Lesson 106: John 21:1-7 – The King Is Still Alive

by Pastor Ricky Kurth

You're listening to Lesson 106 from the sermon series "The Gospel of John" by Pastor Ricky Kurth. When you're done, explore more sermons from this series.



The Lord showed Himself twice to the apostles in the last chapter, and now a third time (21:1). The apostles were hanging around the Sea of Tiberias because it was also called the Sea of Galilee (John 6:1), and that’s where the Lord told them He would meet them (Mt.26:32; Mark 16:7), so all eleve headed there (Mt.28:16).

But only seven are mentioned here (21:7) because when the Lord didn’t show up when they thought He should, four left—but not Thomas! When He still didn’t show, Peter led the rest to return to their old fishing business. If the Lord doesn’t show up to Rapture you when you think He should, will you return to your old way of life of sin?This is the danger of setting dates for the Rapture, people get dis-couraged when He doesn’t show. The latest “blood moon” prophecies will also likely fail since they are based on the prophecy of Joel 2:31, and we are living in the time of the Mystery. No prophecies are being fulfilled today. Your apostle says to look for Christ (Tit.2:13), not blood moons

When I say they gave up hope on the Lord, they didn’t give up hope He’d risen, they’d already seen Him twice. They gave up hope He’d return, after disappearing on them. This makes them a type of Tribulation Jews who will know from the Word that He’s risen, but will be tempted to give up hope that He’ll return if He doesn’t come when they think He should. That’s why they’ll cry such things as are found in Psalm 6:3,4.

The sad part about Peter leading this declension (21:3) is that the Lord appointed Peter to strengthen his brethren (Luke 22:31) and He was weakening them here. Are you weakening someone who looks to you for spiritual strength by your poor example? Strengthen them the way Peter should have, by assuring them that the Lord will come! We can’t promise health or wealth or a solution to problems, but we can promise that!

The miracle of the fishes here is a repeat of the miracle the Lord worked to call the apostles (Luke 5:5). This was His way of telling them that He wasn’t mad at them for forsaking Him when He was arrested, He just wanted to start over. If you’ve disappointed the Lord, He’s not upset, He just wants you to start serving Him all over again.

But the Lord was also starting over with Israel. Beginning with that Luke 5 call of the 12 He had preached the king-dom to Israel, but they rejected it, and in repeating the miracle that called them to preach the kingdom, He was telling Israel He was going back to the beginning with her as well, giving them the same chance He was giving the 12.

They didn’t return to fishing to have something to do, they returned to fishing to have something to eat, and something to sell for money to buy clothes. The Lord asked if they caught anything (21:5) to point out their need of Him. This was a type of the Tribulation, when the Beast issues his mark and men won’t be able to buy food without it (Rev.13:17) no matter how much money they make. In that day they’ll have to remember to put the kingdom first and food and clothing will be added to them (Mt.6:25-33).

After the Lord called them by one of His favorite names for them in Verse 5, they perhaps began to suspect it was Him, and so these seasoned fishermen obeyed His instruction to try again, even after their skilled efforts had failed (v.6).

John was the first to realize the Lord has risen (John 20:8) and the first to realize this stranger was the Lord (21:7). This is a picture of His epistles. You see, one of the purposes of his epistles will be to identify the true Christ during the Tribulation (IJohn 5:20). John’s ability to identify the traitor (John 13:21-25) is a picture of the ability of his epistles to help identify the Antichrist also (IJo.2:22).

Ever wonder why Peter was naked? He was a type of James 2:15-17. When the Beast issues his mark, many saints will be naked and needing aid from the saints. As that passage makes clear, the very gospel of salvation in that day will include the need to minister to others in material things like food and clothing. We see their need pictured here in Peter.

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