Sermon from Online Worship April 26th, 2020
John 21: 1-19 (NIV)
Afterward Jesus appeared again to his disciples, by the Sea of Galilee. It happened this way: Simon Peter, Thomas, Nathanael from Cana in Galilee, the sons of Zebedee, and two other disciples were together. “I’m going out to fish,” Simon Peter told them, and they said, “We’ll go with you.” So they went out and got into the boat, but that night they caught nothing.
Early in the morning, Jesus stood on the shore, but the disciples did not realize that it was Jesus. He called out to them, “Friends, haven’t you any fish?” “No,” they answered. He said, “Throw your net on the right side of the boat and you will find some.” When they did, they were unable to haul the net in because of the large number of fish.
Then the disciple whom Jesus loved said to Peter, “It is the Lord!” As soon as Simon Peter heard him say, “It is the Lord,” he wrapped his outer garment around him (for he had taken it off) and jumped into the water. The other disciples followed in the boat, towing the net full of fish, for they were not far from shore, about a hundred yards. When they landed, they saw a fire of burning coals there with fish on it, and some bread. Jesus said to them, “Bring some of the fish you have just caught.” So Simon Peter climbed back into the boat and dragged the net ashore. It was full of large fish, 153, but even with so many the net was not torn. Jesus said to them, “Come and have breakfast.” None of the disciples dared ask him, “Who are you?” They knew it was the Lord. Jesus came, took the bread and gave it to them, and did the same with the fish. This was now the third time Jesus appeared to his disciples after he was raised from the dead.
When they had finished eating, Jesus said to Simon Peter, “Simon son of John, do you love me more than these?” “Yes, Lord,” he said, “you know that I love you.” Jesus said, “Feed my lambs.”
Again Jesus said, “Simon son of John, do you love me?” He answered, “Yes, Lord, you know that I love you.” Jesus said, “Take care of my sheep.” The third time he said to him, “Simon son of John, do you love me?” Peter was hurt because Jesus asked him the third time, “Do you love me?” He said, “Lord, you know all things; you know that I love you.” Jesus said, “Feed my sheep. “
Very truly I tell you, when you were younger you dressed yourself and went where you wanted; but when you are old you will stretch out your hands, and someone else will dress you and lead you where you do not want to go.” Jesus said this to indicate the kind of death by which Peter would glorify God. Then he said to him, “Follow me!”
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Jesus hears John the Baptist is dead. This was his cousin. This was the man who announced this is the One we have been waiting for and baptized him. So Jesus is understandably upset, Jesus wants to have some solitude to mourn. So he leaves Nazareth, looking for some alone time. So in our story, Jesus is trying to be alone, but by this time in His ministry, it is very hard for him to find solitude. The crowds, seeing him heal people, hearing about miracles he has done, and hearing him teach, they want more, they know they need more Jesus. So when word gets out, Jesus is heading over here, the people figure out where he is going, and Jesus arrives to not just a crowd, but a “large crowd.” So Jesus being Jesus, changes his plan…. “he had compassion on them and healed their sick.” So Jesus had this plan… I need sometime by myself, time to mourn, I’m pretty sure he would have been spending time in prayer. Time to recharge the batteries. Yet when something happened, people needed him, he changed his plans and took care of the people who were there. So Jesus has been ministering to the people, and now his closest friends they are kind of worried about this change of plans. Wow there are a lot of people here, it is getting kind of late and who is going to take care of getting them getting feed. Can you imagine the conversation between the disciples. Peter, he’ll listen to you, go tell him we can’t feed all these people. No, you go John, he loves you. Lazarus who handles the money, looks in the money bag, Someone better go tell him, no way we can afford to feed all these people…. That was not in the plan…. So they decide, they make a plan, we’ll all go together, then he’ll listen.
Of course Jesus doesn’t like that plan.. He tells them, “you give them something to eat.” So in this story, we have these plans, Jesus who wants to have some quiet time. The disciples, they want Jesus to tell the people, hey it’s getting late, time for you to go.. Jesus is all about changing plans to meet the needs of the people…Jesus is all about changing plans to share God’s Love with people. I think everyone here has experienced God changing our plans. As the saying goes, we make our plans, and God laughs.. I don’t think that is Biblical, however I bet it does make him smile as we make our plans… So why bother to even plan for things? Isn’t God going to provide for us?
I think it is important for us to make our plans. We need to follow good thinking, good planning, we need to always pray over our plans, ask God to help guide us. I think when we do this, it shows our commitment. We planned to move to Delaware full-time, after lots of thinking, discussing, and praying…. Only after we felt like God was not going to object to us doing that, did we go on…. However as with most of my plans, they never go as I expect them to…. and it caused a great deal of stress in our lives. One thing it did not do was create doubt about God-loving us and being with us. That doesn’t mean I didn’t have some heated discussions with God. I want to share
this with you, if you are mad at God for something, you may as well vocalize it. Go ahead and yell at him. God knows when you are mad or upset with Him. You may as well let it out. Here are a couple of sayings I like a “Failing to plan, is planning to fail.” & “A bad plan is better than no plan.” See we need to make our plans, I think it shows our commitment to God. OK God here is what I am planning, here is what we are planning, what do you think? So let us make our plans, try to line them up with God’s plan, God’s will…… But never, never use a pen when making those plans. unless you have a lot of white out. Use a pencil, be ready to make changes to your plans as things happen, as Life happens.
I always try to be thinking, Is God trying to show me something, or teach me something. Just like he was always trying to show and teach the disciples….verse 16 “Jesus replied They do not need to go away. You give them something to eat.” and How often are we just like the disciples, I don’t have enough to give the people. There is so much need in this world, we can get overwhelmed if we think too much about it. How can my little bit make a difference. Then of course we are busy, busy, busy. We think “I just don’t have the time to commit to something.” It is getting late, Jesus, send the people away so they will have time to get food. All they had was five loaves of bread and two fish. If we look at what we have to offer, it can seem to be to little, too late. I did my part, I served, I gave, now It’s time to ease up a little. What we sometimes forget, is that God has his own math. God takes what little we offer with the right attitude, and multiplies it so that it is more than enough. When we give of ourselves, when we give our money, when we give our time, with gladness and thanksgiving, God is going o Bless it. from verse 19 “Taking the five loaves and the two fish, and looking up to heaven He gave thanks, and broke the loaves.” God is always working in the background, using what we have, Sometimes working days, months, years ahead. Taking what we offer, God multiplies it so that it is more than enough. Jesus is telling us today, You feed them…the crowds are hungry….and do you know what the crowds are really hungry for today? The Gospel message of Jesus Christ….. God loves them, God Love You!!
He wants to have a relationship with You! John 3:16-17 (NIV)
For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.
This message is just as relevant and important today, as at any point in history…. Our challenge is how to let the crowds know…how do we feed them God’s Love.. I think an important way to do that is person to person…..telling your story…. What God means to you. How has having a relationship with Jesus changed your life. You share your story with someone, you invite someone to come with you to church. You go to visit someone who can’t get around like they used to. God is going to bless what you offer. You are sharing what you have gotten from God, His Love. Each person here has something to offer God. God has placed you here to be a part of serving and growing His Kingdom here today. If you aren’t sure how or what to give, that’s OK. The important thing is God knows. So lets follow this logically. If God knows, what he gave you, don’t you think he’s going to let you know. Maybe Help point you in the right direction?
The most important thing to offer God, is just make yourself available to do what he wants you to do. It really is, Just be who God created you to be. It may take a little more time in prayer, a little more time reading God’s Word. But it really is just being the best you can be, today. Don’t worry about yesterday, that is like history, gone. Tomorrow, it isn’t here yet. Let us just be who God wants us to be today. So like the disciples, giving the five loaves and two fish, don’t you think you should “give God what you got?” I tell you, you give God what you got and he will amaze you with what happens when, you give God what you got…… Amen…
From sermon 8/06/2017