WHAT DIVINE PURPOSE RECEIVED COMPLETION HERE?
(John 21:1,2) After these things Jesus showed himself again to the disciples at the sea of Tiberias [another name for the Sea of Galilee, as is Gennesaret: Heb: harp-shaped]; and on this wise [way] showed he himself. There were together Simon Peter, and Thomas called Didymus [Gk: double, i.e. twin], and Nathanael of Cana in Galilee, and the sons of Zebedee [James and John], and two other [unidentified] of his disciples [7 of the 11 disciples who were waiting for Jesus to appear; are you waiting too?].
1. (John 21:14) This is now the third time that Jesus showed himself to his disciples, after that he was risen from the dead.
2. Nelson’s Illustrated Bible Dictionary: Tiberias = was the second emperor of Rome (A.D. 14-37). Jesus began his ministry and was crucified during the reign of Tiberias. The city of Tiberias, on the [western side of the] Sea of Galilee, was built in the emperor’s honor, about 20 B.C.
3. Commentary: Jesus showed His resurrected self this third time to seven, a number that biblically signifies completion, of His eleven disciples. What divine purpose received completion here?
(John 21:3-6) Simon Peter saith unto them, I go a fishing. They say unto him, We also go with thee. They went forth, and entered into a ship immediately; and that night they caught nothing [i.e., teaching that we cannot catch any fish on our own without Jesus: John 1:14, the Word of God]. But when the morning [Gk: dawn] was now come, Jesus stood on the shore [also waiting]: but the disciples knew not that it was Jesus. Then Jesus saith unto them, Children, have ye any meat [Gk: food (fish)]? They answered him, No. And he said unto them, Cast the net on the right side of the ship, and ye shall find. They cast therefore, and now they were not able to draw it for the multitude of fishes.
1. children = Gk: paidion; a childling (of either sex), i.e. (prop.) an infant, or (by extens.) a half-grown boy or girl; fig. an immature Christian:--(little, young) child, damsel. [versus huios = a mature person].
2. (Luke 5:4-6) Now when he had left speaking [to the people on the dry seashore], he said unto Simon, Launch out into the deep [Gk: profundity, (fig.) mystery, deep things], and let down your nets for a draught. And Simon answering said unto him, Master [Gk: teacher], we have toiled all the night, and have taken nothing: nevertheless at thy word I will let down the net. And when they [Simon and Andrew, and probably their hired helpers] had this done, they enclosed a great multitude of fishes: and their net brake [why did the net brake? Because of their disobedience].
3. Commentary: In John 21:6, the children of God proved themselves to be grown-ups, true men of God; they had graduated from school (the boot camp of this earth) and were now prepared to obediently and faithfully serve the Lord.
(John 21:7-9) Therefore that disciple whom Jesus loved [John] saith unto Peter, It is the Lord. Now when Simon Peter heard that it was the Lord, he girt [Gk: bound about] his fisher's coat unto him [representing a new persona, a new character], (for he was naked,) and did cast himself into the sea [“present your bodies a living sacrifice” Rom 12:1]. And the other disciples came in a little ship [Gk: boat]; (for they were not far from [the Promised] land, but as it were two hundred cubits [perhaps representing two thousand years],) dragging the net with fishes [from the earthly timeline into the spiritual timeless line]. As soon then as they were come to land [the prophesied Promised Land], they saw a fire of coals there, and fish laid thereon, and bread.
1. Commentary: “It is the Lord” = “God is love” (1 John 4:8,16). All the disciples, including Judas, were loved by Jesus; He could not help it, for there is no hate in Him at all. By being the Son of God and the seed of God, Jesus is Love, Jesus is the same Love as is His Father. In the Bible text, the point is clearly made that John recognized Jesus before any of the other disciples. Why make that a point? Because it reveals ascending gradations of love; it reveals that the disciple John had a deeper and consequently more reciprocal love relationship with Jesus, “leaning on Jesus' bosom” (John 13:23) and “lying on Jesus' breast” (John 13:25), than did Simon Peter. John’s love relationship with Jesus illustrates the biblical “ideal” of love, attainable by us toward Him. Simon Peter loved Jesus too, but John loved Him more. John literally knew (understood) Jesus much better than Simon Peter, and was thus more “sensitized” to the presence of His dearly beloved. John was more focused on Jesus, more merged, more melted into the bosom of His holy “oneness.” John is an example of “he that heareth the word [where was John’s ear?], and understandeth it” (Mat 13:23). Another example of higher love is Mary. Where was Mary sitting “and heard his word” (Luke 10:39) while Martha was “cumbered about” with ministerial duties?
2. Commentary: “a fire of coals there, and fish laid thereon, and bread” = “For our God is a consuming fire.” (Heb: 12:29; Deut 4:24; 9:3). The caught fish represent the disciples of Jesus Christ who are “burnt offerings” wholly consecrated (dedicated) to the Lord and cleansed through the fire of their purification; the bread is the Word of God. Both the fish and the bread will serve God for all eternity. The burning wood (trees symbolize men) coals represent the eternal fate of those who have chosen to pay the penalty for their sins, themselves.
(John 21:10-13) Jesus saith unto them, Bring of the fish which ye have now caught [more disciples to be added to the Kingdom]. Simon Peter went up, and drew the net to land full of great fishes, an hundred and fifty and three: and for all there were so many, yet was not the net broken [a direct reference to Luke 5:6, i.e., the resolution of the teaching]. Jesus saith unto them, Come and dine. And none of the disciples durst ask him, Who art thou? knowing that it was the Lord. Jesus then cometh, and taketh bread, and giveth them, and fish likewise.
1. (Phil 4:19) But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.
2. (1 Tim 6:6) But godliness with contentment is great gain.
a. godliness = Gk: piety; spec. the gospel scheme: holiness /// well-reverent, i.e. pious: devout, godly /// to revere, i.e. adore:--devout, religious, worship.
b. contentment = Gk: self-satisfaction: sufficiency /// [through the idea of raising a barrier]; prop. to ward off, i.e. (by impl.) to avail (fig. be satisfactory):--be content, be enough, suffice, be sufficient.