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Respond to the Risen Savior

The Gospel of John  •  Sermon  •  Submitted   •  Presented
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How should we respond to the Risen Savior? 1. Recognize who Jesus is (vs. 4-7). 2. Rush to get closer to Jesus (vs. 7-8). 3. Receive from Jesus (vs. 9-14). [1] Food. [2] Fellowship. [3] Forgiveness.


Respond to the Risen Savior

The Gospel of John

John 21:1-14

Sermon by Rick Crandall

Grayson Baptist Church - August 22, 2018

(Revised July 31, 2020)


*Tonight in John 21, we will take another look at one of the Lord's appearances after He rose again from the dead. In this Scripture Peter had decided to go fishing in the Sea of Galilee, and six more of the disciples decided to go with him. It was a frustrating trip, because they fished all night and didn't catch a thing. But the Risen Savior appeared on the shore the next morning, and that changed everything!

*The disciples' response will show us how to respond to Jesus, so please think about your response as we read vs. 1-14.


*I hope you believe that Jesus is alive, because the Lord Jesus Christ is surely alive today. Jesus was dead, because He died on the cross for our sins. But now He is alive forevermore, because 3 days later Jesus rose again from the dead!

*A lot of people saw Jesus alive after His death. In 1 Corinthians 15, the Bible reports that Jesus appeared to hundreds of people during the 40 days after his resurrection. In John 20, Jesus appeared to Mary Magdalene. In Luke 24, He appeared to two men walking to the village of Emmaus.

*He also appeared to the 11 Disciples (who couldn't believe their eyes at first.) That's why in Luke 24:39 Jesus said, "Touch me and make sure that I am not a ghost, because ghosts don't have bodies, as you see that I do."

*The resurrection of Jesus Christ wasn't the delusion of broken-hearted disciples. The fact is that large numbers of people saw Jesus alive, at different times, in different places, and in different circumstances over a 40-day period.

*Lee Strobel noted that if every eyewitness to Jesus' resurrection were called to the witness stand, it would take over 128 hours to hear their testimony at only 15 minutes a person. In other words, it would take from breakfast on Monday until dinner time on Friday, listening around the clock to hear the testimony of those witnesses!

*Jesus Christ rose again from the dead, and He is alive forevermore! Sir Lionel Luckhoo from Great Britain surely believed this truth. He was one of the most successful defense attorneys of all time.

*Lionel was in the 1985 Guinness Book of Records for being the most successful lawyer in the world. He successfully defended his clients in 245 murder trials. He won 245 murder trials in a row, either before a jury or on appeal!

*Lionel was twice knighted by Queen Elizabeth, and served as a distinguished diplomat. He also served as a justice on his country's highest court. Certainly, he was a world-class expert on evidence.

*What did Lionel Luckhoo think about the evidence for the resurrection of Jesus Christ? After a careful examination Lionel boldly stated: "I say unequivocally that the evidence for the resurrection of Jesus Christ is so overwhelming that it compels acceptance by proof which leaves absolutely no room for doubt." (1)

*Jesus is alive! So, how should we respond to the Risen Savior?


*One of the most important things we can ever do in life is recognize Jesus Christ, recognize that He is the only begotten Son of God, Lord of Lords and the only Savior of the world.

*We must recognize Jesus, and it's interesting that He was not always recognized by His followers after He rose again. (2)

*Here in John 21 it may have been a matter of distance, because the disciples were 300 feet away from shore. Verse 4-7 tell us that:

4. . . when the morning had now come, Jesus stood on the shore; yet the disciples did not know that it was Jesus.

5. Then Jesus said to them, "Children, have you any food?'' They answered Him, "No.''

6. 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.

7. Therefore that disciple whom Jesus loved said to Peter, "It is the Lord!''. . .

*Twice before, the Lord's followers had not been able to recognize the risen Savior. Both times were on the first Easter Sunday. That morning at the tomb, Jesus appeared to Mary Magdalene, and John 20:11-16 tells us that:

11. . . Mary stood outside by the tomb weeping, and as she wept she stooped down and looked into the tomb.

12. And she saw two angels in white sitting, one at the head and the other at the feet, where the body of Jesus had lain.

13. Then they said to her, "Woman, why are you weeping?" She said to them, "Because they have taken away my Lord, and I do not know where they have laid Him."

14. Now when she had said this, she turned around and saw Jesus standing there, and did not know that it was Jesus.

15. Jesus said to her, "Woman, why are you weeping? Whom are you seeking?" She, supposing Him to be the gardener, said to Him, "Sir, if You have carried Him away, tell me where You have laid Him, and I will take Him away."

16. Jesus said to her, "Mary!" She turned and said to Him, "Rabboni!" (which is to say, Teacher).

*Later that day, Jesus appeared to two disciples on the road to Emmaus, and they didn't recognize Him either. Luke 24:16 tells us that "their eyes were restrained, so that they did not know Him." Then after they got to Emmaus, Luke 24:29-33 says:

29. . . they constrained Him, saying, "Abide with us, for it is toward evening, and the day is far spent." And He went in to stay with them.

30. Now it came to pass, as He sat at the table with them, that He took bread, blessed and broke it, and gave it to them.

31. Then their eyes were opened and they knew Him; and He vanished from their sight.

32. And they said to one another, "Did not our heart burn within us while He talked with us on the road, and while He opened the Scriptures to us?"

33. So they rose up that very hour and returned to Jerusalem, and found the eleven and those who were with them gathered together.


*God works the same way today, and that's a relief because we can't physically see Jesus right now. But Christians, we can spiritually see Jesus, as the Holy Spirit speaks to our hearts, especially as He speaks to us through God's Word.

*Hebrews 2:9-15 talks about Christians seeing Jesus and says:

9. But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels, for the suffering of death crowned with glory and honor, that He, by the grace of God, might taste death for everyone.

10. For it was fitting for Him, for whom are all things and by whom are all things, in bringing many sons to glory, to make the author of their salvation perfect through sufferings.

11. For both He who sanctifies and those who are being sanctified are all of one, for which reason He is not ashamed to call them brethren,

12. saying: "I will declare Your name to My brethren; in the midst of the congregation I will sing praise to You.''

13. And again: "I will put My trust in Him.'' And again: "Here am I and the children whom God has given Me.''

14. Inasmuch then as the children have partaken of flesh and blood, He Himself likewise shared in the same, that through death He might destroy him who had the power of death, that is, the devil,

15. and release those who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage.

*God the Son became a man, "a partaker of flesh and blood," so that through His death, He might destroy the one who had the power of death, and that's the devil. Jesus gave His life for us. He died on the cross to take the punishment for our sins. Then He rose again forever, and what a difference it makes when we spiritually see Jesus!

*What does He look like? Well, He looks like our big brother, for John 1:12 says, "As many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe in His name."

*And Jesus looks like our best friend, for in John 15:13, Jesus said, "Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one's life for his friends."

*Jesus also looks like our Savior, for in Luke 19:10, Jesus said He had come "to seek and to save that which was lost.''

*And He looks like our Lord and God, for that's what Thomas rightly called Jesus in John 20:28.


*After Jesus gave His disciples to that miraculous catch of fish, John immediately realized that the man on the shore was our Risen Savior. Then in vs. 7-8:

7. . . 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.

8. 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.

*All of the disciples were rushing to get closer to Jesus, but Peter just couldn't wait for the boat, so he jumped in the water and swam! Peter swam 200 cubits. That's a hundred yards, and that is a pretty long swim.

*Peter was eager to get to Jesus. And that's the way God wants us to be: Rushing to get to Jesus as fast as we can, and not letting anything get in the way. The great news is that God wants us to be closer to Him! James 4:8 gives us this promise: "Draw near to God and He will draw near to you."

*In Jeremiah 29:13, the Lord also gave this promise: "You will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with ALL your heart."

*In Psalm 105:1-4, King David also said:

1. Oh, give thanks to the Lord! Call upon His name; Make known His deeds among the peoples.

2. Sing to Him, sing psalms to Him; Talk of all His wondrous works.

3. Glory in His holy name; Let the hearts of those rejoice who seek the Lord.

4. Seek the Lord and His strength; Seek His face evermore.

*Seeking to get closer to the Lord is so crucial that David stressed it four times in two verses:

-"Let the hearts of those rejoice who seek the Lord.

-Seek the Lord. . .

-And (seek) and His strength. . .

-Seek His face evermore."

*God wants us to seek Him, because He wants to have a personal relationship with us. Everyone desperately needs this kind of relationship with God, because it's the only way to live forever. And we can have this kind of relationship with God by receiving Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior.

*God also wants us to seek His strength, because it's the only way we can live the way we're supposed to live. You will never be able to live the life God wants you to live in your own strength.

*Then God tells us to seek His face, because He wants us to know Him in an up-close and personal way. Sandra Carr told about rocking her son, Boyd, when he was 4 years old. Boyd was facing his mom as they rocked, sitting on his knees.

*Suddenly, he lifted his small head, stared straight at his mother and got very still. Then he cupped her face in his hands and said, "Mommy, I'm in your eyes!" He had seen his own reflection in his mother's eyes, and this amazed him.

*In the days that followed, Boyd checked to see if his discovery was lasting. "Am I still in your eyes, mommy?" he would ask as he reached up for her. That's how close all good parents want to be to their children. And that's how close God wants us to be to Him. (3)

*We know this is true because of a wonderful Old Testament phrase: "The apple of God's eye." The word picture is just what little Boyd found in his mother's eye: For us to be so close to God, that we can look in His eyes and see our reflection.

*Deuteronomy 32:9-10 says:

9. . . The LORD's portion is His people; Jacob is the place of His inheritance.

10 He found him in a desert land and in the wasteland, a howling wilderness; He encircled him, He instructed him, He kept him as the apple of His eye.

*In Psalm 17:8, King David prayed these words: "Keep me as the apple of Your eye; Hide me under the shadow of Your wings." That's how close God wants us to be to Him! And by His Holy Spirit, we can be, because Jesus is alive! (4)

*Let me ask you something, Christian: Have you ever felt like you were too close to the Lord? Have you ever thought, "You know, I've been a little too close to Jesus lately."? No! -- And you never will.


*Jesus Christ wants to give us all the good things of God, and He is the only person who can. But we must be willing to receive from the Lord. And the disciples are our example tonight.


*In vs. 9-13, God's Word says:

9. Then, as soon as they had come to land, they saw a fire of coals there, and fish laid on it, and bread.

10. Jesus said to them, "Bring some of the fish which you have just caught.''

11. 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.

12. 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.

13. Jesus then came and took the bread and gave it to them, and likewise the fish.

*Notice in vs. 9 that "as soon as they had come to land, they saw a fire of coals there, and fish laid on it, and bread." The Lord of all the universe was there cooking breakfast for His friends. -- Amazing!

*Then in vs. 10, "Jesus said to them, 'Bring some of the fish which you have just caught.'" But of course, the only reason they had anything to give was because the Lord had miraculously filled their net. He owns all the fish in the world. He owns all the worlds in the universe! He has everything we need.

*Also notice that in vs. 11 the Lord even strengthened the net, so that it wouldn't break under the stress of that great catch. Sometime you may feel like you're about to break under the stress you're in, but Jesus will strengthen you too.

*In vs. 13 we see that Jesus "came and took the bread and gave it to them, and likewise the fish." Thank God, the Lord is willing to feed us too! In fact, every bite of food we have ever eaten has ultimately come from the Lord.

*But more important than any physical food is the spiritual food He wants to give us every day. As Jesus said in Matthew 4:4, "Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God." Jesus wants to feed us, but we have to be willing to eat.


*Again in vs. 12-13:

12. 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.

13. Jesus then came and took the bread and gave it to them, and likewise the fish.

*Jesus didn't just provide His disciples with the food they needed. He invited them to come and dine with Him. It was a gracious invitation to spend time with the King of the whole universe. Breakfast with the Risen Savior!

*You probably know that Baptists like to eat together, and that's a good thing because it brings people closer together. If you think about it, most of the best times in our lives are celebrated around food: Birthdays, weddings, Thanksgiving, and Christmas.

*The Gospels tell us that Jesus liked to eat with people too. Aren't you glad? Luke's Gospel includes ten occasions of Jesus sharing meals with people.

*For example, Luke 5 tells us about a feast in Matthew Levi's home:

27. After these things (Jesus) went out and saw a tax collector named Levi, sitting at the tax office. And He said to him, "Follow Me.''

28. And he left all, rose up, and followed Him.

29. Then Levi gave Him a great feast in his own house. And there were a great number of tax collectors and others who sat down with them.

30. But their scribes and the Pharisees murmured against His disciples, saying, "Why do You eat and drink with tax collectors and sinners?''

31. And Jesus answered and said to them, "Those who are well do not need a physician, but those who are sick.

*Jesus likes to eat with people. He wants to share close friendship and fellowship with people, and that includes us. The ultimate meal will be the Marriage Supper of the Lamb that believers will share with the Lord in Heaven.

*But also remember what Jesus said in Revelation 3:20: "Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and dine with him, and he with Me." Right now the Lord wants to spiritually sit down and share supper with us.


*Verse 14 points us to this truth because it says, "This is now the third time Jesus showed Himself to His disciples after He was raised from the dead." The only reason why Jesus had to rise again from the dead was because He died on the cross for us. The Lord laid down His life to take the full punishment for our sins.

*But Jesus also had the power to overcome death forever, and He did! Now the Risen Savior can forgive us, and give us His eternal life. That's what Jesus wants to do. He wants to save our souls! But we have to be willing to receive His forgiveness. We have to be willing to receive His salvation by receiving Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior.

*Think about what it means to be saved. Walter Wyatt knows. He normally flew from Nassau to Miami in 65 minutes. But one day a thief stole the navigation equipment from Walter's plane. And he tried to make the trip with nothing but a compass and a hand-held radio.

*That was not very smart, and Walter knew it after he flew into a storm. He put out a mayday call, and a Coast Guard search plane took off to lead him to an emergency landing strip. But Walter's plane ran out of gas before they could get to him.

*Walter survived the crash, but his plane quickly sank, leaving him floating in a leaky life vest. He floated on his back, with blood on his forehead, and suddenly he felt a hard bump against his body. A shark had found him. Walter kicked the shark, and wondered if he would survive the night.

*By the grace of God, Walter managed to stay afloat for the next ten hours! In the morning, he saw no airplanes, but he did see a fin headed straight for him. He kept kicking as three sharks circled around him.

*Then Walter heard the hum of a plane. The pilot saw him and radioed a Coast Guard cutter that got there just in the nick of time. Walter kissed the deck when he got on board. He was saved!

*Think about it. Nothing else would do. Walter didn't need a lecture on his foolish mistake. He didn't need a new bathing suit. He didn't need swimming lessons. He needed to be saved! And he was saved! But how much more do people need to be saved from their sins. (5)

*Can you imagine Walter waving the Coast Guard off, and facing the sharks alone? Never! But it is infinitely more dangerous for people to refuse the salvation we can have in Jesus.


*Jesus Christ is alive, and by His Holy Spirit, He is here with us now. Have you recognized who Jesus is? Have you received Him as your Lord and Savior? Are you drawing closer to the Lord every day?

*All of the good things of God are available to you, if you will put your trust in Jesus Christ. Call on the Lord to save you, and rush closer to Jesus today. You can get started now, as we go back to God in prayer.

(1) Adapted from sermon "Jesus is Alive – True or False?" by Lee Strobel - Matthew 28:1-20

(2) Insight from SermonCentral sermon "Breakfast On The Beach" by Darren Rogers - John 21:1-14 - July 11, 2007

(3) Sandra Palmer Carr in "The Upper Room" - Source: sermon "The Appearance of Love" by King Duncan Matthew 22:34-46

(4) Adapted from SermonCentral Sermon "Step One - Our Relationship with God" by Eddie Snipes - Psalm 36:7-10 - Also see ISBE for good explanation of Apple of the Eye

(5) Sources:

October 1987 Readers Digest - Source: David Holwick - TO US A SON IS GIVEN - Isaiah 9:1-7 - #1792

SermonCentral illustration contributed by Mark Brunner

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