Lesson 117

The Gospel of John

World English Bible translation

 Today's Scripture

So when Simon Peter heard that it was the Lord, he wrapped his coat around him (for he was naked), and threw himself into the sea. 21:8 But the other disciples came in the little boat (for they were not far from the land, but about two hundred cubits away), dragging the net full of fish. 21:9 So when they got out on the land, they saw a fire of coals there, and fish laid on it, and bread. 21:10 Jesus said to them, "Bring some of the fish which you have just caught."

21:11 Simon Peter went up, and drew the net to land, full of great fish, one hundred fifty-three; and even though there were so many, the net wasn't torn.

21:12 Jesus said to them, "Come and eat breakfast."

None of the disciples dared inquire of him, "Who are you?" knowing that it was the Lord.

21:13 Then Jesus came and took the bread, gave it to them, and the fish likewise. 21:14 This is now the third time that Jesus was revealed to his disciples, after he had risen from the dead.

 Today's Lesson 

Today's scripture is a continuation of the narrative that leads to the conversation that the Risen Christ has with Simon Peter. It is filled with details explained in such a way that the author implies that he was an eye witness to these events. The ultimate purpose of this chapter will be found in tomorrow's lesson, but these verses provide us with an interesting account.


Seven of the disciples are led by Simon Peter to return to fishing. They have returned to Galilee and with the death of their leader have begun to take up their former occupation. They went out in their fishing boat and though they fished all night, they had caught nothing. At dawn, a man on the shore about one hundred yards away calls out to them asking if they have any fish. When they respond that they do not, the man on the shore tells them to cast their nets on the right side of the boat. When they do as the man instructs, they find that their nets are filled completely with fish so that they struggle to bring them aboard. It is at this point that one of the disciples, "the one whom Jesus loved," tells Peter that the man on the shore must be the Lord.


When Peter heard that it was the Lord, he hastily draws on his outer garment and jumps in to the sea to wade in to where the Lord is on the shore. The other disciples all struggle with the net and maneuver the boat toward shore, dragging the net with them. When they finally get boat and net to shore, they see that the Lord has a fire going with fish cooking on it and bread warming nearby. Jesus tells them to bring some of the fish with them.


Peter goes back to help them land the net that they had been unable to bring into the boat with them because of the great weight of the fish that they had caught in them. When they land the fish they find that there are 153 brought to shore and, miraculously, the nets had not torn with such a strain on them as they normally would have done.


Jesus called them to come and eat breakfast of the fish and bread that He had prepared for them. They all recognized Him as Jesus of Nazareth that they had followed. He broke bread with them and gave them of the fish that He had cooked. This was the third occasion that they had seen Him after He had risen from the dead.


I remember going fishing with my Father as a young man on vacations. We would go out all night and I remember that as the dawn comes up over the bay it is a special time for those who have fished all night. When you have been out on the water all night with no light except the lanterns that you brought with you, an island of light on the dark sea, the rise of the sun is a time when it is easy to believe in miracles. It is beautiful to see the world reborn all around you.


It must have been a wonderful moment for these men, to meet the Lord on this morning on the Sea of Galilee. To have brought in a large catch of fish, to have eaten a simple breakfast with Him, and to have watched the sun complete its ascent over the lake would have been a glorious moment.


Where does the Lord find you when He comes to you? In your car? At work? At school? Wherever it is, take a moment and just enjoy a simple meal with Him. You won't need to ask Him, "Who are you?" You'll know it’s the Lord.


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