Sketched IX Day 5 Almost, But Not Yet: Digging Deeper

Digging Deeper Days

Finding the original intent of Scripture and making good application to our everyday lives as we become equipped to correctly handle the Word of Truth!

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The Questions

1) Why does this passage begin with, “Jesus revealed Himself again…”? (verse 1)

2) What would the disciples have been reminded of during the fishing scene? (verses 7-11)

3) What was significant for the disciples in the breakfast scene? (verses 12-14)

John 21:1-14

After this, Jesus revealed himself again to his disciples by the Sea of Tiberias. He revealed himself in this way:

2 Simon Peter, Thomas (called “Twin”), Nathanael from Cana of Galilee, Zebedee’s sons, and two others of his disciples were together.

3 “I’m going fishing,” Simon Peter said to them.

“We’re coming with you,” they told him. They went out and got into the boat, but that night they caught nothing.

4 When daybreak came, Jesus stood on the shore, but the disciples did not know it was Jesus. 5 “Friends,” Jesus called to them, “you don’t have any fish, do you?”

“No,” they answered.

6 “Cast the net on the right side of the boat,” he told them, “and you’ll find some.” So they did, and they were unable to haul it in because of the large number of fish. 7 The disciple, the one Jesus loved, said to Peter, “It is the Lord!”

When Simon Peter heard that it was the Lord, he tied his outer clothing around him (for he had taken it off) and plunged into the sea. 8 Since they were not far from land (about a hundred yards away), the other disciples came in the boat, dragging the net full of fish.

9 When they got out on land, they saw a charcoal fire there, with fish lying on it, and bread. 10 “Bring some of the fish you’ve just caught,” Jesus told them. 11 So Simon Peter climbed up and hauled the net ashore, full of large fish—153 of them. Even though there were so many, the net was not torn.

12 “Come and have breakfast,” Jesus told them. None of the disciples dared ask him, “Who are you?” because they knew it was the Lord. 13 Jesus came, took the bread, and gave it to them. He did the same with the fish. 14 This was now the third time Jesus appeared to the disciples after he was raised from the dead.

Original Intent

1) Why does this passage begin with, “Jesus revealed Himself again…”? (verse 1)
At the scene of this particular encounter between Jesus and His disciples, Christ had already been crucified on the cross, died, was buried for three days, and then rose again. He had appeared to the disciples in their secret upper room where they had been hiding out while Jesus was in the grave. (John 20:19-23) A week after that appearance, Jesus appeared again to Thomas who had been absent the first time Jesus came to the upper room. This time, John writes that Jesus came in and was present with them even though the doors were locked. (John 20:24-29) This scene on the beach of Galilee was the third time Jesus appeared specifically to the disciples in His new, resurrected body. (John 21:14) During His post-resurrection period before He ascended into the clouds to return to Heaven, He engaged with over 500 people. (1 Corinthians 15:3-6) The Greek word for both “revealed” in verse 1 and “appeared” in verse 14 is actually the same word, “φανερόω”. Its definition, while carrying both ideas of “reveal” and “appear”, means something deeper. φανερόω means the unveiling of something that was, at one time, mysterious and unseen. While the disciples had often seen Jesus in physical form before He was crucified as they had followed Him for three years, this physical manifestation, φανερόω, of Jesus was absolutely different. His resurrected body allowed people to see and understand what was previously unknown and completely hidden because of the grave and death. While Jesus had previous raised some people from the dead, their bodies were not Heavenly resurrected bodies. As Jesus spoke with His disciples in His new body, he was doing more than simply making an appearance, He was making more of God known through His body and interaction. 

2) What would the disciples have been reminded of during the fishing scene? (verses 7-11)
When Peter told six disciples (verse 2) he had decided to go fishing (verse 3), he likely wasn’t just trying to pass the time on a lazy afternoon. Peter had been a fisherman by trade before he decided to follow Jesus three years prior. Though Jesus had risen from the grave, everything was different. He wasn’t teaching to the crowds anymore, and He wasn’t regularly engaging the disciples by daily teaching them and living alongside them. That time was over, and Jesus was preparing to return to Heaven. Peter simply didn’t know what else to do, and, being a man of action, he declared, “I’m going fishing.” (verse 3) His friends followed suit, but after a night of catching absolutely nothing, you can imagine Peter’s growing frustration. He couldn’t follow Jesus anymore, and clearly, he couldn’t fish either. Purposelessness is a hard place for anyone. Just as dawn was breaking over the lake, the exhausted and discouraged fishermen heard a voice, “Friends! You don’t have any fish, do you?” (verse 5) Because everything about Jesus was increasingly new in His resurrected body, even His voice didn’t strike them as familiar. Again, the man on the shore called aloud with a strange instruction, “Cast your net on the right side of the boat and you’ll find some.” (verse 6) Still, the disciples hadn’t caught on that the mystery man was Jesus, but they followed His directive and were rewarded by a catch so large they couldn’t haul it in. (verse 6) Suddenly, everything clicked for John as the familiarity of the all-nighter and the call of a stranger on the shore, followed by an enormous load of fish caught up to him. This had been almost the exact scene three years prior when Jesus called Peter, Andrew, James, and John. Go read about it in Luke 5:1-11! “Peter! It’s the Lord!”, cried John. So, off went Peter jumping overboard swimming and sloshing through the sea to reach Jesus. (verse 7) There in the common, again, Jesus had met them.

3) What was significant for the disciples in the breakfast scene? (verses 12-14)
Over the course of their 3-year journey together, the disciples had eaten countless meals with Jesus. They had seen Him break bread and give thanks over and over and over. Fish and bread were a very common meal for the time, so they had likely shared this exact meal hundreds of times together. There is something special about familiarity, isn’t there? It sets the stage for surprisingly deep conversations and exploring new truths. Amidst all the images of sharing fish and bread together, two incredibly powerful instances likely rose to the top for the disciples that morning. Jesus had broken bread with them at their last shared Passover in the upper room before He was brutally killed by crucifixion. The shared meal was the last they had with Jesus as Master and intimate Friend before He sacrificed Himself, taking the rightly deserved punishment for them (and you and me) upon Himself. The second scene that surely ran through their minds was the most recent one with Jesus where He suddenly appeared in the same upper room with doors locked. It was just the believers gathered together, and then, there was Jesus asking for something to eat and they gave him fish. As Jesus ate it, He proved He was real flesh and blood, alive from the dead by His own power and authority. Astonishing! This breaking bread and eating of fish, though sweetly familiar, was packed with purpose for the disciples, and none of it was lost on them.

Everyday Application

1) Why does this passage begin with, “Jesus revealed Himself again…”? (verse 1)
As we journey the Scriptures from its first page to its last, we are flooded with ever-increasing examples of God making Himself known (“φανερόω”). The deeper we look, and the longer we read and meditate on His Word, the more He reveals Himself to our understanding. This progression is exactly what we see in this passage with Jesus and His disciples. Though everything about their connection was “common”, like fishing, breakfast, the lake, boat, and nets, Jesus made Himself known in radically new ways. How have you experienced this in your own life? Many Christians share the common experience of reading the Bible, then suddenly, they read a passage they’ve read many times before, but this time, it’s completely new and brimming with fresh meaning. This is φανερόω! Commit to daily surrendering yourself more fully over to the Lord in prayer and reading His Word, then watch as God makes Himself known in deeper and deeper ways. Consider keeping a journal during your time with God to help you see this growth of depth!

What would the disciples have been reminded of during the fishing scene? (verses 7-11)
When Jesus first encountered Peter in a fishing boat, Jesus was using it as a podium to teach the crowds before asking Peter to take him out deeper for a catch. They were too shallow for Jesus, He invited Peter farther out. (Luke 5:4) He wanted to show Peter that He was Lord of all creation, and that He had a purpose for Peter that went far beyond fishing. “Don’t be afraid,” Jesus told Simon. “From now on you will be catching people.” (Luke 5:10) For both fishing scenes, at Jesus’ command, the nets were overwhelmed with fish. In the first account, the nets began to tear under the weight. (Luke 5:6) In the second scene, three years later, the author, John, specifically wrote, Even though there were so many, the net was not torn. (verse 11) While it seems like a small thing to note, it’s incredibly descriptive for these men who were about to turn the world upside down. (Acts 17:6) At the onset of following Jesus, their faith was weak, just like their fishing nets. Jesus invited them to explore deeper waters with Him, to repurpose their lives, and understand the cost of following Him and the incredible reward as they “fished for people” instead. After three years, their faith was strong, and they had been taught how to live and love; they were prepared for the next phase of ministry as they took the gospel to the world. Jesus would not let their nets tear; He would hold them together despite the persecution that would come for following Him. Peter was discouraged when he decided to go fishing and pulled his buddies along with him, but the terrain was shifting, and his purpose was about to explode when the Holy Spirit would descend upon him in the coming weeks. As Christ followers, you and I become discouraged as well, but this is no time to leave our calling. Jesus will ensure out nets do not break, and He will continue to empower and equip us with His Spirit to finish the work to which He has called us!

3) What was significant for the disciples in the breakfast scene? (verses 12-14)
There is something mysteriously wonderful about sharing a meal together. When Jesus and His friends ate the simple fish and bread that sunlit morning, I feel like I can relate to the shared sense of delight they surely felt. Rekindled friendship that ran so deep words fell silent as hearts burst with delight of being known and loved in such a rich way. When was the last time you shared a meal like this with someone? What would it take to begin intentionally incorporating the common “breaking of bread” with others? Whether you’re single, married, have a slew of little kids, or your house is quiet, we can all graciously use a shared meal to share Jesus. Who will you invite over this week? And the next? What rhythm for sharing fits for you? Begin praying for the Lord to show you who to invite into the sacred space of sharing a meal. He has people ready for you! Remember, fishing for people, right? Your nets won’t break. His Spirit will equip you and go before you. You have Jesus’ love to share as you enjoy the simple food in front of you!

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Digging Deeper is for Everyone!

1) Take this passage (or any other passage).
2) Read it, and the verses around it,
several times
3) Write down your questions
as you think of them.
4) Ask specific culture related questions and be ready to dig around for your answers. Google them, use, or look them up in a study Bible and read the footnotes (click on the little letters next to a word and it will show you
other related verses!). (
5) Check your applications with other trusted Christians that you are in community with and embrace the fullness of God
in your everyday!

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Why Dig Deeper?

Finding the original meaning is a huge deal when we study Scripture and can make all the difference in our understanding as we apply God’s truths to our everyday lives.

In our modern-day relationships, we want people to understand our original intention as we communicate; how much more so between God and humanity?!

Here’s a little bit more on why we take Digging Deeper so seriously.

Study Tools

We love getting help while we study and is one of many excellent resources, providing the original Hebrew (Old Testament) or Greek (New Testament) with an English translation.

Want to know more about a specific word in a verse? Click on “Strong’s Interlinear Bible” then click the word you’d like to study. Discover “origin”, “definition” and hear the original pronunciation – That Is Awesome!

Want more background? Click “Study Tools”, then pick a few commentaries to read their scholarly approach, keeping in mind that just because a commentary says it, doesn’t mean it’s true. (just like the internet :-))

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