Jesus Tenderly Restores and Sovereignly Calls – John 21:1-25
21 After these things Jesus revealed Himself again to the disciples at the Sea of Tiberias, and He revealed Himself in this way: 2 Simon Peter, Thomas who was called Didymus, Nathanael of Cana in Galilee, the sons of Zebedee, and two others of His disciples were together. 3 Simon Peter said to them, “I am going fishing.” They said to him, “We are also coming with you.” They went out and got into the boat; and that night they caught nothing.
4 But when the day was now breaking, Jesus stood on the beach; yet the disciples did not know that it was Jesus. 5 So Jesus said to them, “Children, you do not have any fish to eat, do you?” They answered Him, “No.” 6 And He said to them, “Cast the net on the right-hand side of the boat, and you will find the fish.” So they cast it, and then they were not able to haul it in because of the great quantity of fish. 7 Therefore that disciple whom Jesus loved said to Peter, “It is the Lord!” So when Simon Peter heard that it was the Lord, he put on his outer garment (for he was stripped for work), and threw himself into the sea. 8 But the other disciples came in the little boat, for they were not far from the land, but about two hundred cubits away, dragging the net full of fish.
9 So when they got out on the land, they saw a charcoal fire already made and fish placed on it, and bread. 10 Jesus said to them, “Bring some of the fish which you have now caught.” 11 So Simon Peter went up and hauled the net to land, full of large fish, 153; and although there were so many, the net was not torn.
12 Jesus said to them, “Come and have breakfast.” None of the disciples ventured to inquire of Him, “Who are You?” knowing that it was the Lord. 13 Jesus came and took the bread and gave it to them, and the fish likewise. 14 This was now the third time that Jesus revealed Himself to the disciples, after He was raised from the dead.
15 Now when they had finished breakfast, Jesus said to Simon Peter, “Simon, son of John, do you love Me more than these?” He said to Him, “Yes, Lord; You know that I love You.” He said to him, “Tend My lambs.” 16 He said to him again, a second time, “Simon, son of John, do you love Me?” He said to Him, “Yes, Lord; You know that I love You.” He said to him, “Shepherd My sheep.” 17 He said to him the third time, “Simon, son of John, do you love Me?” Peter was hurt because He said to him the third time, “Do you love Me?” And he said to Him, “Lord, You know all things; You know that I love You.” Jesus said to him, “Tend My sheep.
18 Truly, truly I tell you, when you were younger, you used to put on your belt and walk wherever you wanted; but when you grow old, you will stretch out your hands and someone else will put your belt on you, and bring you where you do not want to go.” 19 Now He said this, indicating by what kind of death he would glorify God. And when He had said this, He said to him, “Follow Me!”
20 Peter turned around and saw the disciple whom Jesus loved following them—the one who also had leaned back on His chest at the supper and said, “Lord, who is the one who is betraying You?” 21 So Peter, upon seeing him, said to Jesus, “Lord, and what about this man?” 22 Jesus said to him, “If I want him to remain until I come, what is that to you? You follow Me!” 23 Therefore this account went out among the brothers, that that disciple would not die; yet Jesus did not say to him that he would not die, but only, “If I want him to remain until I come, what is that to you?”
24 This is the disciple who is testifying about these things and wrote these things, and we know that his testimony is true.
25 But there are also many other things which Jesus did, which, if they were written in detail, I expect that even the world itself would not contain the books that would be written.
We’ve reached John’s Epilogue. His tender final word. What we find in these precious verses is a God who reveals himself to us when we are broken and defeated sin. His pursuit sometimes brings pain as we look our sin in the face. But it’s pain He uses to restore us. And then, this merciful God sovereignly calls us to work that endures. He still longs to use us. Broken and all.