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Sermons and Outlines

John 21:1-22


Intro: Ill. The crucifixion and the resurrection. Jesus died for the sins of men then He arose victorious over death, Hell and the grave. His resurrection is the reason we are even meeting here today. Today we celebrate the day that the Son of God won the victory for every man!

After Jesus rose from the dead, He appeared many times to many people. He appeared to women at the tomb, Matt. 27; Mark 16; Luke 24; John 20. He appeared to His disciples, John 20. He made a special appearance to the disciples when Thomas was present, John 20. He also appeared to over 500 of the brethren at one time, 1 Cor. 15:6. He also appeared to His disciples in the passage we have read together this morning.

As I read this account of Christ meeting with His men, I became aware of the fact that He did some things for them that only a risen Savior could do. I want to share those special actions that only Jesus can do in the lives of His people. Now, lest you think I am making these things up, just ask any true believer and they will back my story up this morning! Why? Because only a risen Savior can do what Christ can do in the lives of His people.

There is a song that we sing around this time of year. A song that we really should sing all year long! One verse of that song goes something like this:

I serve a risen Savior, He's in the world today.

I know that He is living, Whatever men may say.

I see His hand of mercy, I hear His voice of cheer,

And just the time I need Him, He's always near.

He Lives! He Lives! Christ Jesus lives today!

He Walks with me, And talks with me,

Along life's narrow way.

He Lives! He Lives! Salvation to impart.

You ask me how I know He lives,

He lives within my heart!

My goal today is to show why I know He lives. You ask me how I know He lives? I know because He can do for His Own what no one else can do. Let me share those actions that He performs on behalf of His people.


A. Ill. The Context. These men were off doing that which they had forsaken years earlier, Mark 1:16-18. Now, they have attempted a return to the old way of life. However, things aren't going like they thought they would. In fact, these professional fishermen have fished all night and have taken nothing. When daylight comes they see a man on the sea shore. Although they didn't know it, He is Jesus and He is looking for them. I suspect that He is the One Who caused the fish not to bite that night as well! He has come for them because He did not save them and call them so that they could be fishermen. He has a better plan for their lives!

B. The same is true in your life and mine! When we really belong to the Lord and wander off the path He has assigned us, we will not go away from Him forever! He has a vested interest in us and He will hound us until we deal with our backslidden condition, 2 Tim. 2:13.

C. I know He lives because He knows just where to find His sheep when they stray! Nothing we do is hidden from Him and His view, Pro. 15:3; Heb. 4:13. He knows how to find us and He knows how to get our attention! He will not let us go astray forever. If you are His, He will cal you home, Heb. 12:6-11; Rev. 3:19.

D. By the way, this is not a bad thing at all! I am glad that He knows where to find us and how to bring us home!

E. By the way, He is still looking for some of you to make you His sheep. He wants to save your soul. He has been dealing with your heart and He has been calling you to come to Him. Why not make this morning your resurrection day? Why not come to Jesus while He is dealing with your heart and receive Him as your savior? The door is open and He is calling you, so come and be saved! (Ill. The simplicity of salvation! Acts 16:31; John 3:16; Isa. 45:22)


A. Ill. The Context. Jesus allowed them to catch an abundance of fish. When this happened, they remember who He was. They remembered another time when they had fished all night and caught nothing, but at the word of Jesus they had let down their nets and had taken an abundance of fish, Luke 5:3-7. On this morning, Jesus gave them a great catch and even prepared their meal and sat down and ate with them. He was able to provide all they lacked that morning!

B. I just want to remind you this morning that we serve a Savior Who is able to feed His servants! Whatever we lack, He is able to supply! May we never forget that He is in absolute control of our lives and that He knows about everything that is about to happen. When needs arise, He has the provisions we need, Phil. 4:19; Matt. 6:25-33. (Ill. If He is really alive, if He is really God, if He is really sovereign, then He can be trusted! If those things about Him are true, then worry is foolish, want doesn't exist and His servants have nothing at all to fear! If it comes into your life, God sent it, and if He sent it it cannot be bad, Rom. 8:28.)

C. Note the number of the fish, v. 11. He gave them an over abundance. There will be times when God will overload your wagon! He will bless you in abundance, Luke 6:38; Mal. 3:10. However, there are times when He will send you to the poor house! When that happens, it doesn't mean that you aren't saved. It does mean that God has His reasons for what He does and that He has some lessons for you to learn. Like the disciples. They had fished all night with nothing to show for it. Jesus shows up and they have plenty. The lesson is clear! Without Him, we can do nothing, John 15:5. But in His power, we are heirs of God and joint-heirs with Christ, Rom. 8:17.


A. Ill. The Context. When the meal was ready, Jesus invited these weary men to join Him at the meal that He had prepared for them. No one had to tell them Who they were fellowshipping with, they knew it was Jesus.

B. I just want to remind you that we serve a living Savior, and only a living Savior can fellowship with His saints! As we pass through life, there will be those times when He just shows up, and when He does, my how things change! It's hard to explain, I know that He is always there, Matt. 28:20; Heb. 13:5, and I know that He has promised to meet with His church, Matt. 18:20. But there is something special about those times when Jesus chooses to meet with His people. I can't explain the joy of those moments of sweet fellowship. They are better "telt" than "felt". But I love them just the same.

C. What is so precious is that He will show up many times in our lives, v. 14. He will come by again and again as we pass along this pilgrim way. Thank God, He just reminds us that He is with us as we journey.

(Ill. There were times in the Bible when He "just showed up"; Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego; Daniel and the Lion's Den; The Captain Of The Lord's Host outside Jericho; Walking on the storm to come to the disciples; At the tomb of Lazarus; in Nain; at Jairus' house; at the Red Sea, there are many more, but when He shows up, everything changes!)


A. Ill. The Context. Jesus confronts Peter three times about his love for the Savior. These three questions correspond to the three denials Peter made the night Jesus was arrested, Matt. 26:69-75. I think Jesus is giving Peter a chance to deal with his failures. He had denied the Lord and had attempted to return to the old life he had lived before he met Jesus. Christ's question, "Lovest thou me more than these?" was a reference to the great haul of fish they had just taken. Jesus wants to know if Peter loves Him more than those fish. Peter's response is "Yes!"

B. There isn't a single believer in this room who hasn't failed Jesus at some time in your life. I just want you to know this morning that we serve a risen Savior and He lives today in Heaven at the Father's right hand. One of His activities there is to intercede for you, Heb. 7:35; Rom. 8:34. He serves in Heaven as our "Advocate", 1 John 2:1. He takes our part and pleads our case in Heaven when we fail. What I am trying to tell you is that you have not been so bad that God will turn His back on you. He will forgive you of your sins and only a risen Lord could do that!

C. God has laid out a crystal clear plan for His children to follow when they fall away from Him. It is a simple plan, but it is absolutely necessary for things to be made right with God. His plan is this, "If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.", 1 John 1:9. If you do that my friend, regardless of how far you have fallen, He will cleanse your heart, clear the air and confirm your home!

D. By the way, if you are here and you are lost this morning, I want to remind you that Jesus lives for your too! His promise to you is that if you will look to Him by faith, and call on Him for salvation, He will save you soul. That is His promise, Rom. 10:13. He will not turn you away, John 6:37. Hebrews 7:25 says it really well! Won't you come to Him while He calls you?


A. In these verses, Peter got new direction for his life. He is commanded to feed the Lord's people. He is given the ministry of leadership in the early church. He is restored to the place of service and is told that he will serve the Lord for many years, and that even in His death, he will glorify God. Jesus leaves no doubt in Peter's mind as to what he is to be doing for the rest of his life. In fact, Peter's call and commission can be summed in two words found in verse 19, "Follow me". Only a living Lord can direct a person's path in a manner like that!

(Ill. Peter probably thought his service was over. He probably thought that the Lord was finished with him forever. My friends, as long as there is life there is hope! If you have failed the Lord in some way and feel that your days of serving Him are over forever, remember, He is the great Restorer! He took a murderer like Moses and used him. He took an adulterer like David and used him. He took an angry, Christ-hating Jew named Paul and He used him. He took a loud-mouthed, cursing, Christ-denier like Peter and He used him. Friend, I think He can use you too!)

B. His saints have His promise that they, too, have that kind of ministry from the Lord. He directs the steps of all of His children, Psa. 37:23. He will show you the way to go in life and He will fill you for that service, 1 Cor. 12:4-31. He will show you what He wants you to dom how you should do it and where it should be done. He will focus your life for the glory of God.

C. A risen Christ makes all the difference between a life that is wasted and a life that reaps eternal blessings for the glory of God! Can you honestly say this morning that you are living your life under the direction of the risen Christ? Can you honestly say that Jesus is directing your paths and that at this moment, you are exactly where God wants you to be? Is your heart where it needs to be? Is your level of dedication to the things of God where it needs to be?

Conc: Friends, there is no doubt in my mind this morning that Jesus is alive and well! How do I know He lives? I met Him in salvation 19 years ago and He changed my life. Since then, I have experienced His life in every way I have mentioned this morning and in other ways as well. He is alive today? Now, here is the question you must answer: Is He alive in you? Have you ever been saved? If not, Jesus died on the cross and rose again the third day to be your Savior. If you will receive Him, He will save your soul today and you will know that He lives. If you are saved and things have come between you and the Lord, you know He lives, but you can't experience Him and His presence this morning. My friend, you need to make a trip to this altar. You need to bow on your knees and renew your commitment to the Lord today. He is in the restoration business.

Whatever you need from God, you will find in the hands of the risen Lord Jesus. Come before Him and let Him change you today. Then you too will know that He lives!

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