Saturday, April 07, 2007


John 21 When you Meet Jesus

When a vice-president of IBM came up with an idea to set up a separate division, he was given permission by the CEO, Thomas Watson. When he put the plan in motion, he promptly lost ten million dollars. He came in and told Mr. Watson that he was resigning, and when Watson asked why, the vice-president said, “Because this thing was such a miserable failure.” Watson responded, “You’re not resigning after I just spent ten million dollars on your education.” Sometimes we feel like giving up. Sometimes our greatest frustration is us! Peter knew that too.
i) He was very impulsive. His fellow disciples hardly knew what to expect from this big fisherman, for while they soberly considered the pros and cons of a matter, their colleague enthusiastically pronounced a verdict,
(ii) He was very inquisitive. He was susceptible to the opinions of other people, and more often than not this led to trouble,
(iii) He was very inflammable, very temperamental. He could be alternately joyful and sad ; inspired and carnal. Yet in spite of that fact, we all like Simon Peter. Simon Peter: Frustration Frustration at his greatest failures
God has a custom-designed plan for our lives. Sometimes we blow it! And then we keep on blowing it! We drift away from the Lord. We get happy with our disobedience. In fact, we may even do religious stuff just not to think too much about our real relationship with Jesus.
We should say, "Lord, what do You want us to do? We want You to guide and direct our steps. We don't want to go fishing and pull up empty nets. We want You to direct us. We want You to guide us." But we don't. We go our way. And that is just what happened to Peter and the other disciples.
"The fishing disciples didn't have God's direction at this particular time. As they were pulling up empty nets, they heard a voice calling from the shore: "Children, have you any food?" The Greek work for children could also be translated "boys." I prefer that translation, like a father talking to his sons. "Boys, did you catch anything?"
They might have been a little upset. "Who is He calling boys? We are full-grown, adult men." I don't think they were respectful when they responded. They didn't know who this guy was. "No. Don't rub it in," they answered.
Then the man from shore said, "Why don't you cast your nets on the other side of the boat, and you will catch a lot of fish!"
John, always the perceptive one, said, "It's the Lord. I can't make Him out. I can't see His features. But I'm telling you, it's the Lord." When they pulled up their nets, after listening to and obeying the Lord's direction, they had so many fish that their nets couldn't contain them all.
Why did Jesus ask them, "Do you have any food?" He wanted them to admit their failure—not to rub their faces in it, but to get them to acknowledge that they needed His help. Today nobody wants to admit wrongdoing. We want to blame it on somebody or something else. We want to blame it on our circumstances or on some condition or syndrome that we claim to have. Nobody wants to say, "Yes, I am responsible." But Jesus wanted His disciples to come clean and call it what it was. Once they yielded to Him, they pulled up a large number offish. This scenario reminds us of a similar situation earlier in the disciples' ministry, recorded in Luke 5. They had fished all night and caught nothing. Jesus said, "Launch out into the deep and let down your nets for a catch" (v. 4).
They didn't really know the Lord all that well at that point. Peter, a veteran fisherman, replied, "Master, we've toiled all night and caught nothing!" (v. 5). He implied, "Jesus, we really appreciate You. We respect You. You are really the greatest teacher around. But, Lord, give us a little credit here. We are, after all, seasoned fishermen. We do this for a living, you know." But it's interesting what Peter added: "Nevertheless at Your word I will let down the net." The phrase used could be translated, "At Your word, captain of this ship, we will do it." It's a unique nautical term not used any other place in the New Testament. I wonder how that phrase was said. It makes all the difference in the world. Did Peter say it in respect and obedience? Or did he say it with sarcasm? Either way, when they followed the Lord's orders, they pulled up full nets, reminding them of how important it was to have Jesus on board, guiding and directing their steps." Greg Laurie, "The God of the Second Chance" 136-139
Peter experienced frustration at the current failure. The bottom line: No fish. But suddenly they realised “it is the Lord!” 7 When Simon Peter heard that it was the Lord, he tied his outer garment around him (for he was stripped) and plunged into the sea. 8 But since they were not far from land (about 100 yards away), the other disciples came in the boat, dragging the net full of fish. 9 When they got out on land, they saw a charcoal fire there, with fish lying on it, and bread.
1. When You Meet The Lord You Will Find Restoration 1-14
A fire. Not like the last fire. Mark 14:66 While Peter was in the courtyard below, one of the high priest’s servants came. 67 When she saw Peter warming himself, she looked at him and said, “You also were with that • Nazarene, Jesus.” 68 But he denied it: “I don’t know or understand what you’re talking about!” Then he went out to the entryway, and a rooster crowed. There is Silence on that beach at that breakfast. They knew it was the Lord
Steps to Peter’s reconciliation
a. The Look Luke 22: 60 But Peter said, “Man, I don’t know what you’re talking about!” Immediately, while he was still speaking, a rooster crowed. 61 Then the Lord turned and looked at Peter. So Peter remembered the word of the Lord, how He had said to him, “Before the rooster crows today, you will deny Me three times.” 62 And he went outside and wept bitterly.
b. The Encouragement Mark 16: 5 When they entered the tomb, they saw a young man dressed in a long white robe sitting on the right side; they were amazed and alarmed. 6 “Don’t be alarmed,” he told them. “You are looking for Jesus the • Nazarene, who was crucified. He has been resurrected! He is not here! See the place where they put Him. 7 But go, tell His disciples and Peter, ‘He is going ahead of you to Galilee; you will see Him there just as He told you.’ ”
c. The First Interview 1Corinthians 15:4 that He was buried, that He was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures, 5 and that He appeared to • Cephas, then to the Twelve. Luke 24:34. after the Emmaus road: 33 That very hour they got up and returned to Jerusalem. They found the Eleven and those with them gathered together, 34 who said, “The Lord has certainly been raised, and has appeared to Simon!”
And now, personally the Lord takes Peter to His heart.
Yes the Lord had been patiently restoring Peter, helping him to get over the greatest failure of his life. Mark 14: 27 Then Jesus said to them, “All of you will run away, because it is written: I will strike the shepherd, and the sheep will be scattered.
28 But after I have been resurrected, I will go ahead of you to Galilee.”
29 Peter told Him, “Even if everyone runs away, I will certainly not!”
30 “I assure you,” Jesus said to him, “today, this very night, before the rooster crows twice, you will deny Me three times!”

"When they brought the fish in to shore, they saw that the Lord had made a fire of coals, and fish were on it. Now this amazes me. The Creator of the universe, who had come to earth in human form, been crucified, and risen from the dead, was taking time to minister to even the smallest of needs of His disciples. He knew they would be chilled to the bone from being out on the cool water, so He built a fire.
Peter came in dripping wet, pulling the big net offish. He walked over and stood in the fire's glow, probably embarrassed to even make eye contact with Jesus. For Peter, this was deja vu. It had only been a short time since he had made eye contact with the Lord in the glow of a fire outside the house of Caiaphas. Now he was probably so humiliated, so ashamed, he could say nothing. As they sat around the fire and ate, we don't read about anyone speaking. In the old days Peter might have been the first to speak up and perhaps boast of his deep love and devotion to the Lord. But he had no boasting to do that day. Finally, Jesus broke the silence. He turned to Peter and said, "Simon, son of John, do you love Me more than these?"
(v. 15). Note that He did not say Peter. He said Simon. Simon was the name given to him by his parents^ Peter was the name Jesus gave to him, which means "rock." It speaks of solidity and strength. That day, however, Jesus saw Simon. In essence, Jesus was implying, "Hey, Simon, you haven't been acting much like a rock lately, have you?"
"Do you love me more than these?" Jesus asked. He only asked that particular question one time. It's true that He asked Peter three times, "Do you love Me?" But only one time did He ask, "Do you love Me more than these?" That's where His emphasis was.
The old Peter—the one in the upper room—would have said, "Of course, I love You more than these. Do fish swim? I would die for You." But the new, improved, humbled Peter only said, "Lord, You know that I love You." He had learned some important truths after he denied the Lord.
In the original rendition of this conversation, Jesus used the Greek word agapao, and Peter used the Greek word phileo. Agapao speaks of a sacrificial, deeply intense, all-out kind of love, whereas phileo speaks of a tender, affectionate, brotherly love.
In essence, Jesus asked Peter, "Do you love Me with an all-encompassing, devoted, and sacrificial love?" And Peter replied, "Lord, I love You like a brother." Or, putting it another way, Jesus said, "Peter, do you love Me 100 percent?"
And Peter said, "Lord, 1 can commit to 60 percent." Simplifying it even more, Jesus asked, "Peter, do you love Me?"
And Peter responded, "Lord, 1 really like You a lot." Now, I don't blame Peter for that. In reality, he did love the Lord, but no longer would he boast of his love for Jesus. That is always wise. Never boast of your love for God. Instead, boast of His love for you. Don't tell me how much you love Him, how much you have done for Him, what a wonderful servant you are. No. Tell how much He has done for you, how much He loves you, and all that He has worked out in your life. A lot of people today run around saying, "Oh, I love Jesus so much!" But how do we really know if we love Jesus? Is it just a tender emotion that we feel inside, and if we cease to feel that emotion, does that mean that we no longer love Him? Or is there more to love than that? Of course, there is more, because love is more than a feeling. Love is a commitment that we make." Greg Laurie ibid.
Never let me wound again The love that set me free.
Nor ever crucify afresh, The God who died for me.
The Lord Jesus speaks to Peter’s heart. While Peter’s love may have been doubtful, the Lord’s was not. For now the Lord reinstates Peter.

2.When You Meet The Lord You Will Find Reinstatement 15-20
The sea-side breakfast had ended, and the disciples were watching the silvery waves moving along the beach. Surging emotions filled their souls, for they realized that the Stranger who had awaited the incoming boat was the Lord. It was wonderful to see Him as He gracefully sat watching the hungry men eating the meal He Himself had prepared. Tenderly He had spoken to Peter, and the thrice-asked question, " Lovest thou me," had stirred them deeply. Their colleague had been moved almost to tears, for the denials of an earlier occasion were still present in his mind. 3 times asked Do you love me. 3 times denied Him Feed my sheep
Entrusted with ministry
“Feed My lambs,” He told him.
16 A second time He asked him, “Simon, son of John, do you love Me?” “Yes, Lord,” he said to Him, “You know that I love You.” “Shepherd My sheep,” He told him. 17 He asked him the third time, “Simon, son of John, do you love Me?” Peter was grieved that He asked him the third time, “Do you love Me?” He said, “Lord, You know everything! You know that I love You.” “Feed My sheep,” Jesus said.
From among all the disciples Jesus Chose to reinstate Peter. He defined for him the ministry the Lord had for Him. It included those most precious to the Lord. The Lord was entrusting Peter with ministry to
“His lambs’ “His sheep” His people are precious to the Lord. He counts them as vitally and precious. And now Peter is entrusted with His precious ones.
Of course, the picture is straight from Psalm 23. The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want. 2 He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters. 3 He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name's sake.
Peter takes this up in his first Epistle
1 Peter 5:1 Therefore, as a fellow elder and witness to the sufferings of the Christ, and also a participant in the glory about to be revealed, I exhort the elders among you: 2 shepherd God’s flock among you, not overseeing out of compulsion but freely, according to God’s [will]; not for the money but eagerly; 3 not lording it over those entrusted to you, but being examples to the flock. 4 And when the chief Shepherd appears, you will receive the unfading crown of glory.
The Lord entrusts you with ministry. You may have failed through cowardice. You may have failed and been frustrated. You may be impetuous like Peter, but the Lord calls you back to Himself and to caring for His sheep.
Do you notice what the Lord says to Pete? Its not all about Peter. Its about Peter serving others. Its not about Peter having a position, its about Peter forgetting about Peter and serving the sheep. Do you see, its not about you and your position and your possessions and your pride, its about serving God’s people. Forget about yourself Peter and get on with the job. Stop being sef-centred and get on with serving feeding the lambs, tending the sheep.
Entrusted With Martyrdom 18,19
18 “• I assure you: When you were young, you would tie your belt and walk wherever you wanted. But when you grow old, you will stretch out your hands and someone else will tie you and carry you where you don’t want to go.”
19 He said this to signify by what kind of death he would glorify God. After saying this, He told him, “Follow Me!”
He who had been once a coward, he who had once been selfish, is now entrusted again.

3.When You Meet The Lord You Will Find Renewal
Peter is called apart to follow Jesus, and hears a footstep behind him. Its John. John had been a close friend to Peter. a. Had gone with John into the High Priests’ courtyard. b. John had taken Peter into his house the three days between crucifixion and resurrection. John was the only disciple to stay at the cross through the crucifixion. If Peter would be entrusted with much, how much more John. “Lord what shall his man do?”
A Dangerous Concern "You tell me that when I am old another shall gird me and carry me whither I would not. Well, what about John? What will happen to him?" And the Lord answered, " If I will that he tarry till I come, what is that to thee?" Simon Peter, your greatest mistake is that you are often looking at, and thinking of, other people. Do you remember how I sent you to take money from the mouth of the fish? You were upset then because other people's opinions had overshadowed your outlook. Do you remember how you denied knowledge of me? That happened because you permitted other people to influence you. Peter, be less concerned about other folk, and think more of your Master!
A Direct Correction " What is that to thee?" " If I be the Lord, and you are My servant, your chief aim should be to do My will. If I decide that John should linger till I return, that is no business of yours, is it? Simon Peter, if you are to feed My lambs, and shepherd My sheep, you will need to look constantly to Me. The days ahead will be difficult, and if you lose sight of your Master anything can happen. Therefore do not be unduly inquisitive concerning John. Attend to your own affairs." Thus did Christ correct His disciple, and we all realize how necessary this had become. Even in after days Simon still permitted the opinions of others to sway his actions, and on one occasion Paul rebuked him because he compromised with the exponents of circumcision. Peter was always getting into trouble because he had not mastered the art of minding his own business, You do what you have to do. “If I want him to remain until I come,” Jesus answered, “what is that to you?
A Definite Command " Follow thou me." When Peter heard this command, his thoughts probably went back to the morning when the Lord first called him, when afler borrowing Peter's boat, Christ said, " Follow me, and I will make you to become a fisher of men." Now another commission has been given. He has been told to shepherd the flock of God. "Simon follow Me, for only thus will you succeed."
(i) The Follow Me of Enlightenment. The Christian pathway is beset with many dangers, and problems will arise to confound those who are not prepared for the emergencies of the way. Follow Me. and you will learn of Me.
(ii) The Follow Me of Endeavor. To follow Christ means to emulate His example. It means more than accompanying Him. When a soldier follows an officer into battle, he does so to help his leader in the conflict ahead. To follow Christ means to fight for Him.
(iii) The Follow Me of Endurance. " But when thou shall be old, thou shalt stretch forth thy hands, and another shall gird thee, and carry thee whither thou wouldest not. This spake he, signifying by what death he should glorify God." Tradition asserts that Peter was crucified for his faith ; and that at his own request he was crucified head downwards, for he considered himself unworthy to die as did his Lord. Thus the fearful disciple who failed before the taunts of a servant girl, eventually reached unprecedented heights of personal loyalty. He followed his Lord to a cross; he was faithful unto death.
“ As for you, follow Me.” You concentrate On Jesus Divisions because not concentrating on Jesus. Denominations because distinctives were more important than following Jesus.
In the early 1700's there existed in Europe a missionary community ... the Moravians ... under the direction of Count Zinzandorf. They were a very missions-minded community and sent missionaries all over the world. One day there came to that colony two men by the name of Dober and Nitschmann. They heard Zinzendorf tell of the island of St. John in the West Indies where the natives were treated as animals, worked, beaten, and left to die in the cane fields. Afterwards these two men approached Zinzendorf and insisted, "We want to go to the island of St. John to minister, but who will send us?" Zinzendorf inquired, "You don't need anyone. God called, He will provide." But they asked, "How can we go?" He suggested, "We will do down to the docks, find a ship, and you can work to pay your own passage over."
So that is what they did. When the arrived on the island of St. John, they asked the Dutch masters if they could go into the cane fields and preach to the slaves. The masters replied, "It is no use. These men are not humans. They have no souls." Dober and Nitschman insisted, "These are men ... they are people ... God sent us to tell them of His love.", but their pleas were to no avail and they were ordered out. They went down to the beach, sat down on the sand, and wept and prayed, "Lord, you sent us here, and now we cannot go into the fields to preach. Lord what shall we do?"
That night the Lord spoke to them and told them what to do. Early the next morning they went back to the Dutch Masters and said, "We want to sell ourselves into slavery." The slave masters were astounded and asked, "What? Why do you want to sell yourself into slavery?" And Dober and Nitschmann answered, "God called us to preach to these men and we will become one of them and preach to them while we work." So they did. In a few months other missionaries from the Moravian colony in Europe arrived on the island of St. John. They found there two freshly dug graves. Dober and Nitschmann had died from the heat and deplorable working conditions. But on the island they found 30,000 slaves who had become Christians as a result of Dober and Nitchman's witness. When I hear this story I think ... "I don't know if I am willing to literally give my life for Christ ... I have a hard time giving Him hours or days ... it is hard for me to comprehend that level of commitment." But their example and the example of other followers like Peter challenges me from my self-centeredness. There is a price to be paid in following Jesus and serving as His minister ... but no cost is too high if it leads the lost to Christ.
Where are you today? Are you hiding from a failure in your life? failure in the way you budget your finances failure in your school failure in your relationship with your family
failure in trying to overcome those old habits failure in your dealing with your children
Are you feeling insignificant because of a failure? Are you hurting every time you're in the presence of God over a failure you haven't really dealt with, so you're withdrawn and in self-pity? Christ's love to you is not the question, Jesus asks us "DO YOU LOVE ME?" If we can answer yes...we can be healed and find ministry again that comes from a joyful heart and not a guilty heart!
Jesus is asking you ... and me, "DO YOU LOVE ME?"...what's your answer?
I want to end this morning by having us listen to a song by Point of Grace called, “Jesus Will Still Be There.” Think of the Savior standing on the shore…just waiting for you.

Things change, plans fail
You look for love on a grander scale
Storms rise, hopes fade
And you place your bets on another day
When the going gets tough
When the ride’s too rough
When you’re just not sure enough
Jesus will still be there
His love will never change
Sure as the steady rain
Jesus will still be there
When no one else is true
He’ll still be loving you
When it looks like you’ve lost it all
And you haven’t got a prayer
Jesus will still be there
Time flies, hearts turn
A little bit wiser from lessons learned
But sometimes, weakness wins
And you lose your foothold once again
When the going gets tough
When the ride’s too rough
When you’re just not sure enough
When it looks like you’ve lost it all
And you haven’t got a prayer
Jesus will still be there

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