The Testimony of Jesus Christ Himself- The Gospel of John closes in chapter 21with the fifth testimony, that of Jesus calling His disciples, and us, to follow Him. Therefore, after hearing the witness of four others testifying of the deity of the Lord Jesus Christ, we have Jesus making a personal and final call to follow Him. Thus, this section closes with Jesus Christ saying, "Follow thou me," ( John 21:22).
Jesus' Call to Peter to Follow Him- To support the third imperative theme of following Christ in the Gospel of John, we are given the story of how Jesus reconciles Peter back to Himself and to his calling as an apostle. Discouragement had caused Peter to lose focus of his calling and his vision. This had caused Peter to lead some of the other disciples back into their old lifestyle of fishing.
Jesus appeared to His disciples by the seashore for the particular purpose of restoring Peter's confidence in his calling as an apostle, as well as those apostles who followed him fishing. Sometimes Peter and the apostles received this divine visitation because of disobedience, not because they were walking in faith in Christ's resurrection. God gives us a supernatural vision or divine visitation for the purpose of anchoring our souls for difficult times to come. This visitation from Jesus served to get Peter out of the fishing boat and back into his calling as an apostle of Jesus Christ. It also served to anchor his soul for the difficult life of an apostle, especially Peter's martyrdom, which Jesus refers to in John 21:18-19.
Just as Peter sat by the fire in the Roman courtyard and denied His Master, now Peters sits by another fireside again to declare his loyalty. In this process of restoration Jesus uses the principle of association. As human beings, we are created to recall events in the past when we are placed in similar surroundings or circumstances. Thus, Jesus prepared a fire for Peter in order to bring him back to his point of pain and then restore and heal his inner man. In this manner, Jesus gave Peter a chance to Revelation -declare his loyalty to the Savior.
Jesus used another principle of association during this time. He did this by asking Peter and those with him to cast their nets on the right side of the boat. As they pulled in a multitude of fish, this would have reminded Peter of the day when Jesus first called him by the Sea of Galilee after a similar catch of fish ( Luke 5:1-11). Thus, Peter was brought back to his calling and his falling away by the miraculous catch of fish and by the fireside as a method of restoring him.
Why did Jesus use the analogy of a shepherd and his sheep in restoring Peter to his calling? Remember that Jesus had taught them in John 10:11-12, "I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep. He that is an hireling, and not the shepherd, whose own the sheep are not, seeth the wolf coming, and leaveth the sheep, and fleeth: and the wolf catcheth them, and scattereth the sheep." Peter would clearly associate his own flight from his Master during his arrest and trial and crucifixion with the hireling fleeing when danger approaches. Peter would associate his calling as a shepherd as one who is willing to give his life for the sheep. Throughout his ministry, Peter will forever remember this analogy. In fact, Peter will refer to Jesus as the chief Shepherd two times in one of his epistles ( 1 Peter 2:25; 1 Peter 5:4).
1 Peter 2:25, "For ye were as sheep going astray; but are now returned unto the Shepherd and Bishop of your souls."
1 Peter 5:4, "And when the chief Shepherd shall appear, ye shall receive a crown of glory that fadeth not away."
This is why, after Peter's calling is reestablished ( John 21:15-17), Jesus had to address the sacrifice that comes with such a divine calling ( John 21:18-22). He had previously taught them that they must be willing to lose their lives if they were to save it. In Luke 17:33 He said, "Whosoever shall seek to save his life shall lose it; and whosoever shall lose his life shall preserve it." Of all of the disciples, only Peter and John followed Jesus into His trial. Peter had followed Him into the courtyard, but when confronted with his identity, he had denied any association with Him in order to save his own life. In contrast, John was willing to risk his life and followed Jesus all of the way to Calvary. However, when Peter realized that he had denied Jesus three times, his guilt drove him away and he forsook Jesus. John alone followed Jesus to the Cross.
It is possible that John's willingness to die out of love for His Master is the very reason that he alone lived to be an old man. In contrast, those who left Jesus in fear of their lives are the ones who suffered death as a martyr. In our lived, the Lord wants our willingness to lay down our lives for Him, not that we will always have to do Song of Solomon, but He wants to know our love and devotion to Him. In turn, He rewards most abundantly those who are most willing to give up their lives, just as He rewarded John the apostle.
John's Version of the Great Commission - John 21:1-23 serves as John's version of the Great Commission. However, we find that each of the Evangelists ends his Gospel with a commission. A careful study reveals that each commission is based upon the structural theme of its particular Gospel. The theme of Matthew is the coming of the King to establish the Kingdom of Heaven and lay down the doctrine of the Kingdom. Jesus does this in Matthew's Gospel by delivering five major discourses, which establishes the structure of this Gospel. As a result, Jesus commissions His disciples to go and teach, or disciple, all nations, baptizing them and teaching them to observe His commandments, or doctrines, laid down in Matthew's Gospel. This commission best reflects the office and ministry of the teacher in the five-fold ministry.
In contrast, the commission that closes Mark's Gospel emphasizes the preaching of the Gospel with signs following. This is because Mark is structured around the proclamation of the Gospel with miracles accompanying it. Jesus tells His disciples in Mark to preach the Gospel and promised them that signs and miracles would accompany their preaching. This commission best reflects the office and ministry of the evangelist in the five-fold ministry.
The structural theme of Luke's Gospel is the collection of verifiable eyewitness accounts as to the life and ministry of the Lord Jesus Christ. As a result, Jesus commands His disciples to be witnesses of these events by preaching the Gospel to all nations beginning at Jerusalem ( Luke 24:47), and to tarry in Jerusalem unto they be endued with power on high ( Luke 24:49). He is making a clear reference to the contents of the book of Acts and establishes its structural theme. Since the Gospel of Luke does not reach this goal of spreading the Gospel, (this is why Luke's commission seems incomplete) we must rely upon an additional volume to fulfill our Lord's commission. The book of Acts opens with the fulfillment of power coming from on high and closes with the fulfillment of the spread of the Gospel to Greco-Roman world. Thus, Luke clearly links these two writings in an unmistakable way through this commission.
The structural theme of John's Gospel is the five-fold testimony of the deity of the Lord Jesus Christ. John's Gospel reveals His deity with the testimony of the Father, of John the Baptist, of Jesus' miracles, by the fulfillment of Old Testament Scriptures and finally in the last chapter by the testimony of Jesus Himself. This is why John's commission is simply, "Come, follow Me." This commission best reflects the office and ministry of the pastor in the five-fold ministry.
Jesus' Prophecies Concerning Peter and John - In John 21:18-23 Jesus gives a prophecy of Peter's death by martyrdom and of the long life of John. Church history tells us that Peter died a martyr at the hands of Nero in Rome around A.D 64-66. Some say that he was crucified upside down. In contrast, church tradition says that John the apostle is the only one of the original apostles that did not die as a martyr. He is said to have lived to be about one hundred years old and oversaw the churches of Asia Minor during the latter part of his life. He is the only disciple that followed Jesus Christ all the way to the Cross, signifying that he too was willing to give his life for his Master. All of the others fled and Peter denied Him. It is possible that John's willingness to die out of love for His Master is the very reason that he alone lived to be an old man. In contrast, those who left Jesus in fear of their lives are the ones who suffered death as a martyr. In our lived, the Lord wants our willingness to lay down our lives for Him, not that we will always have to do Song of Solomon, but He wants to know our love and devotion to Him. In turn, He rewards most abundantly those who are most willing to give up their lives, just as He rewarded John the apostle.
This prophecy of Peter's death by martyrdom would be the ultimate display of his love and devotion to Jesus Christ. Peter would have to mature in the faith in order to be willing to make such a great sacrifice. Within the context of John 21:15-23, where Jesus restores Peter to a commitment to forsake all and follow Him, Jesus tells Peter of his death to assure him that he will one day pay the ultimate sacrifice of love.
John 21:1 — Comments- John 21:1; John 21:14 speak of Jesus manifesting Himself to them in this particular way.
John 21:3 — Comments- Peter decided to do what he used to do before Jesus called him. We can imagine how a married man like Peter felt pressure to meet his financial needs. He used his reasoning to conclude that he needed to return to his former trade. The others followed. Note in verse 4how eager Peter must have been to see Him again. Jesus did not want Peter to go back to his old lifestyle.
John 21:4 — "But when the morning was now come, Jesus stood on the shore" - Comments- Jesus was also standing along the shoreline when He first called His disciples to follow Him ( Matthew 4:18-20.). Some time had passed from the time that Jesus entered Galilee preaching the Gospel ( Mark 1:14) until Peter"s calling ( John 1:35-51). The disciples had been with Jesus for a period before He called them to forsake all and follow Him ( John 1:14-22).
Matthew 4:18-20, "And Jesus, walking by the sea of Galilee, saw two brethren, Simon called Peter, and Andrew his brother, casting a net into the sea: for they were fishers. And he saith unto them, Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men. And they straightway left their nets, and followed him."
Mark 1:14, "Now after that John was put in prison, Jesus came into Galilee, preaching the gospel of the kingdom of God,"
John 21:4 — "but the disciples knew not that it was Jesus" - Comments- The disciples failed to recognize Jesus at first in a number of recorded appearances following His resurrection ( Matthew 28:17, Mark 16:12, Luke 24:16; Luke 24:37, John 20:14; John 21:4).
Matthew 28:17, "And when they saw him, they worshipped him: but some doubted."
Mark 16:12, "After that he appeared in another form unto two of them, as they walked, and went into the country."
Luke 24:16, "But their eyes were holden that they should not know him."
Luke 24:37, "But they were terrified and affrighted, and supposed that they had seen a spirit."
John 20:14, "And when she had thus said, she turned herself back, and saw Jesus standing, and knew not that it was Jesus."
John 21:4, "But when the morning was now come, Jesus stood on the shore: but the disciples knew not that it was Jesus."
John 21:5 — Comments - Jesus asked His disciples if they had caught any fish. In the U.S, if two fishermen meet on the lake, the first exchange of communication is usually a question of how many fish have been caught.
John 21:6 — Comments- This miraculous catch of fish is similar to the miracle in Luke 5:1-11. This is one reason that Peter quickly recognized that it was Jesus, because Peter had received this miracle once before. Thus, Peter says in verse 7, "It is the Lord." Note that John and James were with Peter in Luke 5:1-11, and they probably were in this story (see verse 10).
John 21:6 — Comments - Andrew Wommack notes that any fisherman knows if there were no fish on one side of the boat, then there are certainly no fish on the other side. 299]
299] Andrew Wommack, "Sermon," Andrew Wommack Bible Conference, Kampala, Uganda, 3June 2010.
John 21:9 — Comments - Jesus was by Himself on the shores of Galilee. Therefore, one must ask where Jesus obtained the fish and bread. He came from Heaven to earth to appear to His disciples and instruct them. The Scriptures offer no explanation as to how He obtained this food because it is not relevant to the message of this final chapter of John's Gospel.
Jesus will use a fire of coals by the Sea of Tiberias and a meal of fish and bread to minister to Peter and help him reconcile three denials of the Saviour. Such a setting will automatically bring Peter back to the fire of coals the night he denied Jesus. Many of us have been hurt emotionally, and we find certain places difficult to return and visit because it stirs up painful memories. By the Sea of Tiberias Jesus takes Peter back to the fire of coals in order to bring him through a healing process.
John 18:18, "And the servants and officers stood there, who had made a fire of coals; for it was cold: and they warmed themselves: and Peter stood with them, and warmed himself."
John 21:10 Jesus saith unto them, Bring of the fish which ye have now caught.
John 21:11 Simon Peter went up, and drew the net to land full of great fishes, an hundred and fifty and three: and for all there were so many, yet was not the net broken.
John 21:11 — "an hundred and fifty and three" - Comments - There have been many speculations as to why John records the number of fish caught in the new. For example, Grant Jeffery suggests that this number represents the actual number of people whom Jesus ministered to during his 3-years of earthly ministry. In other words, if you count the number of people in the four Gospel whom Jesus healed or ministered to, it would add up to one hundred fifty-three (153). Therefore, this number represents Jesus' concern for and remembrance of each person that He encountered. 300] Nizar Shaheen, an Arab Christian, suggests that the Hebrew letters in the words "I am God" add up to one hundred fifty-three (153). In my study, I have found that it is possible to add up the letters ( אלהים ואני) "and I (am) God" so that they equal the number one hundred fifty-three (153). 301] John Hagee suggests the recording of this exact number simply points to the fact that God knows everyone who will come to Jesus for salvation. He knows who will be saved and who will not. 302]
300] Grant R. Jeffery, interviewed by Benny Hinn (This is Your Day), on Trinity Broadcasting Network (Santa Ana, California), television program.
301] Nizar Shaheen (Light for All Nations), interviewed on "Praise the Lord," on Trinity Broadcasting Network (Santa Ana, California), television program.
302] John Hagee, John Hagee Today (San Antonio, Texas: John Hagee Ministries), on Trinity Broadcasting Network (Santa Ana, California), television program, 22July 2009.
John 21:11 — Comments - The fish could have been counted before or after breakfast. Why count the fish, even before breakfast? Perhaps to emphasize to the disciples the vast multitudes which they had caught with the unbroken nets, thus strengthening their faith. This fits the context of the verse, which says "there were so many, yet was not the net broken."
Illustration - In June 2010 to July 2011my family and I took a furlough in the U.S. after serving in the African mission field for thirteen years. My wife and I took a break from a busy schedule and spent time with our families in our home town. During this year, the Lord gave us three vehicles: a van, a car, and a truck. In addition, the Lord gave us a home that was paid for through the decease of my mother, as my siblings worked together to allow me to take ownership of her estate. When we were asked to return to the mission field, my wife and I discussed the fact that we had been so blessed, how could we say no to serving the Lord. He had given us an abundance of provision, and we were overflowing with His blessings. We learned that it is not a problem for God to give us material possessions. However, the greatest blessing in life is being in God's will. Just as Jesus gave these disciples an abundance of fish to let them know His divine provision, and to show them the greater calling of forsaking all and following Him, so did the Lord teach us a similar lesson.
John 21:13 — Comments - This meal was similar to the feeding of the five thousand and the four thousand men, and to the Lord's Supper.
John 21:15 — Comments - Jesus is asking Peter if he loved Him more than Peter loved fishing. Note that Peter had departed ( υπάγω) to fish. Jesus wanted Peter to fish for men from now on.
Or perhaps, Jesus is asking Peter if he loves Him more than the other disciples love Jesus because Peter is having to deal with his recent denial of Jesus.
Matthew 26:33-35, "Peter answered and said unto him, Though all men shall be offended because of thee, yet will I never be offended. Jesus said unto him, Verily I say unto thee, That this night, before the cock crow, thou shalt deny me thrice. Peter said unto him, Though I should die with thee, yet will I not deny thee. Likewise also said all the disciples."
Mark 14:29, "But Peter said unto him, Although all shall be offended, yet will not I."
Luke 22:32, "But I have prayed for thee, that thy faith fail not: and when thou art converted, strengthen thy brethren."
Obviously, this event must have reminded Peter of Matthew 4:18-20 and Mark 1:14-22 years before.
Matthew 4:18-20, "And Jesus, walking by the sea of Galilee, saw two brethren, Simon called Peter, and Andrew his brother, casting a net into the sea: for they were fishers. And he saith unto them, Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men. And they straightway left their nets, and followed him."
John 21:17 — "And he said unto him, Lord, thou knowest all things; thou knowest that I love thee" - Comments - Jesus knew all things and even told Peter that he would deny Him three times before the cock crowed. Peter acknowledged that Jesus knew that he would deny his Master, and Peter confirms that, despite his denial, he still loved Him.
John 21:15-17 — Comments - Word Study- Vine says the fact that βοσκω, which literally means "to feed or to nourish," and which he believes refers to the feeding of the Word of God, is repeated twice is to show that feeding the Word to the flock "is to have the foremost place." He says the Greek word ποιμαίνω means, "to act as a shepherd." He says this "tending (which includes [feeding the Word of God]) consists of other Acts, of discipline, authority, restoration, and material assistance of individuals."
John 21:18 — "Verily, verily, I say unto thee, When thou wast young, thou girdedst thyself, and walkedst whither thou wouldest" - Comments - Peter had stood up the evening before and said he was going fishing, influencing six other disciples to do the same. He had just girded himself and jumped into the lake to swim to Jesus. This statement represents the fact that Peter was pursuing his own interests in life.
John 21:18 — "thou shalt stretch forth thy hands" - Comments - This is a reference to someone guiding Peter. The fish were also gathered together and brought out of the sea against their desire.
John 21:18 — Comments - Christian Maturity Requires A Narrow Walk- In John 13:38 Jesus foretold Peter of his denial of his Lord the night of His arrest and trial by saying, "Wilt thou lay down thy life for my sake? Verily, verily, I say unto thee, The cock shall not crow, till thou hast denied me thrice." Peter knew that he had behaved in an immature manner that night. Now, Jesus tells Peter in John 21:18 that one day Peter would grow up and give his life for Christ just as he had seen his Master giving His own life to the Father's will. Peter will mature in the faith. In Hebrews 5:11-14 Paul rebukes the Hebrews for not being more mature in their faith and lifestyle. As a father, I give my small children a lot of room to misbehave. However, as a boss on my Job, I am much more restrictive to my employees, simply because I expect an adult to behave differently than my children. This is what Paul is telling his readers in Hebrews 5:11-14. As we grow in the Lord, our journey becomes more and more narrow. We are required to walk the straight and narrow path. Jesus told Peter, "When thou wast young, thou girdedst thyself, and walkedst whither thou wouldest: but when thou shalt be old, thou shalt stretch forth thy hands, and another shall gird thee, and carry thee whither thou wouldest not." ( John 21:18) In other words, when Peter was young, he could a lot of things that he wanted to do, but as he became old, he had to relinquish his will to others. His journey became straight and narrow. Church tradition tells us he was crucified upside down as a martyr for his Saviour. So it is in our Christian life as we mature in the Lord.
God Often Prepares Us to face the Difficulties in the Future- God always prepares us for difficulties that will take place in the future by giving us words to strengthen us and to prepare us for that time and season. In John 21:19 Jesus gives Peter a prophecy about his later years in which he will endure much suffering. This is told Peter to prepare him and to strengthen him for this event. Thus, Peter understood that he was not a failure, but would one day follow in the steps of Jesus Christ.
In the same way God gave Mary words through the prophet Simeon that would one day serve to strengthen her during the most difficult moment in her life, which was the crucifixion of her beloved Son on Calvary.
Luke 2:35, "(Yea, a sword shall pierce through thy own soul also,) that the thoughts of many hearts may be revealed."
Peter Accepted to Suffer for Christ in His Life and Death- The apostle Peter was the most vocal apostle of Jesus Christ in opposing the Saviour's announcement about the need to suffer on the Cross and be resurrected the third day. He was the most violent in fighting against those who had come to seize His Lord by cutting off the ear of the servant of the high priest in the Garden of Gethsemane. We now move forward about thirty-four years in Peter's ministry, towards the end of his life, and we find ourselves in Peter's first epistle as he explains suffering from the Saviour's standpoint, and no longer his own, immature view that opposed such persecutions. He will be testifying in 1Peter of the need to endure such suffering for the kingdom's sake, just as His Master testified to him on several occasions before His Passion. This apostle of circumcision had to go through a transformation into maturity in order to fulfill Jesus' words to him as a young man about Peter's impending suffering, "Verily, verily, I say unto thee, When thou wast young, thou girdedst thyself, and walkedst whither thou wouldest: but when thou shalt be old, thou shalt stretch forth thy hands, and another shall gird thee, and carry thee whither thou wouldest not." ( John 21:18) Early Church tradition tells us that Peter followed His Master in the ultimate sacrifice for his faith, being crucified upside down at the hands of the madman Nero, the Emperor of Rome. The epistle of 1Peter will take us on this very same journey of maturity and perseverance that Peter choose to take if we will decide to submit to God's divine plan of election for our lives. It is a message of submission and suffering in light of our future blessed hope of a certain heavenly reward.
John 21:19 — "This spake Hebrews, signifying by what death he should glorify God" - Comments - At the Last Supper, Peter told Jesus that he would lay down his life for the Lord, to which Jesus replied by telling Peter he would deny Him by the next morning ( John 13:36-38). On the shore of the Lake of Galilee Jesus appeared to some of the disciples after His resurrection and takes Peter through a restoration process of thrice telling Him that he loved the Lord. Jesus then reveals to Peter that he will in fact lay down his life, as Peter offered to do before the Passion. Peter's death would glorify God, as Jesus' death did. The early Church fathers tell us that Peter was crucified upside down during the reign of Nero, fearing to copy the death of Jesus Christ. (See Hippolytus, 303] Peter of Alexandria, 304] Lactantius, 305] Eusebius, 306]Jerome, 307] Prudentius, 308] Augustine. 309]) Thus, Jesus told Peter, "Thou shalt follow me afterwards." ( John 13:36-38)
303] Hippolytus tells us the tradition that was handed down to him, which describes Peter's widespread apostolic ministry as well as his death at the hands of Nero in Rome, "Peter preached the Gospel in Pontus, and Galatia, and Cappadocia, and Betania, and Italy, and Asia, and was afterwards crucified by Nero in Rome with his head downward, as he had himself desired to suffer in that manner." (The Extant Works and Fragments of Hippolytus, Pt 249: On the Twelve Apostles Where Each of Them Preached, and Where He Met His End)
304] Peter, bishop of Alexandria, tells us that Peter and Paul were martyred in the city of Rome, "Thus, Peter, the preferred of the apostles, having been apprehended and imprisoned often and disgraced, was later crucified in Rome. And the preferred Paul, often handed over and being endangered unto death, many times indeed having contended and boasted in much persecution and affliction, in the same city also he himself was beheaded with a sword." (Epistola Canonica, canon 9) (author's translation) (PG 18484D-485A)
305] Lactantius tells us that Peter ministered in Rome, where he was crucified and Paul killed, "And while Nero reigned, the Apostle Peter came to Rome, and, through the power of God committed unto him, wrought certain miracles, and, by turning many to the true religion, built up a faithful and stedfast temple unto the Lord… He [Nero] it was who first persecuted the servants of God; he crucified Peter, and slew Paul…" (Of the Manner in Which the Persecutors Died 2) (ANF 7)
306] Eusebius, citing Origen, writes, "Peter appears to have preached in Pontus, Galatia, Bithynia, Cappadocia, and Asia to the Jews of the dispersion. And at last, having come to Rome, he was crucified head-downwards; for he had requested that he might suffer in this way." (Ecclesiastical History 312) Eusebius quotes Tertullian to say that Peter was crucified under Nero, "It Isaiah, therefore, recorded that Paul was beheaded in Rome itself, and that Peter likewise was crucified under Nero. This account of Peter and Paul is substantiated by the fact that their names are preserved in the cemeteries of that place even to the present day." (Ecclesiastical History 2255)
307] Jerome tells us that Peter died around A.D 68 on the same day as Paul. "He then, in the fourteenth year of Nero on the same day with Peter, was beheaded at Rome for Christ"s sake and was buried in the Ostian way, the twenty-seventh year after our Lord"s passion." (Lives of Illustrious Men 5)
308] Prudentius writes, "First the sentence of doom carried off Peter, when under the orders of Nero it was commanded that he should hang on a high tree. But Hebrews, because he feared to court the glory of his great Master by emulating the honour of being lifted up to die, insisted that they should set his head down, his feet upwards, so that the top of his head should look towards the bottom of the post. So he had his hands fastened below and his feet towards the top, his spirit nobler in proportion to the humbling posture." (Crowns of Martyrdom 12) See Prudentius II, trans. H. J. Thomson, in The Loeb Classical Library, eds. T. E. Page, E. Capps, and W. H. D. Rouse (London: William Heinemann, 1953), 323-325.
309] St Augustine writes, "One day is assigned for the celebration of the martyrdom of the two Apostles. But those two were one. Although their martyrdom occurred on different days, they were one. Peter went first, Paul followed. We celebrate this feast day which is made sacred for us by the blood of these Apostles." (Sermon 2957-8) (PL 38 Colossians 1352). See "Homily of His Holiness Benedict XVI," (Basilica of St Paul Outside-the-Walls, Thursday, 28 June 2007) [on-line]; accessed 19 April 2010; available from http://www.vatican.va/holy_father/benedict_xvi/homilies/2007/documents/hf_ben-xvi_hom 20070628_vespri_en.html; Internet.
John 13:36-38, "Simon Peter said unto him, Lord, whither goest thou? Jesus answered him, Whither I go, thou canst not follow me now; but thou shalt follow me afterwards. Peter said unto him, Lord, why cannot I follow thee now? I will lay down my life for thy sake. Jesus answered him, Wilt thou lay down thy life for my sake? Verily, verily, I say unto thee, The cock shall not crow, till thou hast denied me thrice."
John 21:22 — "what is that to thee? follow thou me" - Comments - In the 1950"s, when Bob Nichols, current pastor of Calvary Cathedral of Fort Worth, Texas, was a Bible student at Southwestern Bible School (Waxahachie, Texas), a great healing evangelist named Jack Cole died. As the students on that campus were in mourning, he went to prayer about such a great loss. The Lord spoke to him this simple phrase, "What is that to thee? Follow thou me!" For Bob Nichols, the matter of mourning was settled. He was to look ahead.
John 21:22 — Comments - Jesus began His ministry immediately after His water baptism by calling Peter and Andrew to follow Him to the place where He was living. The Gospel of John closes with a similar call to Peter by asking Him to follow His Master into a life of ministry and sacrifice, even unto death.
The Epilogue of John the Apostle - The final two verses of John's Gospel serves as an epilogue which summarizes and concludes the five-fold testimony that he has written about in this book.
John 21:24 — Comments - Everett F. Harrison says the plural "we" used in John 21:24 most likely refers to a group of leaders over the churches in Asia Minor, perhaps even the church in Ephesus, who encouraged John to write his Gospel. 310]
310] Everett F. Harrison, Introduction to the New Testament (Grand Rapids, Michigan: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, c 1964, 1971), 218.
In the Lugandan language of Uganda, East Africa, it is customary to convert the first person singular pronoun "I" into the plural form "we" during the course of a conversation. This is because in many less developed societies people still have strong family bonds and social bonds, which make them think as a group rather than as an individual. In contrast, we in America love our independence and think of ourselves as an individual who makes independent decisions separate from a group. However, the opposite is true in many societies. John was probably writing his epilogue with the mindset of strong social bonds, especially within the church.
Comments - The Gospel of John is a testimony of Jesus as the Son of God.
John 21:25 — "And there are also many other things which Jesus did" - Comments - This statement reveals that John was clearly selective in choosing the miracles that he did record in this Gospel. John appears to have chosen miracles that bear witness the most to Jesus as the Son of God sent from the Father.
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Everett, Gary H. "Commentary on John 21". Gary H. Everett's Study Notes on the Holy Scriptures. https://www.studylight.org/
the Second Week after Epiphany