, they were willing to be advised by anybody they thought could help them. Notice that they didn’t do like a lot of so-called experts in any field of employment usually do. They didn’t tell this “supposed” stranger to mind his own business and not meddle in theirs. By taking the counsel of this "observant" standing from the shoreline, they were actually being obedient to their Master unawares.
Note: We must always be careful how we interact and entertain strangers, because it could be that we are entertaining angels unawares. By acting in obedience and casting their nets to the right side of the incoming boat they were on, Jesus rewarded them with a draught that made them forget about what didn’t happen all that night. Those of us who remain humble, diligent, and patient (though the toil of our labors may be long and seemingly unproductive) shall soon (in due season) be rewarded for the work we put in service for the Lord. Sometimes we are blessed to live to see our personal affairs take a dramatic turn for the better, after experiencing many struggles and fruitless attempts. The songwriter puts it this way: Weeping may endure for a night… but joy comes in the morning! There is nothing ever lost by observing any order Christ's gives.
John’s Recognition…..Peter’s response…and then the response of the Rest (vs. 7)
It was then that John the beloved Disciple recognized Jesus and said to Peter: “It is the Lord.” John was apparently more observant to the chain of events that led to the great catch of fish and how it happened after they followed the instructions of the stranger on the shoreline John quickly discerned that it must be Jesus because he saw the great catch as a miracle from the Lord.
When Peter heard that it is the Lord. Peter took John at his word and wrapped his (heavy) fishing coat around himself because he was naked! (He was naked in the sense he had on no other top garment but a tunic or other undergarment.) Peter then jumped into the shallow water (the boat was a little more than 130 yards from the shore. Apparently, Peter rushed to get to Jesus as He was standing on shore as a show of affection he still had for the Lord.
Meanwhile the other little ships that were about 200 yards (about 350 feet) away assisted in dragging the net full of fish toward the shore. (vs.8)
As soon as they got to shore, there was a fire of coals with fish already laid upon them. (A new miracle) (vs. 9)
Note: It could not have been a fire which the disciples had there, for it is remarked as something new; besides, they had caught no fish, and here was small fish upon the coals, and a loaf of bread provided to eat with it. The only logical explanation would be this was done miraculously by Christ.
Dinning with Jesus: Bring Some of the “Caught” Fish (Verses 10-12)
Jesus said to them, "Bring some of the fish you have just caught." Simon Peter climbed aboard and dragged the net ashore. It was full of large fish, 153, but even with so many the net was not torn. Jesus said to them, "Come and have breakfast." None of the disciples dared ask him, "Who are you?" They knew it was the Lord.
Note: The implication in this verse is they would have loved for Jesus to have simply said that it was He rather than for them to continue to speculate if it was so. Remember Jesus said that there was much they would not understand until the Holy Spirit who was soon to come revealed it to them or brought those things Jesus already said back into their remembrance. In this case, the evidence of this being HIM was so overwhelming and they were afraid of being "upbraided for their unbelief and hardness of heart" if they ventured to put His identity into question.
Jesus: Reveals Himself the 3rd Time…”Post Resurrection” (verses 13-14)
After they sat down to eat, Jesus come to them, took both bread and fish and gave it to them.
Notice this verse doesn’t say that Jesus himself ate with them, but he gave them food. The purpose of this 3rd encounter was to completely convince them that he had truly risen from the dead. So here, he performed another miracle before they suspected that it was he. This miracle was the type that was designed to satisfy them of its truth and that He really was Jesus. He remained with them; He was with them at their meal; He conversed with them, and thus convinced them that he was the same Jesus who had died and called them His friend. This marked the 3rd time since He was resurrected form the dead that He had appeared to them in convincing fashion. (vs. 13-14)
Jesus: “The Restoration of Peter” (verses 15-19)
In the following passages, Jesus asked Peter 3 times the same question concerning his professed love to the Savior. The reason Jesus asked him 3 times is because Peter denied Jesus 3 separate times after boasting that he would never forsake or deny his discipleship. Peter had professed to have a more affectionate attachment to Christ than the rest. He had been more forward (bold) in making verbal professions of friendship and love than any of the others and yet no one else except Judas had treated Jesus so bad. Thus in order for Peter to be completely restored, Peter needed to give account of each denial. So when they had dined:
Jesus said to Simon Peter: Simon, son of Jonas, (Do you) love me more than these?
Peter’s Response: Yea, Lord, You know that I love you.
Jesus said: Feed my lambs.
Note: In Peter’s 1st response, you can feel the emotion of a broken man who found out the hard way that anyone who relies on his own strength in matters will fall and one day experience events in their lives that will prove to them that we are not strong enough to stand on our own merits without the help of the Lord.
Peter makes the most modest reply: “You know I love thee”, but you can feel in this reply that he’s no longer dwelling on the strength of his love, or even comparing himself with even the meanest of his brethren. Remember, before his denial of Jesus, Peter cast a very unkind reflection on his brethren by saying: “Though all be offended because of thee, yet will I’ll never be offended.” (Matthew 26:33). By now, Peter has learned through his dreadful and humbling experience that any man who trusts his own heart is a fool, and that every man's sufficiency for good is of the Lord alone.
Jesus here (in agape loving fashion) reproves Peter for that confident assertion he made before the Jesus’ arrest and trial before the Sanhedrin. Here in this verse, Peter is reminded of his sad and painful denial of Jesus and now is asked this direct and pointed question to outwardly reveal the “present state” of his innermost feelings in his answer to Jesus. The question is reveals to the rest of the brethren the actual effect that denial experience had on him mentally since Peter spoke those words of brazen confidence in the presence of the other disciples. After restoration, Peter would be prepared for the “toils” the ministry were to bring in his personal life after being empowered by the Holy Ghost on the Day of Pentecost.
In Jesus instruction to Peter to “Feed MY Lambs, Jesus both instructed Peter to provide proper care to the flock (church) by furnishing nutriment from the Word of God and the Gospel in particular to the flock. By the use of both these words, The supposition here is that our Savior intended that a shepherd (Peter’s next assignment) was both to offer the proper food for his flock and to govern it; or, as we express it, to exercise the office of a pastor. The expression is taken from the office of a shepherd, with which the office of a minister of the gospel is frequently compared. It means, as a good shepherd provides for the wants of his flock, so the pastor in the church is to furnish food for the soul, or so to exhibit truth that the faith of believers may be strengthened and their hope confirmed.
As the church is often compared to a flock, the term “lambs” undoubtedly refers to the tender and the younger members in the Christian church who are young in years and in Christian experience.
The Lord Jesus saw, what has been confirmed in the experience of the church, that the success of the gospel among men depended on the care which the ministry would extend to those in early life. It is in obedience to this command that Sunday schools have been established, and no means of fulfilling this command of the Savior have been found so effectual as to extend patronage to those schools. It is not merely, therefore, the privilege, it is the solemn duty of ministers of the gospel to countenance and patronize those schools..
Personal Note: The 3 “self examining” questions are “those questions” we all need to ask ourselves. As Paul said to the Corinthian Church concerning the taking of Communion: “But let a man examine himself, every now and then we all must reexamine where we are in our psyche concerning the movement of God’s providence in our lives. ”It’s very important that we know the effects of the dealings with divine Providence on our hearts, as well as the present state of our feelings toward the Lord Jesus Christ.
Jesus: Questions Peter the Second Time (vs. 16)
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.
In this verse when Jesus used the term “feed”, He uses it differently from the word in the previous verse. In this verse “feed” is used to mean to govern, to care for, to guide, and protect, meaning having a kind of faithful vigilance which a shepherd uses to guide his flock, and to make provision against their wants and dangers. It may be implied here that the care needed for the young in the church is to instruct them, and for those in advanced years both to instruct and govern them.
The term “MY sheep” commonly refers to the church in general, without respect to age.
Jesus: Questions Peter the Third Time (vs. 17)
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.
To reiterate, Jesus asked this question three times because Peter had denied Him three times.
Jesus in this third time tenderly admonished him of his fault and reminded him of his sin. The next thing Jesus does here is solemnly charged Peter to be faithful and vigilant in the discharge of the duties of the pastoral office. The reason why the Savior talked to Peter in this manner was doubtless because when he denied Jesus, Peter exposed in a instance the instability and weakness of his faith, and of his liability to fall. As he had thus been prominent in forsaking him, he took this occasion to give to him a special charge, and to secure his future obedience once he was converted and began to strengthen the brethren.
Therefore, by asking Peter the third time, Jesus bring up the denial charge as to remind him of his fault and so he might not be left to dishonor his high calling. The charge is the same charge, in substance, he had given to the other apostles (Matthew 18:18), and there is not the slightest evidence here that Christ intended to give Peter any special primacy or eminence in the church.
The charge to Peter came about, manifestly, from his act in denying him, and was the kind and tender means used by a faithful Savior to keep him from similar acts in the future dangers and trials of life. It is worthy of remark that the admonition was effectual. From that time forth, Peter was one of the most firm and unwavering of all the apostles, and thus fully justified the appellation of a rock, which the Savior by anticipation had given him.
The Future of Peter’s Life: “Glorifying God in Death” (vs. 18-19)
“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." This He spoke, signifying by what death he would glorify God. And when He had spoken this, He said to him, "Follow Me."”
Jesus takes this time right after charging Peter to Feed His sheep to tell him what he can expect to experience at the end of his ministry. With Peter’s evangelistic work and elevation to the position of an Apostle now set and Peter is now restored back in the good graces of Christ, Jesus now prepares Peter for what he can expect at the end of his life and ministry. Peter would die defending the Gospel in honor of Christ by dying a Martyr’s death.
Jesus said: “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."God would shelter him from the rage of his enemies till he should come to be old, that he might be made the fitter for sufferings, and the church might the longer enjoy his services. (vs. 18)
Jesus spoke this letting Peter know how his death would glorify God. After Jesus spoke this. Jesus told Peter: Follow me. In these words two things are implied:
1. that Peter would die a violent death; and,
2. that his death would be such as to honor God.
By the Way: The ancient scholars say that Peter was crucified at Rome, about 34 years after this proclamation, with his head downward. One scholar, Clemens says that he was led to the crucifixion with his wife, and sustained her in her sufferings by exhorting her to remember the example of her Lord. He also adds that he died, not as the philosophers did, but with a firm hope of heaven, and patiently endured the pangs of the cross (Strom. vii.). This declaration of the Savior was doubtless continually before the mind of Peter, and to the hour of his death he maintained the utmost constancy and fidelity in his cause, thus justifying the appellation which the Lord Jesus gave him-a rock.
Note: Jesus Christ foresaw all his own sufferings, so naturally, he saw the future sufferings of all his followers, and foretold them, though not in particular, as to Peter, yet in general, that they must take up their cross. Having charged him to feed his sheep, he remind him not to expect ease and honor in it, but trouble and persecution, and to suffer ill for doing well.
The Future of John’s Life: The Purpose John Wrote This Book (vs. 20-25)
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?" Peter, seeing him, said to Jesus, "But Lord, what about this man?" Jesus said to him, "If I will that he remain till I come, what is that to you? You follow Me." 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?"
Note: Why Peter asked about John’s future immediately after find out about his is left up for speculation. Here are 2 possible reasons why:
- Peter was grieved at the question of Jesus; he was probably deeply affected with the account of his own approaching suffering, so perhaps he asked out of curiosity.
- But it is possible Peter’s wish that John might not die in the same manner as he was to die. Whatever the motive was, Jesus refuse to give him a direct answer and basically told Peter that it was none of his business.
1. Our main focus is to follow the Lord Jesus Christ.
2. There are many subjects and situations contained in the Bible that will sometimes grab our curiosity. Suffice it to say that God reserves the right not to give us an answer to those matters that are not for us to know.
3. Jesus will take care of all his true disciples, Whatever Jesus purpose to do for them has nothing to do with what he is going to do for us from the “individual perspective” of our ministry.
4. We should go forward to do whatever he calls us to and go wherever He sends us whether we suffer persecution or death. We are also not to envy of even become jealous of another’s calling or destiny. We are to simply walk out our personal calling to the glory of God and with fear (holy reverence to God) and trembling.
Conclusion: Evidence that John Wrote This Book (vs. 24-25)
This is the disciple who testifies of these things, and wrote these things; and we know that his testimony is true. 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.
These last two verses say the disciple (John) who testified of these things, and actually wrote these things because he was an eye-witness to them. This validates that the author of this book is John with all that it says of this disciple: "and we know that his testimony is true." 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.
Dr. William Edward Boddie