Today I would like to teach from John 21 something the Lord Jesus revealed to me, and it changed my life. It will change yours, too. You know, so many Christians feel so disappointed with their walk with Jesus. They feel no joy in their relationship with God, specifically because they feel they just don’t measure up to what God expects of them. They serve out of a heart that really wants God, but yet…..something is missing. Something is really missing. And I’m going to ask God to touch you right in that spot in your heart right now, just like He touched me…..and you’ll never be the same again! Let’s look at John 2:1-17. Now, this will be a little long, but bear with me, you’ll be glad you took the time. I’ll be teaching from the King James Version here.

1.After these things Jesus shewed himself again to the disciples at the sea of Tiberias; and on this wise shewed he himself.

2.There were together Simon Peter, and Thomas called Didymus, and Nathanael of Cana of Galilee, and the sons of Zebedee (James and John), and two other of his disciples.

3.Simon Peter saith to them, I go a fishing. They say unto him, We also go with thee. They went forth, and entered into a ship immediately, and that night they caught nothing.  Here is where the Holy Spirit began unfolding this event to me. I saw it like a movie, a calm, partly moonlight night, the cool night breeze softly blowing, the small waves lapping at the sides of the boat. The fishermen throwing out their nets while they talked. They talked about their families, about their times with Jesus, the miracles they saw Him do, the things Jesus taught them. The nets sank, they put a foot up against the side of the boat, and started pulling them in, hand over hand…nothing in the net this time.. Over and over they repeated the action. Foot against the side of the boat, pulling the net back in…still nothing, all night this went on. Bad night fishing. Not just bad, downright depressing.

4. But when the morning was now come, Jesus stood on the shore; but the disciples knew not that it was Jesus.

5. Then Jesus saith unto them, Children, have ye any meat? They answered him No. Think they said You should have seen the ones that got away??

6.And he said unto them, Cast the net on the right side of the ship, and ye shall find. I like this part…these men were professional fishermen. The knew the waters, they knew how to fish. “As for this man on the shore, who is he? what does he know? Everyone knows you don’t catch fish in the morning, the fish will see the net and swim away from it. But, we have nothing to lose, let’s give it one more shot, we’ll show him he doesn’t know what he’s talking about….” They cast therefore, and now they were not able to draw it for the multitude of fishes. Hmmmmmm, something’s going on here, guys….
7. Therefore that disciple whom Jesus loved (John) saith unto Peter, IT IS THE LORD! Now when Simon Peter heard that it was the Lord, he girt his fisher’s coat unto him, (for he was naked,) and did cast himself into the sea. (This time to swim in the water, not to walk on the water.)

8. And the other disciples came in a little ship; (for they were not far from land, but as it were two hundred cubits,) (three hundred feet) dragging the net with the fishes.

9. As soon then as they were come to land, they saw a fire of coals there, and fish laid thereon, and bread. Notice Jesus already had breakfast ready for them.

10. Jesus saith unto them, Bring of the fish which ye have now caught.

11.Simon Peter went up and drew the net to land full of great fishes, and hundred and fifty and three; and for all there were so many, yet was not the net broken.  This is where it starts getting real interesting. Here we have the resurrected Jesus, the one who loved them, died on the cross and alive again, the only one to ever be resurrected from a crucifixion, and, well, to put it bluntly, Peter is over here counting fish!! How do we know that? Read the verse again, a hundred and fifty and three.  Oh yes…great fishbig ones! Don’t miss that detail. Peter would want us to know that.  Well, that’s ok then, ignoring Jesus, because these were big fish…and this just doesn’t happen every day, you know…..
12. Jesus saith unto them Come and dine. And none of the disciples durst ask him Who art thou? knowing that it was the Lord.

 13. Now this is the third time that Jesus shewed himself to his disciples, after that he was risen from the dead.

14. So when they had dined, Jesus saith unto Simon Peter, Now, pay close attention here, or you’ll miss out on the best part. Here’s Simon Peter, back over there with the hundred and fifty and three great fish, he’s a fisherman, you know, standing there staring at all those fish..those great fish, mind you, and here comes Jesus walking over. He put his arm around Simon Peter’s shoulder and said, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me more than these (the 153 great fishes)? Here I have to bring out a very important detail that the Greek manuscripts bring out, that the King James completely overlooks, and that is the word “LOVE” These are three greek words for love, that we just throw all into one. And on this omission, the impact of the story is completely lost to us.
EROS…. Sensual, or sexual, or physical type of love
PHILEO…..Brotherly love, friendship, kinship, you’re my friend, I like you a lot.
AGAPEO…or as we call it agape love, unconditional, without limit, the God kind of love, simply put.
Jesus just asked, Simon, son of Jonas, AGAPEO thou me more than these? He saith unto him, Yea, Lord; thou knowest that I love (PHILEO) thee. Yes, Jesus, you know I’m fond of you, you’re my friend, I like you a lot. Wait…did you notice something here? The word Jesus used for love isn’t what Peter responded with! He saith unto him, Feed my lambs.

15. He saith unto him the second time, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest (agapeo) thou me? He saith unto him, Yea, Lord, thou knowest that I love (phileo) thee. He saith unto him, Feed my sheep.
You know, Peter is just trying to be honest with Jesus. He had told Jesus that he was willing to die for him, I mean, Peter was solid! Walks on the water, you know.. and Jesus said to him, Before the cock crow twice, you will deny me thrice. And he did, too. A lot like us, isn’t it? Yes indeed, the spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak. Peter wasn’t making any promises here he couldn’t keep this time. And he still had a heart for fish, too, but not just any fish…great fish….Anyway…he was as much as saying to Jesus, “Jesus, I’d like to say I love you without limit, with “agapeo” love, but, frankly, it just isn’t in me right now. This “phileo”, this brotherly love, is the best I can muster. It’s the best I have to offer you. It’s all I got, Jesus!”

16. He saith unto him the third time, Now pay attention here! Listen up, folks! Don’t miss’s IMPORTANT! Simon, son of Jonas lovest (phileo) thou me? Peter was grieved because he said unto him the third time, lovest (phileo) thou me? And he said unto him, Lord, thou knowest all things; thou knowest that I love (phileo) thee. Jesus saith unto him, Feed my sheep.

Here we see something astounding…Jesus knew Peter couldn’t love him with God’s kind of agapeo love, so He came down to Peter’s level to ask him, Do you have brotherly love for me, are you at least fond of me?
To which Peter replied, Lord, you know all things; you know that I have brotherly love for you, I’m fond of you. That’s the best I can do, Lord. I love you the best I know how.

And Jesus accepted that sacrifice of the Peter kind of love graciously, as only God can, with no condemnation or displeasure.

And told Peter to feed His sheep. It is written in Matthew 16:19 Jesus said, And I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be bound in heaven.
Isn’t it amazing, that even though Peter denied even knowing Jesus three times, Jesus didn’t ask for the keys back??? And you, my friend, even though you and I have failed Jesus many times, He hasn’t asked us for the keys back, either. Jesus is willing to meet you at the level of love you can give Him right now. But He will love you back with HIS AGAPEO love, which is unlimited, unconditional, and unlike anything you have ever experienced before. So right now, just go to Jesus and say to Him, Jesus I love you as best I know how right now. And I believe You will accept my offering to You and perfect that love in me, and that You are in me, and I am in You. And if You are in me, HOW CAN I BE ANY LESS THAN ACCEPTABLE AND BELOVED TO YOU?



copyright 1999 Jerry Baysinger