May 1, Service – The 3rd Sunday of Easter

By E Michael Mills – sub. for Pastor Stephen

Breakfast on the Beach with Jesus

When You’ve Hit Rock Bottom or The Final Question of Jesus

Primary Text: John 21

It’s been a few weeks, there have been highs and there have been lows. Simon Peter on the night that Jesus was betrayed, added his own shame, and denied his Lord. This was after the same dinner where Peter proudly announced, “even though everyone else abandon you, I will remain faithful.” And we know what happened.

There was some relief when Jesus appeared to Peter and some of the other apostles, and then again a week later; but these great moments in Peter’s mind are being eclipsed by Peter’s denial of the one he called Christ.


Loser     Scum      Worthless

Vs 1)

KJV – “After these things”

NLT – “later”

what were the things that preceded this event?

Jesus’ two appearances after the resurrection

this story at the sea of Galilee and takes place anywhere between a week and a half up to 40 days after Jesus’ resurrection

Depending upon translation, the lake has been called all the following names:

The Sea of Tiberius,

the Lake or Sea of Galilee,

Gennesaret,   Kinneret

All different names for the same body of water, some stemming from advancements in translation

Vs 2)

Simon Peter, “Cephas”, “Simon – son of John” or “Simon – bar Jonah”

Jesus gives Simon the name of Cephas, in Aramaic,

Petros, in Greek

Both transliterated as Rock, or Peter

(John 1:42) not since then has Jesus ever called him by the name Simon bar Jonah, or Simon Son of John (his original name)

Thomas Didymus (also called the twin)

Nathaniel of Cana

The sons of Zebedee, James and John

Two other unnamed disciples, 7 total

Vs 3)

Peter announces, “I am going fishing”

and the other disciples say we will go with you

the Zebedee boys were partners with Peter before they all followed Jesus

this was a big fishing boat, easily holding 10 or more men, not like the little 13-foot skiff Jan and I had . . . Little Toot – maxed out at 4 adults and a kid

Vs 5)

Jesus (they don’t know it’s Jesus) yells from the shore,

“Have you caught anything, lads?”

The boat was about 100 yards from shore. Or 200 cubits.

Vs 6)

Jesus tells them “Cast your net on the right side of the boat and you’ll find some.”

Whoa this is sounding kind of familiar like the twilight zone. The hairs on the back of their necks starting to tingle.

Just like in Luke 5:4-11, they were not able to haul the net in because of all the fish. But this time the net did not break.

Vs 7)

John says, “It is the Lord!”

John is always the first to recognize the Lord, and the first to believe in the resurrection

Peter puts on his clothes and jumps in the water and swims to shore.

KJV tells us that he was naked, and NLT tells us that he had to put his “tunic on as he was stripped to work”.

Now, this was the second time that Peter leaves his friends and gets out of the boat in the middle of the lake

Peter always a little bit impetuous

Vs 8)

the other disciples get to the shore

Vs 9)

Jesus had a fire of coals / charcoal with fish and bread on it

Fire of coals/charcoal at the high priest’s house Courtyard

John 18:15-27

Peter could Smell the fire and it brought him back to that moment in High Priest Caiaphas’ courtyard

Vs 10)

Jesus: “Bring some of your catch”

Vs 11)

Peter drags the net ashore – full of fish — 153 Fish

  • Jerome said it represents the total number of species of fish
  • Augustine said 153 is the sum of all the numbers 1 through 17

6,        7,        12,      40 . . . .

With apologies to Dan Brown and others who search the Bible for codes, sorry – it’s just the number of fish

The world did not end in 2012, it probably won’t end this year either, as prophesied by the numerologists

I’m not a big believer in numerology

Vs 12)

Jesus says “come eat breakfast”None of the disciples dared ask him, “who are you?” because they knew it was the Lord

Vs 14)

This was the third time that Jesus appeared to his disciples after the resurrection

The first time was the Sunday evening of resurrection day, doors were shut and Jesus appears

the second time was eight days later, Thomas was there this time

Vs 15)

How do you think Peter is feeling at the moment?

Could there be some tension in the air?

Simon-son-of-John, this is kind of like being called by your full name when you are in trouble

Simon-son-of-John, Remember, Jesus has not called him this since John 1:42

Simon-son-of-John, Do you love me, more than these? Agape’

There is speculation among scholars what does the “these” mean?

  • Could he be referring to his friends, “do you love me more than you love your friends?”
  • Could he be saying love in a quantitative sense, “do you love me more than your friends love me?”
  • Could he be referring to the large catch of fish, boat, Nets?

I think Jesus was referring to the secular life. The monetary significance of his business his boat, the nets, the fish.

Peter answers, “yes Lord, you know I love you.” Phileo

Jesus responds, “feed my lambs”

Vs 16)

A second time – Simon son of John, do you love me?  Agape’

Yes, Lord, you know I love you.  Phileo

Jesus – Tend (take care of) my sheep

Vs 17)

3rd time – Simon son of John, do you love me?  Phileo

Peter’s heart is breaking because like his denial – Jesus is asking him 3 times if he loves him. This time Jesus uses the word Phileo, He comes down to where Peter is at. Maybe Peter could not bring himself to say Agape’.

Yes, Lord, I Phileo you

Jesus: Feed my sheep

Who are Jesus’ lambs and sheep??

Peter had charge of the

Vs 18)

Prophecy of how Peter would die

By crucifixion –

Vs 19)

And Vs 21)  Jesus tells Peter to follow me

Read verse 25 from text

Peter was reinstated by Christ

He was given a mission – feed my lambs/sheep, tend my sheep

Then, he was told how he would die.

Peter lived for another 30+ years knowing how he would die

And he thought about it often, and looked forward to that time

(1 Peter 4:14-16, and 2 Peter 1:12-15)

Church records indicate that Peter was martyred under Nero (c) 67 or 68 AD

Church tradition indicates he was crucified upside down as he felt he was not worthy to die in the same manner as Christ.

What do you have in your past that you believe is keeping you from God?  Recent past, long past

What do you think about when you smell your charcoal fire

What do you think about when you hear your rooster crow

Do you think there is something in your past that will prevent God’s plan from succeeding?

When we repent and seek reconciliation with God, what do you think God does with the record of our transgressions?

Micah 7:19

Psalm 103:12

Nothing can separate us from the love of God – Romans 8:38-39

He who began a good work in you – Philippians 1:16

Our spirituality must not be based on Feelings ——


Our emotions often tell us one thing, while our brain tells us another.

Base your faith on FACTS – Hebrews 11:1

Faith is the substance of things hoped for and the evidence of things not seen

In our Communion Service, after the Prayer of Confession, we have the Assurance of Pardon, 2nd Corinthians 5:17

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, they are a NEW CREATION. The old things have passed away, BEHOLD, all things have become NEW

Struggles Peter probably had after this day:

The smell of a charcoal fire

The sound of a rooster crowing

These are all things reminding him of his failure

These reminders did not go away  —–

Even though Peter was forgiven – he still remembered his act of betrayal, probably for the rest of his life

But God tells us our sin, our short coming, our separation from him, is gone. We may still remember it – but God does not.

Look inside yourself – Christ is calling you to follow him. He has a mission for you. Your past is your past. These last two years have been hard, not just difficult, but downright hard. Let’s make a commitment to follow Christ into the future