Jesus Appears to Seven Disciples
21:1After these things Jesus manifested himself again to the disciples at the sea of Tiberias; and he manifested himself on this wise. 21:2There was together Simon Peter, and Thomas called Didymus, and Nathanael of Cana in Galilee, and the sons of Zebedee, and two other of his disciples.21:3Simon Peter saith unto them, I go a fishing. They say unto him, We also come with thee. They went forth, and entered into the boat; and that night they took nothing. 21:4But when day was now breaking, Jesus stood on the beach: yet the disciples knew not that it was Jesus. 21:5Jesus therefore saith unto them, Children, have ye aught to eat? They answered him, No. 21:6And he said unto them, Cast the net on the right side of the boat, and ye shall find.1 They cast therefore, and now they were not able to draw it for the multitude of fishes. 21:7That disciple therefore whom Jesus loved saith unto Peter, It is the Lord. So when Simon Peter heard that it was the Lord, he girt his coat about him (for he was naked), and cast himself into the sea. 21:8But the other disciples came in the little boat (for they were not far from the land, but about two hundred cubits off), dragging the net full of fishes.
21:9So when they got out upon the land, they see a fire of coals there, and fish laid thereon, and bread.2 21:10Jesus saith unto them, Bring of the fish which ye have now taken. 21:11Simon Peter therefore went up, and drew the net to land, full of great fishes, a hundred and fifty and three: and for all there were so many, the net was not rent. 21:12Jesus saith unto them, Come and break your fast.3 And none of the disciples durst inquire of him, Who art thou? knowing that it was the Lord. 21:13Jesus cometh, and taketh the bread, and giveth them, and the fish likewise. 21:14This is now the third time that Jesus was manifested to the disciples,4 after that he was risen from the dead.
- Cast the net on the right side of the boat, and ye shall find. Man's mind is the net that catches thoughts, which are the basis of external conditions. The sea is the mental realm in which man exists. The net of man's thought works hard and long in the darkness of human understanding and gains but little, but once the Christ Mind is perceived and obeyed the net is cast on the "right side," and success follows. The "right side" is the side on which man realizes the truth that inexhaustible resources are always present and can be made manifest by those who exercise their faith in that direction.
- upon the land, they see a fire of coals there, and fish laid thereon, and bread. The bread and fish that Jesus provided on the shore represents the supply of Spirit for the needs of the body. Not only does the Father provide for man in the natural world, as by the draught of fishes, but in the invisible world of substance are elements that correspond to the material things. Bread symbolizes the substance of the omnipresent Christ body and fish the capacity of increase that goes with it. Whoever seeks supply through Spirit and submits his cause to the law of justice and righteousness always succeeds. The reason why men fail to demonstrate the many promises of divine support is that they cling to some selfish or unjust thought.
- Jesus saith unto them, Come and break your fast. Eating is a symbol of the appropriation of spiritual substance and life. One fasts from thinking, when one allows the thoughts to drift aimlessly in the race stream of consciousness, merely registering impressions from the outer world with no attempt to understand what underlies them or get at the truth of any subject. One breaks one's fast by mentally assimilating each idea that presents itself, considering the substance of Truth on which it rests, and understanding it.
- This is now the third time that Jesus was manifested to the disciples. The third appearance of Jesus to the disciples corresponds to the third phase of man's being. Man is threefold: Spirit, soul, and body. On His first manifestation to the disciples Jesus “breathed on them, and saith unto them, Receive ye the Holy Spirit.” On the second He convinced Thomas of the truth of the Resurrection. On the third He satisfied the physical hunger of the disciples.
Jesus and Peter
21:15So when they had broken their fast, Jesus saith to Simon Peter, Simon, son of John, lovest thou me1 more than these? He saith unto him, Yea, Lord; thou knowest that I love thee. He saith unto him, Feed my lambs. 21:16He saith to him again a second time, Simon, son of John, lovest thou me? He saith unto him, Yea, Lord; thou knowest that I love thee. He saith unto him, Tend my sheep. 21:17He saith unto him the third time, Simon, son of John, lovest thou me? Peter was grieved because he said unto him the third time, Lovest thou me? And he said unto him, Lord, thou knowest all things; thou knowest that I love thee. Jesus saith unto him, Feed my sheep.2 21:18Verily, verily, I say unto thee, When thou wast young, thou girdedst thyself, and walkedst whither thou wouldest: but when thou shalt be old, thou shalt stretch forth thy hands, and another shall gird thee, and carry thee whither thou wouldest not.3 21:19Now this he spake, signifying by what manner of death he should glorify God. And when he had spoken this, he saith unto him, Follow me.
- lovest thou me? Faith must be established in love and must work by love; and every faculty of man must be established in love and work by love if perfect harmony and good are to be realized. Faith established in love and working by love will remain steadfast at all times, under all circumstances; it will be our sustaining power during our every hour of need.
- Feed my sheep. After first providing them food He three times commanded Peter, “Feed my lambs” and “Feed my sheep.” Sheep represent thoughts, and we see in this admonition the importance of thinking the thoughts of the Christ and of doing the works that these thoughts enjoin. We are to follow the Christ in thought, word, and deed.
- but when thou shalt be old, thou shalt stretch forth thy hands, and another shall gird thee, and carry thee whither thou wouldest not. In the first spiritual illumination there is much enthusiasm, and while we are in this state of consciousness, great works are often accomplished. Later, when the true spiritual understanding begins to unfold, when we are older in Truth, we learn to rely more and more on the Principle, until we can say with Jesus, “The Father abiding in me doeth his works.”
Jesus and the Beloved Disciple
21:20Peter, turning about, seeth the disciple whom Jesus loved following; who also leaned back on his breast at the supper, and said, Lord, who is he that betrayeth thee? 21:21Peter therefore seeing him saith to Jesus, Lord, and what shall this man do? 21:22Jesus saith unto him, If I will that he tarry till I come, what is that to thee? Follow thou me.1 21:23This saying therefore went forth among the brethren, that that disciple should not die: yet Jesus said not unto him, that he should not die; but, If I will that he tarry till I come, what is that to thee?
21:24This is the disciple that beareth witness of these things, and wrote these things: and we know that his witness is true. 21:25And there are also many other things which Jesus did,2 the which if they should be written every one, I suppose that even the world itself would not contain the books that should be written.
- what is that to thee? Follow thou me. most of us have been indoctrinated to take that statement to support the idea that it is none of your business what the other guy does. But it could also mean, how important is this to you? How concerned are you?—Ed Rabel
- And there are also many other things which Jesus did. In the Gospels that we have, there are more things we are not told than what we are told. But the important thing is what we are told, to take that, not to worry about the things Jesus said and did which have not been written down but give the entire attention and understanding to what has been written down.—Ed Rabel
Fillmore Study Bible annotations compiled by Mark Hicks