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50 Days — The 7 Post-resurrection Sayings of Jesus “Do you love me?”

50 Days — The 7 Post-resurrection Sayings of Jesus   •  Sermon  •  Submitted
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Once you’re experienced the risen Christ, you can never go back to a normal lifeJesus always welcomes the penitent believer back into full fellowship with himself and then commissions him or her to service.

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Text: John 21:1-18
Theme: Once you’re experienced the risen Christ, you can never go back to a normal lifeJesus always welcomes the penitent believer back into full fellowship with himself and then commissions him or her to service.
Date: 05/20/18 File name: Post_Resurrection_05.wpd ID Number
It’s perhaps a week after the resurrection. Seven of the disciples have made their way to Galilee per the instructions of Jesus.
“So the women hurried away from the tomb, afraid yet filled with joy, and ran to tell his disciples. 9 Suddenly Jesus met them. “Greetings,” he said. They came to him, clasped his feet and worshiped him. 10 Then Jesus said to them, “Do not be afraid. Go and tell my brothers to go to Galilee; there they will see me.”” (Matthew 28:8–10, NIV84)
“Then the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain where Jesus had told them to go.” (Matthew 28:16, NIV84)
Church tradition teaches that “the mountain” Jesus met them at was the place where Jesus had preached his first and greatest sermon— what we call the Sermon on the Mount. Today it is called the Mount of Beatitudes. Weather-or-not that’s where Jesus met them is obviously open for debate. That the instruction is to go to the mountain indicates that it’s a place the disciples know and are familiar with. John tells us that seven of the disciples (21:2) were together in Galilee. Peter is there, as is Thomas, Nathanael, John and James, and two other un-named disciples. They’ve come to meet Jesus. They wait, and they wait .... and they wait. Apparently frustrated waiting for Christ to show Himself, Peter announced that he was going fishing.
This decision was more significant than it may seem. Peter was not a sport fisherman: fishing had been his occupation before he became a disciple of Jesus. Apparently the six who went with him had been fishermen too. John 21:3-14 tells us the story:
The disciples fish all night and catch nothing.
Early in the morning— the word for early is day-dawn, a stranger calls from the hill side, asking if they’ve caught any fish. The disciples answer in the negative.
The stranger then calls for them to shift their nets to the other side of the boat, and when they did the catch was so great that they are virtually unable to haul in the net.
The Apostle John, described as the disciple whom Jesus loved, excitedly tells Peter, It’s the Lord!” At that Peter jumps into the water and swims for shore as the other disciples follow in the boat towing the net of fish.
By the time they get to shore, Jesus has kindled a fire, and is broiling some fish. After they’ve beached the boat, counted their catch, and inspected their nets, Jesus invites them to a breakfast of fish and bread. The Apostle John tells us that this was the third time Jesus had appeared to the disciples after he was risen from the dead (vs. 14).
This is where the story takes a profound and important turn. This chapter is a story about Peter. It's also a story about you and me. It's a story about repentance and getting right with God. It teaches us that once you've been with Jesus you can never go back to "life as usual" and feel right about it. Living our lives outside of the will and fellowship of Christ calls for repentance from our sin, from our willfulness, from our self-reliance and from our disobedience. Repentance is what brings full restoration of fellowship with God.
Jesus has instructed the disciples to return to Galilee where they are to wait for him to meet them. There are still some things he needs to teach them; some encouragement He needs to give them, and a commissioning that will send them out into all the world.
They finally make their way home to the shores of the Sea of Galilee where so many of them had made their living as fishermen. There they wait ... and wait ... and wait for Jesus to appear. Finally, in exasperation, Peter announces, "I'm going out to fish, what about you guys?" They look at Peter, they look at each other, kind of shrug, and say, "We'll go with you!"
This is were our story begins.

I. THE TEMPTATION TO RETURN TO "LIFE AS USUAL" vv. 1-3

1. becoming a Christian is one of the easiest things in the world to do
a. easier than falling off a log
b. easier than tripping up the steps
2. it's living for Jesus and being like Jesus for the rest of our lives that is the tough part
ILLUS. “Christianity has not been tried and found wanting; it has been found difficult and not tried.” — G.K. Chesterton
a. it's especially tough if a believer does not have a regular devotional life where they are reading God's Word and seeking His will through prayer and enjoying the fellowship of the Spirit
3. Peter yielded to the "life as usual" syndrome
a. he’s an illustration of a Christian who begins well, who blows it, but who is restored to fellowship by repentance

A. GREAT CONFESSIONS ARE OFTEN FOLLOWED BY GREAT DENIALS

1. Peter was a person of extremes
a. his life ebbed and flowed between spiritually hot and spiritually cold, from being on fire for Christ and a pillar of strength to being preoccupied with self and even cowardly
2. Peter's great confession at Ceserea Philippi is one of the spiritual high-water marks in his life
“When Jesus came to the region of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, “Who do people say the Son of Man is?” They replied, “Some say John the Baptist; others say Elijah; and still others, Jeremiah or one of the prophets.” “But what about you?” he asked. “Who do you say I am?” Simon Peter answered, “You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God.” Jesus replied, “Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah, for this was not revealed to you by flesh and blood, but by my Father in heaven.” (Matthew 16:13–17, NIV)
a. at the Last Supper, Peter boldly tells Jesus, I will lay down my life for you (John 13:37)
b. later, that same evening, when Jesus says that the sheep of the flock will be scattered when he, the shepherd, is smitten, Peter proclaims Even though all may fall away because of You, I will never fall away (Matthew 26:33)
3. yet when the chips were down, Peter’s self-confessed faith and love failed and he openly denied three times that he even knew Jesus
ILLUS Peter's life reminds me of ABC's promo for its program Wide World of Sports. For years, each program began with the familiar phrase, "From the thrill of victory to the agony of defeat!" And then we watched poor Vinko Bogataj falling off that ski jump again and agan.
a. that's Peter! from the thrill of great confession and spiritual heights to the agony of denial and a lapse into sin
b. if we would be honest this morning, it also defines the lives of a lot of us
4. when faced with temptation or crisis or unexpected circumstances believers frequently revert to familiar territory
a. what do I mean by that?
b. each of us has our own unique way of responding to an event; to a situation; to a crisis or to the people around us
1) we often learn these response behaviors growing up
c. when faced with an unexpected experience we don't take time to pray about our response and ask, "God, what would you have me do right now?"
d. no, our reflexes take over and we respond according to our own unique character or personality
1) we respond in old familiar ways
2) the problem is that our behavior patters are dominated by our old sinful nature
3) when we respond by reflex rather than being led by the Spirit of God, chances are good that you will be disobedient to the will of God and we fall into sin
ILLUS. The best Biblical example I can think of is the Old Testament character Jacob. His very name means "trickster." Whenever Jacob was faced with a difficult or stressful situation he resorted to subterfuge or trickery. His life is one scheme after another. Even after his life-changing experience with God at Bethel when God gave him the new name of Israel he often reverted to his old ways when in a squeeze.
e. how do we know that Peter is slipping back to his old ways?
1) because, in this exchange, Jesus calls him “Simon”
ILLUS. Jesus had given Simon the nickname “Peter” (John 1:42), but referred to him as “Simon” when Peter did something that needed rebuke or correction (e.g., Matt. 17:25; Mark 14:37; Luke 22:31). It was as if our Lord called him by his former name when he was acting like his former self! (It’s like when your mom uses your middle name—you know the hammer is coming down).
2) when Jesus began with “Simon,” I think Peter winced
5. because we all have this tendency to slip back into the mold of our old ways Jesus is very explicit with his disciples about what we must do to change
a. we must watch and we must pray
“Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.” (Matthew 26:41, NIV)
b. this is why bible study is central to the believer’s life
“All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.” (2 Tim. 3:16, NIV)
6. Peter has said plainly, "I'm tired of waiting. I'm going back to what I know best – fishing!"
a. now fishing is not necessarily a sinful activity
b. Peter's sin is his disobedience to the command of God to patiently wait for Jesus to come
c. because he doesn't know what to do, Peter reverts to his old familiar way of doing things

II. THE TIDINGS OF A REDEEMER SEEKING TO RESTORE THE WAYWARD DISCIPLE vv. 4-14

1. when we blow it, God does not give up on His children
a. our God is a God of the second chance ... and the third ... and the fourth ... etc.
ILLUS. Parents, remember when your child was first learning how to walk? They would get up on those wobbly legs, take a step or two and then go crashing down on their bottom. What did you do? Did you tell that child, “Ok, it’s time to walk now. You tried a couple of times, but you keep blowing it. I’m going to give you just three more chances to learn how to walk. If you don’t do it by then, you’re no child of mine. You’re disowned!” No, you didn’t do that did you? You were patient. You were helpful. You were encouraging. And before you knew it that child was walking and running and you wondered if you’d ever be able to keep up with them.
b. our Heavenly Father knows that we don’t instinctively know how to run the race of the Christian life
1) it does take time
2) in fact, it’s a continuous and conscientious process
2. when we blow it, God picks us up and seeks to encourage us
“The LORD makes firm the steps of the one who delights in him; though he may stumble, he will not fall, for the LORD upholds him with his hand.” (Psalm 37:23–24, NIV)
a. and when God does chastens us for our behavior, He does not come like the Greek god Zeus, hurling thunderbolts at those mortals whom displease him
b. when God chastens us He does it as a loving Father seeking to revitalize fellowship with His children while setting their feet back upon the proper path
3. He does not force us to repent, but He longs for our restoration of proper fellowship through confession and repentance

A. WHEN JESUS COMES ON THE SCENE HIS HOLINESS REVEALS OUR SINFULNESS

1. the scene
a. the disciples have been out in their boat on the Sea of Galilee fishing all night long
b. their efforts have been fruitless
1) they usually are when you're outside the will of God
c. as dawn begins to brush the eastern horizon they notice a figure upon the shore
1) they do not recognize the person in the early twilight hours and the mist rising off the lake
2) the stranger calls out, "Have you caught anything?" to which they sourly answer "NO!"
3) the stranger advised them, "Throw your net on the right side of the boat and you will find some."
a) can’t you hear these disciples muttering under their breath, “Who does this guy think he is anyway?”
4) but they do as the stranger suggests and the catch is so large that they are unable to haul the net back into the boat
d. at that point, the disciple John realizes that it is the Lord
1) Peter jumps into the water and swims to shore while the rest follow in the boat
2) by the time the disciples beach their ship Jesus has started a fire and begins to prepare breakfast
e. through it all, hardly a word is spoken by the disciples
2. the mere presence of Jesus has brought them under conviction
a. the last time they saw Jesus they were all cowering in a room— afraid of the authorities who they thought might do to them what they did to Jesus
1) but they’ve seen the risen Christ, who has instructed them to go to Galilee and wait for him there
b. now, instead of waiting in prayer and anticipation for Jesus as they had been told to do, He finds them discouraged and having gone back to their old way of life
3. they needed some convicting, and his mere presence does that!

B. GOD'S PEOPLE NEED TO BE CONVICTED OF THEIR SIN

1. we need to be convicted about our sins of the flesh
a. many believers are committing a slow form of suicide because of the way they treat their bodies
1) tobacco, alcohol, drugs (both illegal and prescription), stress, anxiety and over-eating are taking their toll even among Christians
2. we need to be convicted about the sins of the mind
a. the hateful attitudes
b. the lusts of our thoughts
c. the prejudices behind our judgments
d. the avarice, and covetousness
3. we need to be convicted about the sins of the spirit
a. the pride
b. the spitefulness
c. the envy and selfishness and jealousy
4. and a lot of Christians need to be convicted of reverting back to their old way of life—living outside the fellowship of God and His church—and living as though God doesn’t really matter in their life
5. conviction is just God's first step toward renewing the believer to right fellowship
a. this is one of the reasons why we need a regular devotional life, and regular corporate worship
1) it brings us into the presence of the risen Christ where we experience his holiness and understand our sinfulness
2) and in that moment we confess our faults, we confess our love, and we find restoration of full fellowship with God and with each other
ILLUS. Dietrich Bonhoeffer, a Confessing Church pastor, in Nazi Germany made a very astute observation about sin in his book Life Together. Dietrich’s father was a renowned psychologist, while Dietrich was a renowned theologian. Listen to what he writes: “The most experienced psychologist or observer of human nature knows infinitely less of the human heart than the simplest Christian who lives beneath the Cross of Jesus. The greatest psychological insight, ability, and experience cannot grasp this one thing: what sin is. Worldly wisdom knows what distress and weakness and failure are, but it does not know the godlessness of men. And so it also does not know that man is destroyed only by his sin and can be healed only by forgiveness. Only the Christian knows this. In the presence of a psychiatrist I can only be a sick man; in the presence of a Christian brother I can dare to be a sinner.”

C. GOD'S PEOPLE NEED TO REPENT OF THEIR SIN

1. most Christians I know really do want to count for God
2. most Christians I know really are aware of their sins and are earnestly trying to deal with them
3. the question is, "Why don't you see more progress in your life?"
4. I think the answer is fairly simple
a. we've refused to deal with our sin the way God commands us to deal with our sin
1) we must confess our sin, and then we must repent of, and turn from those sins that we take so much pleasure in
b. we really don't want to turn loose of our sin
ILLUS. We're like the old Hillbilly from the back woods of the Ozark mountains who was caught red-handed with a neighbor’s horse. He was arrested for stealing and put on trial. Because he was smart enough to hire a good lawyer he was tried and found innocent. As the old horse thief stood to hear the sentence, the judge exclaimed, "A jury of your peers has found you not guilty. I hereby acquit you of all charges." With that, the old man turned to his lawyer and said, "I don’t rightly know I’ve ever heard that word ‘acquit’ before. Does that mean I git ta keep the horse?"
c. now I ask you, doesn’t that sound just like you and I sometimes?
1) we say, “God, I really do want to live for you, just don’t ask me to stop ___________________ . . . and you fill in the blank
5. in the Gospel of Matthew, Jesus tells a short story about repentance
“What do you think? There was a man who had two sons. He went to the first and said, ‘Son, go and work today in the vineyard.’ “ ‘I will not,’ he answered, but later he changed his mind and went. “Then the father went to the other son and said the same thing. He answered, ‘I will, sir,’ but he did not go. “Which of the two did what his father wanted?” “The first,” they answered. Jesus said to them, “Truly I tell you, the tax collectors and the prostitutes are entering the kingdom of God ahead of you.” (Matthew 21:28–31, NIV)
6. true repentance begins when, like the young man in the parable, the believer resolves in his or her heart that they have sinned against their heavenly Father
a. there is sorrow in his heart and a change in his action
7. for Christians, repentance must be an attitude of life, not just a one time experience
a. daily we ask God's Spirit to show us our sin
b. then we repent of it, and work at overcoming it
“Godly sorrow brings repentance that leads to salvation and leaves no regret, but worldly sorrow brings death. See what this godly sorrow has produced in you: what earnestness, what eagerness to clear yourselves, what indignation, what alarm, what longing, what concern, what readiness to see justice done. At every point you have proved yourselves to be innocent in this matter.” (2 Corinthians 7:10–11, NIV)
8. Biblical repentance reestablishes credibility with the world and fellowship with the Lord

III. THE TENDER RESTORATION OF A BACKSLIDDEN DISCIPLE vv. 15-19

1. much has been written about the meaning of these verses
a. the first two times Jesus asks "Peter, do you love me?" He uses the Greek word agapao which we usually translate as a Godly kind of love—it is the highest love of the will, love that implies total commitment
1) through his questions, Jesus goes right to the hear of the issue
2) he challenged Peter to permanently abandon his former life and be exclusively devoted to following Him, based on his love
3) Peter, do you love me more than these? Jesus asks the first time, (i.e., the boat, the nets, and other fishing paraphernalia)?
ILLUS. “Peter, do you remember the first sermon you heard me preach? Do you remember me telling you, “No servant can serve two masters. Either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and Money.”” (Luke 16:13, NIV84). Peter do you remember that?”
b. Peter responds with, “Yes Lord, you know I affection for you."
1) broken and humbled by the memory or his thrice-denial of Jesus, he refuses to use the higher term for love, the verb which Jesus had used—Peter answered by using the word philao a term that signifies affection
c. over the years—even on the eve of Jesus’ crucifixion—Peter had boasted of his supreme love for Jesus
1) though others may abandon him, he would never do so
2) but he did, and now he is ashamed
3. the third time Jesus asks the question he resorts to using Peter's word, "So Peter, you have affection for me?”
a. Jesus is essentially saying, “Peter, you say you have affection for me. Do you? Peter, you say you are you my friend. Are you really?”
1) here is an example of Hebrews 4:12—the word as a double-edged sword that penetrates to the dividing of soul and spirit and judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart ... Everything is uncovered and laid bare before the eyes of him to whom we must give an account
b. the accusation that even Peter’s affectionate friendship is questionable broke Peter’s heart
c. all he could do was appeal even more strongly to Jesus’ omniscience, saying to Him, Lord, You know all things
1) and Jesus did know Peter’s heart, and he knows that Peter does love him, and once the Holy Spirit comes he will reveal the depth of his love till the end of his life
4. the true gospel call to follow Jesus Christ is a call to self-denial— Peter is to feed the sheep of God
a. it is not a man-centered call to self-fulfillment
b. the gospel calls believers to submit fully to Jesus Christ
1) to find our lives by losing them
2) to gain our lives by abandoning them
3) to live our life to the fullest by emptying ourselves
c. our Lord's message, frankly, was not user friendly
1) Jesus forced Peter to learn the hard lesson of a changed life
2) everyone who follows Jesus must learn what real believing and loving Jesus means
5. whatever all the meaning wrapped up behind the use of those words what is evident is a tender restoration of fellowship between Jesus and Peter
“Who is a God like you, who pardons sin and forgives the transgression of the remnant of his inheritance? You do not stay angry forever but delight to show mercy. You will again have compassion on us; you will tread our sins underfoot and hurl all our iniquities into the depths of the sea.” (Micah 7:18–19, NIV)
a. Jesus knew that if Peter was to play the crucial role in the early church that He had chosen him for, he would need to be restored
b. Peter needed to understand that although he had forsaken Christ, Christ had not forsaken him
Con. Raymond Barns was a church member who always had a story to tell. One day after church a bunch of us were standing around talking about our gardens. George Anderson said he was having trouble with the birds eating his strawberries. Raymond said he had had the same problem, but that he had fixed it. He stopped the birds from stealing his berries by taking tin cans and tying them on a string stretched across his berry patch so that they would swing in the wind. He said that it frightened the birds and saved his fruit, but that it frightened them so bad that they got under conviction and brought back the fruit that they had stolen the year before!
Now, that's a tall tale, but it does describes the change in behavior that really does take place in the heart of a person when he or she repents.
Let’s not kid ourselves with the myth that once we repent of our sin, it will not trouble us again. Nor let us delude ourselves into believing that feeling deep sorrow alone over sin will somehow appease God. Real repentance will always involve a change of soul that leads eventually to changed behavior. When God confronts us with our sin and our need to change, let us remember that nature of true repentance and open our hearts and our lives to Him.
Once you’re experienced the risen Christ, you can never go back to a normal life.
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