Do You Love Me?

Zach Fulginiti, Speaker

John 21:1-25 | April 28 - Sunday Evening,

Sunday Evening,
April 28
Do You Love Me? | John 21:1-25
Zach Fulginiti, Speaker

Well, good evening, once more. If you have your Bibles, I invite you to turn to John chapter 21. As Nathan mentioned, we began this series in the upper room where Jesus foretold Peter’s denial. We moved through the crucifixion, resurrection, as well as resurrection scenes, and we’ll close it by seeing Jesus restore and recommission Peter for gospel ministry.

So as you turn to John 21, let’s go to the Lord in prayer.

Father, who are we to have access to Your Word, to hear You speak to us tonight, even as we’ve sung this morning, Lord, why were we made to be guests? And here we are once again, Lord, guests in Your house. As we open Your Word, we pray that You would speak to us once more and that the Lord Jesus Christ would be glorified. In His name we pray. Amen.

Well, my wife Amy and I have a tradition. Every Christmas night we do the same thing. After all the activities of Christmas Day, opening presents, throwing wrapping paper away, looking through all the new things we have, when things start to slow down, we’ve done the same thing every Christmas night for many, many years. We watch a Christmas movie together.

Now many people might sit down and watch It’s a Wonderful Life, maybe others might prefer A Christmas Story. But we prefer watching the great Christmas classic, starring Nicolas Cage, The Family Man. If you’ve seen it, it’s not bad but I wouldn’t necessarily say it’s a Christmas classic, but we watch it every single Christmas night.

The movie kind of has a Wonderful Life plot line where if the main character made a different decision what would his life end up like. And at the end of this movie, Nicolas Cage’s character is running through the airport trying to find his one true love and to see if they can reconnect to see if that glimpse of a different life might become a reality.

Here’s the problem. You actually don’t know if they get back together or not. You just see them sitting down having a cup of coffee at the end of the movie, spoiler alert. It’s 25 years old, if you haven’t seen it by now, I can spoil it for you.

You’re left wondering, do they get back together? What is going to happen? It can’t end like that, can it?

Well, John 21 is not a great Nicolas Cage movie, but it is the end of the book of John and there is a sense of “it can’t end like that, can it?” Not that it’s a bad ending, it’s actually a beautiful story, but there are loose ends that seem like, boy, we wish they were tied up a little more neatly, a little more cleanly. On the surface, the end of John’s Gospel can leave us maybe wanting a little bit more.

But the reality is if we dig a little deeper, the ending of the book of John is not some kind of unfinished movie that ran low on a budget and couldn’t quite stick the landing. No, John 21 reads more like a play, more like a drama, and here in John’s play this is the last act. In the beginning was the Word and in the end is still the Word. If we can see this like a final act then this final act has three different scenes that we’ll examine tonight, three different dramas that play out.

We’re going to look at the first one together from verses 1 to 14. Scene 1, back to the beginning. John 21, verse 1.

“After this Jesus revealed Himself again to the disciples by the Sea of Tiberias, and He revealed himself in this way. Simon Peter, Thomas (called the Twin), Nathanael of Cana in Galilee, the sons of Zebedee, and two others of His disciples were together. 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 as day was breaking, Jesus stood on the shore; yet the disciples did not know that it was Jesus. Jesus said to them, “Children, do you have any fish?” They answered Him, “No.” He said to them, “Cast the net on 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 of the quantity of fish. That disciple whom Jesus loved therefore said to Peter, “It is the Lord!” When Simon Peter heard that it was the Lord, he put on his outer garment, for he was stripped for work, and threw himself into the sea. The other disciples came in the boat, dragging the net full of fish, for they were not far from the land, but about a hundred yards off.

When they got out on land, they saw a charcoal fire in place, with fish laid out 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, 153 of them. And although there were so many, the net was not torn. Jesus said to them, “Come and have breakfast.” Now none of the disciples dared ask Him, “Who are you?” They knew it was the Lord. Jesus came and took the bread and He gave it to them, and so with the fish. This was now the third time that Jesus was revealed to the disciples after He was raised from the dead.”

There is much about this story that we don’t frankly know. We’re not 100% sure if this story is chronological order. We aren’t sure who all the disciples were in this story. We’re not even sure why these disciples went fishing in the first place. But what we do know is that Peter is there with six other disciples, near the sea of Tiberius, that is the Sea of Galilee, where much of Jesus’ earthly ministry took place.

Peter, as usual, is the one who speaks up for the rest of the group. You almost get the sense that maybe these men were standing around, and if we could speculate just a bit, maybe they were kind of bored or at least unsure as to what to do. Peter gets tired of waiting and you could see a man like Peter just blurting out, “I’m going fishing. I don’t know what else to do.” And the others kind of shrug their shoulders and say, “I guess we’ll go to.”

Now some Bible commentators debate whether or not these men were acting out of disobedience or not, being that they returned to their old way of life. I think that it’s unlikely that they were acting out of complete disobedience, but might there instead be the possibility that these men, just for a moment, had forgotten their call as disciples. Maybe just for a moment they were at least not fully living this new call out.

D.A. Carson says that while the disciples may not have been disobedient, they certainly do not read like the lives of men on a Spirit-empowered mission. It seems as if they may have forgotten their call.

I think this is what John wants to highlight, that their call was supposed to be that of fishers of men and not fishermen.

Pastor Eric read Luke 5. We don’t have to turn back there, but you can just think about all the similarities between Luke 5, what we just read, and our passage here tonight. Maybe it’s a highlight in verse 10. Jesus said to Simon, “Do not be afraid. From now on you will be” what? You will be catching men. When they had brought their boats to land, they left everything and followed Him.

What a striking similar story. In each story the disciples are fishing. In each story they’re unable to catch anything until Jesus speaks into their lives. Peter responds with the same zeal. James and John are there. And Jesus concludes in Luke 5, “From now on, you will be catching men.”

Let’s fast forward back to John 21. Here again we see James and John and Peter. They’re back to being fishermen and not fishers of men.

This has to make us wonder if the disciples may have just forgotten their calling for a moment. And if these men, if we think about it, if these men had walked with Jesus and talked with Jesus and ate with Jesus and seen Him with their own eyes and seen this Savior risen from the dead, if these men forgot their call, how easy might it be for some of us here in this room as well?

Here were men who had spent three years with Jesus and had seen Him do wonders and miracles and heard Him teach and preach. They had seen Him die. They had seen Him rise again and even these men had a bit of a memory lapse. If these men were prone to forgetfulness, how easy might it be for you and I to get lost in our present circumstances, in whatever is going on in the moment and lose sight of what He is calling us to.

I believe that the disciples forgot their call to be fishers of men even just for a brief time. It appears that the evidence of that is the inability to catch any fish. Look at verse 4 with me. It says that they went out that night and they caught nothing. I mean, these men were not novice fishermen. They were skilled, weathered fishermen who know what they were doing and they couldn’t catch one fish. I think Jesus meant to highlight their insufficiency. It couldn’t have been that long ago when Jesus had taught them the lesson, “Apart from me, you can do” what? You can do nothing.

I think that’s a lesson that we need today. It’s one of the great beliefs of the American dream that so many in our land subscribe to, is that if you put your mind to it, and if you work hard enough, you can be anything and you can do anything. But what does Jesus tell us? He tells us that apart from Me, you can do nothing.

__ the lesson that we’ve learned here today. Apart from Jesus, we can’t even do the things that come most natural to us. Like fishing for these men. Apart from Jesus, we will toil away all night. Apart from Jesus, we will not catch a thing. Friends, apart from Jesus, the change, the gospel change that we want to see in so many of our friends’ and families’ lives, apart from Jesus, we will catch nothing. Apart from Jesus, there’s nothing that we can do about that diagnosis. Apart from Jesus, there’s no amount of money that can bring true life and joy and satisfaction. Apart from Jesus, friends, we can do nothing.

The modern hymn by Sovereign Grace captures this, “Hallelujah, all I have is Christ, Hallelujah, Jesus is my life.”

For you see that while these disciples apart from Christ were totally insufficient for the most basics of tasks, our text shows us that Jesus stands in stark contrast to these men, for while they were totally insufficient, we see that Jesus is totally sufficient. The disciples are toiling away all night and Jesus is there standing on the shore. He calls out to them. Our English translations read, “Children, do you have any fish?” But the Greek is more like this: “You haven’t caught anything, have you?”

It’s not just a quantitative question; it’s a probing, searching question because Jesus already knows that they haven’t caught anything. The disciples naturally respond, “No, we haven’t caught anything.” And not knowing it was Jesus, He calls them, “Hey, why don’t you try the other side. Have you tried the right side yet? Maybe you’ll find some over there.”

And so hours and hours after toiling, could it really be as simple as them fishing on the wrong side? So you have to imagine the disciples’ reaction. What, who does this guy think he is? He thinks we didn’t try the other side? Does he think we are that incompetent?

For whatever reason, maybe they’re just completely exhausted, so tired that they’re willing to try anything. They give it a shot. So they throw their nets on the right side, just one more time. Hours and hours of fruitless toil on their own, and yet they listen to one command of Jesus and there was such a catch that they could barely pull it in. What a lesson for us. What a picture for us. Hours and hours of toiling apart from Christ and listening to one of His commands yields a great harvest.

It wasn’t a lack of effort on the disciples’ part. It was a lack of dependence. All night the Lord of heaven and earth, the One who upholds the universe with just the word of His power, was causing these fish to swim, just maybe in and out or just out of reach of the net, until it was time. John and Peter both react to this. Immediately after the great haul John knows something has happened. It is the Lord. They’re not able to recognize Jesus before this, but John is able to perceive that it is Jesus with the eyes of his heart. He knows that this was a miracle. He knows that it’s Jesus, even if he couldn’t see him.

While John recognizes Jesus, Peter acts first. He hurls himself into the sea, swims to shore, because he’s unable to contain himself. It is the Lord. And if it is the Lord, then a man like Peter cannot wait. He must get to Jesus as quickly as possible. A man of great zeal. John perceives, and Peter acts.

As the rest of the disciples come ashore, they come to find that Jesus is once again meeting their needs. He has a charcoal fire in place. He has fish laid out for them. He has hot bread waiting for them. The men had been out all night toiling and were undoubtedly hungry, and here is Jesus, patiently waiting for them, meeting them in their insufficiency with His own great sufficiency.

Now maybe Jesus snapped His fingers and made these elements appear, could have done that, He’s the Lord of heaven and earth, but normally things like a charcoal fire, freshly baked bread, these things don’t appear out of nowhere. No, it’s reasonable to assume that maybe Jesus had been on the shore, potentially for many hours, just watching them, watching them toil. If it were me, I would have gotten a good chuckle out of it. I don’t know if that was our Lord’s response or not. But He’s watching them, He’s watching them labor, and He’s preparing a meal for His friends. He’s meeting their needs. It’s a beautiful picture, isn’t it? The Lord. He’s not out of sight but might He have been out of mind for these men? And yet He’s right there. He’s on the sands of the shore. He’s cooking them a meal. He’s preparing for them. He’s watching them. He’s waiting for them. Just maybe to look for Him. It’s a beautiful picture.

The disciples hauled in 153 fish and there’s this interesting sentence in verse 11: “And although there were so many, the net was not torn.” It’s interesting to note that. Why did John feel the need to comment on the strength of the net? Well, I think it’s because of the fact that the net didn’t tear is itself a miracle. You’re reading this and you say, this is such a great haul, there’s 153 fish, the net should have torn. But it didn’t, and John highlights that.

Now I don’t like to fish. I am very, very bad at fishing. I never catch anything. The lines always get tangled. It’s a humiliating experience for me. But every once in a while my two boys, they do like to fish, every once in a while, not a ton, probably because I will never take them. But when we go on vacation, maybe we are with my family, maybe they’ll go with their grandfathers every once in a while.

One time we were up in the mountains and my father took my oldest son to fish. It was many years ago. My oldest son was 2 years old at the time. Sure enough, they catch something in the same little pond that I have been fishing at before and have caught nothing. I get a text from my father with a picture that I could not believe. Here is my 2-year-old son, he’s about that tall, and he’s got a wooden stick and it looks like there is a 5-pound bass hanging off the edge with nothing but a string. My 2-year-old son, a wooden stick, and a string have caught a 5-pound bass. I look at the picture, and I have the picture, and I can show any of it to you, it looks like my 2-year-old caught that fish. You look at it a little more carefully and you think, this is impossible for many reasons. 2-year-olds cannot catch fish, there is no bait on that hook, there is nothing to catch it. If you look very carefully in that picture, my father is standing behind him with his own rod making it look like, that he had caught it.

I was right. It was impossible. But if you look very closely, there was another line, almost unperceivable to the human eye, and that had really caught the fish. Just as impossible as my son catching that fish was the disciples’ net not breaking with so many fish in it. It was a miracle.

And here’s what we need to know, and I want to be careful here but I don’t think we’re pressing this too far. I think this is why John deliberately and almost unnecessarily points this out – we need to see that with Jesus the nets will always hold. They won’t break. It does not matter what is going on in our lives. The nets will hold with Jesus.

Maybe you’re at work or you’re a student and your drowning in school work or work, unable to catch up, swimming in project after project. The demands of a boss or a professor. With Jesus the nets will hold.

Maybe it’s something different. Maybe it’s not the pressures of school or work but maybe it’s the pressures of your peers, to do a certain thing, to be a certain way, to compromise what you know is right in the Lord’s eyes. Maybe you might be worried about your future, wondering if you’re doing the right thing. Maybe feeling pressure to maybe revert suddenly away from God’s call in your life. With Jesus, friends, the nets will hold.

Maybe there’s a physical or medical challenge in your life, you’re unsure of what’s coming up next. With Jesus, the nets will hold.

Maybe you’re a parent, grandparent, of a wayward child, who’s seeing the decisions that they’re making and you’re worried. You’re worried about what’s next. With Jesus, the nets will hold in your life.

I’m not sure what circumstances are present here, what challenges are on your horizon, but I do know one thing, and that’s with Jesus the nets will always hold.

Now you and I know that we are not exempt from trials and hardships. That does not mean everything will go smoothly in life. But He will not let the nets of your life burst. He will meet you in your insufficiency with His own great sufficiency. Friends, we must believe that. Do you believe that the nets will hold in your life? No matter where Jesus may call you.

Scene 1. The disciples are back at the beginning, back where it all started. Fishing. But so is Jesus. Because He’s never left them. He’s never forsaken them.

Scene 2. More briefly. Scene 2. Let me count the ways.

Beginning in verse 15 down to verse 19.

“When they had finished breakfast, Jesus said to Simon Peter, “Simon, son of John, do you love Me more than these?” And he said to him, “Yes, Lord; You know that I love You.” He said to him, “Feed my lambs.” He said to him a second time, “Simon, son of John, do you love Me?” He said to him, “Yes, Lord; You know that I love You.” He said to him, “Tend my sheep.” He said to him the third time, “Simon, son of John, do you love Me?” Peter was grieved because He had 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. Truly, truly, I say to you, when you were young, you used to dress yourself and walk wherever you wanted, but when you are old, you will stretch out your hands, and another will dress you and carry you where you do not want to go.” (This He said to show by what kind of death He was to glorify God.) And after saying this He said to him, “Follow Me.””

Scene 2. Let me count the ways.

Jesus and the disciples have finished breakfast and Jesus undertakes the task of restoring Peter to a place of ministry. We don’t know the exact context or what was immediately preceding this conversation or what it was like. We don’t know if it was a natural question or an abrupt question, but it does seem as if Jesus asked Peter these three questions in front of the rest. Simon, son of John, do you love Me? Do you love Me more than these?

Now Jesus could have been referring to several things when He asked Peter about his love compared to these. It could have been referring to the fish and the boats, his old way of life. Do you love Me more than your old way of life? That’s one possibility.

Maybe Jesus was asking about Peter’s love for Him compared to how he loves the disciples. Does Peter love Jesus or does he love his friends more? It seems odd, but maybe that’s a possibility.

I think it’s most likely that Jesus was asking about Peter’s love in comparison to the other disciples’ love for Him. Peter, you love Me more than John? Peter, you love Me more than James? Do you love me more than these other men love Me? I think it might be this that’s what Jesus was getting at. Do you love me more than John loves Me? Or James loves Me? You see, Peter had never come out and explicitly said, “I love You more than everyone else, Lord.”

But he stepped right upon to the line, didn’t he? Matthew 26 – Peter answered Jesus, though they all fall away because of You, I will never fall away.

Peter had been the biggest and boldest follower of Christ in his declaration of his love for Jesus, but as we saw many weeks ago, Peter had also been the biggest and boldest failure among the disciples as well.

Therefore, it was appropriate for his restoration to occur in front of the other disciples. He had talked a big game and at the moment of crisis, Peter had not backed it up. It would seem natural that the other disciples maybe still had questions about Peter, maybe still had lingering doubts. Maybe they harbored secret frustrations against Peter. We don’t know for sure.

But D.A. Carson is once again right to point out that whatever potential for future service he had therefore depended not only on forgiveness from Jesus but also on reinstatement amongst the disciples.

Now Peter responds by slightly dodging the question, “Yes, Lord, You know that I love You.” He doesn’t address the comparative aspect of Jesus’ question, rather, he appeals to Jesus’ knowledge. You know that I love You. Then feed My lambs.

You can almost imagine Peter was slightly embarrassed to be asked this question in the first place, especially due to the comparative nature of the question, but then Jesus asked him a second time: Simon, son of John, so You love Me?

A second time. Peter must be wondering, “Lord, what are You getting at? You know that I love You.” The embarrassment now building even more. Then tend My sheep.

And finally a third time, this time undoubtedly Peter knows what the Lord is doing: Simon, son of John, do you love Me? And he’s struck, and he’s grieved, because he now realizes these three questions mirror his three betrayals. Three times Peter had denied Jesus, three times Jesus had to ask Peter, “Do you love Me? Then feed My sheep.”

Peter is restored to ministry but that restoration comes with a sobering word about what’s in store for him. Yes, God will use Peter in great ways as we see in the book of Acts, but Jesus means to tell Peter that his love for Him will lead him to his own cross. “Truly, truly, I say to you, when you were young you used to dress yourself and walk where you wanted. You used to do whatever you want, Peter, but when you are older, you will stretch out your hands and another will dress you and will carry you where you do not want to go.”

John adds a word of commentary to show what kind of death Peter was to have to glorify God. Peter, do you love Me? Okay. Let me show you where it’s going to lead you. Now follow Me.

Friends, in this scene here, Jesus is getting at the most important thing in the life of a believer: Do we love Him?

Now we need to be careful not to read ourselves into this drama too much. No, you and I were not physically there. We were not the ones who denied the Lord at His greatest hour of need. No, we were not on the seashores, either. We were not there so we need to be careful not to read ourselves too much into this. Yet, are we still not faced with the same dilemma that Peter faced? Are we ourselves not prone to wander? Prone to leave the God I love? Are we ourselves not prone to deny our Lord with the way that we talk, with the way that we live, with the decisions that we make, the choices that we choose? Are we ourselves not in need of a Savior who is willing to not only forgive but to restore?

We need to be careful not to read ourselves too much into the story and yet the Jesus that we see here in John 21 gently and lovingly restoring Peter is the same Jesus in your life and mine today. The central question for us is the same as it was for Peter – Friends, do you love Me?

J.C. Ryle points this out. It may seem at first sight a simple question. In one sense, it is so. Even a child can understand love and can say whether he loves another or not. Yet “do you love me” is in reality a very searching question. We may know much and do much and profess much and talk much and work much and give much and go through much and make much show in our religion, and yet be dead before God from want of love, and at last go down to the pit – Do we love Christ? That is the great question.

Friends, do we love the Lord Jesus Christ? There are many loves that we should have, but all of which should rightly flow out of our love for Jesus. We should love our spouses and our children. We should love our church. We should have a great love for theology for others. Yes, we want to know Him. Yes, we want to follow Him. Yes, we want to serve Him. Those things are not pitted against one another. But preceding all of these noble desires and other great loves, we must be in love with our Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, above all else.

The Jesus who lived the life that we should have, paid the penalty that we deserved, and who today stands ready to forgive, ready to restore. Do you love Him? Let’s count the ways.

Scene 3. You follow Me, capital YOU. You follow me.

Verse 20.

“Peter turned and saw the disciple whom Jesus loved following them, the one who also had leaned back against Him during the supper and had said, “Lord, who is it that is going to betray You?” When Peter saw him, he said to Jesus, “Lord, what about this man?” Jesus said to him, “If it is my will that he remains until I come, what is that to you? You follow Me!” So the saying spread abroad among the brothers that this disciple was not to die; yet Jesus did not say to him that he was not to die, but, “If it is my will that he remains until I come, what is that to you?” This is the disciple who is bearing witness about these things, and who has written these things, and we know that his testimony is true. Now there are also many other things that Jesus did. Were every one of them to be written, I suppose that the world itself could not contain the books that would be written.”

We come to our third and final act, capital YOU, you follow Me.

It seems as if Peter and Jesus have started going on a walk down the beach. We don’t know what has been said on this walk or how long they’ve been walking, but they’re walking together and Peter kind of senses someone’s following us. Someone’s kind of right behind us. Someone’s trailing us. He turns around and looks and it’s John, the disciple whom Jesus loved.

We read these verses and we think, like we so often do with these movies that leave us wanting more, well, what was exactly said? What was going on? We want to know exactly how things wrapped up, nice and neatly. You mean John, you’re going to end your gospel story with a walk down the beach? And a lesson about comparison? That’s how you’re going to end this amazing Gospel?

I mean, you think about Matthew and Mark. They end with the Great Commission. You think about Luke; he ends with the Ascension, the disciples worshiping Jesus as they return to Jerusalem. High points they end on. And John kind of ends it, I wouldn’t say anticlimactic, but a little like, all right, that was interesting, John. It was an interesting choice. You want to end your gospel like this? And it doesn’t quite scratch the itch for knowing every detail and how things play out for us. But it might it be actually what we need to end this Gospel?

Peter asked Jesus, “What about this man? I’m going to die. It seems like a pretty brutal death. What about John? Is he going to die like me?”

This week I was coming home from work and I got home from work. I’d been thinking about this text. I’ve been kind of preparing this sermon a little bit, especially these last several verses. And I got home from my office and as is natural, just trying to help direct some chaos at home when I got back, and one of my amazing children, just amazing children, who will remain unidentified, I asked, “Would you go help Mom with the dishes?” Sure enough, the first thing that came out of this amazingly godly child’s mouth was, “What about them? They don’t have to do it? How come I do?”

We all do it. We all compare ourselves to the person around us. It’s not just our children. It’s natural, isn’t it, to wonder about others. It’s natural to look around, to turn around and wonder, “What about him? What about her?” I can only assume how easy it would be in the face of suffering to wonder, “Why me? What about that guy over there? How come they don’t have to go through the same thing that I’m going through, Lord?”

How easy it would be to be walking with Jesus and to receive that diagnosis and wonder, “What about him? They don’t have to go through that.” And Jesus says, “Don’t worry about him. You follow Me.” It’s just three verses later that Jesus has to remind Peter you follow Me. It’s almost the same command, but this time the accent is on the YOU, it’s a big capital YOU. Peter, YOU, you don’t worry about John. YOU follow Me. I’m talking to you, Peter. I’m not talking to anyone else. YOU follow Me.

You look at John’s Gospel. These are Jesus’ last recorded words in the Gospel. You follow me.

John starts his Gospel with Jesus’ call to the disciples to follow Him and he ends his Gospel with Jesus’ words, “Follow Me.”

Church, it’s so simple on one hand, so difficult on the other hand as sinful beings. Do we love Jesus and are we following Him? That’s what John 21 is boiling everything down to – do we love Him and out of the love for Jesus, do we follow Him? With the accent on YOU. Not the person to the left of you, not the person behind you, not the person in front of you, not even your spouse, not your children. YOU. Me. That’s what John 21 is pressing us to consider. Do we love Him and out of that love will we follow Him? It’s not up to us to decide based on what others are doing. It’s not dependent on how hard or how easy the road is ahead of us. Jesus tells Peter, and in turns tells you and He tells me, YOU follow me.

Why do we follow this Jesus? Why do we love Him so? It’s because as Pastor Kevin preached several years ago, on this passage, Jesus is more wonderful than we know. We may want more details on how the story ends, but part of the reason that we don’t get more details on the story’s end is because the story is not yet finished. This is a play that hasn’t seen its final act yet.

John writes now there are many other things that Jesus did, were every one of them to be written, I suppose the world itself could not contain the books that would be written.

What beautiful language. The world itself, John says, I suppose every nook and cranny in this world couldn’t hold all that Jesus could do or would do or did do here on earth. That’s how wonderful Jesus is that the world, the entire world if books were written to record every detail, every act, that they could not contain Jesus. His glory and His wonder are surpassing what this world could hold. Indeed, maybe that’s why, that’s part of why the heavens and the earth, the skies and the seas, must declare His majesty because the world cannot contain the wonder of Jesus. He’s more wonderful than we know. And that’s why we love Him. And that’s why we follow Him.

What a fitting way to close this series. What a fitting way to close this book, this Gospel. Were everything written about Jesus, I suppose the world itself couldn’t contain in it. In His name we pray.

Let’s pray. Lord Jesus, it is hard to fathom just how wonderful You are. We stop and we try to comprehend such things and we’re unable to. The world itself could not contain the books that would have been written if it were to record every act here on earth. So we worship You and praise You. We pray, God, that You would help us to love You with all of our heart, with all of our soul, with all of our mind, and with all of our strength. Out of that great love, would You help us to follow You? No matter what it means for us. Not comparing ourself or looking to our neighbor, to the person to the left or right of us. Help us to follow You. We ask for Your help in Jesus’ name. Amen.