The BFF Digital Libraries

Facebook BFFBFF is now on Facebook! Please visit and join us in releasing God's powerful Word to our generation!

God's peace can help us live above anxieties as we learn to trust in Him!

The Lord Your Healer: 

Discover Him and Find His Healing Touch by Paul J. Bucknell

Newest! The Lord Your Healer

Discover Him and Find His Healing Touch

First step of discipleship
revive devotions
Advanced Discipleship

The Bible Teaching Commentary on Genesis: The Book of Foundations

Commentaries that specialize on training the teacher!

Overcoming Anxiety: Finding Peace, Discovering God


Survey of the Gospel of John

Accepted and Embraced

John 21:1-14

On the Sea: The miraculous catch of fish

Paul J. Bucknell


The Bible Teaching Commentary

John 1:21:1-14 | John 1:21:1-14 Questions | John 21:15-25 | John 21:15-25 Questions


John 21:1-14 The first part of this epilogue reveals Jesus' willingness to keep working with the disciples and refocuses the disciples back on their original calling and not be overly discouraged by their past failures.

Introductory question

Do you every feel like a failure? How do you handle your feelings? Relate one positive and negative situation.

Introduction of John 21

John 21:21-25 acts as an additional word or thought outside the main body of John. There is no difficulty in thinking that John 21 is part of the Gospel of John. Instead, it provides a key link into the early development of the church and its leaders.

The epilogue in John 21 provides encouragement and clarification for the disciples. Though they now can affirm Christ’s resurrection, their recent poor performance during Christ’s crucifixion and lack of faith afterwards, stood as roadblocks hindering them from understanding or embracing God’s will for their lives.

This chapter at once reminds His key disciples to continue the work He has called them too and affirms before others their appointment by Christ. Merrill Tenney says, “The last chapter of the Gospel opens the door to the future and shows how belief should be translated into terms of daily activity.”

The only scene in this chapter is by the Sea of Tiberias and has eight people including Jesus. Peter, the unnamed disciple and Jesus form the main characters. There are two main sections with a common theme of ‘return and follow Me,’ a theme we can all practically apply to our lives.

On the Sea: The miraculous catch of fish (John 21:1-14)

“And He said to them, “Cast the net on the right-hand side of the boat, and you will find a catch.” They cast therefore, and then they were not able to haul it in because of the great number of fish.” (John 21:6).

The familiar picture of the seven disciples out all night without catching a single fish is contrasted with the multitude of fish instantly caught when they followed Jesus’ instructions.

1986 Discovery of Galilee Boat Dating to Jesus’ Time!

"The boat is 26.9 feet long, 7.5 feet wide and 3.9 feet tall. Adaptable to both sail and oars, the boat was used primarily for fishing but could also serve for transporting goods and passengers. "It would hold about 15 people," Cohen said.

A fishing boat found in Sea of Galilee

The disciples, no doubt, had been baffled, angry and perhaps even bitter after all the recent events in Jerusalem. Jesus on the shore called out to fishermen as to whether they had caught anything. Having heard they had not caught a thing, Jesus, yet unknown to them, made a suggestion to throw the net on the other side of the boat.

Probably figuring they had nothing to lose, they did just as that stranger suggested. Shocked by such a huge large catch, the unnamed disciple, no doubt to be John the author of this book, put the pieces of the puzzle together and recognized the person on the shore to be Jesus.

Peter instantaneously dived overboard and swam while the others returned to shore and all responded to Jesus’ request to eat together.


This scene connected the post-resurrected Jesus with the one they associated with for the last three years. He ate fish. He knew them in and out. Jesus not only arose but was meeting with them as before. But more than proof of a physical resurrection, we see Jesus’ commitment to fellowship with this group of faithless disciples and His desire to continue to work with them.

studyReflection and application questions


Click to continue with: Alone with Jesus: Peter, John and Jesus (John 21:15-25) or Bible study questions on John 21:1-14

Check out other quality BFF materials related to the above topics.

A video and handout of this lesson is available on the BFF New Testament Library - see below.

BFF New Testament Digital LibraryCheck out the BFF Biblical Training Library has an incredible amount of training materials in pdf and powerpoint format ready to print out and use. We even have mp3 and teaching videos! We allow you to copy, modify and distribute material for teaching or personal edification. You don't need to ask!

Or see BFF's Resource Center for purchasing this low cost Library along with BFF's quality training material.