Morning Bible Study
Just a word
about yesterday. Some of you may have
heard that there was a prediction that the Rapture would happen yesterday at
6pm. It didn’t.
I’m kind of disappointed because part of me would really like to be in
heaven right now. But I guess we still
have work to do. I hear a new billboard has been
proposed. I like it.
We have made it
past the death of Jesus Christ.
Early on Sunday
morning, Mary, Peter, and John all found the tomb empty.
first to Mary.
Jesus appeared to all the disciples except for Thomas, who was not in
One week later
Jesus appeared to Thomas.
:1 After these things Jesus showed Himself again to the disciples at the
Sea of Tiberias, and in this way He showed Himself:
:1 After these
Keep in mind that John
does not give us a detailed account of all the times that Jesus will appear and
spend time with the disciples after the resurrection. Luke tells us that Jesus appeared many times over forty days (Acts 1:3)
Jesus doesn’t just appear to the disciples in Jerusalem.
Part of the
time will be spent back on their home turf in the north in the Galilee, where
Jesus spent the majority of His ministry.
:1 at the Sea of
Show map clip –
Jerusalem to Tiberias
This is another name for the Sea of Galilee.
The name comes from the large city that Herod the Great built on the
western shore, the city of Tiberias.
It was around the shores of this lake that Jesus spent most of His
time. His “headquarters” was the town of
It was here in the Galilee, that Jesus
first met Peter and Andrew as they were fishing.
(Mk 1:16–18 NKJV) —16
And as He walked by the Sea of Galilee, He saw Simon and Andrew his brother
casting a net into the sea; for they were fishermen. 17 Then Jesus said to them, “Follow Me, and
I will make you become fishers of men.” 18 They immediately left their nets and
Mark goes on to record Jesus having a similar exchange with James and John.
:2 Simon Peter,
Thomas called the Twin, Nathanael of Cana in Galilee, the sons of Zebedee, and
two others of His disciples were together.
:2 Simon Peter …
Seven of the eleven remaining disciples (Judas would be dead) are together at
this point in Galilee.
We know that at
least Peter and the sons of Zebedee (James and John) mentioned here were
:3 Simon Peter
said to them, “I am going fishing.” They said to him, “We are going with you
also.” They went out and immediately got into the boat, and that night they
:3 I am going
Some people just don’t understand fishing.
Is this a bad
thing for Peter to go fishing?
Remember he’s a fisherman by trade. Is it possible that he
felt they needed to be doing something to raise a little funds? After all, working to support yourself isn’t
a bad thing. Peter had a family to
Jesus had told the guys to meet Him up in Galilee and He hasn’t showed up
yet. Maybe Peter is just tired of waiting around. Maybe he’s just bored.
:3 the boat
– ploion – ship, boat, perhaps 15-20
In 1986, the water level in Galilee was very low. A couple of brothers discovered something in the mud, it turned
out to be a 2,000 year old fishing boat.
They were able
to dig it out, preserve it, and today it’s in a museum on the shore of Galilee at Ginosar
:3 caught nothing
The frustration of saying “no”
Three years earlier Jesus said He would
make them fishers of men.
(Mk 1:17 NKJV) Then Jesus said to them, “Follow Me, and I will make you become fishers of men.”
If you track the events of the gospels,
you come to discover that there would be second time when Jesus challenged the
disciples to fish for men.
5:1–11 NKJV) —1 So it was, as the multitude pressed about Him to hear the word
of God, that He stood by the Lake of Gennesaret, 2 and saw two boats standing
by the lake; but the fishermen had gone from them and were washing their nets.
3 Then He got into one of the boats, which was Simon’s, and asked him to put
out a little from the land. And He sat down and taught the multitudes from the
boat. 4 When He had stopped speaking, He said to Simon, “Launch out into the
deep and let down your nets for a catch.” 5 But Simon answered and said to Him,
“Master, we have toiled all night and caught nothing; nevertheless at Your word
I will let down the net.” 6 And when they had done this, they caught a great
number of fish, and their net was breaking. 7 So they signaled to their
partners in the other boat to come and help them. And they came and filled both
the boats, so that they began to sink. 8 When Simon Peter saw it, he fell down
at Jesus’ knees, saying, “Depart from me, for I am a sinful man, O Lord!” 9 For
he and all who were with him were astonished at the catch of fish which they
had taken; 10 and so also were James and John, the sons of Zebedee, who were
partners with Simon. And Jesus said to Simon, “Do not be afraid. From now on you will catch men.”
11 So when they had brought their boats to land, they forsook all and followed
When Peter declares to Jesus that he is a sinful man (Lk. 5:8), perhaps part of the
reason has to do with the fact that he had already left everything to follow
Jesus, but Jesus finds him again after having spent the night fishing without
And now Jesus calls Peter a second time to fish for men,
and Peter is broken.
Now in John 21, after the resurrection,
it was just a few days ago in the upper room when Jesus had again hinted at His
purpose for their lives:
20:21 NKJV) So
Jesus said to them again, “Peace to you! As the Father has sent Me, I also send you.”
He told them to “get
going”. And so they “got going” … back
to their fishing boats.
And again they’re
It’s frustrating when you’re not doing
what you know the Lord wants you to do.
might be something as simple as
getting up early enough in the morning to spend time in the Word.
I don’t know about
you, but when I get all caught up in my day and don’t take time to spend any
quality time with Jesus, my day is one frustration after another.
I tell myself I don’t
have time to pray or read, but in the end so many things go wrong or take
longer than I expected, and life is frustrating.
might be something as important as
sharing the gospel with someone you ought to.
Jonah said “no” to
God, and ran as far from Nineveh as he could go.
He didn’t go
fishing, he ended up in the belly of a fish.
you been ignoring something Jesus
has been telling you to do?
I’m not talking about situations where
God has said, “Not yet”. Those are
frustrating too – when God has hinted that there are things ahead for you, but
now is not the time.
I’m talking about situations where you
have told God “no”.
He’s asked you to do
something and you said, “no”.
Is there any wonder
you’re frustrated it?
Is there any wonder
that you’ve caught no fish?
:4 But when the
morning had now come, Jesus stood on the shore; yet the disciples did not know
that it was Jesus.
– proia – early, at day break
For the fishermen, their “shift” is over.
It’s time to head to shore.
:4 the shore
– aigialos – the shore of the sea,
Show Tiberias to Tabgha
The one city Jesus spent more time in than any other was the city of
Capernaum, on the northern shore of the Sea of Galilee.
About 1.5 miles west of Capernaum there’s one of many perfect places for
Play Tabgha – Fish
and Dock clip
:5 Then Jesus said to
them, “Children, have you any food?” They answered Him, “No.”
– paidion – a young child, a little
boy, a little girl
Jesus doesn’t use the word for “child” (pais),
but for “little child” (diminuitive).
Is this something
you’d expect to say to a bunch of burly fishermen who have just spent an
exhausting night on the water?
Don’t think that Jesus is making fun of the disciples or looking down on
them by calling them “children”.
This isn’t humiliation, its tenderness.
:5 have you any
Note: The way Jesus phrases this in the Greek, He is kind of expecting a “no”
from the disciples.
He’s saying, “You probably don’t have anything to eat,
He might be rubbing it in that they
haven’t caught any fish all night.
:6 And He said to
them, “Cast the net on the right side of the boat, and you will find some.” So
they cast, and now they were not able to draw it in because of the multitude of
:6 Cast the net on
the right side
This does tell us one important thing about Peter and his friends – they
were left handed fishermen. They had
been spending the night casting the net on the left side instead of the
I imagine that for professional fishermen,
it is a bit galling to have some guy on shore tell them how to do their
But they do it anyway.
:6 were not able
– ischuo – to be strong; to have
power; to be able
They didn’t have the strength to draw the nets in. It was too big a catch.
When Jesus guides you, fishing isn’t so frustrating. Look at these guys who are fishing with
nothing but light:
:7 Therefore that
disciple whom Jesus loved said to Peter, “It is the Lord!” Now when Simon Peter
heard that it was the Lord, he put on his outer garment (for he had removed
it), and plunged into the sea.
:7 that disciple
whom Jesus loved
This is how the apostle
John refers to himself.
:7 it is the Lord
For John, things “clicked” a little quicker than the other guys. I believe John remembered the incident recorded
in Luke (5:1-11) from a few years back.
:7 he put on his
Peter had stripped down to his underwear while he was toiling all
night. He quickly puts on his coat and
jumps in the water.
– ballo – to throw or let go of a
thing without caring where it falls
The same word that was used for “cast” with the nets (vs. 6)
Now Peter isn’t casting nets, but casting himself into the sea.
Peter has come to the place where he
isn’t going to stay away from Jesus any more than he has to.
The last time that Peter had been
instructed in fishing by Jesus, he responded with,
5:8 NKJV) When
Simon Peter saw it, he fell down at Jesus’ knees, saying, “Depart from me, for
I am a sinful man, O Lord!”
But now, Peter knows better, and he can’t
wait to get to Jesus.
Peter wasn’t afraid to get a little wet.
He wasn’t afraid to leave behind what was probably the biggest catch in his
entire career as a fisherman.
is a picture of what commitment is all about.
Do you know the difference between involvement and commitment?
“When you look at a plate
of ham and eggs, you
know the chicken was involved. But the pig was committed.”
(Ro 12:1 NKJV) I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you
present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your
Dive in like Peter.
:8 But the other
disciples came in the little boat (for they were not far from land, but about
two hundred cubits), dragging the net with fish.
:8 two hundred
cubits – or, three hundred feet, about a hundred yards (a football field)
:9 Then, as soon
as they had come to land, they saw a fire of coals there, and fish laid on it,
:9 fish – opsarion – fish,
The word John uses here is not the usual word for fish (ichthus, vs. 8). This could be translated “small fish”
:9 fish … bread
Jesus had asked them if they had any “food” (vs. 5)
Now we see He’s
already had breakfast prepared: Fish
:10 Jesus said
to them, “Bring some of the fish which you have just caught.”
Jesus asks them to bring some of the fish they just caught and add them to
:11 Simon Peter went up and dragged the net to land, full of large fish,
one hundred and fifty-three; and although there were so many, the net was not
– ichthus – a fish
– megas – great; large
:11 one hundred and
Is there any significance to this number?
Why does John take the time to record such a specific number?
Actually, I don’t know the significance.
Except that the
fishing disciples were so blown away by the size of the catch that they
actually took time to count and record it.
Maybe it was a
Big Fish Small Fish
Sounds like … Dr.
Suess, “One Fish, Two Fish”
uses two different words to describe the “fish” in this passage.
When describing the fish from the disciples’ perspective, John uses ichthus, the normal word for fish.
In fact, John himself calls them “mega fish”
the same fish from Jesus’ perspective, John uses opsarion, which might be better translated “small fish”.
What seems like a “large fish” to us, is just a “small fish” to Jesus.
We get all caught up in the things of this world and what seems to be a
“big deal” to other people around us.
want to have the coolest phone, the fastest car, the biggest house.
things are just “small fish” to Jesus.
Last year they conducted a survey among 220,000 college freshmen about what
was “very important” or “essential” to them.
percent wanted to be “well off financially” (compared to only 42.2
percent of college freshman in 1969).
percent wanted to develop a “meaningful philosophy in life” (compared to
a whopping 84.9 percent in 1969.
Priorities have changed.
He has other priorities for us.
Some of those priorities have to do with what we are “fishing” for.
He wants us to fish for “men” instead of “small fish”.
From the beginning He told them:
(Mk 1:17 NKJV) Then Jesus said to them, “Follow Me, and I will make you become
fishers of men.”
:12 Jesus said
to them, “Come and eat breakfast.” Yet none of the disciples dared ask Him,
“Who are You?”—knowing that it was the Lord.
:13 Jesus then came and took the bread and gave it to them, and likewise
:14 This is now the third time Jesus showed Himself to His disciples after
He was raised from the dead.
:3 I am going fishing
In a way you can’t blame the fellows too much.
They had just gone through something that had turned their world upside
They had spent
the last three years following Jesus.
Even though Jesus told them ahead of time that He was going to die, they were still
caught off guard when it actually happened.
And even though they had seen the risen Lord twice already, I’d suggest they haven’t
figured it all out quite yet.
Though they had “received” the Holy Spirit, they had not
yet come to encounter the “filling” or the “baptism” of the Holy Spirit like
they will in Acts 2.
They were still operating on their own logic and leading.
It seemed like fishing was the thing to do.
But several years ago Jesus had changed their calling. He had changed their priorities.
had changed them from being fishers of fish to being fishers of men.
I find it interesting that Jesus didn’t rebuke them for fishing for fish.
In fact, He gives them a huge catch of fish.
But as far as I can tell, it’s the last time they go fishing for fish.
Do you have a calling from God on your life? Is there something that God
has called you to do? Have you gotten sidetracked?