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John 21:1-14 Bible Study Questions shows how 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.
Do you every feel like a failure? How do you handle your feelings? Relate one positive and negative situation.
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.”
21:1 After these things Jesus manifested Himself again to the disciples at the Sea of Tiberias, and He manifested Himself in this way.
2 There were together Simon Peter, and Thomas called Didymus, and Nathanael of Cana in Galilee, and the sons of Zebedee, and two others of His disciples.
3 Simon Peter said to them, “I am going fishing.” They said to him, “We will also come with you.” They went out, and got into the boat; and that night they caught nothing. 4 But when the day was now breaking, Jesus stood on the beach; yet the disciples did not know that it was Jesus. 5 Jesus therefore said to them, “Children, you do not have any fish, do you?” They answered Him, “No.” 6 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.
7 That disciple therefore whom Jesus loved said to Peter, “It is the Lord.” And so when Simon Peter heard that it was the Lord, he put his outer garment on (for he was stripped for work), and threw himself into the sea.
8 But the other disciples came in the little boat, for they were not far from the land, but about one hundred yards away, dragging the net full of fish.
9 And so when they got out upon the land, they saw a charcoal fire already laid, and fish placed on it, and bread. 10 Jesus said to them, “Bring some of the fish which you have now caught.” 11 Simon Peter went up, and drew the net to land, full of large fish, a hundred and fifty-three; and although there were so many, the net was not torn.
12 Jesus said to them, “Come and have breakfast.” None of the disciples ventured to question Him, “Who are You?” knowing that it was the Lord. 13 Jesus came and took the bread, and gave them, and the fish likewise. 14 This is now the third time that Jesus was manifested to the disciples, after He was raised from the dead." (John 21:1-14).
Where did this whole scene happen (John 21:1)?
Who was with Peter (21:2)?
What was it that Peter suggested for them to do (21:3)? Some suggest that they were really confused about the future and what they should do and so Peter was thinking about turning back to his old occupation as a fisherman. What do you think about this conclusion? Why?
When did they go fishing? What did they catch (21:3-4). Do you think that was unusual?
Do you think the way the stranger (i.e. Jesus) said in 21:5, “You do not have any fish, do you?” hinted at something? If so, what?
Do you think the ‘stranger’s’ suggestion to be strange (1:6)? Why do you think these experienced fishermen did what this stranger suggested?
Who first noticed that the stranger was Jesus (1:7)? How do you know? How did Peter respond to this discovery?
Describe several things that happened after Peter dived in from verses 1:8-10.
State at least four facts about the fish from verse 11.
The disciples were somewhat mesmerized by Jesus’ appearance. What does Jesus’ eating of the bread and fish tell us about Jesus?
What number appearance of Jesus since His resurrection to His disciples was this (see John 21:4)?
Review what happened in the prior appearances (see John 20).
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.
This is the third appearance of Christ since the resurrection (21:14). Why do you think Peter suggested to go fishing (21:3)?
Do you think that the disciples felt like failures and were unfit to serve Jesus? Why or why not? How could this scene change that perspective?
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Scriptures typically quoted from the New American Standard Bible unless noted:
(C) Copyright The Lockman Foundation 1988