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The Rest of the Story

January 31, 2016 Speaker: Brent Small

Topic: Encouragement Passage: John 21:1–21:25

In this final chapter of John’s gospel, Pastor Brent seeks to deliver 3 “powerful encouragements” for you to boldly follow the Lord Jesus Christ.

Following Christ can be like climbing the face of a cliff. Oftentimes the struggle to follow Christ can be such a struggle that you might become discouraged and slip into neutral. No matter your current situation as you follow Christ, a bold and courageous life lived for Christ needs fresh encouragement. The final text of John’s gospel offers this encouragement.

The climax of John’s gospel is found with the death, burial and resurrection of Christ. John unpacks these events in chapters 19 and 20 and then ties together the purpose of his gospel. But John has more to tell. His desire is to tell us the rest of the story as it pertains to Jesus and the disciples during the thirty days that transpire before the ascension of Christ and the coming of the Holy Spirit.

John does not give us a full accounting, but he does give us a glimpse of what transpired. The disciples have returned to Galilee. This was natural for them and also was obedient as Christ said He would meet them there. One evening the disciples go fishing and catch nothing. Suddenly Jesus appears on the shore with a fire, fish and bread. He feeds them breakfast and fills their net with fish. After breakfast, Jesus then speaks directly to Peter about his love for Him and also discusses his future as a disciple.

As John recounts this third post-resurrection appearance of Christ to the disciples, one may ask, “What is the point?” Is John just tying up loose ends and resolving issues? Yes, that is true, but John also offers powerful encouragements for every believer as he or she seeks to follow Christ.