Friday Study Ministries- The First Church on the Internet

Friday Study Ministries

Go to Home Page

John Chapter 21


The Gospel of John for Youth
Commentary by Pastor Ron Beckham

John Chapter 21

(Words in red in the Scriptures are the words of Jesus)

Verse 1.  "After these things Jesus manifested Himself again to the disciples at the Sea of Tiberias, and He manifested Himself in this way."

Jesus, who had been raised from the dead, now showed Himself again to his disciples (students) at the sea (lake) called "Tiberias" by the Romans and "Galilee" by the Jews.  How He showed Himself to them is seen in this Chapter.

Verse 2.  "Simon Peter, and Thomas called Didymus, and Nathanael of Cana in Galilee, and the sons of Zebedee, and two others of His disciples were together."

Simon, called "Peter" by Jesus, Thomas, called "Didymus" (the twin), another disciple named Nathanael, who came from Cana in Galilee, got together with James and John, the sons of Zebedee, and two more of Jesusí disciples.

Verse 3.  "Simon Peter said to them, 'I am going fishing.' They said to him, 'We will also come with you.' They went out and got into the boat; and that night they caught nothing."

Peter had said he was "going fishing" and the others (see verse 2) went with him.  They got into a boat, spent the night fishing (casting nets into the water) on the Sea of Galilee.  They fished all night and caught - nothing!

Verse 4.  "But when the day was now breaking, Jesus stood on the beach; yet the disciples did not know that it was Jesus."

The boat of the disciples (students) was near the shore of the Sea of Galilee, and the men looked up and saw a man standing on the beach, next to the water.  It was Jesus, but they did not know it was Him.

Verse 5.  "So Jesus said to them, 'Children, you do not have any fish, do you?' They answered Him, 'No.'"

Jesus called out to them, something like, "Hey, you young guys, have you caught any fish in your nets?  The disciples heard him, and answered, "No, we haven't caught any fish."

Verse 6.  "And He said to them, 'Cast the net on the right-hand side of the boat and you will find a catch.' So they cast, and then they were not able to haul it in because of the great number of fish."

Jesus said to them, "Toss your net into the water on the right side of the boat, and you will catch some fish."  They did as He suggested, and suddenly, after a night of no fish at all, their net was FULL of fish.

Verse 7.  "Therefore that disciple whom Jesus loved said to Peter, 'It is the Lord.' So when Simon Peter heard that it was the Lord, he put his outer garment on (for he was stripped for work), and threw himself into the sea."

The "disciple whom Jesus loved" was John, the writer of the Book of John.  He said to Peter, "It is the Lord Jesus."  Peter had been wearing only his undergarments while fishing, and now he put on his coat and jumped into the water.  He was excited!

Verse 8.  "But the other disciples came in the little boat, for they were not far from the land, but about one hundred yards away, dragging the net full of fish."

The other disciples stayed in the boat and brought it to the beach.  The net was so full of fish that they could not lift it, so they dragged the net, beside the boat.

Verse 9.  "So when they got out on the land, they saw a charcoal fire already laid and fish placed on it, and bread."

After fishing all night, the disciples (students of Jesus) were cold, tired and hungry.  When they brought the boat to the shore of the lake, they saw that a charcoal fire was ready, along with fish and bread, which had been cooked for them.

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

Jesus told them to bring some of the fish they had caught.  Notice that the fish were caught, not by what they did, but by the power of God.  It's the same for the bread that was cooking, and the fire that warmed them - It was given by God.

Verse 11.  "Simon Peter went up and drew the net to land, full of large fish, a hundred and fifty-three; and although there were so many, the net was not torn."

Some of them counted the fish that were in the net - there were 153 of them!  There were so many, that it should have torn the net, but the net did not tear.  Jesus is showing them (and us) that He will knows about our needs.

Verse 12.  "Jesus said to them, 'Come and have breakfast.' None of the disciples ventured to question Him, 'Who are You?' knowing that it was the Lord."

Jesus invited the disciples to eat the breakfast which had been cooked for them.  The disciples now knew it was the Risen Lord Jesus who was talking to them, but they were so amazed that they did not ask him any questions.

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

Jesus went up to each of the disciples (His students) and gave each of them fish and bread to eat.

Verse 14.  "This is now the third time that Jesus was manifested to the disciples, after He was raised from the dead."

Jesus, who had been killed before the very eyes of the disciples who were now with Him, was not dead anymore.  The disciples were amazed - He had been dead and now was ALIVE, serving them breakfast right at that moment.

Verse 15.  "So 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, 'Tend My lambs.'"

Peter had been a fisherman who caught and sold fish to earn a living.  He never expected anything else, but his life was changed and he followed Jesus.  Then Jesus died, and Peter went back to fishing. Jesus is alive, and He told Peter to care for His "lambs", which are Godís people.  Did Peter love the Lord, more than earning a living?  Peter answered, "Yes".

Verse 16.  "He said to him again 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, 'Shepherd My sheep.'"

Jesus asked Peter again if he loved Jesus like a brother?  Peter said, "Yes, Lord, I love You like a brother."  Jesus told him to "shepherd" (watch over) the "sheep" (people) of God.

Verse 17.  "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 all things; You know that I love You.' Jesus said to him, 'Tend My sheep.'"

Jesus asked Peter (Simon) again, "Do you love Me more than life itself?"  Peter had denied the Lord three times, and now, he was asked three times about his love.  Peter was upset, but he answered, "Yes, I love You more than life itself."  Jesus told him again to care for and protect the people of God.

Verse 18 "Truly, truly, I say to you, when you were younger, you used to gird yourself and walk wherever you wished; but when you grow old, you will stretch out your hands and someone else will gird you, and bring you where you do not wish to go."

Peter would be an Apostle (sent one) who would go to many places for the Lord Jesus.  But when he grew old, his hands would be stretched out, he would be tied to a cross and crucified.

Verse 19.  "Now this He said, signifying by what kind of death he would glorify God. And when He had spoken this, He said to him, 'Follow Me!'"

Jesus had told Peter from the beginning, "Follow Me" (Matthew 4:19), and now He was telling him again, to follow Him, even to death on a cross.

Verse 20.  "Peter, turning around, saw the disciple whom Jesus loved following them; the one who also had leaned back on His bosom at the supper and said, 'Lord, who is the one who betrays You?'"

Peter was stunned by Jesus' words, and as he looked away, saw John (the one who wrote this Book of John).  This was the same John who, at the Last Supper, asked Jesus to tell them who the betrayer (Judas Iscariot) would be.

Verse 21.  "So Peter seeing him said to Jesus, 'Lord, and what about this man?'"

Peter understood Jesus' words, that he was going to be crucified when he grew old.  It frightened him, and he asked Jesus, "Well, if this is going to happen to me; then what about HIM?"

Verse 22.  "Jesus said to him, 'If I want him to remain until I come, what is that to you? You follow Me!'"

Peter was being told that it was not his business what happened to John!  IF Jesus wanted John to stay alive for thousands of years, it was God's concern, not Peter's.

Verse 23.  "Therefore this saying went out among the brethren that that disciple would not die; yet Jesus did not say to him that he would not die, but only, "If I want him to remain until I come, what is that to you?"

The disciples (students) misunderstood what Jesus said, and some thought John actually would not die.  But Jesus did not say that.  He was only telling Peter to "mind your own business!"

Verse 24.  "This is the disciple who is testifying to these things and wrote these things, and we know that his testimony is true."

John saw Jesus after He was risen from the dead.  He touched Him, heard His words, and SAW the risen Lord.  John told the truth about what he had seen and heard.

Verse 25.  "And there are also many other things which Jesus did, which if they were written in detail, I suppose that even the world itself would not contain the books that would be written."

Jesus did many miracles, before He died and was risen from the dead.  Some of those things we see in the other Gospels (Matthew, Mark and Luke), but not all.  You could fill every computer in the world with the miracles and wonderful words of Jesus, and still there would not be enough room for them all.

Ron Beckham, Pastor
Friday Study Ministries

Back to Book of John