John 21

This devotional is written by Matt Coombs.

John 21

Jesus and the miraculous catch of fish
Afterwards Jesus appeared again to his disciples, by the Sea of Galilee. It happened this way: 2 Simon Peter, Thomas (also known as Didymus), Nathanael from Cana in Galilee, the sons of Zebedee, and two other disciples were together. 3 'I'm going out to fish,' Simon Peter told them, and they said, 'We'll go with you.' So they went out and got into the boat, but that night they caught nothing.

4 Early in the morning, Jesus stood on the shore, but the disciples did not realise that it was Jesus.

5 He called out to them, 'Friends, haven't you any fish?'

'No,' they answered.

6 He said, 'Throw your net on the right side of the boat and you will find some.' When they did, they were unable to haul the net in because of the large number of fish.

7 Then the disciple whom Jesus loved said to Peter, 'It is the Lord!' As soon as Simon Peter heard him say, 'It is the Lord,' he wrapped his outer garment round him (for he had taken it off) and jumped into the water. 8 The other disciples followed in the boat, towing the net full of fish, for they were not far from shore, about a hundred metres. 9 When they landed, they saw a fire of burning coals there with fish on it, and some bread.

10 Jesus said to them, 'Bring some of the fish you have just caught.' 11 So Simon Peter climbed back into the boat and dragged the net ashore. It was full of large fish, 153, but even with so many the net was not torn. 12 Jesus said to them, 'Come and have breakfast.' None of the disciples dared ask him, 'Who are you?' They knew it was the Lord. 13 Jesus came, took the bread and gave it to them, and did the same with the fish. 14 This was now the third time Jesus appeared to his disciples after he was raised from the dead.

Jesus reinstates Peter
15 When they had finished eating, Jesus said to Simon Peter, 'Simon son of John, do you love me more than these?'

'Yes, Lord,' he said, 'you know that I love you.'

Jesus said, 'Feed my lambs.'

16 Again Jesus said, 'Simon son of John, do you love me?'

He answered, 'Yes, Lord, you know that I love you.'

Jesus said, 'Take care of my sheep.'

17 The third time he said to him, 'Simon son of John, do you love me?'

Peter was hurt because Jesus asked him the third time, 'Do you love me?' He said, 'Lord, you know all things; you know that I love you.'

Jesus said, 'Feed my sheep. 18 Very truly I tell you, when you were younger you dressed yourself and went where you wanted; but when you are old you will stretch out your hands, and someone else will dress you and lead you where you do not want to go.' 19 Jesus said this to indicate the kind of death by which Peter would glorify God. Then he said to him, 'Follow me!'

20 Peter turned and saw that the disciple whom Jesus loved was following them. (This was the one who had leaned back against Jesus at the supper and had said, 'Lord, who is going to betray you?') 21 When Peter saw him, he asked, 'Lord, what about him?'

22 Jesus answered, 'If I want him to remain alive until I return, what is that to you? You must follow me.' 23 Because of this, the rumour spread among the believers that this disciple would not die. But Jesus did not say that he would not die; he only said, 'If I want him to remain alive until I return, what is that to you?'

24 This is the disciple who testifies to these things and who wrote them down. We know that his testimony is true.

25 Jesus did many other things as well. If every one of them were written down, I suppose that even the whole world would not have room for the books that would be written.


Today's reflection is slightly different, please read the description below and the spoken reflection can be found at the bottom of the page.
Imaginative Bible Reading
Today, I want to help you to connect with God through your imagination. This is a really old approach to reading the Bible that people have found helpful for centuries. For me, this is a brilliant way to engage with the stories of the Bible in a fresh way. I find it helps me enter into them emotionally and develop a sense of connection with God. This is engaging the senses and emotions and contemplating the narrative of scripture. All the feels.
Continuing with our series in John’s gospel, I’m going to lead you through today’s reading and help you to imagine yourself in the story.
We’re all different, right? When I do this at home, I sit on a hard wooden chair, plant both my feet on the ground and place my hands palms up comfortably in my lap. For me, it helps to physically get out of bed and position myself in such a way that says “I’m attentive and ready to connect with you, God.” You might be different. You might prefer to stay in bed. You might prefer to go and make a cup of tea and sit on your squishiest armchair. Do whatever you think will be most helpful.
This led reflection takes about 15 minutes, so make sure you have the time to do it. I know that many of us read these devotionals on the bus or the tube, but I would suggest that this one requires a little more peace and quiet.
So, grab your coffee, choose somewhere quiet to sit. Make yourself comfortable. Pop your headphones in. Press play and close your eyes.

The music behind this reflection was composed by the extraordinarily talented Joseph Watt. To hear more of his music you can check out Spotify here. Or just rock up on a Sunday, he’s regularly playing the keyboard or drums!

We’re indebted to our friends at St Augustine’s, Auckland who did some brilliant contemplative reflections in the week leading up to Easter that were so good I couldn’t help but copy them! You can listen to those here.

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