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Jesus Appears to Seven Disciples


After these things Jesus showed himself again to the disciples by the Sea of Tiberias; and he showed himself in this way. 2Gathered there together were Simon Peter, Thomas called the Twin, Nathanael of Cana in Galilee, the sons of Zebedee, and two others of his disciples. 3Simon Peter said to them, “I am going fishing.” They said to him, “We will go with you.” They went out and got into the boat, but that night they caught nothing.

4 Just after daybreak, Jesus stood on the beach; but the disciples did not know that it was Jesus. 5Jesus said to them, “Children, you have no fish, have you?” They answered him, “No.” 6He said to them, “Cast the net to the right side of the boat, and you will find some.” So they cast it, and now they were not able to haul it in because there were so many fish. 7That disciple whom Jesus loved said to Peter, “It is the Lord!” When Simon Peter heard that it was the Lord, he put on some clothes, for he was naked, and jumped into the sea. 8But the other disciples came in the boat, dragging the net full of fish, for they were not far from the land, only about a hundred yards off.

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Joh 21:1-23. Supplementary Particulars.

(That this chapter was added by another hand has been asserted, against clear evidence to the contrary, by some late critics, chiefly because the Evangelist had concluded his part of the work with Joh 20:30, 31. But neither in the Epistles of the New Testament, nor in other good authors, is it unusual to insert supplementary matter, and so have more than one conclusion).

1, 2. Jesus showed himself again—manifested himself again.

and on this wise he manifested himself—This way of speaking shows that after His resurrection He appeared to them but occasionally, unexpectedly, and in a way quite unearthly, though yet really and corporeally.

2. Nathanael—(See on Mt 10:3).

3-6. Peter saith unto them, I go a fishing—(See on Lu 5:11).

that night … caught nothing—as at the first miraculous draught (see on Lu 5:5); no doubt so ordered that the miracle might strike them the more by contrast. The same principle is seen in operation throughout much of Christ's ministry, and is indeed a great law of God's spiritual procedure with His people.

4. Jesus stood—(Compare Joh 20:19, 26).

but the disciples knew not it was Jesus—Perhaps there had been some considerable interval since the last manifestation, and having agreed to betake themselves to their secular employment, they would be unprepared to expect Him.

5. Children—This term would not necessarily identify Him, being not unusual from any superior; but when they did recognize Him, they would feel it sweetly like Himself.

have ye any meat?—provisions, supplies, meaning fish.

They answered … No—This was in His wonted style, making them tell their case, and so the better prepare them for what was coming.

6. he said unto them, Cast the net on the right side of the ship—no doubt, by this very specific direction, intending to reveal to them His knowledge of the deep and power over it.

7-11. that disciple whom Jesus loved, said, It is the Lord—again having the advantage of his brother in quickness of recognition (see on Joh 20:8), to be followed by an alacrity in Peter all his own.

he was naked—his vest only on, worn next the body.

cast himself into the sea—the shallow part, not more than a hundred yards from the water's edge (Joh 21:8), not meaning therefore to swim, but to get sooner to Jesus than in the full boat which they could hardly draw to shore.

8. the other disciples came in a little ship—by ship.