Sunday, February 16, 2014

Jesus Appeared to His Disciples at Galilee (Jn. 21:1-14)

This is my personal summary of Rev Dr Stephen Tong's sermon on 19 January 2014 in STEMI Expository Preaching at True Way Presbyterian Church Singapore. It was preached in Chinese with English translation.

Passage: John 21:1-14

This is the third appearance of Jesus to His disciples.  The first two times was on the Lord’s day.  Jesus appeared to 7 disciples here and 5 names were recorded and 2 others were not recorded.  Why did Jesus appear here?  Jesus appeared 10 times after His resurrection and John recorded 3 of His appearances.

The first time He appeared to His disciples, there were 10 disciples.  The first thing he said, “Peace be with you.”  Thomas was absent.  When the disciples shared with Thomas, Thomas said he would not believe.  He used his reason to opposed the Word of God as truth, he despised others’ experience.  Those people who think it is difficult to believe always think they are smarter than others that they are rational and build upon the principle of truth.  Disciples did not debate with him but allowed him to display his foolishness.  Those without faith despise those with faith and are confident of their lack of faith.  Thomas said unless he saw the wounds on Jesus’ hands and side and touch them he would not believe.  God heard it all.  He searches our deepest heart.

When they gather the second time, our Lord appeared not to rebuke Thomas but to display the truth and solve the problem of unbelief.  Jesus asked Thomas to touch His wounds.  He repeated what Thomas had said.  Thomas could only knelt and acknowledge, “My Lord and my God.”  There is no need to touch His wounds as the fact had melted His heart and His appearance had ended his argument.  Jesus accepted people’s worship of Him, proving Himself to be God. 

In this passage, Jesus appeared to His disciples at Galilee.  The disciples did not stay in Jerusalem because of the Jews.  Before the crucifixion Jesus was with the disciples all the time.  After His resurrection He only appeared for a while and disappeared.  They went back to Galilee and gave up the calling.  

The entire work of the gospel restedwith the 11 disciples.  Jesus came to Galilee to recover the situation.  The Lord would go to where you have left Him, stop you, remind you and revive you that you may return to Him.  The whole night they caught no fish.  If God has called you and you are not obedient, you will accomplish nothing. 

But when Jesus asked them to let down the net, they caught many fish.  Although there were a lot of fish the net was not torn (v.11).  In the past they needed to mend the net.  If you serve the Lord you do not need to be afraid of lacking anything.

When they came onshore, there was fire, fish and bread.  Everything was already there.  Do not think that when you give offering you are contributing.  Our Lord is a self-sufficient God.  After this incident they learnt that they do not need to use their way to sustain themselves, they can rely on the Lord.  In this passage, Jesus recovered the situation and brought the disciples back to their calling.


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