God is on a mission to redeem and restore all of creation back to Himself. All throughout the Scriptures, we see God’s love and passion towards people and how intentional He is to meet people where they are at – physically, emotionally, and spiritually.
Throughout John 21, Jesus is recreating familiar patterns we have seen before in Luke 5 such as feeding people, asking the disciples if they “caught any fish,” instructing them to “cast their nets on the other side of the boat” and sitting together around a charcoal fire, along with many other examples. These recreated patterns are intentional and point back to when Jesus first called the disciples to Follow Him . Why? Jesus is reminding the disciples of their past – not to shame or condemn them – but to restore, heal, and address the sin in their lives so that they may be free to live out the calling God has destined for them to accomplish through His power.
The disciples were told by Jesus to wait in Galilee for his return (Matthew 26). While waiting, the disciples decide to go back to fishing. This action of going back to fishing is more than wasting time as they wait for Jesus, rather, the disciples, especially Peter, no longer believes that He is capable of living out His God’s given calling of being a fisher of men, the “Rock” on which Jesus is going to build His church. Peter is letting his greatest failure – Peter denying Jesus 3 times (John 18) – define and control the way he sees his identity and purpose in life. Peter no longer feels like he is cut out for his purpose or good enough to serve God/ make a difference in the world. So, he goes back to what is familiar, his “professional career” and comes up with His own life plan – he goes back fishing.
Throughout this passage, Jesus is reminding Peter that even though he denied Him 3 times, Jesus is still welcoming Him back into a loving relationship with Himself and still believes that God will accomplish His purpose through Peter. God does not give up on Peter.
1) Jesus is our provider and source of life (John 21:6-7)
2) Jesus welcomes us into His presence where we are forgiven and free from guilt and shame. (John 21:9-12)
3) Despite our failures, Jesus restores our purpose and hope for the future. (John21:15-17)
4) Jesus is inviting YOU to follow Him and the Make Him known. (John 21:22-23)