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Dozie Uzoma

Rutgers UBF

Easter Bible Conference

Love In Action


John 21:1-25, Key Verse: 21:17b


“He said, ‘Lord, you know all things; you know that I love you.’ Jesus said, ‘Feed my sheep.’ ”



    The title of today’s message is “Love In Action”. You have heard the messages about the Cruxifixction and the Resurrection. This message concludes the series with a reflection on Jesus’ message to Peter about the new direction his ministry was to take. In this passage, the Risen Jesus appears to his disciples for the third time. The Risen Jesus pays special attention to Peter and restores his love relationship with him. Jesus  restores Peter’s faith in his role as a shepherd by inspiring him to turn his love for Jesus into productive actions. May we see ourselves mirrored in Peter’s face and be inspired to show our love of Jesus through our actions!


Verses 1-3 say, “Afterward Jesus appeared again to his disciples, by the Sea of Tiberias. It happened this way: Simon Peter, Thomas (called Didymus), Nathanael from Cana in Galilee, the sons of Zebedee, and two other disciples were together. ‘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.” This is the third appearance of the Risen Christ to his disciples (14). The first two had been in Jerusalem. Now they are by the Sea of Tiberias. This had been called the Sea of Galilee during Jesus’ time. There, Jesus had walked and taught and performed great miracles. It was the hometown area of many of the disciples. They were no longer hiding behind locked doors. Most likely, they had gone to Galilee because Jesus told them to go there and wait for him (Mt 26:32, 28:7,10,16; Mk 14:28, 16:7).


The disciples were waiting for Jesus to come and give them direction. What did they do during this waiting time? Peter decided to go out and fish and although Jesus had seen Peter twice, he did not show any special concern for him before this point. Peter felt uncertain about his relationship with Jesus. Did Jesus still trust him? He did not deserve to be trusted. Would Jesus punish him?  But the Risen Jesus had been so gracious. Perhaps Jesus would restore him.


Look at verses 4-5. “Early in the morning, Jesus stood on the shore, but the disciples did not realize that it was Jesus. He called out to them, ‘Friends, haven’t you any fish?’ ‘No,’ they answered.” The Risen Jesus called them his friends. He saw them in light of God’s great purpose for them to be the shepherds for peoples of all nations to fulfill God’s world salvation plan (Jn 15:15). The Risen Jesus began to restore them with tender compassion.


In verse 6 Jesus 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.” Jesus’ words seemed to be a minor correction to their fishing strategy. But in fact, they were the words of the Son of God, the ruler of all things including the fish of the sea. When the disciples obeyed, they caught a large number of fish. It was a miracle. Through this miraculous catch of fish, Jesus revealed his divine nature to Peter. Peter was an ordinary fisherman. But through Jesus’ miracle, Peter could see God in Jesus. It was the beginning of a life-changing spiritual relationship. Now, when Peter was struggling, Jesus came to him again to help him make a new start.


Through the miraculous catch of fish John recognized the Risen Jesus. Then he said to Peter, “It is the Lord.” As soon as Peter heard this, he put his outer garment around him, jumped into the water and went to Jesus.  He recognized Jesus as the Son of God. He could not stand before Jesus in a t-shirt and shorts. So he put on his outer garment before jumping into the water as a sign of respect. At the same time, Peter revealed his eagerness to come to Jesus and to restore his relationship with Jesus. Here we can see the greatness of Peter. He did not dwell in his sense of failure. He made a conscious decision to put his love into action and ran eagerly to the Lord.


     The other disciples followed in the boat, towing the net full of fish. They were amazed by the miraculous catch. Their eyes were opened to recognize the Risen Jesus. When they landed, they saw a fire of burning coals there with fish on it, and some bread. The Risen Jesus had already prepared a delicious breakfast for them. It was just what the hungry and tired disciples needed. Jesus said to them, “Bring some of the fish you have just caught.” The Risen Jesus treated them like great fishermen, acknowledging that they had caught many fish. He wanted to completely restore their sense of victory. The morale of the disciples began to improve.


Then Jesus said, “Come and have breakfast.” His tender actions combined with the tasty fish and bread, convinced them of his love. There is an expression, “the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach.” The disciples could literally taste Jesus’ love. They could feel Jesus’ love. They realized from their deep hearts that Jesus’ love for them had not changed. Jesus was still the same. He loved them unconditionally from the beginning to the end. Moreover, they accepted his resurrection as a practical reality.


Second, “Do you love me? Feed my sheep” (15-25).


The experience with the Risen Jesus at the Sea of Tiberias was a marvelous moment for the disciples. Their minds flooded with memories of life together with Jesus and all his grace to them. They remembered him feeding the five thousand with five loaves and two fish, and the Last Supper, when he fed them and washed their feet. Hymns of praise to Jesus began to rise in their hearts. By the time the meal was over, they were really thankful and happy. Then Jesus directed his attention to Simon Peter.


  Let’s read verses 15-17. “When they had finished eating, Jesus said to Simon Peter, ‘Simon son of John, do you truly love me more than these?’ ‘Yes, Lord,’ he said, ‘you know that I love you.’ Jesus said, ‘Feed my lambs.’ Again Jesus said, ‘Simon son of John, do you truly love me?’ He answered, ‘Yes, Lord, you know that I love you.’ Jesus said, ‘Take care of my sheep.’ 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.’” In these verses, we learn several things.


After asking Peter repeatedly ... Do you love me? Jesus' response to Peter’s answer remained similar each time. FEED MY SHEEP. Jesus realized that the heart of man is a volatile place. It always changes, and yet what Jesus requires for us never changes. Note that Peter was flustered after Jesus asked him the question for the third time,.‘Lord, you know all things; you know that I love you.’ Jesus saw through to Peter’s heart at that moment just as he saw his heart at the last supper.


Recall Matthew 26:31-35

Then Jesus told them, “This very night you will all fall away on account of me, for it is written: “ ‘I will strike the shepherd, and the sheep of the flock will be scattered.’ But after I have risen, I will go ahead of you into Galilee.” 33 Peter replied, “Even if all fall away on account of you, I never will.” 34 “I tell you the truth,” Jesus answered, “this very night , before the rooster crows, you will disown me three times.” 35 But Peter declared, “Even if I have to die with you, I will never disown you.” And all the other disciples said the same.


 Jesus’ repetition had a purpose. He asked Peter that many times for a reason! Jesus returned to make sure that the hearts of his disciples were steadfast after witnessing the gruesome nature of his crucifixion. He came to give them a new direction for his ministry. In hearing Peter’s response, Jesus knew that men, rarely speak truth to power. Man often sacrifices honesty in order to preserve their likable nature within a group. He remembered Peter’s betrayal and made clear his expectations for him this time.

             Place yourselves in Peter’s position. Imagine that Jesus came to you and asked “Do you love me?” Many of you would say, “Yes Lord!”, without hesitation, but watching Peter’s unease we realize that  despite his loving relationship with his disciples, that Peter at the end of the day was just a man and even though he loved Jesus he had fear and sadness in his heart.


      Look at verse 18. “I tell you the truth, 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.” These words are precisely Jesus’ prophecy about Peter’s future. Jesus indicated the kind of death by which Peter would glorify God (19). Then Jesus said to Peter, “Follow me.”


Peter had doubts about Jesus’ perception of him and so Jesus prophesied to Peter about his future. Jesus gave Peter a sure sign that God still believed in him and that he would do great things in the future despite his past failings. At that point he knew that despite his current self doubt he would live a long life serving God, and that he would have many chances to prove his love of God throughout his life.








Look at verse 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.” When we want to write mission reports, newsletters, testimonies, or messages, the material about Jesus is endless. He said and did an extraordinary amount of things, but we must make practical use of the events we read in the scripture.

           We must put the love we have for Jesus in our hearts into action. This Easter we must remember that Jesus paid the ultimate price for our sins with his own body and blood. His resurrection gives us all hope to repent and work hard for the glory of God in the hopes that when we are all ultimately judged we can be proud that we have not only loved Jesus in our hearts, repented sincerely for our sins, and accepted Jesus as our Lord and savior. Putting our love into action means actively searching for solutions to our Earthly problems and realizing that God has called us all to actively participate in spreading the message of God’s word. For newcomers that may mean attending church regularly and attending Bible Study, for older Christians it may mean developing and executing our own personal plan to be a better missionary or shepherd. It means fishing on a regular basis, or having one to one Bible study with someone that wants to hear the word of God. Whatever the action may be, we must remember that when God calls to us and tells us  where to throw out our own personal nets, we must act without delay, regardless of our level of personal despair. We must all put our internal love for Christ Jesus, our savior into outward action.


When times are difficult and it seems that those who sin openly enjoy themselves more frequently than ourselves, Jesus asks us, “Do you love me?” “Do you love me more than these?”God knows that we talk to talk, but can we walk the walk? Can we remain standing for Christ when the weight of this life bear down upon us. When we’re scared, depressed, and lonely, or even when we receive the very thing we have desired for so long will we give up ... or take a break... and shrug off the weight of his word, and the blanket of his love? Surely not.

          When we doubt ourselves, when we lose our way, and even when we seem to have an abundance of good fortune we must remember what Jesus endured on the cross for our sins. We must remember that even though the disciples lived with Jesus, ate with him, saw with their own eyes the miracles he performed again and again Peter and Judas endangered Jesus’s life due to their deep sin problems, and the unbearable pain that it caused them. We must remember still that in spite of all that pain Jesus came back to Peter, opening his heart to him, and that he does the same to us. Jesus believes in each one of us all. He sees the mustard seed of good within even the hardest of hearts, and has the power to break down the walls that we build around ourselves of self doubt, fatalism, pride, greed, and our general sin loving behavior, but only if we surrender to him and actively work to make ourselves better Christians. Jesus only told the disciples where to throw their nets ... the disciples themselves had to reel in the catch. They turned their love and their trust for Jesus into action ... threw their net where he advised them to throw it ... and did the work needed to bring the large catch to shore.


In closing,

 Jesus asks us each day, through the trials and tribulations of this life, Do you love me? Do you truly love me? Make sure that your actions reflect your answer.  Make sure that you realize in your darkest hour and your finest hour that God wants you to put your Love into Action. Know that if you believe in him and surrender to his love you can throw self doubt, and self loathing to the wind. Take courage in the fact that Jesus sees the best in you, as well as the bad. Know that he loves each and every one of us, and that when Jesus asks if you love him, your deeds for God will shout your answer far louder than your lungs ever can.

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25 2010 SBC Closing Message (Philippians 3:1-11) by M. Joseph Sohn [8] file Joseph 2010.08.25 23267
24 THE OUTLINE OF THE WHOLE SCRIPTURES by Nehemiah Kim (Gwangju I,IV) - 05/10/10 [2] file admin 2010.05.16 23534
23 2010 New Year Conference 2nd Day Message (Acts 2:42-47) by M. Joseph Sohn [2] Joseph 2010.01.02 23273
22 2009 ESBC Closing Message by M. Dr. John Jun: Make Disciples of All Nations [2] admin 2009.08.31 24752
21 2009 ESBC Main Message VI by Shep. Bruno Aussant: The Word of the Lord Grew in Power [2] admin 2009.08.31 24875
20 2009 ESBC Main Message V by Shep. Georgi Kumanichliev: The Risen Christ Gives Great Commission [1] admin 2009.08.31 19608
19 2009 ESBC Main Message IV by Shep. Joachim Dietzel: Jesus Said, It is Finished admin 2009.08.31 12928
18 2009 ESBC Main Message III by Shep. Titus Keller: But Seek His Kingdom [1] admin 2009.08.31 12994
17 2009 ESBC Main Message II by Shep. Abraham Kaier: Your Sins are Forgiven [2] admin 2009.08.31 15100
16 2009 ESBC Main Message I by Shep. Eberhard Groß: Jesus, the Spring of Living Water admin 2009.08.31 13273
15 2009 ESBC Opening Message by Shep. Dr. Samuel H Lee: The Hope of God [2] admin 2009.08.31 12424
14 2009 SBC 1st Day Message(Exodus 19:1-6) by M.Matthew Kim [2] kimmatthew 2009.08.03 14340
13 2009 SBC 3rd Day Message(Acts 19:1-22) by sh. Jason Perry [2] file livebyfaith 2009.08.02 12896
12 2009 SBC 2nd Day Message(Mt 28:) by 2nd Gen M. John Park Jr. [2] file livebyfaith 2009.08.02 13070
11 2009 SBC 2nd Day Message(John 19:16b-42) by M.Barnabas Moon file livebyfaith 2009.08.02 12753
10 2009 SBC 2nd Day morning devotion Message(John 4:1-14) by Dr. Jun Hee Lee file livebyfaith 2009.08.02 13025
9 2009 SBC 1st Day Message(Mark 2:1-17) by M.Martin Ahn file livebyfaith 2009.08.02 14421
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