Gospel Values: Leading Generations (John 21)




ð      A significant meal…

EXAMINE                   John 21:15-25

At this point in John’s Gospel, Jesus has been resurrected. The resurrection means that believers have a mission. Jesus is alive and the message must be advanced. Before Jesus commissions the disciples he gathers them around fellowship and food. It is so like Jesus, seeking to invest and spend time with the disciples (Mark 3:14).

What makes this passage stand out all the more is that Jesus approaches Peter. Peter is the bold, brave and brash disciple. He is often rough around the edges and needs to be taken with a grain of salt. But his passion is admirable. In Jesus’ last encounter with Peter we can learn how God wants us to advance the gospel and lead future generations.

Jesus communes (21:1-15).

Earlier in the Gospel’s we see that when Jesus is arrested by the Roman soldiers, all the disciples flee. In fact, Peter denies Jesus three times.

John 18:17-18, 25-27 “The servant girl at the door said to Peter, ‘You are not one of this man’s disciples, are you?’ He said, ‘I am not.’ Now the servants and officers had made a charcoal fire, because it was cold, and they were standing and warming themselves. Peter also was with them, standing and warming himself… Now Simon Peter was standing and warming himself. So they said to him, ‘You also are not one of his disciples, are you? He denied it and said, ‘I am not.’ One of the servants of the high priest, a relative of the man whose ear Peter had cut off, asked, ‘Did I not see you in the garden with him?’ Peter again denied it, and at once a rooster crowed.”

Following Jesus’ resurrection, He appears to each of the disciples. This time, Jesus had the charcoal fire burning and brings in Peter to fellowship. Jesus’ communion is restorative for Peter. Peter’s guilt and fear are removed as Jesus forgives and restores.

ð      Do your failures lead to black holes or trampolines jumping forward? Obstacles are opportunities to overcome.

  • Requires humility and not arrogance. You can be wrong!
  • Requires grace and not legalism. God does forgive!
  • Requires faith and not complacency. God does empower!


1 Peter 5:6-10 “Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you, casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you. Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. Resist him, firm in your faith, knowing that the same kinds of suffering are being experienced by your brotherhood throughout the world. And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ will himself restore, confirm, strengthen and establish you.”

ð      Peter’s leadership became what it was because of these defining times of communion with Jesus (cf. Acts 4:13).

Jesus challenges (21:15-19).

After a while, Jesus personalizes a conversation with Peter. Just as Peter denied Him three times, so Jesus questions Peter three times. No doubt Peter’s heart was likely convicted and grieved. Yet, it is what he needed. Peter needed brokenness so to turn to fruitfulness.[1] Jesus’ question centered around love – “Do you love me?”

Love is commenced by Jesus.

–          Jesus initiated contact with Peter for restoration.

Love is commitment.

–          Feed my lambs; Tend my sheep; Feed my sheep: provide nurture and care for others

Love costs.

–          Jesus died for sinners. Romans 5:8

–          Disciples daily die to self (Luke 9:23)

Jesus continues (21:20-25).

Peter learns that his future will consist of martyrdom. Christ will be exalted and the gospel message will advance through Peter’s death. The gospel continues through those who are crucified to this world but alive to Jesus. Galatians 2:20; Philippians 1:21

[1] In John 15:1-8 the spiritual principle is “Pruned to be Tuned to Him”

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