Lord’s meeting with the disciples after a night of fruitless fishing and
the lessons to be derived from both their actions and His gracious
reception and provision.
AIM: That we
might stay upon Him at all times even when it seems that all hope is
lost and there is no obvious direction to follow.
previous meetings with the disciples had occurred in Jerusalem. Now, in
accordance with the message sent to them by the women, they had returned
1. That there is frustration and concern with them is
obvious, but then so is the divine design through which the Lord would
keep them in the way of uncertainty until the time of full revelation of
2. We are viewing from hindsight and can only imagine what
was going on in these men’s minds. It was obvious that they had
abandoned hope of a political Kingdom and they were not going about
preaching in the manner they had witnessed and practiced before.
In walking by sight we often lose sight of the true objective and forget
the promised word. With them they had been told that they would be
fishers of men!
THESIS: It is
true graciousness on the part of the Lord that we are reminded that He
is an absolute sovereign who can orchestrate the workings of creation
and can turn the hearts of men to Himself and such is the message here.
I. A night of frustration (vv. 1-3)
1. Providentially, the scene
was being set for another appearance to a group of disciples, including
1) We have no explanation for the group selected here, and
two of them are not even named
2) But, nothing is apart from purpose
2. The key phrase here is uttered by Simon Peter – “I go
1) There is debate here as to whether he was declaring
intention to resume his occupation.
2) Some have supposed that it may
have been a matter of necessity for interim income.
3) A thought is
that Peter may have been wondering if he would even be allowed to preach
after his denial of the Lord.
4) It is evident that none of them had
a clear sense of what to do in the physical absence of the Lord and it
may have been that a memory was being created for future reference when
their commission would be clear and empowered.
3. In any event it was
a night of fruitless labor and frustration.
II. The appearance of
our Lord (vv. 4-8)
1. This was another of many appearances designed
to confirm His resurrection; (To whom also he shewed himself alive after
his passion by many infallible proofs, being seen of them forty days,
and speaking of the things pertaining to the kingdom of God: Acts 1:3.
2. We are not told the reason but the disciples did not know it was Him
1) The distance, the early morning fog, fatigue or any of a number of
things may have hindered
2) But, we also know that the Lord revealed
Himself at His discretion
3) It took a few words for recognition to
set in, but John knew the voice of the Master
3. The question: “Have
ye any meat?” meaning have you been able to provide for yourselves?
1) May have directed their attention back to their declared intent to
2) And may have enforced a sense of failure and dependence as
4. The direction: “Cast the net on the right side…” was
followed without question
1) There was authority and knowledge
detected in that voice!
2) There may have been a remembrance of
another time (See Luke 5)
3) There was instant obedience and success!
5. It was John that recognized Him and spoke directly to Peter
anxiety of Peter is unmistakable and he started for the shore
question of Peter’s nakedness is of no consequence
2) The thought is
that he was not totally nude but was working in underwear or a
7. In any event, a load of fish was to be gathered.
III. Come and dine! (vv. 9-14)
1. Provision was awaiting and all
was provided It is unclear as to whether He added some of the fish they
2. An elect number of fish:
1) Perhaps this was simply
divine attention to detail – of those directed into the net, none were
lost. The net was not broken – “my grace is sufficient”
assurance is given that His purpose will be realized
assurance is given to all who are brought that none shall be lost.
Some have suggested numerical symbolism?
3. But, “come and dine” on a
fish and a bread cake. (Another case of multiplication)?
emphasizes at this point the matter of spiritual awareness in that
nobody asked – they knew it was the Lord
1) A sense of identity
rather than a forensic determination
2) A matter of submission as
they are given to receive what He has provided
5. In light of the
miracle they learned that He could enable great things through them!