John 20:19-31 Breakdown
Jesus’ Appearance to the Disciples 20:19 On the evening of that day, the first day of the week, the disciples had gathered together and locked the doors of the place because they were afraid of the Jewish leaders. Jesus came and stood among them and said to them, “Peace be with you.”
The disciples were almost arrested with Jesus. Satan wanted to exterminate the disciples as well. They were hiding from the Jewish leaders who wanted to kill them. Jesus walked through the door and appeared to them. He greeted them with the Hebrew “shalom,” meaning peace with God.
20:20 When he had said this, he showed them his hands and his side. Then the disciples rejoiced when they saw the Lord.
Jesus appeared in His glorified body. His hands and feet still possessed the scars of the crucifixion. The disciples rejoiced when they saw that their teacher had been raised from the dead.
20:21 So Jesus said to them again, “Peace be with you. Just as the Father has sent me, I also send you.”
The disciples were no longer disciples. They were now apostles. Apostles were those who were sent by God to deliver a message. The message was that Jesus is the Son of God who became a man to die for the sins of the world. The apostles will battle against satanic forces. They will need spiritual power from above to accomplish this task.
20:22 And after he said this, he breathed on them and said, “Receive the Holy Spirit.
God breathed on the dust of the earth and Adam became a living being. Jesus breathed on the disciples and they became spiritually alive. They were born with a dead spirit, but now their spirit was alive and active. The receiving of the Holy Spirit was an anticipation of the Day of Pentecost. The apostles will be given limited and partial gifts of knowledge, understanding, and empowerment in order to authenticate the gospel.
20:23 If you forgive anyone’s sins, they are forgiven; if you retain anyone’s sins, they are retained.”
The apostles were given the privilege of announcing heaven’s terms of salvation. If a person rejects the sacrifice of Jesus, then the apostles can announce that person as anathema. If a person believes in the sacrifice of Jesus, then the apostle can announce that person as saved.
The Response of Thomas 20:24 Now Thomas (called Didymus), one of the twelve, was not with them when Jesus came.
Thomas missed the resurrection appearance of Christ.
20:25 The other disciples told him, “We have seen the Lord!” But he replied, “Unless I see the wounds from the nails in his hands, and put my finger into the wounds from the nails, and put my hand into his side, I will never believe it!”
The Greek word for told is ἔλεγον (elegon), an imperfect active indicative verb, meaning that the disciples continually told Thomas over and over about the resurrection. Thomas refused to believe. He wanted evidence.
20:26 Eight days later the disciples were again together in the house, and Thomas was with them. Although the doors were locked, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you!”
Jesus walked through the locked door and appeared to all of the apostles, including Thomas.
20:27 Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here, and examine my hands. Extend your hand and put it into my side. Do not continue in your unbelief, but believe.”
Jesus gave Thomas the evidence that he requested.
20:28 Thomas replied to him, “My Lord and my God!”
Thomas announced that Jesus was the God of the universe in human flesh.
20:29 Jesus said to him, “Have you believed because you have seen me? Blessed are the people who have not seen and yet have believed.”
Jesus pronounced a blessing on all of those in the future who would never see Christ, but they would still believe.
20:30 Now Jesus performed many other miraculous signs in the presence of the disciples, which are not recorded in this book.
The other gospels recorded 35 different miracles. John concentrated on only seven of them. There were many other miracles which Jesus performed that were not written in any gospels.
20:31 But these are recorded so that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name.
The reason that John wrote this book was so that people would read it and believe that Jesus is the Messiah and the Son of God. Those who read this book and believe this message will live with God for eternity.
John 21 Breakdown
Jesus’ Appearance to the Disciples in Galilee 21:1 After this Jesus revealed himself again to the disciples by the Sea of Tiberias. Now this is how he did so.
An angel had promised the disciples that Jesus would meet them in Galilee. The Sea of Tiberias was another name for the Sea of Galilee. The disciples were confused and unsure of the future.
21:2 Simon Peter, Thomas (called Didymus), Nathanael (who was from Cana in Galilee), the sons of Zebedee, and two other disciples of his were together.
Peter had denied the Lord Jesus and returned to Galilee. Five of the disciples returned with Peter, showing that Peter was still a leader of the group.
21:3 Simon Peter told them, “I am going fishing.” “We will go with you,” they replied. They went out and got into the boat, but that night they caught nothing.
Peter denied Jesus and had given up on the ministry. He returned to his fishermen’s business. Five of the disciples entered the fishing business with him.
21:4 When it was already very early morning, Jesus stood on the beach, but the disciples did not know that it was Jesus.
Jesus was waiting on the beach, ready to encourage and restore His disciples.
21:5 So Jesus said to them, “Children, you don’t have any fish, do you?” They replied, “No.”
Jesus made His efficacious call to the disciples. The efficacious call of God cannot be resisted.
21:6 He told them, “Throw your net on the right side of the boat, and you will find some.” So they threw the net, and were not able to pull it in because of the large number of fish.
Jesus demonstrated that He could still perform miracles in His resurrected body. He also reminded the disciples of His first call.
21:7 Then the disciple whom Jesus loved said to Peter, “It is the Lord!” So Simon Peter, when he heard that it was the Lord, tucked in his outer garment (for he had nothing on underneath it), and plunged into the sea.
Peter recognized the voice of Jesus, calling him “Lord” (meaning deity). Peter jumped into the water and swam to shore. He could not wait to see Jesus once again.
21:8 Meanwhile the other disciples came with the boat, dragging the net full of fish, for they were not far from land, only about a hundred yards.
The other disciples rowed to shore with a large catch of fish.
21:9 When they got out on the beach, they saw a charcoal fire ready with a fish placed on it, and bread.
Jesus prepared a fish breakfast for the hungry disciples.
21:10 Jesus said, “Bring some of the fish you have just now caught.”
Jesus asked the disciples to bring the fish on shore.
21:11 So Simon Peter went aboard and pulled the net to shore. It was full of large fish, one hundred fifty-three, but although there were so many, the net was not torn.
Many pastors spiritualize this passage and make the 153 fish into all different kinds of typology. The fishermen would usually bring the fish ashore, count them, and then divide them. This is just a simple historical incident which John recorded to show the miraculous catch.
21:12 “Come, have breakfast,” Jesus said. But none of the disciples dared to ask him, “Who are you?” because they knew it was the Lord.
Mary Magdalene and the two men on the road to Emmaus did not recognize Jesus, but the disciples did.
21:13 Jesus came and took the bread and gave it to them, and did the same with the fish.
Jesus was able to share a meal with His disciples in His resurrected body.
21:14 This was now the third time Jesus was revealed to the disciples after he was raised from the dead.
John recorded the first three appearances.
Peter’s Restoration 21:15 Then when they had finished breakfast, Jesus said to Simon Peter, “Simon, son of John, do you love me more than these do?” He replied, “Yes, Lord, you know I love you.” Jesus told him, “Feed my lambs.”
Peter told Jesus that although the other disciples would leave Him, Peter would not. Then, Peter denied Jesus three times before the rooster crowed twice. Jesus was now going to restore Peter publicly in front of the other disciples.
The Greek word for love that was used by Jesus is ἀγαπάω (agape), meaning divine love. Jesus asked Peter if he had more divine love than the other disciples.
The Greek word for love which was used by Peter was φιλῶ (phileo), meaning a friendship love. Peter answered that he loved Jesus as a friend.
If Peter loved Jesus as a friend, then Jesus asked Peter to feed His lambs. He was asking Peter to teach the things of God to the elect of God.
21:16 Jesus said a second time, “Simon, son of John, do you love me?” He replied, “Yes, Lord, you know I love you.” Jesus told him, “Shepherd my sheep.”
Jesus asked Peter a second time, “Do you possess divine love (ἀγαπάω) for me”. Peter answered a second time, “You know that I possess friendship love (φιλῶ) for you.” Jesus asked Peter to shepherd His elect.
21:17 Jesus said a third time, “Simon, son of John, do you love me?” Peter was distressed that Jesus asked him a third time, “Do you love me?” and said, “Lord, you know everything. You know that I love you.” Jesus replied, “Feed my sheep.
Jesus asked Peter a third time, but this time He used a different Greek word for love. He asked Peter, “Do you love me like a friend (φιλῶ). Peter was distressed by this change of the Greek verb. Peter answered, “You know that I love you like a friend (φιλῶ).” Jesus asked Peter to feed His elect the Word of God.
Peter and the disciples were trained personally by Jesus to teach the Word of God to the rest of the Roman world. Instead of fulfilling this mission, the disciples had entered the fishing business. Jesus told them to leave the fishing business and concentrate on feeding the people the Word of God.
Catholics teach that Jesus was making Peter the first Pope of the Catholic Church, but this is simply not the case. Jesus was restoring Peter to fellowship and commissioning him to shepherd the sheep of his generation. Jesus was not commissioning future popes to shepherd future generations of believers. The doctrine of the church was established by the Apostle Paul in 2 Timothy. Nowhere is the office of pope mentioned in Scripture.
Peter was one of the greatest saints of God, but he failed. Failure will happen to everyone and anyone who follows the Word of God, including even the most mature believers. The good news is that Jesus will restore those who fall. He will pick them up, dust off their clothes, give them a sword for battle, and point them in the direction in which they are to conquer.
21:18 I tell you the solemn truth, when you were young, you tied your clothes around you and went wherever you wanted, but when you are old, you will stretch out your hands, and others will tie you up and bring you where you do not want to go.” 21:19 (Now Jesus said this to indicate clearly by what kind of death Peter was going to glorify God.) After he said this, Jesus told Peter, “Follow me.”
Jesus predicted that Peter would be crucified in his old age. The fulfillment of this prophecy was recorded in the secular histories of 1 Clement 5:4; 6:1, and Eusebius The Ecclesiastical History 2. 25.
Peter and the Disciple Jesus Loved 21:20 Peter turned around and saw the disciple whom Jesus loved following them. (This was the disciple who had leaned back against Jesus’ chest at the meal and asked, “Lord, who is the one who is going to betray you?”) 21:21 So when Peter saw him, he asked Jesus, “Lord, what about him?”
Peter asked Jesus about the fate of John.
21:22 Jesus replied, “If I want him to live until I come back, what concern is that of yours? You follow me!”
Jesus rebuked Peter for desiring to know God’s will for another believer. Peter was not to preoccupy his time with these secret mysteries of God. Peter was to concentrate on his own commission.
21:23 So the saying circulated among the brothers and sisters that this disciple was not going to die. But Jesus did not say to him that he was not going to die, but rather, “If I want him to live until I come back, what concern is that of yours?”
There were false teachings circulated around the churches that were teaching that John would not die until Jesus returned. Jesus corrected the disciples on this misinformation. Satan has planted many false teachers in modern churches in order to muddy the waters. Christians must seek to understand God’s Word accurately so that they will not be deceived by these mistruths of false teachers.
A Final Note 21:24 This is the disciple who testifies about these things and has written these things, and we know that his testimony is true.
John was an actual eye witness to all of these events. He knew a lot more than the johnny-come-latelies who come around over 2000 years without a shred of historical documents and claim that these events did not quite happen the way that John recorded it. How do they know? John was there. They were not! Shame on liberal scholars who pretend to know more than the Apostle John.
21:25 There are many other things that Jesus did. If every one of them were written down, I suppose the whole world would not have room for the books that would be written.
Someone estimated that a person can read aloud the words of Jesus in only about three hours. If everything could be written about Jesus, then it would be written in volumes.
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