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John 21 Feed My Sheep

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Jesus restores Peter

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Feed My sheep

John 21:1–19 ESV
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. Jesus said to them, “Bring some of the fish that you have just caught.” 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. 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. Jesus came and took the bread and gave it to them, and so with the fish. This was now the third time that Jesus was revealed to the disciples after he was raised from the dead. When they had finished breakfast, Jesus said to Simon Peter, “Simon, son of John, 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 a second time, “Simon, son of John, 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 John, 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 everything; you know that I love you.” Jesus said to him, “Feed my sheep. Truly, truly, I say to you, when you were young, you used to dress yourself and walk wherever you wanted, but when you are old, you will stretch out your hands, and another will dress you and carry you where you do not want to go.” (This he said to show by what kind of death he was to glorify God.) And after saying this he said to him, “Follow me.”
Disciples following Jesus
Mark 16:7 ESV
But go, tell his disciples and Peter that he is going before you to Galilee. There you will see him, just as he told you.”
The disciples were where God had told them to be. Many people see this section as them giving up and just going back to ordinary life, but really they are waiting for God.
What happens when Christ comes; there failure turns into great success. All night they fish and yet have empty nets, but when they follow Christ the nets are full. A lot of people speculate about the 153 fish caught, but the larger point is that the net was full, just as the mission of the church will be full or successful.
John 15:5 ESV
I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing.
Luke 5 has a similar story yet the response of Peter is different- Luke 5:8 “ Depart from me, for I am a sinful man, O Lord.” Here Peter jumps in the water not waiting to see His Lord and Savior
What had change? it the very thing that changes in our life when taste and see the glory of our Risen Savior. Christ had revealed Himself to Peter and the Disciples, and it is because of this that we the change in the very nature of who Peter is. Some examples:
Abraham- From Idol worship to the father of the promise seed
Jacob- Who’s life was marked by Selfishness and deceit, to the father of Israel’s tribes
Moses- a man who ran and fled from Egypt to the voice of God to Israel, Pharaoh and all the nation
Gideon- From hiding in a wine press to warrior
Peter’s Restoration
Where Does Jesus Meet Peter?
Jesus Is waiting for Peter by the coals- right where Peter Left Jesus, denying Him for the third times. Two times John references the fire made by coals:
John 18:18 ESV
Now the servants and officers had made a charcoal fire, because it was cold, and they were standing and warming themselves. Peter also was with them, standing and warming himself.
One is where Peter turned for the Lord and Denied Him publicly, and this one where Jesus meets Peter a restores Him to minister. John 21:9
Jesus says “If you love feed My lambs, tend My sheep, feed My sheep”
Three times Jesus asks Peter
“Do you Love me more then these?”
“Do you love Me?”
“Do you love Me?”
Peter’s response it to be grieved- Three times Peter stood by a fire and denied his Lord. Now he stands by a fire again, and three times affirms his love for Jesus. Restoration replaces failure
Peter says “ Lord, you know everything; you know that I love you.” (Jn 21:17).
Before his denial he zealously said “You obviously don’t know me! I would never betray you, I would rather die.”
Matthew 26:31–35 ESV
Then Jesus said to them, “You will all fall away because of me this night. For it is written, ‘I will strike the shepherd, and the sheep of the flock will be scattered.’ But after I am raised up, I will go before you to Galilee.” Peter answered him, “Though they all fall away because of you, I will never fall away.” Jesus said to him, “Truly, I tell you, this very night, before the rooster crows, you will deny me three times.” Peter said to him, “Even if I must die with you, I will not deny you!” And all the disciples said the same.
Here stands a changed man. A man who has been humbled by the love a Savior. A man who had felt shame cause he ran away from God.
Now Jesus says “follow me” -John points out that Jesus is talking about the death the Peter would face for the glory of God.
Peter at one point ran from Jesus when Jesus died so one day Peter would be in glory, now will follow Jesus to a cross himself for God to be glorified.
To parables show what happens when we see Christ revealed as the Messiah like Peter here:
Matthew 13:44 ESV
“The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field, which a man found and covered up. Then in his joy he goes and sells all that he has and buys that field.
Nothing compares to the supreme value of Christ our Lord
Matthew 13:45–46 ESV
“Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant in search of fine pearls, who, on finding one pearl of great value, went and sold all that he had and bought it.
The Kingdom of heaven is worth more than any sacrifice we could make to obtain it- There is a sense in which the depth of our affection for Christ is inseparably related to the depth of our understanding of that which we have been forgiven:
Let us not trifle with God or trivialize his love. We will never stand in awe of being loved by God until we reckon with the seriousness of our sin and the justice of his wrath against us. But when, by grace, we waken to our unworthiness, then we may look at the suffering and death of Christ and say, “In this is love, not that we have loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the [wrath-absorbing] propitiation for our sins” (1 John 4:10).
Peter’s life would go to show this:
Acts 4- Peter and John are arrested and beaten they Glorify and praise God “We cannot but speak of what we have seen and heard.”
Acts 5 they are arrested about to be killed before some says “council be careful you might just find yourselves opposing God.” Then they are let go after being beaten and they rejoice because (Acts 5:41) “they were counted worthy to suffer dishonor for the name.”
Tradition understands the death of Peter to have been crucified upside down.
What a hard word- “God am I able to endure suffering for your Glory?” Peter would go to a cross and Jesus says here “This he said to show by what kind of death he was to glorify God” “you will stretch out your hands” and He ends by simply saying “follow me”.
“Feed My lambs, Tend My sheep, Feed My lambs” This is the ministry that Peter was called to. To feed the body of Christ.
With Peter’s confession of his love for his Lord comes the commission to feed the flock. “Don’t starve them.”
John The Requirement of Love

The Bible says in our natural state, no one seeks after God. It is only when a person’s heart is regenerated by the Spirit of God so that he is born again that he begins to seek God. That is why Jonathan Edwards said that seeking after God should be the main business of the life of the Christian.

Ephesians 2:1–5 ESV
And you were dead in the trespasses and sins in which you once walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience— among whom we all once lived in the passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the body and the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind. But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved—
God has made us alive- We were dead! Without God we are lost without hope, But God being rich in mercy made us alive.
R.C. Sproul writes “ We are witnessing a great tragedy in the revolution of worship in the United States. Following the model of “seeker-sensitive” worship is harming the church. The idea is that if you want your church to grow, you must design worship to meet the desires and the interests of non-Christians. I believe in seeker-sensitive worship, but not in the way most modern worship theorists define it”
He goes on to state “Why did Jesus put so much emphasis on feeding the sheep? When the sheep of Christ are fed, nurtured, and filled with the strength of Christ and of His word, they become a mighty army turned loose on the world. Babies have almost no influence in a culture. Before they can turn the world upside down, they have to grow up, they have to become mature, and that happens as they are fed the Word of God. Nothing less will do.”
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