Sermon for Sunday, April 23, 2023

Hardheaded and Hard Hearted

John 21:1-14

John 21:1–14 (NIV): 21 Afterward Jesus appeared again to his disciples, by the Sea of Galilee. It happened this way: 2 Simon Peter, Thomas (also known as Didymus), Nathanael from Cana in Galilee, the sons of Zebedee, and two other disciples were together. 3 “I’m going out to fish,” Simon Peter told them, and they said, “We’ll go with you.” So they went out and got into the boat, but that night they caught nothing.

4 Early in the morning, Jesus stood on the shore, but the disciples did not realize that it was Jesus.

5 He called out to them, “Friends, haven’t you any fish?”

“No,” they answered.

6 He said, “Throw your net on the right side of the boat and you will find some.” When they did, they were unable to haul the net in because of the large number of fish.

7 Then the disciple whom Jesus loved said to Peter, “It is the Lord!” As soon as Simon Peter heard him say, “It is the Lord,” he wrapped his outer garment around him (for he had taken it off) and jumped into the water. 8 The other disciples followed in the boat, towing the net full of fish, for they were not far from shore, about a hundred yards. 9 When they landed, they saw a fire of burning coals there with fish on it, and some bread.

10 Jesus said to them, “Bring some of the fish you have just caught.” 11 So Simon Peter climbed back into the boat and dragged the net ashore. It was full of large fish, 153, but even with so many the net was not torn. 12 Jesus said to them, “Come and have breakfast.” None of the disciples dared ask him, “Who are you?” They knew it was the Lord. 13 Jesus came, took the bread and gave it to them, and did the same with the fish. 14 This was now the third time Jesus appeared to his disciples after he was raised from the dead.

Jesus only appeared to his disciples 3 times according to John.  The last time, the fourth, would be his ascension. 40 total days to be exact.  According to Luke, he records in Acts 1:1-8:

Acts 1:1–8 (NIV): 1 In my former book, Theophilus, I wrote about all that Jesus began to do and to teach 2 until the day he was taken up to heaven, after giving instructions through the Holy Spirit to the apostles he had chosen. 3 After his suffering, he presented himself to them and gave many convincing proofs that he was alive. He appeared to them over a period of forty days and spoke about the kingdom of God. 4 On one occasion, while he was eating with them, he gave them this command: “Do not leave Jerusalem, but wait for the gift my Father promised, which you have heard me speak about. 5 For John baptized with water, but in a few days you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit.”

6 Then they gathered around him and asked him, “Lord, are you at this time going to restore the kingdom to Israel?”

7 He said to them: “It is not for you to know the times or dates the Father has set by his own authority. 8 But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”

The Keys to the Kingdom for Israel…the HOLY SPIRIT!

Now, I don’t mean to single Peter out, but I must use him and his actions as an example to learn from because there are definite changes in the maturation of Peter as he matures, especially after receiving the Holy Spirit.

  1. He sank when walking on the water to Jesus. (Matthew 14:22-34)
  2. Can’t stay awake to pray for Jesus. (Mark 14:3-38)
  3. He cuts the ear of Malchus the servant at the arrest of Jesus. (Luke 22:49-51)
  4. Denies he knows Jesus or is one of his followers 3 times. (John 18: 15-27)
  5. Goes fishing when he was told to stay in Jerusalem and got other disciples to do the same. (John 21:1-14)

 And sometimes even after receiving the Holy Spirit:

  • Galatians 2:11–13 (NIV): 11 When Cephas came to Antioch, I opposed him to his face, because he stood condemned. 12 For before certain men came from James, he used to eat with the Gentiles. But when they arrived, he began to draw back and separate himself from the Gentiles because he was afraid of those who belonged to the circumcision group. 13 The other Jews joined him in his hypocrisy, so that by their hypocrisy even Barnabas was led astray.

But he learned from his mistakes:

  • 2 Peter 3:15–16 (NIV): 15 Bear in mind that our Lord’s patience means salvation, just as our dear brother Paul also wrote you with the wisdom that God gave him. 16 He writes the same way in all his letters, speaking in them of these matters. His letters contain some things that are hard to understand, which ignorant and unstable people distort, as they do the other Scriptures, to their own destruction.

So, you could say that Peter was hardheaded and hard hearted, but God still used him!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *