Scripture reading for June 2nd: John 21:1-25
Jesus had appeared to the disciples several times. He breathed on them to receive the Holy Spirit and gave them authority to preach forgiveness of sins. John records that Jesus did many other miraculous signs in the presence of the disciples which he did not record. All that he wrote were for the purpose of helping us and others believe that Jesus was the Christ and Son of the Living God so that we might receive the gift of eternal life in His Name. (John 20:31)
The last miracle recorded by John concerned a large catch of fish. Peter had decided to return to fishing, their original occupation. He and several of the other disciples had fished all night and caught nothing. Early in the morning, Jesus stood on the shore near where they were fishing and called out to them to cast their net on the other side of the boat. When they did, the net was loaded so much that they had to drag it to shore. (John 21:1-6) That’s when John recognized Jesus and told the others.
Peter jumped into the water to race to the Lord. Jesus had started a fire there and asked for some of the fish. Peter helped bring in the catch: 153 fish! Jesus invited them all to enjoy breakfast and he fed them bread and fish that He cooked! This was Jesus’ third appearance to His disciples.
After breakfast, Jesus spoke specifically to Peter, asking him three times if he loved Him. Each time Peter replied that he did love Jesus and Jesus asked him to feed His lambs. After the last reply, Jesus spoke prophetically to Peter, “I tell you the truth, 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.” “Jesus said this to indicate the kind of death by which Peter would glorify God. Then He said to him, “Follow Me!” (John 21:18-19)
As Peter had denied Jesus three times, Jesus restored him with a three-fold confession of love. He also emphasized the work that Peter was to do and how he would die. The great catch would not be fish, but many souls! On Pentecost, 3000 were to be brought into Christ’s sheepfold!