Background Scripture John 21: 1-25
Prayer: Lord, we’ve come today to worship you and to bring glory to your name during this Lenten season. May we be more aware during this 40 day period of the sacrifice that you made when you gave your life as a payment for our sins. May we then go through this year with a new found sense of gratitude to you. In your name, Amen.
THE MESSAGE: “ A RECALL TO SERVICE” AKA: “ WHERE’S PETER?”
The word, RECALL, means to officially return to a place. Synonyms: summon back, order back, call back. Some of us may have gotten a recall on some parts to our car, because some part of the car may have proven or suspect to be defective. We then need to take our cars back to the dealership for repairs.
In our message today, the disciple Peter, has gotten a recall. “ Who recalled Peter?” “ Jesus!” Why, because Peter had some defects that had prevented him from doing what he’d vowed not to do?
Jesus Predicts Peter’s Denial (Matthew 26:31-35):
31. Then Jesus told them, “ This very night you will all fall away on account of me, for it is written: “I will strike the shepherd, and the sheep of the flock will be scattered.”
32. But after I have risen, I will go ahead of you into Galilee.”
33. Peter replied, “ Even if all fall away on account of you, I never will.”
34 . “ I tell you the truth,” Jesus answered, “ this very night, before the rooster crows, you will disown me three times.”
35. But Peter declared, “Even if I have to die with you, I will never disown you.” And all the other disciples said the same.
Our focus is on Peter today, but there were a total of eleven other disciples, at this time, Judas had departed (Mt. 26:25). So we are focusing on the eleven with Peter as the leader.
Background: The Calling of the First Disciples
All four gospels unite in reporting that Peter became a disciple of Jesus in the very early days of Jesus ‘ ministry. (Matt. 4:18-22, Mark. 1: 16-20, Luke 5:1-11,John 1:35-42). (1., page 749)
The practice of mentioning Peter first was not due simply to his early call or to his prominence in the apostolic age. Throughout Jesus ministry Peter was an outstanding member of the twelve. At times he acted as a vigorous individual quick to take the initiative. (1., page 750)
For example: In Matt. 14:28 – where Peter volunteered to come to Jesus upon water, though he became afraid while carrying out his proposal. (1., page 750)
The scene plays out and Jesus is arrested in Matt.26: 47-55. The last line of this Scripture says, “Then all the disciples deserted him and fled.” Where was Peter?
Peter was located:
Matt. 26:69-75 – At verses 69 – Here’s Peter: “Now Peter was sitting out in the courtyard….”
Mk. 14:66-72 – “ While Peter was below in the courtyard…..”
Luke 22:54-62 …. “Peter followed at a distance.”
John 18:25-27 “As Simon Peter stood warming himself, he was asked, “You are not one of the disciples, are you?”
The Crucifixion Happens:
John 20:1 …. Mary Magdalene went to the tomb ( Jesus’ tomb) and saw that the stone had been removed from the entrance….
John 20:2 So she came running to Simon Peter and the other disciple….. All of the Gospels now account for Peter’s whereabouts.(Matt. 28:7, Mark 16:7, Luke 24:12). Peter’s presence was accounted for with the other ten disciples.
The disciples go fishing (John 21:1-3):
1. Afterwards Jesus appeared again to his disciples, by the Sea of Tiberias. It happened this way:
2. Simon Peter, Thomas (called Didymus), Nathaniel from Cana in Galilee, the sons of Zebedee, and two other disciples were together.
3. “I’m going out to fish.” Simon Peter told them, and they said, “ we’ll go out with you.” So they went out and got into the boat, but that night they caught nothing.
Jesus Prepares Breakfast for the eleven disciples (John 21:4-14):
4. Early in the morning, Jesus stood on the shore, but the disciples did not realize it was Jesus.
5. He called out to them, “Friends, haven’t you any fish?” “No,” they answered.
6. He said, “Throw your net on the right side of the boat and you will find some.” When they did, they were unable to haul the net in because of the large number of fish.
7. Then the disciple whom Jesus loved said to Peter, “It is the Lord!” As soon as Simon Peter heard him say, “It is the Lord,” he wrapped his outer garment around him (for he had taken it off) and jumped into the water.
8. The other disciples followed in the boat, towing the net full of fish, for they were not far from shore, about a hundred yards.
9 When they landed, they saw a fire of burning coals there with fish on it, and some bread.
10 Jesus said to them, “Bring some of the fish you have just caught.”
11 Simon Peter climbed aboard and dragged the net ashore. It was full of large fish, 153, but even with so many the net was not torn.
12 Jesus said to them, “Come and have breakfast.” None of the disciples dared to ask him, “Who are you?” They knew it was the Lord
13 Jesus came, took the bread and gave it to them, and did the same thing with the fish.
14 This was now the third time Jesus appeared to the disciples after he was raised from the dead.
Jesus Reinstates Peter (John 21:15-19):
15. When they had finished eating, Jesus said to Simon Peter, “ Simon son of John, do you truly love me more than these?”
“Yes Lord,” he said, “you know that I love you.”
Jesus said, “Feed my lambs.”
16. Again Jesus said, Simon son of John, do you truly love me?”
He answered, Yes, Lord, you know that I love you.”
Jesus said, “Take care of my sheep.”
17. The third time he said to him, Simon son of John, do you love me?”
Peter was hurt because Jesus asked him a third time, “Do you love me?” He said, Lord you know all things; you know that I love you.”
Jesus said , “Feed my sheep.
18. I tell you the truth, when you were younger you dressed yourself and went where you wanted; but when you are old you will stretch out your hands, and someone else will dress you and lead you where you do not want to go.”
19. Jesus said this to indicate the kind of death by which Peter would glorify God. Then he said to him, “Follow me!”
After what Peter felt and experienced: fear for his life without the protection of Jesus, and trying desperately to save himself by denying that he was one of Jesus’ disciples. He is face to face with Jesus, who tells him what he needs to do next as a testament to his love for Jesus. “Feed my lambs, take care of my sheep, feed my sheep.” How would Peter accomplish this task? With the gifts Jesus had gifted him with, before he became afraid.
Leaders of God’s flock have been called to feed His sheep. Be careful not to allow any past sins and mistakes to deter you from this “Call.” Prayerfully ask God to show you where He’s at work and join Him. Do His work His way. (2, pp. 7-28.)
Jesus Reinstated Peter- He issued a RECALL with the instructions that he was to prove his love for Jesus by feeding His sheep.
- Blackaby, Henry & Richard, King, Claude, Experiencing God, Lifeway Press 2007
- The Interpreter’s Dictionary of the Bible, In Four Volumes, K-Q, Abingdon Press, 1962
- NIV Study Bible, Zondervan, 1973
Note: This message was delivered by Pastor Glenda Brunson at Grand Villa St. Petersburg, Reverend Al Woods, Pastor on Sunday February 14, 2016.