Classic Christianity – Book of John Part 85 (10-15-19)
So it says that there are many things that Jesus did. They did not record all of them. In one account, it says they would not have filled all the libraries of the world, if recorded all the things Jesus did. But these things were recorded so that you, by believing in him, might have eternal life, eternal life he came to give us.
Now on to chapter 21. Jesus is saying first of all you have to come for life. I came here to show you that you are a sinner. I did do that to put you on a guilt trip. I did not do that for you to bury yourself and for you to get into introspection, saying “woe is me”. I came to show you the truth of something and that is that you have sinned.
23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God
You do not have to feel you are a lone ranger. You do not have to sit around beating yourself to death over this. I am pointing out to you your condition. There is a consequence of sin, which is death. That is not physical death. That will come later. That was spiritual death. You were born into this world not alive spiritually but dead spiritually. You were alive physically but not spiritually. Now you know your condition.
Now I have prepared you for salvation. I showed you that you are a sinner, and there is a consequence to sin called death. There is your problem. You are a sinner and you are dead. Now you are ready for salvation. Until you understand those things, you are not ready for salvation. Now you are ready, in what I said to you and pointed out to you. You are now ready to receive the only solution on the face of this earth to those conditions, you are a sinner that had to be forgiven and you are dead and that had to be corrected.
Now I want to tell you that there is only one person who can forgive your sins and can give you life. Buddha cannot do that. Mohammad cannot do that. Christianity cannot do that. Muslim religion cannot do that. Catholicism cannot do that. Protestantism cannot do that. Protestantism or Catholicism or Buddhism or the Mohammad religion cannot forgive sins and raise people from the dead. It is religion, an institution. It cannot do anything except organize you.
Only a person can forgive your sins. Only a person can give you life. The only person who came to this earth to do that was not Mohammad. He was not Buddha. He was not the pope. He was not Luther or Calvin. He was Jesus Christ. The foundation of our religion is not in some founder. That is the founder of maybe a religion. Jesus came to give us life. He did not say, “I came so you might have a religion and have it abundantly”. He said, “I come that you may have life” and the only life available to us is the resurrected life of Christ Jesus.
Now he is going to show us something else. Not only did I come to give you life but the only standard I am looking for is for you to love one another. I am not looking for your church attendance. I am not looking at your tithing records or all that kind of stuff. For that is what it is, stuff. I am looking for how you are doing in the love department. I came to give you life. No greater love has any man than this, that he lay down his life for his sheep. I showed you what love was. Not only did God talk about it, he demonstrated his love for us, in that while we were yet sinners, he came to die for us in order to give life to us. He is going to show us a story here.
1 Afterward Jesus appeared again to his disciples, by the Sea of Galilee. It happened this way: 2 Simon Peter, Thomas (also known as Didymus), Nathanael from Cana in Galilee, the sons of Zebedee, and two other disciples were together.
Jesus had been away for awhile. I can just see impetuous Peter saying, “The Lord just took off so I am going back to my boat”. I do not think he is saying he is going for an afternoon fishing. He is saying, “I am going back to my work. I am going back. I have been following this Jesus but he is gone. I am going back to my boats. Let us go back to fishing. Let us go back to what we know what to do.”
3 “I’m going out to fish,” Simon Peter told them, and they said, “We’ll go with you.” So they went out and got into the boat, but that night they caught nothing.
Now that is really not a fisherman’s paradise.
4 Early in the morning, Jesus stood on the shore, but the disciples did not realize that it was Jesus.
They have been out all night fishing, having not caught anything.
5 He called out to them, “Friends, haven’t you any fish?”
Here is Jesus asking, “You got any fish?” Do you suppose Jesus didn’t know they had not caught any fish? Do you suppose he knew full well that they had been out there all night fishing, having not caught any fish? These guys are professional fishermen. They made their living fishing. So they were professional fishermen. Now this guy, whom they do not recognize as Jesus yet, is calling out to us, “Do you have any fish?”
“No,” they answered.
Imagine the disciples thinking, “Oh, shut up” but they answered, “no”. Probably about like this, “Nooo”.
6 He said, “throw your net on the right side of the boat and you will find some.”
They did not recognize he is God. This guy is a carpenter. If he tells us how to build a house that is okay. But telling me how to fish? This guy standing on the shore, kind of sounds like belittling us to me, and telling us to throw the net on the other side. But they did what he said. When they did, they were unable to haul the net in because of the large number of fish. There was so much fish in there, they could not even haul the net in.
7 Then the disciple whom Jesus loved [John] said to Peter, “It is the Lord!” As soon as Simon Peter heard him say, “It is the Lord,” he wrapped his outer garment around him (for he had taken it off) and jumped into the water.
Now is this not typical of impetuous Peter? He heard John say, “It is the Lord!”. He recognized he was the Lord and immediately said, “I am going to up and hug him”, or whatever he was going to do.
8 The other disciples followed in the boat, towing the net full of fish, for they were not far from shore, about a hundred yards. 9 When they landed, they saw a fire of burning coals there with fish on it, and some bread.
10 Jesus said to them, “Bring some of the fish you have just caught.” 11 So Simon Peter climbed back into the boat and dragged the net ashore. It was full of large fish, 153, but even with so many the net was not torn.
I think this is another interesting observation. The guys came in the boat, dragging the net into the water, which is not difficult to do when something is in the water. Who got in and dragged that huge net of fish out of the water? He did not say he went in with the rest of the guys. He went in himself. Peter was not exactly a wimp. He was a huge, strong man. He dragged that whole net of 153 fish by himself to the shore.
12 Jesus said to them, “Come and have breakfast.” None of the disciples dared ask him, “Who are you?” They knew it was the Lord. 13 Jesus came, took the bread and gave it to them, and did the same with the fish. 14 This was now the third time Jesus appeared to his disciples after he was raised from the dead.
They had a wonderful fish fry. They were all full. After they had finished eating, Jesus spoke to Peter.
15 When they had finished eating, Jesus said to Simon Peter, “Simon son of John,
He referred back to Simon as the son of John. That was Peter’s name before his name was changed to Peter. Jesus is saying to him, “Let us go back to the very beginning. Let us go back to when we first met.”
do you love me more than these?” “Yes, Lord,” he said, “you know that I love you.”
It is interesting that in the original Greek there are different meanings of the word “love”. We miss that in the English translation, for in English there is only one word translated as “love”. You have the word “agape”, which means God’s unconditional love, which can only be produced by God. Then you have the word “phileo” where we get the word “Philadelphia” or “philanthropic”. “Phileo“ means a friendship kind of love. Now it is interesting because Jesus said to Peter, “Simon bar Jonah, do you truly ‘agape’ me more than these?” In other words, is your love for me unconditional? Do you love me more than you do these boats and this fish and all of this lifestyle that you were going to go back to, that you decided to go back to? Do you love me more than what you have been doing all your life? Do you love me unconditionally? Simon Peter, do you ‘agape’ me?” It is interesting because Peter’s response to that was “yes, Lord, you know that I ‘phileo’ you. You know that I am your friend.” Jesus was asking Simon, “do you unconditionally love me?” and Simon’s answer was “Lord you know that I am your friend”.
That all comes in the Greek language. Jesus said, “Do you ‘agape’ me Peter?” Peter answered, “Lord you know I ‘phileo’ you.” Then Jesus said “feed my lambs”. You caught the fish to feed your belly. But I have called you into something far greater than making a hungry man full. I have called you to go into the world and to make disciples, to baptize people in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit, identifying them with the Triune God, and to teach people all things I have commanded you, which is to love one another. Jesus said to Peter and his disciples, “Behold I am with you even to the end of the age”. Jesus let Peter know that He will be with him to the very end of the age. He is saying to Peter: “We will go together into the world to make disciples of Christ Jesus. So feed my lambs.”
16 Again Jesus said, “Simon son of John, do you love me?”
Jesus said, “Do you truly ‘agape’ me?”
He answered, “Yes, Lord, you know that I love you.”
Peter replied, “Lord, you know that I ‘phileo’ you.”
Jesus said, “Take care of my sheep.”
Don’t just feed my sheep. Look after them. Take care of them. Be a shepherd to them.
17 The third time he said to him, “Simon son of John, do you love me?”
Jesus said, “Simon son of John, do you even ‘agape’ me?” The first two times he asked, “do you ‘agape’ me?” Simon’s answer was, “you know I am your friend”. He asked again, “Simon son of John, do you really ‘agape’ me?” His answer again was, “You know I am your friend”. “Then take care of my sheep.” The third time Jesus asked him, “Peter, are you even my friend?” That is why Peter was hurt. Do you ever read this without the understanding of that language? There is something missing in the English translation. Why did he get hurt over this? Jesus was saying something to him that he would be saying to us. “You know I am your friend“. Then Jesus asked, “Are you even my friend?” Peter was hurt because Jesus asked him the third time, “Are you even my friend?”
Peter was hurt because Jesus asked him the third time, “Do you love me?” He said, “Lord, you know all things; you know that I love you.”
Peter answered, “Lord, you know all things and you know I am your friend. You know that I am your friend. You know that I love you.”
Jesus said, “Feed my sheep. 18 Very truly I tell you, when you were younger you dressed yourself and went where you wanted; but when you are old you will stretch out your hands, and someone else will dress you and lead you where you do not want to go.” 19 Jesus said this to indicate the kind of death by which Peter would glorify God.
Peter also died on a cross.
Then he said to him, “Follow me!”
20 Peter turned and saw that the disciple whom Jesus loved [John] was following them.
Jesus would have said to Peter, “Come and follow me” and would have been walking away. They looked back and there was John, who was also following them.
(This was the one who had leaned back against Jesus at the supper and had said, “Lord, who is going to betray you?”) 21 When Peter saw him, he asked, “Lord, what about him?”
Peter replies, “What about John? You told me that I would strecth out my hands as the way I am going to die. But what about him? There was a statement made that seemed to indicate John was going to live forever. What about John?”
22 Jesus answered, “If I want him to remain alive until I return, what is that to you? You must follow me.”
Let us understand this. So this is what Jesus is saying to us. Do not look at what he is saying to someone else? What does it matter if I am telling him to go to Africa as a missionairy. That does not mean he is telling me to do so. What business is that of yours what I am telling him to do? I am telling you to follow me. That is saying, “guys, stop listening to the masses”.
The object of an assembly, such as this (a gathering of believers), is not to get everyone doing the same thing at the same time. It is trying to teach you that you can depend on Jesus to lead you into what he wants you to do, not what He wants the mass to do. What does He want you to do? You do not have to look around and say, “what is he doing?” It does not matter what he or she is doing. He is saying “You follow me. If I want him to remain alive until I return, what is that to you?”
How many times are we getting into other people’s business. I like the passage of scripture that says “lead a quiet life and tend to your own business”.
1 Thessalonians 4:10-12
10 And in fact, you do love all of God’s family throughout Macedonia. Yet we urge you, brothers and sisters, to do so more and more, 11 and to make it your ambition to lead a quiet life: You should mind your own business and work with your hands, just as we told you, 12 so that your daily life may win the respect of outsiders and so that you will not be dependent on anybody.
That is my favorite passage. Tend to your own business. You have enough to worry about you than to worry about me, or your mate, or someone else. We are always nudging, “did you hear that?” He is not talking to him. He is talking to you. He came to give you a personal relationship with Jesus, not a massive relationship, but a personal relationship. He has got a job for you. He has got a purpose for you to be here. You are alive because God has got a purpose for you to be here.
When you go to be with the Lord, your purpose on earth is finished. Now, God says, “I am going to take him home to be with me.” What a promotion! What a glorious day! You can go to the presence of God and hear him say, “Well done, good and faithful servant. You did what I asked you to do. You did not do what I asked them to do. You did what I asked you to do. Well done, good and faithful servant.”
This relationship with Jesus is a personal relationship. It is between you and him. This down here is a result of that relationship. I have a relationship with Jesus. You have a relationship with Jesus and we have, as a result of that, have a relationship with one another, as a result of our relationship with Jesus. The key and the important relationship is this one, with Jesus. Then He says, “If you have this one correct, this one will fall into place. If you are not getting along at this level, then there is something wrong with this level. If you are not knowing how to function at this level, you are not going to know how to function at this level.” So he is saying to you, “quit focusing on what I am doing with someone else. I am telling you to follow me.”
23 Because of this, the rumor spread among the believers that this disciple would not die. But Jesus did not say that he would not die; he only said, “If I want him to remain alive until I return, what is that to you?”
Jesus is saying, “What is that of any of your business. That is my business. That is my dealing with him. I will deal with you and I will deal with them, individually.”
24 This is the disciple who testifies to these things and who wrote them down. We know that his testimony is true.
25 Jesus did many other things as well. If every one of them were written down, I suppose that even the whole world would not have room for the books that would be written.
We have studied together the life of Christ Jesus. There is no man on the face of the earth who has ever lived that has changed lives like the Lord Jesus Christ. There is no king who ever lived or reigned, there is no one who has ever been in existence, like Jesus. We hear people today discrediting Christ Jesus, going back and trying to rewrite history.
We have people who try to discredit the bible, who say that the bible is not true. I would like to ask how would you in any way shape or form know that it is not true? The reasons that you and I know that the bible is true is because what is in it as it related to, first of all to salvation, has changed your life. You became a new creature. Secondly, we know it is true because of the fact that you talked to people all over the world from every different dialect, of every color and creed, and the same testimony is true, that the words of God changed my life.
But again, guys, until we can grab a hold of the fact, and this is a fact, that this down here, this life that we have here is temporal. Do we all agree? It is short lived. The older you get, the more you realize how short lived it is. In this world, you are going to have good times, and in this world, you are going to have bad times. You have heard me say on a number of occasions, if you are sitting here with a family member; a wife, a husband, whoever it might be, that unless some kind of accident occurs where both of you are taken at the same time, one of you is going to be looking at the other in a casket some day or looking at a person who has gone, not here any more. That is reality.
We have a short time here on this earth. We have a turn and we take that turn and we move on. Don’t you wish you knew when you are fifty what you know that you wished you could have known when you were twenty. Don’t you wish you could appreciate your youth more when you were young. I took my youth for granted. I don’t anymore because I do not have it. That is reality.
We get older and when our work is over and the Lord has determined that what He has given you to do, you have accomplished. The Lord says, “Now I am going to take you home to be with me.” That is all reality.
It is also reality when we lose a loved one that our hearts ache. That is a loss of a loved one. That is also a reality. That will be a reality for a long period of time, in different degrees, but it will always be a reality that you missed someone you loved.
What is the counter action to that reality? I am going to see him some day. The fact the life that I have, that my mom and dad, in-laws, brother, sisters or whoever, that they have gone to be with the Lord and, one of these days, I am going to be there with them. It is a much shorter time than when you think. You never know what time that will come but we do know that time will happen sooner or later. That is the beauty of this life, the fact that as temporary as it is, ahead of us is this glorious appearing of our great God and Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, whether the appearing is at the time of our death or at the end of time. The ultimate thing is when we look face to face in the eyes of Jesus.