ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

John's Gospel, a New Look, Number 23: Chapter 21 the Resurrection Appearances

Updated on December 4, 2017

John's Gospel. A New Look - Number 23: Chapter 21-The Final Appearances of Jesus.

At the end of chapter 20 John obviously comes to the end of his gospel account by stating his aim: "......that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that believing you may have life in his name" (John 20:31). But then almost as an afterthought John continues with a chapter that deals with Jesus' final appearances to his disciples, and mainly with his interaction with Peter.

Back in Galilee a group of the disciples had joined Peter to go fishing, but they caught nothing. Early in the morning after a fruitless night's fishing, Jesus appears on the shore and greets them by calling them friends. He then asks "Haven't you any fish?" Their negative reply is answered from the shore: "Cast your net on the right side of the boat and you will find some". So they try and undoubtedly are hugely surprised by their great catch.

Peter, always the impetuous one, jumps off the boat when John realizes and says, "It is the Lord." Peter leaves the other disciples to take care of their huge and unexpected catch, but then returns to help them. So the group, after completing their task, joins Jesus for a breakfast of fish and bread cooked over a coal fire, as was the custom in that area. John knows the exact number of fish that they had caught, showing his emphasis to detail.

Though the disciples recognise who this person is, they have trouble recognising Jesus in his post resurrection form. "None of the disciples dared ask him, who are you? They knew he was the Lord." (Verse 12) So in an almost mirror repeat of the last supper, Jesus hands them first bread and then fish. John reminds the readers that this was the third appearance after the resurrection.

The actual form that Jesus takes after the resurrection is somewhat of a mystery and it is Luke who gives us more insight as he explains how Jesus invites them to feel his hands and feet- and explains to them that a ghost "does not have flesh and bones", Luke 24:39.

Then comes the account of the amazing discussion that Jesus had with Peter. Jesus asks Peter , in an almost formal way: "Simon son of John, do you truly love me more that these?" It is interesting to speculate as to who the "these" are - the other disciples or the fish? After all, Peter had returned to his fishing companions to do what he obviously loved, that is, fishing.

Be that as it may, Jesus uses the word agape for love. That means much more than a love that implies "I like you as a friend". It means loving someone completely to the extent that you will give your life for them. The word used in John 3:15,16 for God's love for us. "God so loved the world that he gave his only Son....". Peter answers in the affirmative using a different word for love, phileo. This is a friendship love. Again Jesus repeats the question with the same answer. Then the third time of asking, Jesus changes the word to phileo. Do you even love me as a friend? A question that upsets Peter.

Perhaps in this exchange as Jesus finally asks Peter, do you love me in this "lesser" way , he is reminding Peter of the denial at His arrest. Implied is the fact that when Peter denied Jesus he certainly did not love Him in practice as either in "agape" love or even with a "phileo" love. It is also interesting that at the denial of Jesus, Peter stood in the palace courtyard at a fire, and now in the cold early morning on the shore of Galilee they sit around the fire to have this discussion.

In reply to Peters answer on each occasion Jesus instructs him to "Feed my lambs", "Take care of my sheep", "Feed my sheep"; an instruction that Jesus gave to all the disciples as recorded in Matthew 28:18,19, in another form. Peter does this powerfully on the day of Pentecost as recorded in Acts chapter 2.

John continues this final chapter with an explanation of what Jesus told Peter about his future life. That he would also die and in that way glorify God. Then follows a clarification concerning a misunderstanding about whether John would not die before the return of Jesus.

John signs his Gospel of with an assurance that what he has written is true and reliable, reminding the readers that Jesus did many other things that are not recorded in this account.

Surely anyone reading this Gospel with an open mind will be convinced that what John wrote is true, and so fits into the stated aim that John had in mind when penning it: "to believe and in believing have life".


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
    ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)