Introduction: A key idea in today’s Sunday School material is that Jesus appeared to a group of disciples to encourage their faith. Prayerfully, we will be challenged to trust God without needing more signs and wonders.
Read John 21:1-4
I. Unhappy Result. Some of Jesus’ disciples were by the Sea of Galilee. Peter initiated going fishing. In our Sunday School material, the other disciples joined him. After fishing all night, they did not catch anything. Jesus was standing on the shore, in the morning, but the disciples did not realize it was Him.
- God is present. Notice in vss. 1-4 that Jesus was present when the men were coming to the shore with no fish. In like manner, God is always present in our lives. We may not recognize Him, but He is there.
He knows about our needs and wants. He knows about our frustrations and disappointments with catching nothing all night long. God is not just sitting high with no connection to us.
Let’s live like we trust that God knows us. This kind of living should be known for obedience and confidence in God doing what is best for us at the right time.
Read John 21:5-8
II. Unforeseen Provision. In our Sunday School material, Jesus calls out to the disciples and asks about their catch. When they reported no fish, He gave them instructions.
The disciples followed the instructions and caught a massive amount of fish. When they recognized Jesus, Peter jumped in the water to get to Him, while the others followed in the boat with all the fish.
- Strangers. Notice in vs. 6 that the disciples were open to the stranger’s instruction, and it turned out that the stranger was Jesus. In like manner, we should be prayerful in how we respond to people, including strangers. God can use whoever He chooses to use.
When we just ignore people or are hateful towards them, we may be messing up our next blessing. Let’s work on treating everyone with respect. This includes at least hearing and considering what is being said.
- Getting to the Lord. Notice in vss. 7-8 that Peter swam to the Lord, while the others came in the boat. In like manner, we may not all come to the Lord, in the same way. The most important thing is that we get to Him. Let’s help people get to the Lord.
This application should move us to revisit our methods of reaching and our openness about receiving people into the Lord’s family. Everybody may not come in the traditional worship during the invitation period.
Read John 21:9-14
III. Unexpected Meal. Jesus coordinates a meal with His disciples in our Sunday School material. They had caught 153 fish, which was a large number. But the nets were not even torn. The disciples knew that they were with the Lord. This was the third time Jesus appeared to His disciples, after He had risen from the dead.
- Signs and wonders. Notice in vss. 9-14 that Jesus had signs and wonders to help His disciples with their faith. There was the 153-large fish, the fire and fish on the shore, and the undamaged nets.
First, God knows what we need to trust Him. We should be thankful that God patiently provides some signs and wonders to help us with our faith issues.
Second, as we minister to others, we should be mindful that love is the greatest sign of our discipleship and a great way to help people draw closer to God. This often works better than simply Christian literature, Bibles, or Bible studies.
Third, the longer we are with the Lord, the less signs and wonders we should need. At some point, we should be able to simple take God at His word. Let’s work on growing to trust God without the need of more signs and wonders.
- Fellowship. Notice in vs. 12 that Jesus spent time eating and fellowshipping with His disciples. It is important for disciples to spend time together. Sharing joys and concerns over meals has a way of gluing people together. Fellowship calls for making time and being vulnerable enough to share. Let’s work on more team building fellowship.
Conclusion: Let’s work on trusting God without needing more
signs and wonders. God has much for those who obey His will.