TEEN TREE OF LIFE
Waiting on The Lord Jesus Christ - Part 4
August 21, 2022
Before you begin, ask yourself a very important question: Do you believe that Jesus Christ died on The Cross for all of your sins? If you answered yes, you will need to be sure that you are filled with The Holy Spirit. How do you do this? You name your sins to God The Father in His Son’s Name. This is called Rebound. As a Christian, you must rebound any time you sin. This is taught in 1 JOH 1:9: If we confess [name] our sins [directly to God], He [God] is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. Now, if you have never believed that Jesus Christ died on The Cross for all of your sins, all you have to do is say to yourself that you believe in Him and you are saved! The Bible verse which teaches us this is ACTS 16:31: “Believe on The Lord Jesus Christ and you will be saved.”
Last week, we looked at the group of disciples who had been told to wait for The Lord Jesus Christ by the Sea of Galilee but instead went fishing. We learned that when we’re not sure what to do or things are not working out the way we had hoped, our tendency is to go back to our old ways and habits. We return to the patterns of life that we had before being called by God to live for Christ. These patterns are often sinful.
The Christian life is simple in principle: God wants us to focus on Him. He does not want us bogged down with the things that everyone else thinks are so important such as money, possessions, fame, and power. The Lord Jesus Christ doesn’t want us to even be concerned about the simple daily needs of life such as having something to eat or drink or wear. He wants our focus to be on His Kingdom and His Righteousness and so He promises that if we put those first, He will take care of the rest. This is promised in MATT 6:33 (New American Standard Bible): But [continually seek] seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be [added] provided to you.
Your life should revolve around being used by God for the sake of His Kingdom. Frankly, nothing else matters except serving God and being more like The Lord Jesus Christ today than you were yesterday. If those two things are in place, then so will everything else because your priorities will be in the right order.
Money? Yes, it is needed for getting along in this life, but God owns the world, so financing things is no problem for Him. He said he would meet your needs. Security is found in The Lord, not a fat investment portfolio. You may not have what the world has, but they may not have what you have – an eternal future in Heaven. Their money is worthless to them when they die.
Possessions? You are owned by Jesus Christ therefore all the material things you have acquired are His. You are simply a keeper of them. You may not have all the things the world presents as being important, but you are neither possessive of, nor possessed by those things. Those things are going to burn up in the end anyway.
Fame? Fame is a fleeting moment of time that will be forgotten. Look at ECC 1:11 (New International Reader’s Version): No one remembers the people of long ago. Even those who haven’t been born yet won’t be remembered by those who will be born after them. Who was the Emperor of China in 100 A.D.? Name all the players – any of the players – in the 1972 Superbowl or World Series? What does it matter that anyone knows your name? We want them to know the name of Jesus Christ.
Power? Position? Both are also fleeting just like fame, but it is more insidious, because power brings control and the desire for things to work out your way. But there will always be someone with more power that will thwart your plans. Hitler had power, but he was finally crushed. Stalin had power, but his plans were stopped in country after country and his empire disintegrated. King Nebuchadnezzar was an absolute monarch, but he lost his mind and lived in a field like an animal until he finally recognized the Sovereignty of God.
The problem the disciples had (and that we also often have) is that when things are not going the way we want, we take action by doing things according to our own wisdom and power. We forget that we have access to God’s Power simply by remembering 1 JOH 1:9: If we confess [name] our sins [directly to God], He [God] is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. This simple step – called Rebound – is the key to having His Wisdom and His Power.
The disciples did not have a lot of instructions to follow while they were waiting by the Sea of Galilee for Jesus to come and speak to them. That left them wondering. Sometimes we feel the same way. We wonder what God wants us to do? Their problem, and ours are usually the same: we do not follow the instructions He has given while we are waiting to see where He will lead us. We forget about what we’ve learned about Him through His Word. The disciples were supposed to wait for Jesus in Galilee, and they had already been given The Holy Spirit and had been commissioned to proclaim the revelation of God. This is taught in JOH 20:21-22 (New International Reader’s Version): Again Jesus said, “May peace be with you! The Father has sent me. So now I am sending you.” He then breathed on them. He said, “Receive the Holy Spirit.
That night in Galilee, they should have been trying to catch men, not fish. They should have waited for Our Lord, as He had directed. This happens in life all the time. Be on the lookout for those times in your own life when you should be patient and wait on The Lord. We may not have the specific instructions we would like, but we have been given enough general principles to act on while we wait for the specifics. Are you faithful to God’s Commands? Look at PSA 27:14 (New International Reader’s Version): Wait for the Lord. Be strong and don’t lose hope. Wait for the Lord. Ask yourself: are you first seeking God’s kingdom and righteousness? Are you loving The Lord with all your heart, soul, mind and strength and your neighbor as yourself? Do the things of God fill your mind in your daily walk? Or are you going back to the old worldly patterns of life and priorities? Are you becoming more like Jesus or more like your next door neighbor? What is your relationship with Our Lord like?
And when you face life’s trials, what will you do? Will you wait on The Lord to take care of things like Moses advised the Israelites to do in EX 14:14 (New International Reader’s Version): “The Lord will fight for you. Just be still.” Or will you refuse to wait on The Lord and try to do it yourself? In a way, that’s what Peter was doing that night. He was impatient and tired of waiting, so he went fishing. Beware of being impatient in your own life!
Let’s continue with JOH 21:6-8 (New International Reader’s Version): He [The Lord Jesus Christ] said, “Throw your net on the right side of the boat. There you will find some fish.” When they did, they could not pull the net into the boat. There were too many fish in it. Then the disciple Jesus loved said to Simon Peter, “It is the Lord!” As soon as Peter heard that, he put his coat on. He had taken it off earlier. Then he jumped into the water. The other disciples followed in the boat. They were towing the net full of fish. The shore was only about 100 yards away. Now, most fishermen don’t want to be told what to do. That is especially true if they are fishing in an area they know well. It’s even more true if they have not done well. Yet the disciples receive and follow instructions from this man they do not recognize. Perhaps that is an indicator that they had been humbled by their bad night of fishing. Always remember that God resists the proud, but gives Grace to the humble. In this case, that Grace was a large catch of fish when they humbly followed the instructions of the stranger.
It's at this point that John realizes who was instructing them. John is the first to recognize Our Lord and he tells Peter. And Peter, man of action that he is, puts on his outer garment and immediately jumps into the sea. Since Peter is with Jesus when the boat finally makes it to shore, we know that Peter jumped in to be with Him the fastest way possible. The rest of the men in the boat make their way to shore dragging the net full of fish. What do you think this says of Peter? Doesn’t he seem to be doing this out of guilt for not waiting on The Lord? He distances himself from the boat, the fish and those who were fishing. It’s pretty interesting!
JOH 21:9-13 (New International Reader’s Version) tells us what happened next: When they landed, they saw a fire of burning coals. There were fish on it. There was also some bread. Jesus said to them, “Bring some of the fish you have just caught.” So Simon Peter climbed back into the boat. He dragged the net to shore. It was full of large fish. There were 153 of them. But even with that many fish the net was not torn. Jesus said to them, “Come and have breakfast.” None of the disciples dared to ask him, “Who are you?” They knew it was the Lord. Jesus came, took the bread and gave it to them. He did the same thing with the fish. Jesus could have reprimanded them for going fishing and not waiting for Him, but He is Kind and Gracious instead. He would teach them the lesson, but He also knew they were tired and hungry and He met that immediate need first.
Jesus had them go to the nets to get some fish from their catch, but this was not because they needed them for breakfast. It was so they could sort through everything in their net and see what they had caught when they had obeyed Him. That is why they had a count of the fish. This was an extremely large catch as indicated by the comment added that the net was not torn. It pointed out that a miracle that had occurred.
interestingly, we know they did not eat any of those fish for breakfast because when they had come ashore, they found Jesus with a charcoal fire and one fish upon it and they all ate from that one fish and not from the fish that they had caught. This may well have been a miracle similar to the feeding of the five thousand in MATTHEW 14 with the multiplying of the food. The point here is simply that God provides for us and it is better to wait for His Provision and Direction than to strike out in our own wisdom in our own power. He has already given us plenty to do in keeping His Commandments while we wait for specific instruction.
There are so many fantastic things in these verses from the Book of John. Remember that The Lord Jesus Christ has the same care for us that He did for the disciples. He will provide for our needs as we seek first His Kingdom and Righteousness but in the process, we have to always remember to be patient as we wait on Him. ISA 30:18 (New International Reader’s Version) reminds us: But the Lord wants to have mercy on you. So he will rise up to give you his tender love. The Lord is a God who is always fair. Blessed are all those who wait for him to act!