Sabbath, July 29, 2017
“ ‘Tell His disciples and Peter that He goeth before you into Galilee: there shall ye see Him.’ All the disciples had forsaken Jesus, and the call to meet Him again includes them all. He has not cast them off. When Mary Magdalene told them she had seen the Lord, she repeated the call to the meeting in Galilee. And a third time the message was sent to them. After He had ascended to the Father, Jesus appeared to the other women, saying, ‘All hail. And they came and held Him by the feet, and worshiped Him. Then said Jesus unto them, Be not afraid: go tell My brethren that they go into Galilee, and there shall they see Me.’ ” –The Desire of Ages, p. 793.
Jesus appears again
1. What had Jesus said about seeing the disciples in the days ahead? Where did the Saviour appear to His beloved disciples?
Matthew 26:32; 28:10 But after I am risen again, I will go before you into Galilee…. 28:10Then said Jesus unto them, Be not afraid: go tell my brethren that they go into Galilee, and there shall they see me.
John 21:1 After these things Jesus showed himself again to the disciples at the sea of Tiberias; and on this wise showed he himself.
“Jesus had appointed to meet His disciples in Galilee; and soon after the Passover week was ended, they bent their steps thither. Their absence from Jerusalem during the feast would have been interpreted as disaffection and heresy, therefore they remained till its close; but this over, they gladly turned homeward to meet the Saviour as He had directed.” –The Desire of Ages, p. 809.
Result of human efforts
2. What did Peter propose to the other disciples when they were back in Galilee? What was their response?
John 21:2, 3, first part There were together Simon Peter, and Thomas called Didymus, and Nathanael of Cana in Galilee, and the sons of Zebedee, and two other of his disciples. 3Simon Peter saith unto them, I go a fishing. They say unto him, We also go with thee.
“Seven of the disciples were in company. They were clad in the humble garb of fishermen; they were poor in worldly goods, but rich in the knowledge and practice of the truth, which in the sight of Heaven gave them the highest rank as teachers….
“The evening was pleasant, and Peter, who still had much of his old love for boats and fishing, proposed that they should go out upon the sea and cast their nets. In this plan all were ready to join; they were in need of food and clothing, which the proceeds of a successful night’s fishing would supply.” –The Desire of Ages, pp. 809, 810.
3. What was the result of their fishing expedition, even though they worked all night? Who appeared to them in the morning?
John 21:3, last part, 4 … And that night they caught nothing. 4But when the morning was now come, Jesus stood on the shore: but the disciples knew not that it was Jesus.
“So they went out in their boat, but they caught nothing. All night they toiled, without success. Through the weary hours they talked of their absent Lord, and recalled the wonderful events they had witnessed in His ministry beside the sea. They questioned as to their own future, and grew sad at the prospect before them.” –The Desire of Ages, p. 810.
Beyond all expectation
4. Without identifying Himself, what counsel did Jesus give the fishermen? What extraordinary thing happened, even though the time of day was not suitable for fishing?
John 21:5, 6 Then Jesus saith unto them, Children, have ye any meat? They answered him, No. 6And he said unto them, Cast the net on the right side of the ship, and ye shall find. They cast therefore, and now they were not able to draw it for the multitude of fishes.
“All the while a lone watcher upon the shore followed them with His eye, while He Himself was unseen. At length the morning dawned. The boat was but a little way from the shore, and the disciples saw a stranger standing upon the beach, who accosted them with the question, ‘Children, have ye any meat?’ When they answered, ‘No,’ ‘He said unto them, Cast the net on the right side of the ship, and ye shall find. They cast therefore, and now they were not able to draw it for the multitude of fishes.’ ” –The Desire of Ages, p. 810.
5. Who recognized Jesus? Without any work or effort on their part, what did the Master miraculously provide for His disciples?
John 21:7-9 Therefore that disciple whom Jesus loved saith unto Peter, It is the Lord. Now when Simon Peter heard that it was the Lord, he girt his fisher’s coat unto him, (for he was naked,) and did cast himself into the sea. 8And the other disciples came in a little ship; (for they were not far from land, but as it were two hundred cubits,) dragging the net with fishes. 9As soon then as they were come to land, they saw a fire of coals there, and fish laid thereon, and bread.
“John recognized the stranger, and exclaimed to Peter, ‘It is the Lord.’… ‘As soon then as they were come to land, they saw a fire of coals there, and fish laid thereon, and bread.’
“They were too much amazed to question whence came the fire and the food. ‘Jesus saith unto them, Bring of the fish which ye have now caught.’ Peter rushed for the net, which he had dropped, and helped his brethren drag it to the shore. After the work was done, and the preparation made, Jesus bade the disciples come and dine. He broke the food, and divided it among them, and was known and acknowledged by all the seven. The miracle of feeding the five thousand on the mountainside was now brought to their minds; but a mysterious awe was upon them, and in silence they gazed upon the risen Saviour.” –The Desire of Ages, p. 810.
6. How was their readiness to obey the Lord without question rewarded? Of what did He want to remind His disciples through this experience?
John 21:10-13 Jesus saith unto them, Bring of the fish which ye have now caught. 11Simon 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. 12Jesus saith unto them, Come and dine. And none of the disciples durst ask him, Who art thou? knowing that it was the Lord.13 Jesus then cometh, and taketh bread, and giveth them, and fish likewise.
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. 19And he saith unto them, Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men. 20And they straightway left their nets, and followed him.
“Vividly they recalled the scene beside the sea when Jesus had bidden them follow Him. They remembered how, at His command, they had launched out into the deep, and had let down their net, and the catch had been so abundant as to fill the net, even to breaking. Then Jesus had called them to leave their fishing boats, and had promised to make them fishers of men. It was to bring this scene to their minds, and to deepen its impression, that He had again performed the miracle. His act was a renewal of the commission to the disciples. It showed them that the death of their Master had not lessened their obligation to do the work He had assigned them…. While they were doing His work, He would provide for their needs. And Jesus had a purpose in bidding them cast their net on the right side of the ship. On that side He stood upon the shore. That was the side of faith. If they labored in connection with Him–His divine power combining with their human effort–they could not fail of success.” –The Desire of Ages, pp. 810, 811.
7. What appearance of Jesus was this at the shore of Galilee? What was His purpose?
John 21:14 This is now the third time that Jesus showed himself to his disciples, after that he was risen from the dead.
“Christ’s first work on earth after His resurrection was to convince His disciples of His undiminished love and tender regard for them. To give them proof that He was their living Saviour, that He had broken the fetters of the tomb, and could no longer be held by the enemy death; to reveal that He had the same heart of love as when He was with them as their beloved Teacher, He appeared to them again and again. He would draw the bonds of love still closer around them. Go tell My brethren, He said, that they meet Me in Galilee.” –The Desire of Ages, p. 793.
For additional study
“The prayer for daily bread includes not only food to sustain the body, but that spiritual bread which will nourish the soul unto life everlasting. Jesus bids us, ‘Labour not for the meat which perisheth, but for that meat which endureth unto everlasting life.’ John 6:27…. Our Saviour is the bread of life, and it is by beholding His love, by receiving it into the soul, that we feed upon the bread which came down from heaven.” –Lift Him Up, p. 131.
“In teaching us to ask every day for what we need–both temporal and spiritual blessings–God has a purpose to accomplish for our good. He would have us realize our dependence upon His constant care, for He is seeking to draw us into communion with Himself. In this communion with Christ, through prayer and the study of the great and precious truths of His Word, we shall as hungry souls be fed; as those that thirst, we shall be refreshed at the fountain of life.” –Thoughts From the Mount of Blessing, pp. 112, 113.