I Am: John 21 - Sufficiency

Today’s reading: John21

John’s final Gospel chapter is basically an epilogue within two complimentary bookends. John make clear that, if everything Jesus did were written down, the world couldn’t contain the information (vv24-25). The purpose of his writing is actually more plainly stated in the first bookend. Here John tells us he is recording these (few) miracles as more than sufficient to give us the confidence that we may believe Jesus is the Son of God and that, by believing, our lives are eternally saved. (John 20:30-31)

Within this epilogue, we find a restless Peter who seems to have already forgotten or entirely missed his new calling by Jesus when He said “As the Father has sent me, so (in the very same manner) I am sending you” (John 20:21). Here, Peter decides he’s just going to resume life as he previously knew it and return to fishing for fish. The other disciples decide to join in and they are basically “busted” by Jesus in the early hours of dawn. Have you been successful in your own endeavors? Jesus inquires. “No” comes the answer. Well – duh, Jesus says, (I may be paraphrasing here) put your faith in me. When they respond in obedience, they’re successful beyond any expectations.

At breakfast, Jesus asks Peter three times to declare his love for Him. Just days ago, Peter had three times denied he even knew Jesus. Jesus is literally and symbolically restoring Peter to Himself with the same measure he fell away. Then Jesus says to Peter the same words He speaks to us when we’re restored to Him: “Follow me”. Even now, seeing the resurrected Christ, Peter seems to miss his calling as his attention gets sidetracked with the behavior of someone else. To address this, Jesus firmly places Peter’s focus correctly on Himself. “As for you, follow me” (V22).

Johns entire Gospel, and purpose thereof, is to give sufficient eye witness testimony of Jesus in order to reach the most reasonable and logical verdict in this case. Still, a verdict apart from our stepping out into that verdict and obediently following Jesus in faith is useless.

The disciples saw Jesus do many other miraculous signs in addition to the ones recorded in this book. But these are written so that you may continue to believe[a] that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, and that by believing in him you will have life by the power of his name. -John 20:30-31 (NLT)