Harmony of the Gospels

 HARMONY OF THE GOSPELS

(9) Jesus Appears to Seven Disciples By Sea of Galilee

Scripture: John 21:1-25


Tom Lowe

10/26/2008

 

Jesus appears to some of his disciples at the Sea of Tiberias, makes himself known by a miraculous catch of fishes, and eats with them, 1-14. He demands three times of Peter whether he loves him, and three times requires him to show his love, by feeding his lambs and sheep, 15-17. He foretells Peter’s martyrdom, and commands him to follow him, 18, 19; and scolds him for his curiosity concerning John, who showed his readiness in the same way to follow him, 20-23. The truth of John’s testimony affirmed it, and it is stated that Jesus did many miracles beside those recorded in the gospels, even too numerous for all to be recorded, 24, 25.


Date: During 40 days until Ascension
Location: Galilee


Scripture

1 After these things Jesus shewed himself again to the disciples at the sea of Tiberias; and on this wise shewed he himself.
2 There were together Simon Peter, and Thomas called Didymus, and Nathanael of Cana in Galilee, and the sons of Zebedee, and two other of his disciples.
3 Simon Peter saith unto them, I go a fishing. They say unto him, We also go with thee. They went forth, and entered into a ship immediately; and that night they caught nothing.
4 But when the morning was now come, Jesus stood on the shore: but the disciples knew not that it was Jesus.
5 Then Jesus saith unto them, Children, have ye any meat? They answered him, No.
6 And he said unto them, Cast the net on the right side of the ship, and ye shall find. They cast therefore, and now they were not able to draw it for the multitude of fishes.
7 Therefore that disciple whom Jesus loved saith unto Peter, It is the Lord. Now when Simon Peter heard that it was the Lord, he girt his fisher’s coat unto him, (for he was naked,) and did cast himself into the sea.
8 And the other disciples came in a little ship; (for they were not far from land, but as it were two hundred cubits,) dragging the net with fishes.
9 As soon then as they were come to land, they saw a fire of coals there, and fish laid thereon, and bread.
10 Jesus saith unto them, Bring of the fish which ye have now caught.
11 Simon Peter went up, and drew the net to land full of great fishes, an hundred and fifty and three: and for all there were so many, yet was not the net broken.
12 Jesus saith unto them, Come and dine. And none of the disciples durst ask him, Who art thou? knowing that it was the Lord.
13 Jesus then cometh, and taketh bread, and giveth them, and fish likewise.
14 This is now the third time that Jesus shewed himself to his disciples, after that he was risen from the dead.
15 So when they had dined, Jesus saith to Simon Peter, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me more than these? He saith unto him, Yea, Lord; thou knowest that I love thee. He saith unto him, Feed my lambs.
16 He saith to him again the second time, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me? He saith unto him, Yea, Lord; thou knowest that I love thee. He saith unto him, Feed my sheep.
17 He saith unto him the third time, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me? Peter was grieved because he said unto him the third time, Lovest thou me? And he said unto him, Lord, thou knowest all things; thou knowest that I love thee. Jesus saith unto him, Feed my sheep.
18 Verily, verily, I say unto thee, When thou wast young, thou girdedst thyself, and walkedst whither thou wouldest: but when thou shalt be old, thou shalt stretch forth thy hands, and another shall gird thee, and carry thee whither thou wouldest not.
19 This spake he, signifying by what death he should glorify God. And when he had spoken this, he saith unto him, Follow me.
20 Then Peter, turning about, seeth the disciple whom Jesus loved following; which also leaned on his breast at supper, and said, Lord, which is he that betrayeth thee?
21 Peter seeing him saith to Jesus, Lord, and what shall this man do?
22 Jesus saith unto him, If I will that he tarry till I come, what is that to thee? follow thou me.
23 Then went this saying abroad among the brethren, that that disciple should not die: yet Jesus said not unto him, He shall not die; but, If I will that he tarry till I come, what is that to thee?
24 This is the disciple which testifieth of these things, and wrote these things: and we know that his testimony is true.
25 And there are also many other things which Jesus did, the which, if they should be written every one, I suppose that even the world itself could not contain the books that should be written. Amen.

Commentary

Jesus the Stranger (verses 1–4).

When Peter returned to the old life, he took six other men with him. Their work (fishing) was in vain (15:5) because the Lord was not with them. How kind He is to come to us when we have disobeyed Him and have failed in our work!

1 After these things Jesus shewed himself again to the disciples at the sea of Tiberias; and on this wise[1] shewed he himself.

“After these things” is a reference to what we have been talking about in the preceding chapter; the several appearances the Lord made to the women, and to the disciples at Jerusalem and at the tomb; He told them to go into Galilee, where He would meet with them (Matthew 28:7[2] ; Mark 16:7[3]). We will find that He fulfilled this promise in the way John reports it here. This was the seventh appearance of our Lord after the resurrection. Matthew, 28:16[4]  states that all eleven went. The rest of the evangelists say nothing about meeting Jesus in Galilee, and this is the reason why John gives it so much ink.
This would be a good place to give some facts about The Sea of Galilee.

GALILEE, SEA OF

     A freshwater lake, fed by the Jordan River, which was closely connected with the earthly ministry of Jesus. This “sea” is called by four different names in the Bible: the “Sea of Chinnereth” [or “Chinneroth”] (the Hebrew word for “harp-shaped,” the general outline of the lake; the “Lake of Gennesaret” (Luke 5:1), taking the name from the fertile Plain of Gennesaret that lies on the northwest (Matt. 14:34); the “Sea of Tiberias” (John 6:1; 21:1), because of its association with the capital of Herod Antipas; and the “Sea of Galilee” (Matt. 4:18; Mark 1:16).

Situated some 98 kilometers (60 miles) north of Jerusalem, the Sea of Galilee contains fresh water since it is fed by the Jordan. The lake itself is the deepest part of the northern Jordan Rift and thus the water collects there before it flows on its way. The surface of Galilee is about 230 meters (700 feet) below the Mediterranean Sea. The floor of the lake is another 25 to 50 meters (80 to 160 feet) lower. The lake itself is nearly 21 kilometers (13 miles) long and 13 kilometers (8 miles) wide at Magdala, the point of its greatest width.
The lake is surrounded, except on the southern side, by steep cliffs and sharply rising mountains. On the east these mountains rise to the fertile Golan Heights as high as 900 meters (2,700 feet). As a result of this formation, cool winds frequently rush down these slopes and unexpectedly stir up violent storms on the warm surface of the lake. Waves such as these were easily calmed at the command of Jesus (Mark 4:35–41).
A fishing industry thrived on the Sea of Galilee. Jesus called His first disciples—Peter, Andrew, James, and John—from that industry (1:16–20). In spite of the steep hillsides around the lake, nine cities of 15,000 population or more thrived in the first century as part of an almost continuous belt of settlements around the lake. Of these cities, Bethsaida, Tiberias, and Capernaum were the most important. On and around the Sea of Galilee Jesus performed most of His 33 recorded miracles and issued most of His teachings to His disciples and the multitudes that followed Him.

The scene now changes to the Sea of Tiberias (Galilee). The disciples had journeyed north to their homes in Galilee. The Lord Jesus met them there, just as He said He would. The phrase “on this wise shewed he himself” means John is about to describe the manner in which Christ appeared to them. This specific meeting receives just a modest mention by Matthew (Matthew 28:16[5]), and is omitted by both Mark and Luke. This is the reason why John relates so specifically, what occurred there. Galilee was a place people retired to or spent their vacation there. It was a place where they would be free from danger, and was therefore a safe and convenient location for Jesus to meet them, in order to give them his last instructions. 
 

2 There were together Simon Peter, and Thomas called Didymus, and Nathanael of Cana in Galilee, and the sons of Zebedee, and two other of his disciples.

Seven of the disciples were together and may have been living together at the time—Peter, Thomas, Nathanael, James and John (the sons of Zebedee), and two others whose names we do not know. Most of these men, if not all, belonged to that very neighborhood where they were staying.
In all the lists of the apostles, Peter is listed first which indicates his general leadership of the group (Matthew 10:2-4[6]).

The Twelve Apostles

1. Simon, who is called Peter. Impetuous, generous-hearted, affectionate man that he was, he was a born leader.
2. Andrew, his brother. He was introduced to Jesus by John the Baptist (John 1:36, 40), then brought his brother Peter to Him. He made it his business thereafter to bring men to Jesus.
3. James, the son of Zebedee, who was later killed by Herod (Acts 12:2)—the first of the twelve to die as a martyr.
4. John, his brother. Also a son of Zebedee, he was the disciple whom Jesus loved. We are indebted to him for the Fourth Gospel, three Epistles, and Revelation.
5. Philip. A citizen of Bethsaida, he brought Nathanael to Jesus. He is not to be confused with Philip the Evangelist, in the book of Acts.
6. Bartholomew. Believed to be the same as Nathanael, the Israelite in whom Jesus found no guile (John 1:47).
7. Thomas, also called Didymus, meaning “twin.” Commonly known as “Doubting Thomas,” his doubts gave way to a magnificent confession of Christ (John 20:28).
8. Matthew. The former tax-collector who wrote the Gospel bearing his name.
9. James, the son of Alphaeus. Little else is definitely known about him.
10. Lebbaeus, whose surname was Thaddaeus. He is also known as Judas the son of James (Luke 6:16). His only recorded utterance is found in John 14:22.
11. Simon, the Canaanite, whom Luke calls the Zealot (6:15).
12. Judas Iscariot, the betrayer of our Lord.


3 Simon Peter saith unto them, I go a fishing. They say unto him, We also go with thee. They went forth, and entered into a ship immediately; and that night they caught nothing.

While they were waiting for the promise of the Holy Spirit, they still found it appropriate to be usefully employed. Their Master had been taken away by death, and the promised Spirit had not descended on them. In the interval—before the promised Spirit was poured upon them—they chose not to be idle, and therefore returned to their former employment. It should be pointed out also, that they had no other means of support; and, like Peter, some of the disciples had a family to support. While they were with Jesus, they were commonly supplied by the kindness of the people; but now, since the Savior had died, and they were constantly reminded of the scandal of the cross, they were cut off from this means of support, and returned to the honest employment of their early lives. Besides, they had been directed by the Savior to retire to a mountain in Galilee, where he would meet them (Matthew 28:10[7]). This mountain was probably not far from the Sea of Galilee, so that, until he came to them, they would naturally be engaged in their old employment.

Simon Peter decided to go fishing on the lake, and the others agreed to go with him; that seems to suggest that the others recognized his leadership. This seemed to be a most natural decision, though some Bible students feel that the trip was not in the will of God and that they went without first praying. That night they caught nothing. This was another miracle, because God had ordered the fish to stay far away from the boat, and the miracle that followed this one was made to appear even more remarkable by the first. They were not the first fishermen to spend a night fishing without success! They illustrate the uselessness of human efforts apart from divine help, especially in the matter of fishing for souls.

Certainly, Peter must have remembered what happened two years before, when Jesus called him into full time discipleship (Luke 5:1-11). On that occasion, Peter had fished all night and caught nothing, but Jesus had turned his failure into success.

FISHING

Fishing is the practice of catching fish for food or for sale as a commercial product. Although the Israelites were not basically a seagoing people, fishing was an important industry and a source of considerable revenue. The Mediterranean Sea provided many different species of saltwater fish. Lake Huleh and the Sea of Galilee were the center of the freshwater fishing business. Hunting and fishing for sport were unknown.

Many of the fish caught were eaten fresh. But the close proximity of the salt deposits at the Dead Sea made it possible to preserve large quantities of fish for shipping long distances. Taricheae on the western shore of the Sea of Galilee was the major center of the salting and preserving industry.

Commercial fishing was hard work and often was frustrating and ineffective (Luke 5:4-6; John 21:1-3). Lines and hooks (Job 41:1; Amos 4:10), as well as harpoons (Job 41:7) were used. But the most common method of fishing was with nets.

A small casting net could be handled by one man standing on the shore (Eccl. 9:12; Ezek. 47:10; Matt. 4:18). The larger dragnets required several people in boats for effective operation. Such dragnets had wooden floats on the top edge and stone or metal weights on the bottom. A cord was usually threaded along the bottom edge. This allowed the bottom to be drawn shut to trap the fish as the boat closed the circle of the net around them. Then they were either unloaded into the boats (Luke 5:6-8), or dragged to the shore where the fish were removed and sorted (Matt. 13:47-48).

According to the Law of Moses (Lev. 11:9-12; Deut. 14:9-10), only fish that had fins and scales were ritually "clean" and could be eaten. All others, including catfish, eels, etc., and the various shellfish (clams, lobsters, etc.), were "unclean" and forbidden as food.

Of Jesus’ first disciples, at least seven were fishermen-Peter, Andrew, Philip, James, John, Thomas, and Nathanael. At Jesus’ call they left their nets to follow him and "catch men" (Luke 5:10).


Why did Jesus call so many fishermen to follow Him? For one thing, fishermen are courageous, and Jesus needs brave people to follow Him. They are also dedicated to one thing and cannot be distracted. Fishermen do not quit! (We are thinking, of course of professional fishermen, and not today’s weekend fisherman who does it for sport or relaxation.) They know how to take orders, and they know how to work together.

 4 But when the morning was now come, Jesus stood on the shore: but the disciples knew not that it was Jesus.

Jesus was waiting for them as they rowed toward the shore in the morning, although they did not recognize Him. Perhaps it was still quite dark, or perhaps they were prevented from knowing Him by God’s power, or perhaps He was at too great a distance, or perhaps He had assumed another form, as in Mark 16:12[8].

Jesus the Master (verses 5–8).

When Jesus takes charge, failure is turned into success; and the difference was only the width of the ship! You never know how close you are to victory, so admit your failure and obey what He tells you to do. He never fails.

5 Then Jesus saith unto them, Children, have ye any meat? They answered him, No.

It is the same as if the Lord asked, “Young men, do you have anything to eat?” Disappointedly they answered Him, “No.” This was a method Jesus often used to get a person or persons to state their situation, and so they would be better prepared for what was coming. This question and negative answer was a blow to these fishermen’s egos. Fishermen would not usually respond immediately to this unusual request by a stranger on the shore. However, there was something compelling about this Stranger that caused them to obey without an objection.

He called them “children (lit., lads); a term of affection and friendship.

The Greek words used here for any meat means anything eaten with bread. It was used by the Greeks especially to denote fish. Jesus appears to be like any person who wished to purchase a part of what they had caught (John 6:9)[9].

6 And he said unto them, Cast the net on the right side of the ship, and ye shall find. They cast therefore, and now they were not able to draw it for the multitude of fishes.

As far as they knew, He was just a stranger, walking along the shore. Yet, in response to His advice, they cast the net on the right side of the boat (starboard side), and lo and behold! A great load of fish. So many that they could not pull in the net! This shows that the Lord Jesus had perfect knowledge as to the location of the fish in the lake. It also teaches us that when the Lord directs our service, there are no more empty nets. He knows where there are souls ready to be saved, and He is willing to direct us to them—if we will let Him.

Why the right side of the boat is mentioned is not known. Grotius supposes that it was the side nearest the shore, where there was less probability of taking fish. It does not appear that they recognized the Lord Jesus so far, but something caused them to have sufficient confidence in this man on the shore to follow his instructions. Perhaps they thought that he was a skilled fisherman, and knew where there was the greatest probability of success. Another possibility is that the movements of large bodies of fish in the waters of Galilee are frequently visible to one standing on the shore. Supposing that the stranger thus saw fish upon the right side of the boat, the disciples readily obeyed his command, without suspecting who it was that gave it.

The multitude of fishes is an symbol of the immense number of souls which would be converted to God by their ministry; according to the promise of Christ given in Matthew 4:19: “And he saith unto them, Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men.” A fisherman catches living fish, but when he gets them, they die. A Christian witness seeks to catch “dead fish” (dead in their sins), and when he or she catches them, they are made alive in Christ. How many fish were there? There were so many that they could not pull their catch into the boat. These men would not lose this net full of fish, so what did they do? Verse 8 tells us that they rowed the boat to shore dragging the fish behind the boat.

This incident was similar to an earlier miracle that also produced a large catch of fish (Luke 5:1-11), but this time it enabled the disciples to identify the Lord, and to recognize His ability to do great signs after His resurrection.

7 Therefore that disciple whom Jesus loved saith unto Peter, It is the Lord. Now when Simon Peter heard that it was the Lord, he girt his fisher’s coat unto him, (for he was naked,) and did cast himself into the sea.

I wonder how the other disciples, and Peter in this instance, felt when John referred to himself as “that disciple whom Jesus loved?” In John 13:23 we read, “Now there was leaning on Jesus’ bosom one of his disciples, whom Jesus loved.” John omitted mentioning his own name, but did not hesitate to mention the fact that he held a place of special affection in the Savior’s heart. The Lord loved all the disciples, but John enjoyed a special sense of closeness to Him.
“It is the Lord!” John finally recognizes that this Stranger is the Lord. He was convinced, perhaps, by the apparent miracle, and by looking more attentively on the person of one who had been the means of such an unexpected and remarkable catch.
Peter again is the first in action; he puts on his coat, for he was naked (lit., “stripped” of his overcoat or “stripped to the waist”). The strenuous task of fishing had caused Peter to lay aside his upper garment; but as he prepares to meet the Lord he puts it on, moved by reverence and respect for the Master. His upper or outer garment or tunic was worn over the inner garment or tunic which was worn next to the skin. In the case of Peter it may have been made of coarse materials such as fishermen commonly wore. Such garments were commonly used by men of this occupation. Peter’s enthusiasm to be with the Lord would indicate that he was not fishing in disobedience to the Lord’s command.
Peter was in such a hurry to see the Lord that he cast himself into the sea, rather than to stay in the boat which they were dragging to shore along with the great net full of fish. It is likely that they were in very shallow water; and, as they were only two hundred cubits from the land, (about one hundred and thirty-two English yards); it is possible that Peter stepped into the water so that he might assist them to draw the boat to land. It is not likely that he went into the water in order to swim ashore; if that is what he intended to do, it is not likely that he would have put his great coat on, which must have been a hindrance to him in getting to shore.
8 And the other disciples came in a little ship; (for they were not far from land, but as it were two hundred cubits,) dragging the net (full) with fishes.
The other disciples transferred from the large fishing boat to a little rowboat and dragged the net the remaining three hundred feet to land. [Not everyone agrees! Some will tell you that “a little ship” is inaccurate; that the Greek word used here doesn’t necessarily have a diminutive sense. They are almost certain it is the same ship mentioned earlier in the narrative.] They were also anxious to see the Master, but they restrained their emotions, and continued to labor to bring the fish to shore.
It is probable that this was the type of fishing in which the net was stretched from the shore out into the sea; the persons who were in the boat, and who drew out the net, attached a rope to the other end of the net, and those who were on shore helped them to drag it in. As the net was sunk with weights to the bottom, and the top floated on the water by corks, or pieces of light wood; all the fish that happened to come within the arch of the net were of course dragged to shore.
The sovereign power of Christ had in this case miraculously collected the fish to that place where He ordered the disciples to cast the net.

Jesus the Host (verses 9–14).

It took six men to drag the net (v. 8), but Peter did it alone when Jesus gave the orders (v. 11). We should always remember that “God’s commandment is God’s enablement.” Did the fire of coals remind Peter of his denials (18:18)? Did the miraculous catch of fish remind him of his call to service (Luke 5:1–11)? How kind of Jesus to feed Peter before dealing with him about his sins!

9 As soon then as they were come to land, they saw a fire of coals there, and fish laid thereon, and bread.

The Savior had their breakfast all ready—broiled fish and bread. We do not know whether He caught these fish or whether He obtained them miraculously; but we may be comforted by Christ's care for his disciples. We do learn from this incident that He is not dependent on our poor efforts. This appears to have been a new miracle. It could not have been a fire which the disciples had made there, since they give the impression that they were surprised to see it; besides, they had caught no fish and here was some small fish lying upon the coals, and a loaf of bread provided to eat with it. The whole meal appears to have been miraculously prepared by Christ. No doubt in heaven we shall learn that while many people were saved through preaching and personal witness, many others were saved by the Lord Himself without any human help.

10 Jesus saith unto them, Bring of the fish which ye have now caught.

He now instructed them to pull in the net with the fish—not to cook them, but to count them (see verse 11). In doing so, they would be reminded that “the secret of success is to work at His command and to act with implicit obedience to His Word.” They count the number of fish and discover that although there were one hundred fifty-three fish, the net wasn’t broken at any point (as we shall see in the next verse.
Observe the double supply provided -- His and theirs. The meaning of this will perhaps appear presently.

11 Simon Peter went up, and drew the net to land full of great fishes, an hundred and fifty and three: and for all there were so many, yet was not the net broken.

 “Peter went up,” means that he went into the boat, or went aboard.
The Bible gives the exact number of fish in the net—one hundred and fifty-three. With a group of men fishing, the common procedure would be for them to count the fish, and then divide them equally between the fishermen. The number is mentioned because it seems to have been a very unusual catch of fish, and it was particularly gratifying and remarkable to them after they had spent the whole night and had caught nothing. This convinced them that it was none other than the same Savior who had so often worked wonders before them, and that was now with them. Although there were so many, and such great fishes, yet they lost none, nor damaged their net. The net of the gospel has enclosed multitudes, yet it is as strong as ever to bring souls to God.
Many interesting explanations have been offered as to the meaning of this number (153): (1) the number of languages in the world at that time. (2) The number of races or tribes in the world, toward which the gospel net would be spread out. (3) The number of different kinds of fish in the Sea of Galilee, or in the world. There is no doubt that it speaks of the variety of those who would be saved through the preaching of the gospel—some from every tribe and nation. The fishermen knew that it was remarkable that the net had not broken. This is further evidence that “God’s work carried on in God’s way will never lack God’s resources.” He will see that the net does not break.

12 Jesus saith unto them, Come and dine. And none of the disciples durst ask him, Who art thou? knowing that it was the Lord.

The invitation to breakfast is given, and the disciples gather around the fire of coals to partake of the good things the Lord had provided. Peter must have had his own thoughts as he saw the fire of coals. Was he reminded of the fire at which he warmed himself when he denied the Lord? The disciples felt a strange sense of awe and thoughtfulness in the presence of the Lord. Ever since the confession of Thomas, a proper awe of the Deity of Christ had possessed their minds. There He stood in His resurrection body. There were many questions they would like to have asked Him. But they did not dare. They knew it was the Lord—even if they felt a certain sense of mystery shrouded His Person. But none of the disciples dared to ask him, “Who art thou?” knowing that it was the Lord. Oh, they wanted to ask the question, just to have Him answer “It is I.”[It was not, as some suppose, because they stood in a new and special awe of him, that they were afraid to question him, but it was the nature of the question itself. They feared a mild rebuke like that once administered to Philip—John 14:9[10] .]

13 Jesus then cometh, and taketh bread, and giveth them, and fish likewise.

Jesus now served breakfast to them, and Luke points out that He ate along with them: “And he took it, and did eat before them” (Luke 24:43). And they were probably reminded of a similar occasion when He fed the five thousand with a few loaves and fishes; and of the hundreds of times He had served them when they ate together. Luke 22:17–20[11]; John 13:26[12].

The purpose of the Lord for having this meeting seems to have been to convince them that he had truly risen from the dead. That’s why he performed a miracle before they suspected that it was he, so that there might be no room to say that they had attributed to him the power of the miracle through friendship and conspiracy with Him. The miracle was sufficient to satisfy them of the truth that the One who performed it was also their Master and Lord. He remained with them after the meal, conversed with them, and thus convinced them that He was the same Friend who had died.

For just a moment think of the grace of Christ, the Son of God cooking Peter’s breakfast that morning! How kind of Jesus to feed Peter before dealing with him about his sins! There was never anything that the Lord Jesus thought too humiliating for Him to do for those He loved.

14 This is now the third time that Jesus shewed himself to his disciples, after that he was risen from the dead.

This was the third time mentioned by John that Jesus appeared to His disciples. It was His seventh appearance over-all, but his third appearance to a group of disciples, and the third appearance witnessed by John. John counts as follows: 1. an appearance to ten apostles without Thomas; 2. an appearance to eleven of them including Thomas; 3. this appearance, which was to seven apostles. What follows is a listing Of Jesus’ appearances after His resurrection:
1st. He appeared to Mary of Magdala, Mark 16:9; John 20:15, 16.
2ndly, to the holy women who came from the tomb. Matthew 28:9.
3dly, to the two disciples who went to Emmaus, Luke 24:13, etc.
4thly, To St. Peter alone, Luke 24:34.
5thly, to the ten, in the absence of Thomas, John 20:19.
6thly, Eight days after to the eleven, Thomas being present; John 20:26.
7thly, to the seven, mentioned here; which was between the eighth and fortieth day after his resurrection.
Besides these seven appearances, he showed himself,
8thly, to the disciples on a certain mountain in Galilee, Matthew 28:16.

If the appearance mentioned by St. Paul, 1 Corinthians 15:6, to nearly 500 brethren at once: and if this is not the same as his appearance on a mountain in Galilee, it must be considered the ninth. According to the same apostle, he was seen by James (1 Corinthians 15:7), which may have been the tenth appearance. And, after this, to all the apostles, when, at Bethany, He ascended to heaven in their presence. See Mark 16:19, 20; Luke 24:50-53; Acts 1:3-12; 1 Corinthians 15:7. This appears to have been the eleventh time in which he distinctly manifested himself after his resurrection. But there might have been many other manifestations, which the evangelists have, for some reason, chosen not to mention.

Jesus the Shepherd (15–17).

The most important thing in ministry is loving Christ, for all ministry flows from that. Peter the fisherman was also to be a shepherd and care for the lambs and sheep.

15 So when they had dined, Jesus saith to Simon Peter, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me more than these? He saith unto him, Yea, Lord; thou knowest that I love thee. He saith unto him, Feed my lambs.

 The Lord first took care of their physical needs. Silence appears to have reigned during the meal; unbroken on His part, so that by their silent observation of Him they might be assured of His identity and show reverence for Him. Then when they were warm and had eaten, He turned to Peter and dealt with spiritual matters. Peter had publicly denied the Lord three times. Since then, he had repented and had been restored to fellowship with the Lord. In these verses, Peter’s restoration is publicly acknowledged by the Lord.

Our Lord addressed Peter by his original name, Simon, as if he had forfeited the name Peter through his denying him, and now the Lord asks Peter the question, “Lovest thou me?” There are several Greek words for love, just as there is more than one type of love. Here it refers to a personal, warm, intimate relationship like that between family members. It is a love that is more spontaneous than thoughtful. Jesus asks Peter, “lovest thou me more than these?” This refers to the other disciples. Peter had boasted of his loyalty, and yet had denied his Lord. The other disciples had not denied the Lord. Consequently, the Lord is really probing the sincerity of Peter’s love.

It is a legitimate question that Jesus asked of Peter, “lovest thou me more than these?” It is probable that in a true sense it would mean, "Lovest thou me more than these other apostles love me?" In this question Jesus refers to the profession of superior attachment to Him which Peter had made before his death (Matthew 26:33): "Though all men shall be offended because of thee, yet will I never be offended." Jesus here slightly scolds him for that confident claim, which reminds him of his sad and painful denial, and now puts this direct and pointed question to him to know what the present state of his feelings was. After all that Peter had had to humble him, the Savior inquired of him what had been the effect on his mind. All of us should put the same question to ourselves. It is important for us to know what our present state of feeling toward the Lord Jesus Christ is.
Peter answered, “Thou knowest that I love thee”; but without professing to love Jesus more than others. He would no longer boast that he would never forsake the Lord, even if all the other disciples did. He had learned his lesson. Peter had denied his Lord three times, and now Christ gives him an opportunity in some measure to repair his fault by a triple confession. The happiest and best feeling is when we can with humility, yet with confidence, look to the Lord Jesus and say, "Thou knowest that I love thee." However, we must not be surprised to have our sincerity called into question, when we ourselves have done so many things which makes it appear doubtful. Every remembrance of past sins, even pardoned sins, renews the sorrow felt by one who has truly repented. Peter solemnly appealed to Christ, as the One who knows all things, even the secrets of his heart. It is a good thing when our failures and mistakes make us more humble and vigilant. The sincerity of our love for God must be tested; and it behooves us to ask our heart-searching God, to examine and prove our love for Him. No one can be qualified to feed the sheep and lambs of Christ, who does not love the good Shepherd more than any earthly benefit or object.

Jesus said, “Feed My lambs.” The church is often called “My lambs,” and compared to a flock. See John 10:1-16. The expression undoubtedly refers to the tender and the young in the Christian church; to those who are young in years and in Christian experience. The Lord Jesus saw, what has been confirmed in the experience of the church, that the success of the gospel among men depended on the care which the ministry would extend to those in early life. It is in obedience to this command that Sunday-schools have been established, and no means of fulfilling this command of the Savior have been found to be as effective as those schools. It is not merely, therefore, a privilege, it is the solemn duty of ministers of the gospel to approve of and support those schools. There are other means, but one very practical way of demonstrating love for Christ is by feeding the young ones in His flock.

It is interesting to note that the conversation had changed from fishing to shepherding. The former speaks of the works of evangelism; while the latter suggests teaching and pastoral care. Our Savior intended that a shepherd was both to offer the proper food for his flock and to govern it; or, as we express it, to exercise the office of a pastor. The expression is taken from the office of a shepherd, with which the office of a minister of the gospel is frequently compared. It means, as a good shepherd provides for the wants of his flock, so the pastor in the church is to furnish food for the soul or to exhibit truth so that the faith of believers may be strengthened and their hope deep-rooted. 

The minister must not only feed the flock God has given him, but he must also take care of, guide, govern, and defend it; which seems to imply that it is not sufficient merely to offer the bread of life to the congregation of the Lord, but he must take care that the sheep are saved and properly attended to, regulated, guided, etc.; and it appears that Peter perfectly comprehended our Lord's meaning, and saw that it was a direction given not only to him, and to the rest of the disciples, but to all their successors in the Christian ministry; for he says in 1 John 5:2: “Feed the flock of God which is among you, taking the oversight (acting as overseers and guardians), not by enforcing rules and regulations, but cheerfully; not for filthy lucre, but of a ready mind.” Every spiritual shepherd of Christ has a flock, composed of lambs—young converts, and sheep—experienced Christians, to feed, guide, regulate, and govern. To be properly qualified for this, his wisdom and holiness should always exceed those of his flock. Who is sufficient for these things; the man who lives in God and God in him.
The most important thing in ministry is loving Christ, for all ministry flows from that. Peter the fisherman was also to be a shepherd and care for the lambs and sheep.

16 He saith to him again the second time, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me? He saith unto him, Yea, Lord; thou knowest that I love thee. He saith unto him, Feed my sheep.

For the second time, the Lord asked Peter if he loved Him. Let it be noted that he does not call him Peter, “the rock,” any longer. So frail a disciple could only be called Simon. Peter replied for the second time, with genuine distrust of himself, “You know that I am fond of You.” This time He said to him, “Feed My sheep” [For if you love me better than fishing, you are a fisherman no longer, but a shepherd.] There are lambs and sheep in Christ’s flock, and they need the loving care of one who loves the Shepherd.

To understand what He meant, we need to recognize that by "lambs" He is referring to young and tender disciples, whether in age or Christian standing (1John 2:12, 13[13]), and by "sheep" the more mature [Sometimes the word denotes the church in general, without respect to age,; see John, chapter 10.]. Many say that Peter was, at this point, reinstated to the office of apostle and to one of the eleven special ministers of Jesus; but that is not right, since he was not actually excluded from it. Peter and his Lord had already met privately and no doubt taken care of Peter’s sins (Luke 24:34[14]; 1 Corinthians 15:5[15]), but since Peter had denied the Lord publicly, it was important that there be a public restoration. Sin should be dealt with only to the extent that it is known. Private sins should be confessed in private, public sins in public.

The word rendered here as “feed,” is different from the word in the previous verse. It has the sense of governing, caring for, guiding, protecting—the kind of faithful vigilance which a shepherd uses to guide his flock, and to make provision for their wants and dangers. It may be implied here that the care needed for the young in the church is to instruct them, and for those in advanced years both to instruct and govern them.
 “He saith to him . . . the second time . . . lovest thou me.” In this repetition of the question, though the wound was meant to be reopened, the words "more than these" are not repeated; for Christ is a tender as well as skilful Physician, and Peter's silence on that point was confession enough of his sin and foolishness.
 
17 He saith unto him the third time, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me? Peter was grieved because he said unto him the third time, Lovest thou me? And he said unto him, Lord, thou knowest all things; thou knowest that I love thee. Jesus saith unto him, Feed my sheep.

Just as Peter had denied the Lord three times, so he was given three opportunities to confess his love for Him. This is the third time; Peter appealed to the fact that Jesus was God and therefore knew all things. He said for the third time, “You know that I love thee.” And for the last time, he was told that he could demonstrate this by feeding Christ’s sheep. In this passage, the underlying lesson is that love for Christ is the only acceptable motive for serving Him.

Jesus asks for a third time, and the third question is the most painful and convicting. The first two times, Jesus was asking Peter if he loved Him, using the Greek word “agapaō” which means “to love dearly.” When Peter replied he used the Greek word “phileo” which means “to treat affectionately.” There is a big difference. Now the third time, Jesus’ question uses “phileo” and Peter’s reply did too.

Peter was grieved because he said unto him the third time, Lovest thou me; therefore, he appeals to the omniscience of his Master: “And he said unto him, Lord, thou knowest all things; thou knowest that I love thee. Jesus saith unto him, Feed my sheep.” The Greek word for sheep means “dear sheep.” Our Lord’s sheep are dear to Him; He gave his life for them, and He wants His ministers to love them and care for them personally and lovingly.

Peter, as we have seen, had professed that he had the most unparalleled devotion for the Master, but when the Lord now asks him for the third time if he has that devotion, he humbly describes his love as a far weaker sentiment—a mere instinctive affection or strong attachment, but nothing approaching adoration. This was not because he was reluctant to express his great love for the Savior, but because he had been disobedient and had denied the Lord in the past. He was, perhaps, now reluctant to make a claim of supreme devotion when, the past, did not support such a claim. Jesus’ question can be paraphrased as, “Peter, are you even sure that you have a high regard for me?” It hurt Peter to hear that the Lord apparently doubted that he had a tender regard for him, and so he appealed to Christ himself as a searcher of hearts to bear witness that, as poor and meager as his love was, it was at least as intense as he had represented it to be. In response to each of Peter's professions of love, Jesus lays a command on him, “If you love me as you say, prove it in this way… Lambs and sheep are to be fed, and sheep are to be tended.” The former means that young and old in the church are to be provided for, and, since the word “tend” means to act as a shepherd , the latter may mean that Peter is to play the shepherd to the wandering and the erring, bringing them into the fold. This same charge, in substance, he had on other occasions to the apostles, and there is not the slightest evidence here that Christ intended, as the Catholics pretend, to give Peter any peculiar predominance or eminence in the church. The charge to Peter arose, obviously, from his well-known and sad act of denying Him, and was the kind and tender means used by a faithful Savior to keep him from similar acts in the future dangers and trials of life. I should note that the reprimand (more of a slap on the wrist) was effective. After this Peter was one of the most firm and unwavering of all the apostles, and accordingly justified the title of a “rock,” which the Savior by anticipation had given him; John 1:42[16].

The essential message here is that Jesus demands total commitment from His followers. Their love for Him must place Him above their love for everything else.

Jesus the Lord (18–25).

By saying, “Follow Me,” Jesus reinstated Peter as an apostle. But Peter turned around and took his eyes off the Lord, and Jesus had to rebuke him. The next time you are tempted to meddle in somebody else’s ministry, ponder Christ’s words: “What is that to you? You follow Me!” (v. 22).

Peter followed the Lord right into the excitement of the book of Acts!

18 Verily, verily, I say unto thee, When thou wast young, thou girdedst thyself, and walkedst whither thou wouldest: but when thou shalt be old, thou shalt stretch forth thy hands, and another shall gird thee, and carry thee whither thou wouldest not.

I have often used this verse when giving devotions to the elderly in Nursing Homes to emphasize that they have entered into an arena of life where they are no longer in control of what happens to them. When Peter was younger, he had great freedom of movement. He went where he wished. But the Lord told him here that at the end of his life, he would be arrested, bound, and carried off to execution. But, in addition, notice that Jesus told Peter, “when thou shalt be old;” this indicates that Peter will have a long, useful life of service, before his death. Ancient writers say that Peter was put to death about thirty-four years after this. His precise age at that time is not known.

The expression “Thou girdedst,” here denotes freedom. He did as he pleased-he girded himself or not-he went or remained, as he chose. However, His freedom was beginning to be curtailed and the approaching persecution would make it worse; the Savior implies that at the end of his life he would not be as free.

“Thou shalt stretch forth thy hands” could refer to crucifixion, and church tradition concurs that this is how Peter died. When Peter was put to death, we are told that he requested that he might be crucified with his head downward, thus saying that he who had denied his Lord as he had done was not worthy to die as he did. Wetstein observes that it was a custom at Rome to put the necks of those who were to be crucified into a yoke, and to stretch out their hands and fasten them to the end of it; and having thus led them through the city they were carried out to be crucified. That may have been the way it was with Peter; he was girded, chained, and carried whither he would not—not that he was unwilling to die for Christ; but he was a man—he did not love death; but he loved his life less than he loved his God.

Clemens says that he was led to the crucifixion with his wife, and comforted her in her sufferings by exhorting her to remember the example of her Lord. He also adds that he died, not as the philosophers did, but with a firm hope of heaven, and patiently endured the pangs of the cross. This declaration of the Savior was almost certainly continually on the mind of Peter, and to the hour of his death he maintained the utmost constancy and loyalty in His cause, thus justifying the title which the Lord Jesus gave him-“a rock.”

19 This spake he, signifying by what death he should glorify God. And when he had spoken this, he saith unto him, Follow me.

This explains verse 18. Peter would glorify God by dying as a martyr. He who had denied the Lord would be given the courage to lay down his life for Him, and consequently he would be honored for dying for his Master. The verse reminds us that we can glorify God in death as well as in life.

Then Jesus exclaimed, “Follow Me!” As He said it, He must have started to leave. And, certainly, this prediction was intended to follow up his triple restoration: "Yes, Simon, thou shall not only feed My lambs, and feed My sheep, but after a long career of such service, you will be counted worthy to die for the name of the Lord Jesus." John wrote after Peter's death, and his gospel did affirm that he did, by the manner of his death, “glorify God.” The universal testimony of the ancient Church is that he did “glorify God” through his death. It asserted that Peter was crucified about thirty-four years after this, a fact that is probable, since he was not a Roman citizen.  It was said that he deemed it so glorious a thing to die for Christ that he begged to be crucified with his head downwards, not considering himself worthy to die in the same posture in which his Lord did.

Follow me—whether our Lord meant by these words that Peter was to walk with him a little ways for a private meeting, or whether he meant that he was to imitate his example, or be conformed to him in the manner of his death, is very uncertain. He had once forsaken Christ because he feared death. Now, with a prospect of violent death before him, he is called to a life of total commitment to the Master's work and to follow Him. He did this faithfully, from this time forward, “taking up his cross."

Whenever any Christian follows Christ, he must be prepared to suffer and die (Matthew 16:24-26[17]).

20 Then Peter, turning about, seeth the disciple whom Jesus loved following; which also leaned on his breast at supper, and said, Lord, which is he that betrayeth thee?

It seems that Peter began to follow the Lord, and then turning around, saw John following too. Here John paused to identify himself as the one who had leaned on Jesus’ breast at the Passover Supper, and had asked the name of the betrayer.

When Peter turned to look at John, he took his eyes off the Lord Jesus, a mistake he had made at least two times before. After that first great catch, Peter took his eyes off Jesus and looked at himself. “When Simon Peter saw it, he fell down at Jesus’ knees, saying, ‘Depart from me; for I am a sinful man, O Lord’” (Luke 5:8). When he was walking on the stormy sea with Jesus, Peter looked away from the Lord and began to look at the wind and waves; and immediately he began to sink (Matthew 14:30[18]). It is dangerous to look at the circumstances instead of looking to the Lord.

21 Peter seeing him saith to Jesus, Lord, and what shall this man do?

What shall this man do? This question probably means, "What death shall he die?" But it is impossible to ascertain for certain why Peter asked this question. John was a favorite disciple, and perhaps Peter suspected that he would have a happier destiny, and not be put to death like he would be. Peter was grieved at the question Jesus asked; he was probably deeply affected with the account of his own approaching sufferings; and perhaps, with a mixture of grief and envy, he asked what would be his fate. But it is possible; also, that it was out of kindness to John-a deep concern for him, and a wish that he might not die in the same manner as one who had denied his Lord. Whatever the motive was, it was a curiosity which the Lord Jesus did not choose to gratify.
22 Jesus saith unto him, If I will that he tarry till I come, what is that to thee? follow thou me.

Jesus begins to leave, and as Peter follows Him, he turns around, taking his eyes off Jesus (Matthew 14:30[19]), and notices that John was following them. Having just then been told about his future, Peter wants to know about John’s future. But Jesus says that that bit of information was none of his business; even if he were to survive until the Second Coming of Christ, this should not make any difference to Peter. [It was none of Peter's business whether John's earthly lot was easier or harder than his own; his business was to be faithful in the journey wherever the Lord led him.] The emphasis of Christ’s rebuke is that Peter should not be concerned about John, but about the job which he had to do. Many failures in Christian service arise from disciples being more occupied with one another than with the Lord Himself. The disciples misunderstand the rebuke. They had forgotten the “if.” The future of John was not any of their business.

If I will that he tarry [That he live.]  till I come—there are several opinions concerning this expression—the following are the main ones:
1.  Some have concluded from these words that John would never die. Many eminent men, ancients and moderns, have been and are of this opinion.
2.  Others thought that our Lord implied that John would live till Christ came to judge and destroy Jerusalem. On this opinion it is observed that Peter, who was the oldest of the apostles, died in the year 67, which, says Calmet, was six years before the destruction of Jerusalem; and that John survived the ruin of that city about thirty years, he being the only one of the twelve who was alive when the above desolation took place.
3.  St. Augustin, Bede, and others, understood the passage in this way: If I will that he remain till I come and take him away by a natural death, what is that to thee? follow thou me to thy crucifixion. On this it may be observed, that all antiquity agrees that John, if he did die, was the only disciple who was taken away by a natural death.
4.  Others imagine that our Lord was only now taking Peter aside to speak something to him in private, and that Peter, seeing John following, wished to know whether he should come along with them; and that our Lord's answer stated that John should remain in that place till Christ and Peter returned to him; and to this meaning of the passage many eminent critics are likely to believe.

For nearly two thousand years, the greatest men in the world have been puzzled by this passage. It would be foolish of me to attempt to decide where the truth resides, when so many eminent doctors have disagreed, and do still disagree. However, I believe that the third opinion is the correct one.

It is remarkable that John was the last of the apostles; that he lived to nearly the close of the first century, and then died a peaceful death at Ephesus, being the only one, as most commentators believe, of the apostles who did not suffer martyrdom. The testimony of ancient times is clear on this point; and though there have been many idle speculations about this passage and about the fate of John, yet no fact of history is better substantiated than that John died and was buried at Ephesus.

From this passage we learn:
1. That our main business is to follow the Lord Jesus Christ.
2. That there are many subjects of religion on which a vain and disrespectful curiosity is exercised. All such curiosity Jesus here rebukes.
3. That Jesus will take care of all his true disciples, and that we should not be unduly concerned about them.
4. That we should go forward to do whatever he calls us to do—to persecution or death—not envying the good fortune  of any other man, and anxious only to do the will of God.

The next time you are tempted to meddle in somebody else’s ministry, think about Christ’s words: “What is that to you? You follow Me!” Peter followed the Lord right into the excitement of the book of Acts!

23 Then went this saying abroad among the brethren, that that disciple should not die: yet Jesus said not unto him, He shall not die; but, If I will that he tarry till I come, what is that to thee?

The Lord’s words were misquoted. He did not say that John would still be alive when He came back again. He only said that even if that were the case, why should that affect Peter? The false rumor about Jesus’ words to Peter shows the possibility of misunderstanding God’s promises. Christians must seek to understand God’s word accurately. Many see significance in the fact that here Jesus linked John with His Second Coming, and that John was the one who was privileged to write the Revelation of Jesus Christ, describing the end times in great detail.

Our Lord is speaking to Peter of John, and He says, “If I will that he tarry till I come,” and those words have caused a lot of discussion. They surely convey the idea that John would remain on the earth, after the other apostles depart, until the Lord came once more. He did linger long after all the other apostles were gone. It is the testimony of church history that he did not die until about the close of the first century, many years after the other apostles were at rest. He tarried; did the Lord come to him? At least sixty years after the Lord spoke these words John was an exile on the isle of Patmos. There on the Lord's Day he writes: “I heard a great voice,” and “I saw one like the Son of man,” blazing in such glory that, filled with awe, he “fell at his feet as dead.” Then followed these words of the Savior—the letters to the seven churches, and the visions of Revelation. Here was a visible coming and John tarried until that coming. He alone of the Twelve saw the Lord, after his ascension, once more on the earth.

Peter must have told the other ten apostles what Jesus had said concerning John. And as often happens when a story is repeated many times, it changes. The story became a rumor or gossip as it spread among the brethren, that John would not die: yet Jesus had not said to Peter that he would not die; but, “if I will that he tarry till I come, what is that to thee?” [Our Lord's words were a puzzle when John wrote his Gospel, and to many they are still a puzzle. There is no question that John died. The site of his grave at Ephesus was well known to early Christians. The coming of the Lord for which he tarried occurred on the isle of Patmos, of which he tells us in the Book of Revelation. This passage, therefore, shows that John wrote his Gospel before his exile in Patmos.]
When this mistaken saying went abroad among the brethren, that that disciple should not die, it created the expectation that Christ's Second Coming was near at hand. At the time John wrote these words he did not understand just what the saying might mean.

24 This is the disciple which testifieth of these things, and wrote these things: and we know that his testimony is true.

John added a word of personal testimony as to the accuracy of the things which he had written. And what was his testimony? That it was known and universally acknowledged that he always declared the truth. In this case, therefore, we have the testimony of a man whose character for nearly a century was that of a man of truth—so much so that it had become, in a way, legendary, and was received as being beyond a doubt. It is impossible to believe that such a man would sit down deliberately to write a book which was false; and if not, then this book is true, and that is the same as saying that Christianity is a religion from heaven.

25 And there are also many other things which Jesus did, the which, if they should be written every one, I suppose that even the world itself could not contain the books that should be written. Amen.

We have no fear in taking verse 25 literally! Jesus is God and is therefore infinite. There is no limit to the meaning of His words or to the number of His works. While He was here on earth, He was still the Upholder of all things—the sun, moon, and stars. Who could ever describe all that is involved in keeping the universe in motion? Even in His miracles on earth, we have only the barest description. In a simple act of healing, think of the nerves, muscles, blood corpuscles, and other members that He controlled. Think of His direction of germs, fishes, animal life. Think of His guidance in the affairs of men. Think of His control over the atomic structure of every bit of matter in the universe. Could the world itself possibly contain the books to describe such infinite details? The answer is an emphatic “No.”

Many expositors, far more knowledgeable than me, do not take this verse literally, but as hyperbole.  We may define hyperbole as a figure of speech where more or less seems to be said than is intended “Even the world itself could not contain the books that should be written” is a very strong eastern expression, to represent the number of miracles which Jesus produced. But, however strong and strange this expression may seem to us of the western world, we find sacred and other authors using hyperboles of the same kind and meaning. In Numbers 13:33, the spies who returned from the search of the land of Canaan say that they saw giants there of such a phenomenal size that they were in their own sight like grasshoppers. In Daniel 4:11, mention is made of a tree whose height reached to heaven; and it could be seen all the way to the end of the earth. And the author of Ecclesiasticus, in 47:15, speaking of Solomon's wisdom, says, “Thy soul covered the whole earth, and thou filledst it with parables.” In Deuteronomy 1:28, cities with high walls round about them are said to be walled up to heaven. Now, what is the meaning of this hyperbole? Why, that the cities had very high walls: then, is the hyperbole a truth? Yes, for we should attach no other idea to these expressions than the authors intended to convey by them. Now, the author of this expression never intended to insinuate that the cities had walls which reached to heaven; nor did one of his countrymen understand it in this sense—they affixed no other idea to it, (for the words, in common use, conveyed no other), than that these cities had very high walls. When John, therefore, wrote, “I suppose that even the world itself could not contain the books that should be written,” what would every Jew understand by it! Why, that if every thing which Christ had done and said were to be written, the books would be more in number than had ever been written concerning any one person or subject: i.e. there would be an immense number of books. And so there would be; for it is not possible that the ten thousandth part of the words and actions of such a life as our Lord's was could be contained in the contents of one or all of these Gospels. However, the Holy Spirit has given us all we need, all God wants us to know—“But these are written, that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing ye might have life through his name” (John 20:31)

Amen—the word ‏ amen, which has passed unaltered into almost all the languages of the world in which the sacred writings are in existence, is pure Hebrew. It is often used as an expression of affirmation, approval, and consent. It places the stamp of truth upon the assertion which it accompanied. In the synagogues and private houses it was customary for the people or members of the family who were present to say “amen” to the prayers which were offered. Matt. 6:13[20]; 1 Cor. 14:16[21]. And not only public prayers, but those offered in private, and doxologies, were appropriately concluded with “amen.” Rom. 9:5[22]. When a person was sworn to the truth of any fact, the oath was recited to him, and he bound himself by simply saying, amen, amen. See an instance of this, Numbers 5:22[23].

And so we come to the end of our commentary on John’s Gospel. Perhaps we realize a little better why it has come to be one of the best loved parts of the Bible. Certainly one can scarcely read it thoughtfully and prayerfully without falling in love afresh with the blessed Person whom it presents.

_______________Notes and Scriptures__________________

  [1]Thus. In this manner.
  [2]“And go quickly, and tell his disciples that he is risen from the dead; and, behold, he goeth before you into Galilee; there shall ye see him: lo, I have told you.”
  [3]“But go your way, tell his disciples and Peter that he goeth before you into Galilee: there shall ye see him, as he said unto you.”
  [4]“Then the eleven disciples went away into Galilee, into a mountain where Jesus had appointed them.”

  [5]“Then the eleven disciples went away into Galilee, into a mountain where Jesus had appointed them. And when they saw him, they worshipped him: but some doubted.” [This is the same appearance recorded in Mark 16:15–18 and 1 Corinthians 15:6.]
  [6]Now the names of the twelve apostles are these; The first, Simon, who is called Peter, and Andrew his brother; James the son of Zebedee, and John his brother; Philip, and Bartholomew; Thomas, and Matthew the publican; James the son of Alphaeus, and Lebbaeus, whose surname was Thaddaeus; Simon the Canaanite, and Judas Iscariot, who also betrayed him.
  [7]“Then said Jesus unto them, Be not afraid: go tell my brethren that they go into Galilee, and there shall they see me.”

  [8] “After that he appeared in another form unto two of them, as they walked, and went into the country.” The full account of this appearance is found in Luke 24:13–31. Here we read that He appeared in another form to two disciples on the road to Emmaus. To Mary He had appeared as a gardener. Now He seemed like a fellow-traveler. But it was the same Jesus in His glorified body.
  [9]There is a lad here, which hath five barley loaves, and two small fishes: but what are they among so many?

 [10]“Jesus saith unto him, Have I been so long time with you, and yet hast thou not known me, Philip? he that hath seen me hath seen the Father; and how sayest thou then, Shew us the Father?” Jesus patiently corrected him. Philip had been with the Lord for a long time. He was one of the first disciples to be called (John 1:43). Yet the full truth of Christ’s deity and of His unity with the Father had not yet dawned on him. He did not know that when he looked at Jesus, he was looking at One who perfectly displayed the Father.
  [11]And he took the cup, and gave thanks, and said, Take this, and divide it among yourselves: For I say unto you, I will not drink of the fruit of the vine, until the kingdom of God shall come. And he took bread, and gave thanks, and brake it, and gave unto them, saying, This is my body which is given for you: this do in remembrance of me. Likewise also the cup after supper, saying, This cup is the new testament in my blood, which is shed for you.
  [12]Jesus answered, He it is, to whom I shall give a sop, when I have dipped it. And when he had dipped the sop, he gave it to Judas Iscariot, the son of Simon.

  [13]“I write unto you, little children, because your sins are forgiven you for his name’s sake. 13I write unto you, fathers, because ye have known him that is from the beginning. I write unto you, young men, because ye have overcome the wicked one. I write unto you, little children, because ye have known the Father.”
  [14]“Saying, The Lord is risen indeed, and hath appeared to Simon.” Before the Emmaus disciples could share their joyful news, the Jerusalem disciples jubilantly announced that the Lord had really risen and had appeared to Simon Peter.
 [15] I write unto you, little children, because your sins are forgiven you for his name’s sake. I write unto you, fathers, because ye have known him that is from the beginning. I write unto you, young men, because ye have overcome the wicked one. I write unto you, little children, because ye have known the Father.

  [16]And he brought him to Jesus. And when Jesus beheld him, he said, Thou art Simon the son of Jona: thou shalt be called Cephas, which is by interpretation, A stone.

  [17]Then said Jesus unto his disciples, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me. For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it. For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?

  [18]But when he saw the wind boisterous, he was afraid; and beginning to sink, he cried, saying, Lord, save me. 
  [19]“But when he saw the wind boisterous, he was afraid; and beginning to sink, he cried, saying, Lord, save me.” The Christian life, like walking on water, is humanly impossible. It can only be lived by the power of the Holy Spirit. As long as we look away from every other object to Jesus only (Heb. 12:2), we can experience a supernatural life. But the minute we become occupied with ourselves or our circumstances, we begin to sink. Then we must cry to Christ for restoration and divine enablement. 

  [20]And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen.
  [21]Else when thou shalt bless with the spirit, how shall he that occupieth the room of the unlearned say Amen at thy giving of thanks, seeing he understandeth not what thou sayest?
  [22]Whose are the fathers, and of whom as concerning the flesh Christ came, who is over all, God blessed for ever. Amen.
  [23]And this water that causeth the curse shall go into thy bowels, to make thy belly to swell, and thy thigh to rot: And the woman shall say, Amen, amen.

Do you have any questions or comments?

Here are some disturbing statistics about abortion:

Two-thirds of all abortions are obtained by never-married women.

Every three days, more African-Americans are murdered by abortion than were lynched from 1882–1968.

In America, nearly one in four pregnancies end in abortion.

Make a Free Website with Yola.