John 21

1Christ appeareth to his disciples at the sea of Tiberias, and maketh himself known by a great draught of fishes: 12he eateth before them: 15he thrice repeateth his charge to Peter to feed his flock; foretelleth the manner of his death; and rebuketh his curiosity concerning John. 24John asserteth the truth of his testimony, and that Jesus did many acts besides, too numerous to be recorded.

1AFTER these things Jesus shewed himself again to the disciples at the 1sea of Tiberias; and on this wise shewed he himself.

1 Of this sea or lake, see the annotation at Mat. 4 on verse 18, where it is called the sea of Galilee, to which Christ had ordered His disciples to depart after His death, with the promise that there they would see Him alive again, Mat. 28:10.

2There were together Simon Peter, and Thomas 2called Didymus, anda3Nathanael of Cana in Galilee, andb4the sons of Zebedee, and two other 5of his disciples.

2 Namely, in the Greek tongue. See John 11:16.

a John 1:46.

3 A famous disciple of Christ, one of the first, John 1:46, etc.

b Mat. 4:21; Mark 1:19.

4 Namely, James and John, Mat. 10:2.

5 Gr. out of.

3Simon Peter saith unto them, I go a fishing. They say unto him, We also go with thee. They went forth, and 6entered into a ship immediately; and that night they caught nothing.

6 Gr. ascended.

4But when the morning was now come, Jesus stood on the shore: but the disciples 7knew not that it was Jesus.

7 It seems that their eyes were restrained for a while here from recognizing, as Luke 24:16, for, they were not far from the shore, verse 8.

5Then Jesus saith unto them, Children, have ye any 8meat? They answered him, No.

8 Whereby is understood all that is eaten with bread, and especially fish.

6And he said unto them, Castc the net 9on the right side of the ship, and ye shall find. They cast therefore, and now they were not able to draw it for the multitude of fishes.

c Luke 5:4, 6, 7.

9 That is, on the starboard of the ship. For, that is at the right hand of him who stands at the helm.

7Therefore that disciple whomd Jesus 10loved saith unto Peter, It is the Lord. Now when Simon Peter heard that it was the Lord, he girt his fisher’s 11coat unto him, (for he was 12naked,) and did cast himself into the sea.

d John 13:23; 20:2.

10 That is, John. See verses 20, 24.

11 Gr. ependutes, which signifies a garment which men put on upon another. Some think that this was a linen coat, which he girded about to be the better able to swim, or to go through the water, seeing that he was not far from the land.

12 Namely, before he drew on the same, not wholly indeed, seeing, without a doubt, he had something on to cover his shame.

8And the other disciples came in a little ship; (for they were not far from land, but as it were two hundred 13cubits,) 14dragging the net with fishes.

13 Or, ells, that is, about sixty paces, each pace of five feet. See Mat. 6:27.

14 Namely, towards the land, because it was too heavy to draw up into the ship.

9As soon then as they were come to land, they saw a fire of coals there, and 15fish laid thereon, and bread.

15 Gr. opsarion, what this word properly signifies, see John 6 on verse 9.

10Jesuse saith unto them, Bring of the fish which ye have now caught.

e Luke 24:41.

11Simon Peter went up, and drew the net to land full of great fishes, an hundred and fifty and three: and for all there were so many, 16yet was not the net broken.

16 Which came to pass by the Divine power of Christ, to increase the miracle.

12Jesus saith unto them, Come and dine. And none of the disciples 17durst ask him, Who art thou? knowing that it was the Lord.

17 Namely, for shame, lest they would appear yet to doubt that He was truly risen.

13Jesus then cometh, and taketh bread, and giveth them, and fish likewise.

14This is now the third time that Jesus shewed himself to 18his disciples, after that he was risen from the dead.

18 Namely, all or many disciples being gathered together; for, He had more than once manifested Himself unto some of them in particular. See before John 20:19, 26.

15¶So when they had dined, Jesus saith to Simon Peter, Simon, son of 19Jonas, 20lovest thou me more 21than these? He saith unto him, Yea, Lord; 22thou knowest that I love thee. He saith unto him, Feed my 23lambs.

19 See Mat. 16:17.

20 Namely, as thou thoughtest and boastedst before, Mat. 26:33; Luke 23:33, and yet hast denied Me thrice.

21 Namely, love Me.

22 That is, notwithstanding my previous fall for which I am heartily sorrowful and which I trust Thou hast forgiven Me, Thou knowest that though out of weakness the confession ceased in my mouth, yet, notwithstanding, my love towards Thee ceased not in my heart.

23 Both words lambs and sheep signify one thing, namely, the members of Christ’s church, as may be seen by comparing Mat. 10:16; Luke 10:3. Though some think that by the lambs tender Christians should be understood and by sheep those who are stronger in faith, Isa. 40:11.

16He saith to him again the second time, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me? He saith unto him, Yea, Lord; thou knowest that I love thee. He saith unto him, Feed my sheep.

17He saith unto him the 24third time, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me? Peter was 25grieved because he said unto him the third time, Lovest thou me? And he said unto him, Lord,f thou knowest all things; thou knowest that I love thee. Jesus saith unto him, 26Feed my sheep.

24 Forasmuch as Peter, by denying Christ thrice, had made himself unworthy of the apostleship, therefore He here again draws this confession from him thrice over, thereby to confirm him again in his office, and not thereby to make him an head of the church and above all the other apostles.

25 Namely, because he thought by His thrice asking that Christ seemed to doubt his love.

f John 16:30.

26 The same that is here commanded Peter, this is also charged upon all ministers of the Holy Gospel, Acts 20:28; 1 Peter 5:2. Although Peter was not bound to any certain church or place, as neither were the other apostles, Mat. 28:19; Mark 16:15, 20, who have received the same charge and power with Peter. See John 20:23; Rev. 21:14.

18Verily,g verily, I say unto thee, When thou wast young, thou 27girdedst thyself, and walkedst whither thou wouldest: but when thou shalt be old, thou shalt 28stretch forth thy hands, and 29another shall 30gird thee, and carry thee whither thou wouldest 31not.

g John 13:36; Acts 12:3; 2 Peter 1:14.

27 This is spoken after the manner of those nations, who wore long clothes, which they truss up with a girdle when they would travel somewhere, and make themselves ready for any work. See 2 Kings 9:1; Luke 17:8; John 13:4.

28 Namely, to be bound.

29 Namely, the executioner.

30 That is, bind and cord thee to be put to death.

31 Namely, according to the natural inclination, which always fears death. For, otherwise Peter suffered death willingly and with joy also.

19Thish spake he, signifying by what death he should glorify 32God. And when he had spoken this, he saith unto him, Follow me.

h 2 Peter 1:14.

32 That is, with what suffering would he confirm the doctrine of the Gospel to the glory of God.

20Then Peter, turning about, seeth thei disciple 33whom Jesus loved following; which also leaned on his breast at supper, and said, Lord, which is he that 34betrayeth thee?

i verse 7; John 13:23; 20:2.

33 That is, John the evangelist, see verse 24.

34 Or, shall betray.

21Peter seeing him saith to Jesus, Lord, and what 35shall this man do?

35 Namely, what shall befall him, that is, with what death shall he glorify God?

22Jesus saith unto him, If I will that he 36tarry till I come, what is that to thee? follow thou me.

36 Namely, be alive until My last coming.

23Then went this saying abroad among the brethren, that that disciple should not die: yet Jesus said not unto him, He shall not die; but, If I will that he tarry till I come, what is that to thee?

24This is 37the disciple which testifieth of these things, and wrote these things: and 38we know that his testimony is true.j

37 Namely, John the evangelist.

38 Namely, not only I, but also all the disciples of Christ, and the entire church.

j John 19:35.

25Andk there are also many 39other things which Jesus did, the which, if they should be written 40every one, I suppose 41that even the world itself could not contain the books that should be written. Amen.

k John 20:30.

39 Namely, miracles and special deeds of Christ; for, otherwise that all points of doctrine necessary to salvation are written appears in John 20:31.

40 Gr. according to one.

41 This is a figurative phrase, whereby is signified a very great multitude.