Sermon: What Jesus Revealed About Himself by the Sea of Galilee John 21:1-14

What Jesus Revealed About Himself by the Sea of Galilee

John 21:1-14

Truth Taught- Jesus reveals that He is the Lord of Heaven and Earth

Introduction

Too often we are held captive by misinterpretations of Scripture. I could also say we are often led astray or down a wrong path as we listen to what many say about certain texts. Here is a famous one. I don’t know how many times I’ve heard it said that the disciples were being disobedient by going fishing here.

The real issue is that if anything they were being obedient. In Mark’s Gospel we read that Jesus had told them a few days ago that after the resurrection He was going to Galilee.

Mark 14:28 (ESV)

28 But after I am raised up, I will go before you to Galilee.”

This is, no doubt, why the disciples go to the region of Galilee. While they are waiting, Peter says, Let’s go fishing. I don’t think he was making some claim of going back to his former life as a fisherman, as many have said. I don’t think he’s giving up on Jesus. I don’t think he’s thrown in the towel. Peter is different now. He’s been completely humbled by the sifting that Jesus allowed Satan to accomplish.

You see sometimes, so called, biblical scholars can read too much into things and create some doctrine that’s not in the text at all. When they do this, they often miss what is there in the text.

It was the fact that they were fishing that made this so sweet to the disciples. This is especially sweet to Simon Peter, John, and James.

Early on when Jesus called Peter, James, and John to be His disciples, He did so with a powerful miracle. The miracle had to do with a great catch of fish. The disciples had been fishing all night and caught nothing. They were on the shore of the Sea of Galilee cleaning and mending their nets when Jesus shows up. Jesus gets into one of the boats and puts out a little from the shore and begins to teach. This was a special boat. This boat was where the Lord taught from and it was this boat that Simon Peter had been fishing in all night and caught nothing.

Luke 5:1–11 (ESV)

On one occasion, while the crowd was pressing in on him to hear the word of God, he was standing by the lake of Gennesaret, and he saw two boats by the lake, but the fishermen had gone out of them and were washing their nets. Getting into one of the boats, which was Simon’s, he asked him to put out a little from the land. And he sat down and taught the people from the boat. And when he had finished speaking, he said to Simon, “Put out into the deep and let down your nets for a catch.” And Simon answered, “Master, we toiled all night and took nothing! But at your word I will let down the nets.” And when they had done this, they enclosed a large number of fish, and their nets were breaking. They signaled to their partners in the other boat to come and help them. And they came and filled both the boats, so that they began to sink. But when Simon Peter saw it, he fell down at Jesus’ knees, saying, “Depart from me, for I am a sinful man, O Lord.” For he and all who were with him were astonished at the catch of fish that they had taken, 10 and so also were James and John, sons of Zebedee, who were partners with Simon. And Jesus said to Simon, “Do not be afraid; from now on you will be catching men.” 11 And when they had brought their boats to land, they left everything and followed him.

On this occasion, Jesus revealed His deity to Simon Peter and the others. We know that that was the emphasis because of Peter’s reaction. He fell down before the Lord in fear pleading that Jesus would leave him because he is a sinful man. His reaction is the natural reaction to deity. We see this in Isaiah 6, when Isaiah sees the Lord in His majesty and declares woe is me.

Now, the emphasis of our text today in John 21:1-14 is that Jesus is revealing Himself to His disciples. When I say revealing Himself I don’t mean that He is showing Himself to them…Hey, it’s Jesus over here… but He is showing them something vital about Himself. John includes this because it is something we must believe as well if we are to have life in His name.

Human Need

We have the great need to believe in and trust Jesus supremely. Trust in His character and in His power. As the Apostle Paul wrote, I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. Do you trust Jesus enough to obey His Word?

Father, You have Gathered Your people that You may let us hear Your words, so that we may learn to fear You all the days that we live on the earth, and that we may also teach our children…amen

John 21:1–14 (ESV)

21 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. 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.

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. The other disciples came in the boat, dragging the net full of fish, for they were not far from the land, but about a hundred yards off.

When they got out on land, they saw a charcoal fire in place, with fish laid out on it, and bread. 10 Jesus said to them, “Bring some of the fish that you have just caught.” 11 So Simon Peter went aboard and hauled the net ashore, full of large fish, 153 of them. And although there were so many, the net was not torn. 12 Jesus said to them, “Come and have breakfast.” Now none of the disciples dared ask him, “Who are you?” They knew it was the Lord. 13 Jesus came and took the bread and gave it to them, and so with the fish. 14 This was now the third time that Jesus was revealed to the disciples after he was raised from the dead.

  1. Jesus Reveals His Deity

21 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. 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.

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. The other disciples came in the boat, dragging the net full of fish, for they were not far from the land, but about a hundred yards off.

So, they fished all night and caught nothing just like before they were called to be disciples. I hope you’re catching the similarities between the two accounts.

Notice verse 4. Jesus is standing on the shore and shouts out to them they were about 100 yards out. Jesus said to them, “Children, do you have any fish?”

Also notice that they did not realize that it was Jesus at that point. Now something happens that reveals Jesus to them. Not only reveals that it’s Jesus but reveals something about Jesus…He is divine.

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.

John, the disciple whom Jesus loved, saw Him first. John didn’t see Him any more clearly through the early morning fog, Jesus still looked like a dark human outline through the fog but it was what He said and what happened. Only God could cause a school of fish to swim into their net like that. When John saw the evidence, he didn’t have to see Jesus, he new who He was by His words and by what happened.
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.

This was the second time Peter had hauled in a miraculous catch because Jesus told him where to cast the net. It was the second time he left his boat to follow Christ. It was the second time he realized that this is no ordinary man but God made visible.

That disciple whom Jesus loved therefore said to Peter, “It is the Lord!

Do you see the transformation in John and then in Peter? Before Jesus performed this miracle, they were not sure who it was standing there asking them if they had caught any fish. It literally could have been anyone. Once Jesus spoke a word to them and then they obeyed that word then Jesus was revealed to them. They saw it was, in fact, the Lord.

Beloved, here’s a practical lesson for us…Did it make sense to cast the net on the other side? They had been fishing all night with not one fish being caught. They still knew how to fish they were professional fisherman. It made no sense to obey the Word of God. What Jesus was telling them to do went against their experience, against their reasoning; against everything they knew humanly speaking. But before they could experience this miracle they had to obey God’s Word. Im afraid we may miss out on too many things God has for us because rather than obey His Word we live based on our experiences and our logic. That day out on the Sea of Galilee they could have just rowed on in to shore tired and hungry and missed the revelation that the man standing before them is God dressed in human form.

Be bold and aggressive in your obedience. Do what God tells you in His Word and then stand in awe of the miracle you see right before your eyes. Unless you obey by faith when things don’t add up you will never experience the fullness of the Person of Christ in your life. Step out in faith, cast the net on the other side even if you’ve done it a hundred times before simply because Jesus tells you to and watch and worship.

  1. Jesus Reveals That He’s the Same Lord They Knew From Before

When they got out on land, they saw a charcoal fire in place, with fish laid out on it, and bread. 10 Jesus said to them, “Bring some of the fish that you have just caught.” 11 So Simon Peter went aboard and hauled the net ashore, full of large fish, 153 of them. And although there were so many, the net was not torn. 12 Jesus said to them, “Come and have breakfast.” Now none of the disciples dared ask him, “Who are you?” They knew it was the Lord. 13 Jesus came and took the bread and gave it to them, and so with the fish. 14 This was now the third time that Jesus was revealed to the disciples after he was raised from the dead.

In these few weeks they had all been through a lot. They were pushed to the limits of humanity. Their dreams had been formed then dashed then reformed. Their hopes and all other emotions had been torn and stripped away in these weeks. Is this really Jesus? Things before were no doubt to good to be true and now it seems the same thing is happening again.
By repeating basically the same miracle from the beginning, It’s as if they are starting over afresh. Now they will be fishers of men. Now they realize all that is at stake. Now they see clearly who Jesus is.

12 Jesus said to them, “Come and have breakfast.” Now none of the disciples dared ask him, “Who are you?” They knew it was the Lord.

All of them knew something beyond any doubt; they knew it was the Lord.

We often read this title, Lord and shoot over it without giving it much thought. However, when the disciples call Jesus the Lord they are calling Him Messiah God literally.

Here’s a quick example of what I mean…
Isaiah 40:1–5 (ESV)

40 Comfort, comfort my people, says your God.

   Speak tenderly to Jerusalem,

and cry to her

       that her warfare is ended,

that her iniquity is pardoned,

       that she has received from the Lord’s hand

double for all her sins.

   A voice cries:

       “In the wilderness prepare the way of the Lord;

make straight in the desert a highway for our God.

   Every valley shall be lifted up,

and every mountain and hill be made low;

       the uneven ground shall become level,

and the rough places a plain.

   And the glory of the Lord shall be revealed,

and all flesh shall see it together,

for the mouth of the Lord has spoken.”

This passage is very clear. God was going to come and visit His people and when He comes He will issue forgiveness for all their sin.
We recognize these words being quoted by John the Baptist when Jesus appears in Jerusalem.

Matthew 3:1–3 (ESV)

In those days John the Baptist came preaching in the wilderness of Judea, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.” For this is he who was spoken of by the prophet Isaiah when he said,

       “The voice of one crying in the wilderness:

       ‘Prepare the way of the Lord;

make his paths straight.’ ”

John is the voice announcing the coming of God the Messiah to Jerusalem and He indicates that it is Jesus who came. He’s preparing the way for Jesus, Lord, God, Messiah.

So when the disciples used the title Lord for Jesus they understood exactly who He was. Beloved, this is what Jesus was revealing about Himself that day on the beaches of the Sea of Galilee.

So Peter and the others were supposed to go fishing that day. It was in this context that Jesus would reveal Himself to them yet again. He is the Lord. He is God the Son. He is the promised Messiah.

Application

A couple of application points today:

–Obey the Word of God even if it does not make sense. Then, stand back and watch what happens.

–We, like the disciples, must realize that apart from Jesus we can do nothing. They were fishing in their own power and came up empty handed, nothing but sore muscles and wet nets. Then Jesus steps into the picture and in a few seconds they accomplished what they set out to do and worked at it all night.

What have you been attempting in your own power that you should step back from and seek the will and power of God?

Perhaps you’ve been attempting certain things and you’re tired and feel like you’ve been fishing all night with no success.

Is it God’s will for you to even be doing what you’re doing?

How can you stop attempting these things in your power and begin working in God’s strength? We’ve been fishing all night but at your Word we will let down the nets again in your power. Seek the Lord and His strength in daily prayer and obedience to what you know to be His will then more and more things will come into focus, including Christ Himself

 

 

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