Sermon:  The Lord’s Breakfast


Summary:  One of the last signs Jesus performed reminds us that he has a mission for us and that if we continue to be faithful, we are not failures even if we have had a lapse at some point in our lives.


Text:  John 21



1. grew up small town. Saturday morning fishing - slow, mundane, but always fishing story

2. Scripture Reading shows that the disciples had fishing stories too - Imagine what it like

3. End of ministry, their amazement turned to fear and confusion - They call scatter, expt John

    a. For awhile after resurrection, they hid behind locked doors - Afraid

b. Jesus told him to go to Galilee and wait for him there

4. Jn 21 - At sea of Tiberius in Galilee. Now what?  I cut out for this?  Failure?  Jesus accept me?


I. I’m Going Fishing  (Jn 21:1-3)

    A. Language and the scene suggests that he is going back to fishing

        - Not talking about a rod and reel - had to get boat, nets, equipment

    B. Sometimes, when confusing, feel failure, fall back on what comfortable

        - Often look backwards rather than forward - Peter goes back to fishing

    C. Jesus is not content to leave you there - He has a job for you

    D. Jesus said they would be fishers of men, not fish


II. A vivid reminder (v.4-8)

    A. All night,  Nets empty - Failure again!  Darkness of night, but dawn coming

    B. Stranger on the beach -  “Hey!  Did you catch anything?”   --- No

        1. “Put your nets down on the right side, try again!” - Really????

        2. Fish, tons of fish!  Too many to handle!

    C. Wow, this is just like that time…Hey, wait a minute!  It’s Jesus!

    D. Peter could think of nothing but getting to Jesus - jumps out to swim


III. Around the charcoal fire . . . again (v.9-14)

    A. The miraculous catch of fish was déjà vu, so was this charcoal fire

    B. 18:18 - Wasn’t that long ago, Peter was around another charcoal fire

        1. About same time, as day was breaking, just before the rooster crows

        2. Denied Jesus 3 times, then he ran away, shame and guilt, failure

    C. Here he is around another charcoal fire with Jesus

        1. Jesus has the ol barbeque going

        2. “Sit down guys, bring some of that fish, let’s eat!”

    D. Bread and fish, he really is bread of life, he is alive, back from dead! 


IV. 3 Questions (v.15-17)

    A. Peter was asked 3 questions around fire before, essentially same

        - “You are with Jesus aren’t you?” - Denied him each time

    B. In this déjà vu moment, Jesus asks Peter question 3 times

        1. Preachers often make a big deal out of the difference of words

            a. Jesus - Do you love me?  (agapao)

b. Peter answers with YES - then adds phileo - devoted,best friend

                - Commentators try to weaken what Peter said - but I think Peter trying strengthen it

            c. Remember David and Jonathan were friends - They loved each other

                - Had a bond in friendship that was stronger than the bond of kinship

            d. If someone your devoted, best friend, you normally call them "philos"

- Philos is your friend whom you love devotedly - Would give your kidney for him

- Jn 15:13 - Greatest love is to lay down life for his friends - philoi

        2. Phileo and Agapao are nearly synonyms - often used interchangeably

a. Incorrect to say one is worldly and the other is godly

b. We are even commanded to have various types of philia

- Philadelphia - Brotherly love - Heb 13:1; 2 Pet 1:7

- Philandros - Wives to be Lover of husbands - Tit 2:4

- Philanthropia - God's love for man appeared Tit 3:4

- Phileo - If anyone does not love the Lord, he is to be accursed - 1 Cor 16:22

- Be devoted (philostorge) to o/a in brotherly  love (Philadelphia)  - Rom 12:10

- Not Agapedelphia, but Philadelphia

- Communicates a dear, loving, devoted friendship, a relationship love

c. Try to put in English what this may have sounded like:

Jesus says to Simon Peter, “Simon, of John, do you love Me more than these?” He says to Him, “Yes, Lord; You have known that I dearly love You.” He says to him, “Feed My lambs.”   He says to him again a second time, “Simon, of John, do you love Me?” He says to Him, “Yes, Lord; You have known that I dearly love you.” He says to him, “Shepherd My sheep.”  He says to him the third time, “Simon, of John do you dearly love me?” Peter was grieved because He said to him the third time, “Do you dearly love  Me?” And he said to Him, “Lord, You have known all things; You know that I dearly love You.” Jesus says to him, “Feed My sheep.

        4. More significant is what Jesus is allowing Peter to do

a. For each time Peter denied Jesus, Jesus allow Peter declare love

            b. Jesus didn’t throw the denials in his face

            c. Instead, he said, “Feed and Shepherd my lambs & sheep


    C. Failure is not what ultimately characterized Peter, he still walked with Christ

  1. Preached first Gospel Sermon - Acts 2 - 3000 responded! - Full nets

  2. Healed the sick and people amazed at him - Acts 3

  3. For Peter, it was all about preaching the Gospel of Christ (inv)

D. Peter haul in many fish, Jesus would clean them, Peter shepherd them

  1. Instead of denying Christ, faced persecution in exemplary way

      a. Beaten &  dragged before authorities for his message and miracles

      b. Boldly and confidently proclaim resurrection, obey God rather man

      d. 1 Peter about facing persecution courageously & faithfully

      e. Peter was himself crucified

  2. His message & example - model of strength & faithfulness to sheep



1. As long as you follow Christ, you are not a failure

a. Jesus did not hold the denials against Peter - never brings it up

b. Instead, he gives opportunity to get up out of the dirt and try again

2. This reminds me of a saying - “Real cowboys don’t walk home”

a. They may get thrown off time after time, bruises, bleed, until ride

b. Unlike Judas, Peter kept getting back on - and he not walk home

3. If you have fallen off, it is not the end of the world

a. It may hurt, you may be bruised, may even have scars from it

b. His question not, “Have you ever failed?”  But, “Do you love me?” 

4. Don’t let Satan keep replaying those denial tapes

5.  All these déjà vu moments - why?  You can try again. 

- What matters is not that you fall, but that you get back in the saddle again