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The Last Words of Jesus

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Introduction

This morning, we are not going to really look at the very last words of Jesus! But we are going to look at some of the last words of Jesus!
The events of the previous week had been packed with emotion. When the disciples went to Jerusalem they had no idea of the roller coaster ride they were going to experience.
Events like the Triumphal Entry, the expectation of a “new kingdom,” being betrayed by a trusted friend, watching Jesus be arrested, followed by Peter’s denial of Jesus.
Perhaps the hardest part of the roller coaster came when they heard the crowd turn on Jesus and yell, “Crucify Him, crucify Him, crucify Him.” Then the worst possible turn, they helplessly stood by while Jesus was nailed to the cross, and they watched Him die!
They had spent three days, helplessly waiting for the first day of the week—waiting to go and properly prepare Jesus’ body for burial. Living in constant fear of the religious leaders.
Sunday changed everything! The found the tomb empty! Then, they saw the risen Savior! You can imagine how confused and unsure the disciples must have been. They were expecting Jesus to establish His kingdom here on earth, but now they were struggling to make sense out all these events!
An Angel told them (the disciples) that Jesus would meet them again in Galilee (). There they waited.
If you have your Bibles turn with me to . If you don’t have a Bible, there’s a Bible in the pew rack in front of you. And our passage today is on page _____

Back to What We Know

John 21:1–3 NIV84
Afterward Jesus appeared again to his disciples, by the Sea of Tiberias. It happened this way: Simon Peter, Thomas (called Didymus), Nathanael from Cana in Galilee, the sons of Zebedee, and two other disciples were together. “I’m going out to fish,” Simon Peter told them, and they said, “We’ll go with you.” So they went out and got into the boat, but that night they caught nothing.
John 21:1-
I can’t help but wonder why Peter encouraged the other’s to go fishing. Some theologians believe Peter was renouncing his association to Jesus, but I don’t think so. I believe Peter was filled with emotion. Impatient, and tired of waiting Peter returned to what he knew. He returned to what made him feel comfortable. He returned to what he knew!

KEY 1—Jesus doesn’t always work the way we expect Him to work.

We need to be careful we don’t return to our old comfortable ways.
So seven of them went out and went fishing! They fished all night and that night they caught nothing.

KEY 2—Going back to the comfortable doesn’t do the same thing.

John 21:4–6 NIV84
Early in the morning, Jesus stood on the shore, but the disciples did not realize that it was Jesus. He called out to them, “Friends, haven’t you any fish?” “No,” they answered. He said, “Throw your net on the right side of the boat and you will find some.” When they did, they were unable to haul the net in because of the large number of fish.
John 21:4-

Catch Anything?

Now don’t miss the emotion here. Early in the morning, a man on the shore asks these men, most of whom are professional fishermen, if they have caught anything. There is no way these men want to admit that they hadn’t caught anything! But, they hadn’t so they answer back, “No.”
Then the man on the shore tells them to put the net on the other side of the boat and they’ll find some fish. Now wait a minute! We’re professional fishermen. Through the night, we have had the net on every side of the boat. How could throwing it on the other side of the boat result in a catch? But it does! They catch so many fish that they are unable haul the net.
Look at verse 7.
John 21:7-
John 21:7–14 NIV84
Then the disciple whom Jesus loved said to Peter, “It is the Lord!” As soon as Simon Peter heard him say, “It is the Lord,” he wrapped his outer garment around him (for he had taken it off) and jumped into the water. The other disciples followed in the boat, towing the net full of fish, for they were not far from shore, about a hundred yards. When they landed, they saw a fire of burning coals there with fish on it, and some bread. 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. Jesus came, took the bread and gave it to them, and did the same with the fish. This was now the third time Jesus appeared to his disciples after he was raised from the dead.

It’s the Lord!

John—the disciple whom Jesus loved—tells Peter, “It is the Lord!”
As soon as Peter heard this, he wrapped his outer garment around him and jumps into the water and swims to shore while the other other disciples follow in the boat towing the net full of fish—153 large fish!
There they meet Jesus, who already has fish on the fire for breakfast. The disciples bring some of the fish they just caught and have breakfast.
John 21:15-
John 21:15–19 NIV84
When they had finished eating, Jesus said to Simon Peter, “Simon son of John, do you truly love me more than these?” “Yes, Lord,” he said, “you know that I love you.” Jesus said, “Feed my lambs.” Again Jesus said, “Simon son of John, do you truly love me?” He answered, “Yes, Lord, you know that I love you.” Jesus said, “Take care of my sheep.” The third time he said to him, “Simon son of John, do you love me?” Peter was hurt because Jesus asked him the third time, “Do you love me?” He said, “Lord, you know all things; you know that I love you.” Jesus said, “Feed my sheep. I tell you the truth, when you were younger you dressed yourself and went where you wanted; but when you are old you will stretch out your hands, and someone else will dress you and lead you where you do not want to go.” Jesus said this to indicate the kind of death by which Peter would glorify God. Then he said to him, “Follow me!”

Peter’s Restoration

After breakfast, Jesus and Peter take a little walk. As they walk down the shore, Jesus begins by calling Peter by his “proper” name. Whenever Jesus addressed Peter in this manner it was about something serious (kind of like my mother using my full name when I was in trouble).
Jesus has a question: Do you truly love me more than these? The word “love” in the Greek is agapo which is the “unconditional love.” The second thing is what did Jesus mean by “more than these?” Some theologians believe Jesus is asking if Peter loves him more than he loves the other disciples. I don’t think that’s what he means. I think Jesus is asking Peter if he love him more than fishing. Do you love me more than what you know and understand? Do you love me more than fishing?

KEY 3—Is there anything in your life this morning that you love (or trust in) more than Jesus?

Peter answers that Jesus know Peter loves him like a brother. He changes the Greek word in his answer. Peter can’t say he loved Jesus unconditionally, because he had proven he couldn’t love Jesus when there was danger around—he wimped out!
Jesus accepts Peter’s answer and tells him to feed His lambs. He just widened Peter’s ministry from being a fisher of men to being a shepherd of God’s flock—the church.
Jesus comes a second time asking Peter if he loves Him unconditionally, and Peter again answers that he loves Jesus like a brother. Again, without condemnation, Jesus tells Peter to take care of His sheep.
Jesus asks Peter a third time if he loves him, but this time Jesus matches Peter’s wording. Do you really love me like a brother? is the question that Jesus asks. I think that is part of the reason Peter was hurt. Not only was it the third time he was asked about his love for Jesus, but it was also questioning Peter’s wording.
Peter’s response is the same—and once again, without any condemnation, Jesus tells him simple to feed His sheep!
Jesus closes this section by reminding Peter to simply, “Follow me!”

KEY 4—No matter what we are going through we must follow Jesus. No matter what!

What about Him?

John 21:20–22 NIV84
Peter turned and saw that the disciple whom Jesus loved was following them. (This was the one who had leaned back against Jesus at the supper and had said, “Lord, who is going to betray you?”) When Peter saw him, he asked, “Lord, what about him?” Jesus answered, “If I want him to remain alive until I return, what is that to you? You must follow me.”
John 21:20-22
While Jesus is still talking, Peter sees John a few paces away, and ask Jesus, “What about him?”
You know that’s just like me! I’m always asking, “what about whoever!”
Jesus tells Peter, it doesn’t matter what I do with John—If I want him to remain alive until I return, what is that to you? It doesn’t matter what God is doing with others, I’m still responsible to follow Jesus.

KEY 5—It doesn’t matter what Jesus is doing with others. I MUST FOLLOW Jesus!

Conclusion

This morning, we are going to celebrate what we refer to as the “Lord’s Supper.” If you have accepted Jesus Christ as your Savior, and If you are seeking to make Him your Lord we invite you to come to the table—the Lord Jesus’ table and participate with us.
But before we begin, I want to remind you of Paul’s warning. He says that we are to examine ourselves to see if there is any sin in our lives. So for a minute I want to ask you to reflect on what was just said:
First, do you love anything more than you love Jesus? If so you need to get your priorities straight and confess your idolatry.
Do you keep returning to the same things for comfort or control—trusting in those things rather than trusting in Jesus? If so, I would again encourage you to confess this to the Lord.
Do you have something against your brother or sister? Then I would encourage you to make thing right before you participate with us in the Lord’s Supper.
In we read, “A man ought to examine himself before he eats of the bread and drinks of the cup. For anyone who eats and drinks without recognizing the body of the Lord eats and drinks Judgment on himself.”
So if you know Jesus as your Savior and Lord we invite you to participate with us. If you have not accepted Jesus Christ as your Savior, or if He is not really your Lord we ask that you allow the elements to pass by. For this is an ordinance given by our Savior and Lord and should not be taken carelessly.
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