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November 8, 2015


TEXT: John 21: 20-25
 1 John 5: 1-21

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SUBJ: The Lord’s response to Peter concerning John and John’s final word on Christ to all revealing both the infinite and the sufficient aspects of the ministry of Christ and that He remains in absolute control of all.

AIM: That we might ever be in awe of Him and all He has done and submit to Him in His mercy and grace.

INTR: While we shift the focus to John as we come to this passage, the vehicle is still Peter and what we learn of John was given first to Peter.
1. Peter would continue to be a central figure as we follow him in the book of Acts and in his epistles and so much is directed toward him in preparation.
2. John’s mission and his life remain not so much a mystery but as subject to the will of God with no reason to give an account to any.
3. What we would not do here is characterize a breach in the friendship of two who had shared so much in their experience with Christ.

THESIS: It is a glorious and wonderful truth that the Lord exercises absolute control over the lives of His people in the same manner He indicated with John. It is to us to marvel, as did John, in the fact that the Lord loves us.

I. A further word to Peter (vv. 20-22)
1. When Jesus said to Peter “follow me” it seems He meant to walk with Him a ways from the others. (We can only speculate the reasoning beyond what transpired).
2. It seems that John was unwilling at this point to be separated from the Lord and thus followed.
1) There is no indication that he intended to pry into a private conversation with Peter.
2) As has already been indicated, these men were close friends and would remain so.
3. Many have indicated that Peter may have been smarting from the rebuke and was reacting in jealousy toward John.
1) Peter had just learned that he was going to die for Christ in his old age
2) The words here are a little simpler than what we have and are essentially, “Lord, and this what.”
3) It well may be that it was a matter of concern with Peter.
4) In any event it occasioned a final lesson for Peter this day.
4. The Lord understood that it was a question as to the demise of John else He would not have made the reference to the possibility that John might live until the Lord’s return.
1) Peter was to understand that He had an individual relationship with both John and Peter.
2) The lives of both were to be tapestries of individual design and purpose and each would be in the way of singular devotion to the Him.

II. A personal testimony from John (vv. 20, 23-24)
1. John understood the meaning of the Lord’s words and the importance of “If I will…”
2. We go back at this point to John’s identification of himself.
1) The disciple whom Jesus loved – John does not name himself otherwise
2) We do well to note that we in fact we deserve nothing and have claim only to a fallen nature as our inheritance and thus are nothing if we are not “one who Jesus loved!”
3) He refers to the display of affection noted and was asked by Peter to inquire of Him concerning the betrayal.
3. It is here (v. 24) that he does claim authorship of not only this event but of the epistle:
1) It was in a way designed to give credibility to His witnesses that John and the other writers had been brought to experience these things as well as report them.
2) See: Even as they delivered them unto us, which from the beginning were eyewitnesses, and ministers of the word; Luke 1:2
3) And: For we have not followed cunningly devised fables, when we made known unto you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but were eyewitnesses of his majesty. 2 Peter 1:16
4) The force of “we know” drove them to preach with power and determination.

III. A marvelous “Amen.”
1. John had been an eyewitness to many of the miraculous works of Christ and indicates that most of them had not been recorded.
2. He further implies that these works have far reaching implications and effects and that recording them all is not humanly possible.
1) We note the preponderance of books that have been and continue to be written.
2) Perhaps more importantly is the fact that we are such a record: Ye are our epistle written in our hearts, known and read of all men: Forasmuch as ye are manifestly declared to be the epistle of Christ ministered by us, written not with ink, but with the Spirit of the living God; not in tables of stone, but in fleshy tables of the heart. 2 Corinthians 3:2-3.
3) Each new conversion is a work of Christ and is an extension of what John said here!