Loving Leads to Doing — John 21:1-8

That disciple whom Jesus loved said to Peter, “It is the Lord!” When Simon Peter heard that it was the Lord, he put on some clothes, for he was naked, and jumped into the sea (John 21:7).

When Bible students think of the Apostle Peter, three or four events usually come to mind. He was the first disciple to confess that Jesus of Nazareth was the long-expected Messiah, and Jesus blessed him. On the night the Romans arrested Jesus, in his effort to defend Jesus, Peter cut off the right ear of Malchus, a servant of the high priest, so Jesus healed Malchus. Then, unhappily, during Jesus’ trial, three times Peter denied that he knew Jesus, as Jesus had foretold. But Jesus loved Peter as He did all His disciples, so He began the process of restoring Peter to the apostleship He had planned for him. After Jesus’ death, burial, and resurrection, before Jesus appeared to any of the other disciples, He first appeared to Peter. We do not know anything about their conversation, but Jesus totally transformed Peter. Peter came to love Jesus so much that the moment he learned Jesus was on the shore of the Sea of Galilee he alone jumped in the water and swam and wadded 100 yards to see Him. Then, when Jesus asked His disciples to bring Him some of the fish they had caught, Peter was the one who jumped up immediately to obey Jesus. As Peter confessed His love for Jesus, Jesus commissioned Peter three times to care for His people. Despite Peter’s previous misunderstandings and sins, after Jesus forgave him, Peter sought every opportunity to be with Jesus and the first to obey Him.

Thinking Further

1.  What reasons might Jesus have had for telling His disciples to go to Galilee where He would meet them? See Mark 16:7.

2. Who among the disciples seems to be a natural leader? Can you give one or more examples?

3. Why do you think the disciples went fishing?

4. What do you think the disciples learned from their fishing experiences with Jesus?

5. How do you think John knew that it was the Lord?

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Commentary and Lesson
by L.G. Parkhurst, Jr.

Begin A Study of the Letters of John