The Ongoing Provision of Christ

David Mora October 24, 2021 John 21:1-15

I. Christ’s Provision of Manifesting Himself (v1-14)

A. Christ appeared three times after the resurrection

B. We still wander

C. Jesus finds them

D. Jesus feeds them

II. Christ’s Provision of Shepherding for His Flock (v15-17)

A. The call of the Good Shepherd

B. The care of the Good Shepherd

John 10:11 - I am the good shepherd; the good shepherd lays down His life for the sheep.

John 10:14-15 - I am the good shepherd, and I know My own and My own know Me, even as the Father knows Me and I know the Father; and I lay down My life for the sheep.

Hebrews 10:10 - By this will we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.

1 Peter 3:18a - For Christ also died for sins once for all…

C. The instruction for shepherds

III. Christ’s Provision of a Clear and Focused Mission (v18-25)

John 20:31 - …these have been written so that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing you may have life in His name.

I. Christ’s provision of revealing Himself (vv. 1-14)

Verses 1-3: “After these things Jesus manifested Himself again to the disciples at the Sea of Tiberias, and He manifested Himself in this way. 2 Simon Peter, and Thomas called Didymus, and Nathanael of Cana in Galilee, and the sons of Zebedee, and two others of His disciples were together. 3 Simon Peter *said to them, “I am going fishing.” They *said to him, “We will also come with you.” They went out and got into the boat; and that night they caught nothing.” – John 21:1-3 (stop)

Prior to Jesus’ ascension – he remained on earth for a little over a month (cf. Acts 1:3). During this time, our Lord would teach his disciples on the kingdom of God while preparing them for their future ministry as recorded in the book of Acts (1:8). We only have a handful of incidents in which Christ appeared to his disciples – John recorded for us 3 of those instances.

Transition: The first instance is recorded for us in 20:19-23 where Christ appeared to virtually all of his disciples, save Thomas who was nowhere to be found. The second instance is recorded for us in 20:26-29 with Thomas who is now present with the rest of the disciples.

A. Christ appeared three times after the resurrection (John 21:14)

…The third recorded instance is where our setting takes shape which Jesus appeared to his disciples at the “Sea of Tiberias.”

Today, it’s commonly called the Sea of Galilee.

Right at the outset, we know that Jesus appeared to his disciples to encourage them, but specifically, to show them in the Scriptures…

“…beginning with Moses and with all the prophets, He explained to them the things concerning Himself in all the Scriptures.” – Luke 24:27

His appearances to them and for us today who have yet to see our Lord is a keen reminder that he had already written the story and that he alone has the whole world in his hands – that Christ works “all things according to the counsel of his will.” (Eph. 1:11).

Jesus had told his disciples to meet him in Galilee. In fact, Matthew 28:16 tells us that…

“…the eleven disciples proceeded to Galilee, to the mountain which Jesus had designated.” – Matthew 28:16

But for whatever reason, the Scriptures does not record for us that they ever went to this mountain – Don’t you find this odd? Jesus had given to them a designated location…and they are not there. Perhaps they were for a short period of time and Peter leads the charge and they wandered away from the designated location to receive their marching orders from the risen Lord. Yet, they are not there to receive them…interesting…

But what seems readily apparent is that they went back to their…professions.

Verse 3: Simon Peter *said to them, “I am going fishing.” They *said to him, “We will also come with you.” They went out and got into the boat; and that night they caught nothing.” – John 21:3 (stop)

In other words, we find Jesus’ disciples…fishing – Peter lead the charge. This wasn’t recreational…they weren’t merely fishing for a few fish to eat between themselves – that makes no sense at all – think about it: why would you need to go out during the night until the break of dawn merely to catch a few snacks of fishes – no, no – we find them going back to their professions!

Why? Answer: they had no provisions for themselves! While Jesus was with them, he provided for them and took care of their spiritual and physical needs.

Typically, when we go fishing, it serves a number of purposes. Perhaps it’s to catch a few fish and bring some home to eat. Just down the road from my home in the Vinton Woods area, I see a number of people fishing. They’d catch a few fish but then release them back into the water.

But there are others who are professional fishermen – they do it for a living. In our day, we call these people Commercial Fisherman.

Virtually all of the disciples were commercial fisherman.

They did this to eek out a living not just for themselves, but for their families[1]*ToTQNXyecXqJv7O1XKSEzw.jpeg

And here we see them going back to their profession prior to being called into the ministry of their Lord.

They learned to trust in God’s provisions. Now, they are hungry, they are waiting for Jesus and have nothing. So, I believe they were waiting…at least long enough for them to go hungry and they became discouraged and Peter led the charge and they went back to their professions…did I mention that they caught nothing…that is, until Jesus appears again so that they could re-learn a valuable lesson…that without Jesus, they can do nothing. Without Jesus – we can do nothing…not even to catch a fish…not even to eek out a single provision (John 15:5)

Verses 4-11: But when the day was now breaking, Jesus stood on the beach; yet the disciples did not know that it was Jesus. 5 So Jesus *said to them, “Children, you do not have any fish, do you?” They answered Him, “No.” 6 And He said to them, “Cast the net on the right-hand side of the boat and you will find a catch.” So they cast, and then they were not able to haul it in because of the great number of fish.” (stop)

Jesus called his disciples children – meaning, that they were very young in their faith of Christ and had a basic awareness of their faith and still needed to grow in their understanding of Jesus’ commission to them. They needed to understand who it was Christ who would be with them and provide for them

At the same time, this had to of sparked a fire of recollection in their mind, not just for you, but the Apostles when they had first been called into the ministry of Christ, our Lord had provided for them in Luke 5:3-11 [COME BACK TO and ADD MORE THOUGHT]

3 And He got into one of the boats, which was Simon’s, and asked him to put out a little way from the land. And He sat down and began teaching the people from the boat. 4 When He had finished speaking, He said to Simon, “Put out into the deep water and let down your nets for a catch.” 5 Simon answered and said, “Master, we worked hard all night and caught nothing, but I will do as You say and let down the nets.” 6 When they had done this, they enclosed a great quantity of fish, and their nets began to break; 7 so they signaled to their partners in the other boat for them to come and help them. And they came and filled both of the boats, so that they began to sink. 8 But when Simon Peter saw that, he fell down at Jesus’ feet, saying, “Go away from me Lord, for I am a sinful man!” 9 For amazement had seized him and all his companions because of the catch of fish which they had taken; 10 and so also were James and John, sons of Zebedee, who were partners with Simon. And Jesus said to Simon, “Do not fear, from now on you will be catching men.” 11 When they had brought their boats to land, they left everything and followed Him.”

In other words, Jesus was serious about his calling and commission upon their lives – their profession would no longer be to catch fish, but men.

When I became a follower of Christ, it was a life changing – looking back, I can tell you that many things were taking shape in my own life. By the way, as I walk you through my testimony, I want you to think back to the time when the great Shepherd of the Sheep found you – you do realize that it was him who found you, right.

You see, Jesus wasn’t lost – you were and he found you! And he blew into your nostrils the breath of salvation. While we walk through the story of the disciples, I will also walk through mine, I don’t share pieces of my life in the pulpit because I fear the possibility that it would distract from the message of the Cross and my Lord and I don’t wish to be the center of attention, but as Spurgeon put it, to hide behind the cross while pointing the finger to the Christ who saved and redeemed and bought me with a price – so I’ll try and keep it brief and to the point.

Looking back, I can say with 100% certainty, that Christ was drawing me to himself for a long time. I can look back on my life as a very young boy believing in God and making pretend that he and I were playing together in the back yard that I grew up. At a very young age, perhaps around the of 7, I knew that I was created by him and for Him. I just didn’t know what that purpose was.

Often, I remember before going to bed, praying to him, and asking him to reveal himself to me before I grew old, lest I forget him and my heart grow cold like adults did – I’m not kidding. It was strange, at the age of 6-7 I understood that much about adults…I don’t completely understand it – I can only say is this: knowing what I know now about the Scriptures, the Lord had to have been seeking me, drawing me to himself.

I never intended to stand before a pulpit. I never intended on being a pastor opening up the pages of Scripture before you. It’s far more difficult opening up the pages of Scripture and giving you the plain meaning of the text than to do what I was doing prior to this.

It’s far more difficult to stand before you to receive criticism by some who are never satisfied with the amount of preparatory hours you put into writing a sermon to the best of your ability and might, only for it to be incessantly by some who…well – are more critical of other than they are with evaluating their own heart.

I wanted to be an actor on the silver screen – I desired to be comfortable and to receive the accolades of men and women. I wanted to taste everything this world had to offer and I was confident that with hard work, I would get all the idols I wanted…I would receive the lust of my flesh, the lust of my eyes, and the pride of life (1 John 2:16)

Little did I realize the Lord would providentially frustrate my plans...and little did you realize the Lord would change your plans too.

Transition: So it is with whom the Lord commissions. The Lord will frustrate whatever plan you think you may have in this life. When the Lord calls you and saves you, understand that it is he who now governs the affairs of your life, and not you yourself.

The Lord had commissioned his disciples for a specific work. They would set forth the foundation of the church. But it’s much easier to go back what we know, right?

It’s easy to go back to what’s comfortable. It’s easy to go back to what’s familiar to us, right? Sometimes it doesn’t take much it seems in our fallen condition to wander away from our Lord’s great commission to what he has called us to whether it be in the workplace or even in the most practical of settings: our homes with our children or between a husband and wife, brothers, sisters cousins, aunts or uncles, you fill in the blanks.

B. We still wander

Prone to wander, Lord I feel it
Prone to leave the God I love
Here's my heart, oh take and seal it
Seal it for Thy courts above

C. Jesus finds them

Jesus’ confrontation with his disciples seemed tantamount to saying, ‘do you remember the work to which I called you to?’ And upon seeing the risen Christ being with them after waiting for who knows how long ignited the Gospel flame in them once again and John tells Peter. And with the mind’s eye, John understands and said to Peter that it is the Lord.

Verses 7-8 “ Therefore that disciple whom Jesus loved *said to Peter, “It is the Lord.” So when Simon Peter heard that it was the Lord, he put his outer garment on (for he was stripped for work), and threw himself into the sea. 8 But the other disciples came in the little boat, for they were not far from the land, but about one hundred yards away, dragging the net full of fish.” (stop)

Once Peter sees his Lord…I don’t get the impression that Peter is thinking straight! He put on his outer garment and jumps into the sea and begins to frantically swim toward to the beach to be with his Lord – this is the kind of effect Jesus has on his Peter. This is the kind of affect our Lord has on his people, in general.

Understand that Peter was a backslidden man at this point because he had denied his Lord 3 times – but not just Peter – all of his disciples were! But Peter is underscored because he was clearly the leader. And Jesus’ restoration of Peter would mean the rest will come to also.

And understand that at times we will find ourselves wandering away as well…and it may take one reminder, or a number of reminders to once again get a glimpse of our Lord and what he had saved us from to come to our senses again.

Transition: And Peter so wants to be with him again – and I believe he wants to be restored. So Jesus demonstrated for his people that he alone is the seeker as well as the source of our provision and offers them a meal.

D. Jesus feeds them

Verses 9-14: 9 So when they got out on the land, they *saw a charcoal fire already laid and fish placed on it, and bread. 10 Jesus *said to them, “Bring some of the fish which you have now caught.” 11 Simon Peter went up and drew the net to land, full of large fish, a hundred and fifty-three; and although there were so many, the net was not torn. Jesus *said to them, “Come and have breakfast.” None of the disciples ventured to question Him, “Who are You?” knowing that it was the Lord. 13 Jesus *came and *took the bread and *gave it to them, and the fish likewise. 14 This is now the third time that Jesus was manifested to the disciples, after He was raised from the dead.


II. Christ’s provision of shepherding for His flock (vv. 15-17)

“So when they had finished breakfast, Jesus *said to Simon Peter, “Simon, son of John, do you love Me more than these?” He *said to Him, “Yes, Lord; You know that I love You.” He *said to him, “Tend My lambs.” 16 He *said to him again a second time, “Simon, son of John, do you love Me?” He *said to Him, “Yes, Lord; You know that I love You.” He *said to him, “Shepherd My sheep.” 17 He *said to him the third time, “Simon, son of John, do you love Me?” Peter was grieved because He said to him the third time, “Do you love Me?” And he said to Him, “Lord, You know all things; You know that I love You.” Jesus *said to him, “Tend My sheep.” (stop)

I want you to notice something that I think is very raw and on the surface of the heart of the Apostle Peter. Jesus is about to restore Peter, but before he does that, he asked Peter three times if he dearly loved Jesus “more than these.”

More than these? Is Jesus saying to Peter, do you love me more than these other men love me? Or, is Jesus asking Peter, do you love me more than you love your profession you went back to? In other words, do you love me more than your career? Do you love me more than your vocation? After all, Jesus did tell them to meet him at a designated mountain in Galilee and none were there…so Jesus found them back as career fishermen again.

I happen to think that phrase “more than these” things is open to both. In other words – Peter, do I take precedence over the course and direction over your life? What Jesus says to Peter he said in front of the rest of the disciples – and he is saying it to you who are just an earshot of my voice.

Does Christ take precedence over the course of your life? If he doesn’t at all – then you need to give up the rule over your own life. You must give up the rule over your own life. But for the stubborn follower of Christ – do you love your Lord? Do you?

Jesus taught that “to whom little is forgiven, the same loves little” (Luke 7:47). The corollary is true: he who is forgiven much, loves much. There is a sense in which the depth of our affection for Christ is inseparably related to the depth of our understanding of that which we have been forgiven. Peter understood that of all of those surviving, he had betrayed Christ more deeply than the rest. Therefore, in being forgiven, restored, and invited back, not only into fellowship of Christ, but into the ministry of Christ – rather than being dismissed from ministry for the rest of his life for his scandalous transgression – he saw the grace of God more fully than the rest.”[2]

When the Lord had providentially frustrated my plans to become an actor, little did I realize at the time that my vocation would change. But it wasn’t just the career that had changed – the course of my life began to change. My worldview began to change – everything began to change.

The more soaked my mind in God’s Word, the more I began to understand the depths of my depravity, but you also began to learn the depths to which I had been forgiven…I am still trying to understand. And it all goes back to…

A. The call of the Good Shepherd

and the

B. The care of the Good Shepherd

C. The instruction for shepherds

III. Christ’s provision of a clear and focused mission (vv. 18-25)

18 Truly, truly, I say to you, when you were younger, you used to gird yourself and walk wherever you wished; but when you grow old, you will stretch out your hands and someone else will gird you, and bring you where you do not wish to go.” 19 Now this He said, signifying by what kind of death he would glorify God. And when He had spoken this, He *said to him, “Follow Me!”20 Peter, turning around, *saw the disciple whom Jesus loved following them; the one who also had leaned back on His bosom at the supper and said, “Lord, who is the one who betrays You?” 21 So Peter seeing him *said to Jesus, “Lord, and what about this man?” 22 Jesus *said to him, “If I want him to remain until I come, what is that to you? You follow Me!” 23 Therefore this saying went out among the brethren that that disciple would not die; yet Jesus did not say to him that he would not die, but only, “If I want him to remain until I come, what is that to you?” 24 This is the disciple who is testifying to these things and wrote these things, and we know that his testimony is true. 25 And there are also many other things which Jesus did, which if they *were written in detail, I suppose that even the world itself *would not contain the books that *would be written.”

[1] “Do we not have a right to take along a believing wife, even as the rest of the apostles and the brothers of the Lord, and Cephas?” (1 Cor. 9:5)

[2] RC Sproul, St. Andrew's Expositional Commentary: John (Orlando: Reformation Trust, 2009), 405.


David Mora


Pastor of Northend Ministries - Faith Church


B. S. - Religious Education, Davis College
M. Div. - The Master's Seminary

David was raised in upstate NY and was saved in his early 20’s. Not too long after his conversion to Christ, David attended Practical Bible College (now Davis College) where he met his wife, Marleah. They were married in 2003.

In 2005, David and his wife moved to Southern California for his studies at The Master’s Seminary under the ministry of Pastor John MacArthur. After receiving his Master’s of Divinity in 2012, he came to Maryland and served at Hope Bible Church and was later ordained to Pastoral Ministry in the summer of 2017. While at Hope Bible Church, he served in a number of capacities, but his primary emphasis was teaching.

Pastor David joined the Faith Church staff in 2020 to assist in the efforts of serving the Northend Community. He and his wife have been blessed with four children, Leayla, Nalani, Jadon and Alétheia.