I am going fishing
A fter these things Jesus showed himself again to the disciples by the Sea of Tiberias; and he showed himself in this way. Gathered there together were Simon Peter, Thomas called the Twin, Nathanael of Cana in Galilee, the sons of Zebedee, and two others of his disciples. Simon 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. Just after daybreak, Jesus stood on the beach; but the disciples did not know that it was Jesus. Jesus said to them, "Children, you have no fish, have you?" They answered him, "No." He 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. That 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. But 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. When they had gone ashore, they saw a charcoal fire there, with fish on it, and bread. Jesus said to them, "Bring some of the fish that you have just caught." So Simon Peter went aboard and hauled the net ashore, full of large fish, a hundred fifty-three of them; and though there were so many, the net was not torn. Jesus said to them, "Come and have breakfast." Now none of the disciples dared to ask him, "Who are you?" because they knew it was the Lord. Jesus came and took the bread and gave it to them, and did the same with the fish. This was now the third time that Jesus appeared to the disciples after he was raised from the dead. When they had finished breakfast, Jesus said to Simon Peter, "Simon son of John, do you love me more than these?" He said to him, "Yes, Lord; you know that I love you." Jesus said to him, "Feed my lambs." A second time he said to him, "Simon son of John, do you love me?" He said to him, "Yes, Lord; you know that I love you." Jesus said to him, "Tend my sheep." He said to him the third time, "Simon son of John, do you love me?" Peter felt hurt because he said to him the third time, "Do you love me?" And he said to him, "Lord, you know everything; you know that I love you." Jesus said to him, "Feed my sheep. Very truly, I tell you, when you were younger, you used to fasten your own belt and to go wherever you wished. But when you grow old, you will stretch out your hands, and someone else will fasten a belt around you and take you where you do not wish to go." (He said this to indicate the kind of death by which he would glorify God.) After this he said to him, "Follow me."
John 21: 1-19
I am going fishing
The gospel of John ends at chapter twenty, verse thirty one. Chapter twenty one is an addition, an after-thought rich in content, a “chapter built about Peter and the beloved Disciple.” Echoes of earlier material in the Gospel emerge: Peter’s denial, his role as shepherd, the care of the sheep, the Beloved disciple. The style of the chapter suggests the evangelist’s authorship.
Why an additional chapter? The addition was published with the Gospel and as part of the Gospel; it emphasises the community mission of the disciples, drawing people to faith in Jesus.
I am going fishing
In verses 1-14 Jesus reveals himself. Peter’s, “I am going fishing," and the response of his companions "We will go with you," reveal an easy relationship and Peter’s leadership. The catch of fish symbolizes the mission of the twelve to be fishers of people. Jesus direction: "Cast the net to the right side of the boat, and you will find some," suggests an extraordinary intervention but those fishing the Sea of Galilee often had a spotter on high ground indicating the direction of a shoal of fish. The abundant catch speaks of the harvest, the mission that Jesus gives the disciples. Go fishing for people.
John’s exclamation to Peter: “It is the Lord”, has Peter in a tizzy. In his excitement, in his longing to meet Jesus he jumps into the sea and swims to the shore.
Come and have breakfast
There is a Eucharistic motif, echoing John 6:11: “Then Jesus took the loaves, and when he had given thanks, he distributed them to those who were seated; so also the fish, as much as they wanted.”
Dialogue with Peter 15 -17
Three times Jesus asks Peter: “Do you love me”. Three times Peter declares his love. The third time “Peter felt hurt because he said to him the third time, “Do you love me?" He understood Jesus’ questions to refer to his threefold denial. In question and answer Peter is rehabilitated. Jesus does not dwell on the past. He expresses his confidence in Peter to shepherd his flock. Peter receives a special mission. His mission is to “feed my lambs”, ”feed my sheep”, take care of my flock, the community of believers.
There are levels of meaning in this passage. Another understanding of the conversation after breakfast is as follows: "Simon son of John, do you love me more than these?" He said to him, "Yes, Lord; you know that I love you." Jesus said to him, "Feed my lambs."
Jesus uses the word agapan for love. Agapan is a love that is total, a love without frontiers. Peter replies: “Yes, Lord, you know that I love you.” Peter does not use the word agapan to express his love but the word philein, a lesser love. The love we might have for a sister or brother.
A second time Jesus said to him, "Simon son of John, do you love me?" He said to him, "Yes, Lord; you know that I love you." Jesus said to him, "Tend my sheep." Peter assures him of his love but again uses the word philein.
Jesus said to him a third time, "Simon son of John, do you love me?" Again, Peter professes his love but once again uses the word philein. I love you as a dear friend. This is the love that I am capable of now. On this third occasion Jesus does not use the word agapan he uses Peter's word - philein. He is saying to Peter and to us - I come to meet you where you are at on your journey. I meet you where you are at.In the following verses Jesus speaks about the future. In his old age Peter will suffer martyrdom. The passage ends with the words: “Follow me”.
This is the Story of Jesus drawn from the four Evangelists
Gospel passages accompanied by a number of brief commentaries