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Many believe themselves to really be living. It may be money, adventure, or success that defines life for them, but they are mistaken. Real living is enjoying Jesus.
Today we are going to join Jesus during one of His ‘life after death’ experiences. This experience occurred right AFTER Jesus had been convicted, condemned, crucified, and confirmed as, “not just merely dead, but really, most sincerely dead.” He went fishing. So here we go…
John 21:3-6 (NLT) Simon Peter said, “I’m going fishing.” “We’ll come, too,” they all said. So they went out in the boat, but they caught nothing all night. 4 At dawn Jesus was standing on the beach, but the disciples couldn’t see who He was. 5 He called out, “Fellows, have you caught any fish?” “No,” they replied. 6 Then He said, “Throw out your net on the right-hand side of the boat, and you’ll get some!” So they did, and they couldn’t haul in the net because there were so many fish in it.
Life Without Jesus Is Just Motion
It’s Never Enough. Here we meet Simon Peter. He is discouraged in his faith. He totally cratered and now he just can’t come to terms with it. So, he does what everyone does when they can’t justify or rectify their bad choices. He went back to what was comfortable, fishing.
Can anyone identify with Peter’s Choice? You’ve tried everything. You’ve even tried Jesus but nothing works out. But, your life isn’t going that great either. Your little piece of the American dream evaporates a little more each year.
Don’t You Get Tired? Jesus asked a question, “Have you caught any fish?” Sounds simple enough. You went to catch fish. Did you? Or did you just sit in a boat?
What about you? How’s it going? Is this whole, “I do what I want” thing working out? Are you getting your best life now, or are you coming up short?
What’s the Answer? Do what Jesus says:
John 21:12-14 (NLT) “Now come and have some breakfast!” Jesus said. None of the disciples dared to ask Him, “Who are you?” They knew it was the Lord. 13 Then Jesus served them the bread and the fish. 14 This was the third time Jesus had appeared to His disciples since He had been raised from the dead.
Living Is A Relationship With Jesus
Jesus Isn’t an Add-on. One of the many challenges with Faith is where you place Jesus. Like Peter, we like to keep Jesus at a safe distance. We keep Jesus in our Jesus box until we get into trouble, then we let Him out to fix the mess we created. Jesus isn’t a box in your life. Jesus is the air your soul breathes.
Come to Jesus. God does not fear your scrutiny. Jesus isn’t concerned that He will fail your test. If you come to Christ, there is a good chance you will stay.
Communion is Knowing. Coming to Jesus and living in communion with Him is coming to know Him. He invited them to come and learn. Jesus isn’t like you. Jesus isn’t like your imagination of Him. You can’t just make up a “Jesus” and expect that image to work out. Jesus is so much more than you know. When you start to learn that, things will begin to change for you.
He Invited them to Come and Rest. Part of that change is rest. You don’t have to control Jesus anymore. It’s your control issues that are driving the stress and anxiety. Jesus is in control. He is the power. He is the life. He is your most desperate need.
Living Is A Conversation With Jesus
John 21:15-17 (NLT) After breakfast Jesus asked Simon Peter, “Simon son of John, do you love Me more than these?” “Yes, Lord,” Peter replied, “You know I love You.” “Then feed My lambs,” Jesus told him. 16 Jesus repeated the question: “Simon son of John, do you love Me?” “Yes, Lord,” Peter said, “You know I love You.” “Then take care of My sheep,” Jesus said. 17 A third time He asked him, “Simon son of John, do you love Me?” Peter was hurt that Jesus asked the question a third time. He said, “Lord, You know everything. You know that I love you.” Jesus said, “Then feed My sheep.
A Conversation that Starts. Jesus addressed Peter by his old name. Peter was the name Jesus bestowed upon Him when he passed the pop-quiz “Who you do think I am?” You see, Jesus was all about Peter – warts and all. Jesus knew Peter and Jesus knows you. And… He AIN’T skeered of your baggage.
You are afraid of your baggage though, and He wants to talk to you about it. Jesus knows that the only way He can free you of your pain is to clean your wounds. It’s necessary, but not pleasant. You can’t just bury your past. So when are you gonna have that conversation?
A Conversation that Empowers. Jesus wasn’t just interested in cleaning Peter up and setting him on a shelf. Jesus had a purpose for Peter. You are not here to just take up space either. You have a purpose and a mission. Your worst mistakes will likely become your greatest gifts.
Will Jesus Fix All Your Problems?
I’m not trying to tell you that Jesus will fix all your problems. I’m telling you that you are living for the wrong things. Jesus offers a life that is really about living. But, it’s not measured in success, possessions, popularity, or finances. Jesus offers a life that doesn’t need any of those things. A life with purpose. A life that is actually worth living.
So, are you ready to start the conversation?
Talk About It…
- Have 3 people in your group read John 21:3-17 from different translations. Highlight any words or phrases that you find interesting. Discuss your selections with the group.
- Have 3 people share their own paraphrase of the scripture. Share what you learn from the passage.
- How do Jesus’ actions impress you? What do you like? What are you curious about?
- Why do you think Peter couldn’t seem to catch fish anymore? Have you ever tried to do something that God just wasn’t helping you accomplish? What happened?
- How could we come to know Jesus better? What are some good actions to take?
- What kind of things do we “keep from God”? Why do we do that? How can we change?
- Discuss “Real Life” as Jesus would describe it? What would it involve? How could someone enjoy it?
- What did you discover that you would be excited to share with a friend?