Do Not Love the World

1John 2:15-17 Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world. And the world passes away, and the lust thereof: but he that does the will of God abides for ever. 

‘Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world’ two things not we cannot love: the world [Greek: kosmos, the order, behaviour, fashion, and government of this world system (Matt. 4:8; 13:22; Eph. 2:1-3; Jas. 4:4; 2Pet. 1:4; 2:20)], and the things that make up the world system of evil and rebellion against God.

‘If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him’ this is the reason men must not love the world or the things in it. Love of God and love of these things are not compatible.

‘For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes …’ there are three classes of things in the world mentioned here: The lust of the flesh (Eph. 5:19-21).  The lust of the eyes: (1) lust for women (Matt. 5:28; Job 31:1); (2) eyes full of adultery – even men with men and women with women (2Pet. 2:14; Rom. 1:18-28); (3) covetousness (Ps. 10:8; Luke 12:15); (4) all things desired (Eccl. 2:10); (5) idolatry (Ezek. 6:9; 18:6-15); (6) all kinds of evil (Matt. 6:23; 7:22). The pride of life: (1) self-righteousness; (Job 32:1); (2) positions (Gen. 3:5; Ezek. 28:11-17; 1Tim. 3:6; 3Jn. 1:9); (3) power (Lev. 26:19); (4) riches (Ps. 39:6; Ezek. 28:5); (5) beauty (Ezek. 28:11, 17); (6) strength to war (2Chron. 26:16); (7) constant boasting of one’s self; glorying in sexual activity; pleasures, and all the vanity of life (1Jn. 2:15; Ps. 24:4; 36:2; Isa. 3:16)

‘Pride of life’ the Greek word alazoneia which means vain-boastings.

‘The world passes away, and the lust thereof; but he that does the will of God abide for ever’ this is the 1st New Testament prophecy in 1 John unfulfilled. The kosmos [Greek] social system will be changed, not annihilated (Eph. 2:2; 2Pet. 3:10).

‘World’ the world system passes away, but the man who does not conform to it abides forever.

‘Passes away’ this does not mean annihilation, but a change, passing out of operation, or away from man’s realm.

‘Does the will of God abides for ever’ the blessings of those who do the will of God are: Entrance into the kingdom (Matt. 7:21); being kept from falling (Matt. 7:24-29); confirmation that one’s deeds are of God (John 3:21); answers to prayer (John 9:31); being blessed (Jas. 1:22-25); never moved (Ps. 15:1-5); to abide forever (1Jn. 2:17); the new birth (1Jn. 2:29); righteousness like Christ (1Jn. 3:7) and confirmation of sonship (3Jn. 1:11).

New Commandment

1John 2:7-14 Brethren, I write no new commandment unto you, but an old commandment which you had from the beginning. The old commandment is the word which you have heard from the beginning. Again, a new commandment I write unto you, which thing is true in him and in you: because the darkness is past, and the true light now shines. He that says he is in the light, and hates his brother, is in darkness even until now. He that loves his brother abides in the light, and there is none occasion of stumbling in him. But he that hates his brother is in darkness, and walks in darkness, and knows not whither he goes, because that darkness has blinded his eyes. I write unto you, little children, because your sins are forgiven you for his name’s sake. I write unto you, fathers, because you have known him that is from the beginning. I write unto you, young men, because you have overcome the wicked one. I write unto you, little children, because you have known the Father. I have written unto you, fathers, because you have known him that is from the beginning. I have written unto you, young men, because you are strong, and the word of God abides in you, and you have overcome the wicked one. 

‘New’ the Greek word kainos meaning renewed or fresh. This new commandment is an old one renewed and made complete in meaning by Jesus Christ (1Jn. 2:7-8; Lev. 19:18 with John 13:34). We see this commandment in Leviticus 19:18 “…but thou shall love thy neighbour as thyself: I am the LORD” and John 13:34: “A new commandment I give unto you, That you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another.”

‘He that says he is in the light, and hates his brother, is in darkness even until now’ no man professing a Christian experience who hates his brother has received a saving knowledge of the Truth (1Jn. 2:9, 11).

‘He that loves his brother abides in the light, and there is none occasion of stumbling in him’ a man that truly loves his brother has proof of his Christian experience, and if he continues to love he will not stumble over his brethren.

‘Stumbling’ for those abiding in the light, there will be no possibility of stumbling away from the Truth.

‘Little children’ a term used nine times in this epistle (2:1, 12, 13, 18, 28; 3:7, 18; 4:4, 21). It is used elsewhere only in John 13:33 and Galatians 4:19. There are four stages of Christian experience: infants; newborn (1Jn. 2:12); little children; those able to walk and talk (1Jn. 2:13); young men; those grown to the prime of life and no longer tossed about like children by fallacies (1Jn. 2:13-14); fathers; those who are matured in the Lord (1Jn. 2:13-14).

‘Abides in you, and you have overcome the wicked one’ this is the secret of victory over sin. As long as one remains in harmony with the Word of God he cannot sin (1Jn. 3:9). Keeping God’s commandments is the only guarantee of constant abiding (John 15:10). Abiding is the condition of fruit-bearing (John 15:4, 7). If one does not abide he is cut off and destroyed like a branch (John 15:6).

Our Advocate

1John 2:1-6 My little children, these things write I unto you, that you sin not. And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous: And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world. And hereby we do know that we know him, if we keep his commandments. He that says, I know him, and keep not his commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him. But whoso keeps his word, in him verily is the love of God perfected: hereby know we that we are in him. He that says he abides in him ought himself also so to walk, even as he walked. 

‘Little children’ a term used nine times in this epistle (2:1, 12, 13, 18, 28; 3:7, 18; 4:4, 21). It is used elsewhere only in John 13:33 and Galatians 4:19. There are four stages of Christian experience: infants; newborn (1Jn. 2:12); little children; those able to walk and talk (1Jn. 2:13); young men; those grown to the prime of life and no longer tossed about like children by fallacies (1Jn. 2:13-14); fathers; those who are matured in the Lord (1Jn. 2:13-14).

‘You sin not’ this is the purpose and demand of the gospel (Matt. 1:21; Rom. 6:16-23; 8:1-13; Gal. 5:16-26; Col. 3:5-10; Tit. 2:11-12). Even though man was born into sin, he has no excuse to continue therein. For those who claim ‘we are all sinners,’ the Word calls those who chose to follow Christ, as the Word commands (1Pet 2:21-23) ‘saints,’ ‘holy,’ ‘children of God,’ ‘brethren,’ ‘children of obedience’ and ‘… of righteousness,’ etc.

‘If any man sin’ we do not sin if we walk in the light (1Jn. 1:7, 1:9), but if one does fall into sin he still has hope: he can confess sin and be cleansed again (1Jn. 1:9; Gal. 4:19).

‘Advocate with the Father’ Christ is three things to believers: a Helper; Advocate (note, John 14:26); the Righteous One, having suffered, the just for the unjust (1Jn. 2:1; 1Pet. 3:18; 1Cor. 1:30; 2Cor. 5:14-21); the atoning sacrifice for sins (1Jn. 2:2; 4:10).

‘Not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world’ not for the apostles or the Jews only, but also for Gentiles (Eph. 2:11-18; 2Cor. 5:14-21; John 3:16).

‘Hereby we do know that we know him’ the ‘hereby’ reasons ‘we do know that we know Him’ can be summarized as follows: By personal fellowship (1:3-7; 2:13); in fullness of joy in the heart (1:4); in keeping His commandments (2:3; 3:22); when walking even as He walked (2:6; 1Pet. 2:21-23); in love of the brethren (2:9-11; 3:10-19, 23; 4:7-21; 5:1); overcoming the world and satan (2:13-14; 5:4, 18); in the hatred of the world (2:15-17); being one with Christians (2:19); in Holy Spirit anointing (2:20-27); knowing the truth that sets free (2:21; John 8:32-36); acknowledging God and Christ (2:22-25); doing righteousness (2:29; 3:7-10; 5:1-4, 18); by purifying ourselves (3:3); being born again (2:29; 3:9; 5:1-18); cleansing from sin (1:7-9; 3:5-10); in freedom from condemnation (3:20-24); the indwelling Spirit (3:24; 4:4, 13); in faith (2:23; 5:1, 10); by confessing Christ (4:14-15); and receiving Him (5:10-13; John 1:12); through answered prayer (3:21-22; 5:14-15).

‘If we keep his commandments’ to be saved one must keep His commandments; not merely start keeping them, but continue in keeping them. If the condition is to keep them, then upon this basis only will God bless and save people (Rom. 1:5; Jas. 1:22-25; 1Pet. 1:2).

‘He that says, I know him, and keep not his commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him’ if any man professing to be saved does not keep the commandments he is a liar (2:4-5). This is a death blow to the claim of those who live in sin and say the blood of Christ covers their ungodliness.

‘He that says he abides in him ought himself also so to walk, even as he walked’ everyone who makes a Christian profession ought to walk as Christ did (2:6; 3:1-10; 4:17; 1Pet. 2:21-23). To be in Christ means that one is a new creature and that affections and lusts of the flesh have been crucified (2Cor. 5:17; Gal. 5:16-26; Rom. 8:12-13; Col. 3:5-10).

‘Abides in him ought himself also so to walk, even as he walked’ there are many proofs given in 1John of abiding in Christ: to walk as Christ walked (2:6; 1Pet. 2:21-23); love of the brethren (2:10; 3:14-15); God’s Word abiding within (2:14); doing the will of God (2:17); permission of the individual (2:24-25); continued anointing (2:27); freedom from sin (3:6); keeping commandments (3:24; John 15:10); the indwelling Spirit (3:24) and fruit-bearing (John 15:4, 7).

 

God is Light

1John 1:5-10 This then is the message which we have heard of him, and declare unto you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all. If we say that we have fellowship with him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not the truth: But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanse us from all sin. If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say that we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us. 

‘This then is the message which we have heard of him … God is light, and in him is no darkness at all’ This is the chief message Christ came to deliver, of which John can testify in person, that God is light and in Him is no darkness at all. Neither Moses nor the prophets ever gave the fullness of this message (John 1:16-17). Christ Himself is the chief manifestation of God’s light to men (John 1:1-9; 3:16-20; 8:12; 12:35-36).

‘God is light’ God is a person and dwells “in the light that no man can approach unto; whom no man has seen (in all His glory) nor can see” (1Tim. 6:16). The phrase “God is light” does not constitute the being of God. It must be understood in the same sense that we understand God is love, God is good, God is a consuming fire, and other statements about Him. In the same sense, we understand that Jesus is the way, the truth, and the life, or the door (John 10:9; 14:6). These expressions don’t do away with the reality and personality of God and Christ.

‘Darkness’ as the source of wisdom, knowledge, holiness, and truth, God cannot have the least degree of ignorance, imperfection, sinfulness, and darkness. God is to man what the sun is to our world, hence the importance of the message that God is light and no darkness at all.

‘If we say that we have fellowship with him, and walk in darkness, we lie’ there are 5 “If’s” of Human experience given: The hypocrite – (1:6) if we say we know God and still walk in darkness, our sins prove we are liars. The Christian – (1:7) if we walk in the light, we have fellowship with the Father and the Son (1:3) and the blood of Jesus Christ keeps us cleansed from all sin. The self-deceiver – (1:8) if we say we have no sin to confess, that is, we are not sinners, we deceive ourselves because we know better, and we lie. Gnostics and other heretics deny that they are sinners and that Christ’s death atones for sin. The penitent sinner – (1:9) if we confess our sins, that is, if we will be honest and acknowledge we are sinners (Rom. 3:23), God is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. The wilful rebel against God – (1:10) if we say that we have never sinned, we make God a liar and His Word is not in us. In 1John 1:8 the idea is of contending that we are not guilty before God; here it is that we were never guilty.

‘Blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanse us from all sin’ we are cleansed from all sin from the time of confession of sin (1:9) and as long as we walk in the light (1:7).

‘If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness’ if we do one thing – confess our sins – God will do four things: Be faithful to us; be just with us; forgive our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

Fellowship

1John 1:3-4 That which we have seen and heard declare we unto you, that you also may have fellowship with us: and truly our fellowship is with the Father, and with his Son Jesus Christ. And these things write we unto you, that your joy may be full. 

‘Fellowship with us: and truly our fellowship is with the Father, and with his Son Jesus Christ’ four persons with whom to have fellowship: God the Father (1:3-7; Isa. 57:15; John 14:23; 17:21-23; 1Cor. 6:13); God the Son (Matt. 18:20; John 14:23; 15:1-8; 1Cor. 1:9; 10:16); God the Holy Spirit (Rom. 8:9; 1Cor. 3:16; 2Cor. 13:14; Php. 2:1); other Christians (Acts 1:14; 2:1, 42-47; Eph. 5:19; Php. 2:1-2).

Scriptures warn against fellowship and friendship with non-believers: not to get counsel from the ungodly, or to follow in the same ways as sinners or workers of iniquity, or to sit with those who mock the Word of God, those who are vain or wicked (Ps. 1:1-6; 6:8; 26:4-5; 1Jn. 2:15-17) and not to go in with dissemblers [hypocrites]. Not to cast your lot with criminals and sinners when they entice you to follow in their wicked ways (Pro. 1:10-15). We are warned to stay away from foolish and angry people and not to be friends with them (Pro. 9:6; 14:17; 22:24); to stay away from backslidden Christians and those who walk disorderly (Matt. 18:15-17; 2 Thess. 3:6; 2Jn. 1:9-11) and those that cause divisions and offences (Rom. 16:17). We cannot listen to false teachers’ teachings and think we will afterwards understand God’s Word at all (1Tim. 4:1-2; 6:3-5; 2Tim. 2: 16-17; 2Jn. 1:10). We cannot have company with those who do not obey God’s Word (2Thess. 3:14-15); be in business, friendship or fellowship with unbelievers or those who live in unrighteousness and darkness (2Cor. 6:14-18). We cannot keep company or eat with fornicators, covetous, heady and high-minded people, idolaters, railers, drunkard, or extortioners (1Cor. 5:9-11). Stay away from those who are lovers of themselves; boasters; proud, unthankful, unholy people; blasphemers; disobedient to parents; those without natural affection; trucebreakers; false accusers; incontinent; fierce people, despisers of those who are good traitors, those who love pleasure more than God and the hypocrites – those who have “a form of godliness, but deny the power thereof” (2Tim. 3:2-5).

‘That your joy may be full’ to live in peace, harmony and love we have to follow God’s instruction on fellowship otherwise we allow other’s consequences for sin into our lives as well as give our approval to their sinful natures and habits.  Listen to His commandments if you want to stand in Truth and against the wiles of the devil (Eph. 6:10-18).

We have clear instructions not to allow those who live in sin and don’t follow in Christ’s footsteps (1Pet. 2:21-23) into our lives from 2John 1:9-11: “Whosoever transgress, and abide not in the doctrine of Christ, has not God. He that abide in the doctrine of Christ, he has both the Father and the Son. If there come any unto you, and bring not this doctrine, receive him not into your house, neither bid him God speed: For he that bid him God speed is partaker of his evil deeds.”

Eternal Life

1John 1:2 (For the life was manifested, and we have seen it, and bear witness, and show unto you that eternal life, which was with the Father, and was manifested unto us) 

These are the facts given by John of eternal life: People can have it by believing on Christ and God (John 3:15-16, 36; 5:24; 6:40, 47). It becomes a well springing up in the soul (John 4:14). People must gather fruit unto life eternal (John 4:36). It comes through searching the Scriptures (John 5:39). People must labour for it (John 6:27). It comes by drinking of (i.e., partaking of) the benefits of the blood of Jesus Christ by faith (John 6:54). Christ has the words of eternal life (John 6:68). Christ gives eternal life to His own who meet the conditions (John 6:27, 10:27-29). God commands people to get it (John 12:50). God sent Jesus to give it to all who come to Him through Christ (John 17:2). To know or to experience God and Christ is eternal life (John 17:2-3). Jesus Christ is that eternal life (1:1-3). This eternal life has actually been seen, heard, and handled (1:1-3). People must not only meet the conditions of eternal life of John 6:27, but they must let (permit) it to remain in them after they get it (2:24). If people do permit (let) it to remain in them, then they will continue in the Son and in the Father (2:24). Eternal life is promised to all (2:25), but it is given only to those who meet the conditions of receiving and keeping it (John 6:27). No one who hates his brother has it (3:15). It comes from God (5:11) and it is only in God’s Son (5:11). All people may know they have it (5:13, 20; John 3:16; 5:24; 17:2-3).

We get eternal life now and keep it forever if we meet the following conditions: Come to Christ (John 6:37, 44, 45, 65); know God and Christ (John 17:2-3); cause no offense (Matt. 18:8-9); forsake all (Matt. 19:27-29; Mark 10:28-30); overcome sin (Rev. 2:7, 11, 17, 26; 3:5, 12, 21); live free from sin (Rom. 5:21; 6:16-23; 8:1-13; Tit. 2:11-14); fight the good fight of faith; lay hold on it (1Tim. 6:12, 19); be sober and hope to the end for it (Tit. 1:2; 3:7; 1Pet. 1:5, 9, 13); endure temptations (Jas. 1:12); love everybody (1Jn. 3:14-15); keep yourself in the love of God, looking for eternal life (Jude 1:20-24); be faithful unto death (Rev. 2:10; Heb. 12:14-15); believe and obey the gospel (John 3:15-19, 36; 4:14; 5:24; 6:40, 47, 54; 2Cor. 5:17; Rom. 1:5); be born again, hear Christ, and follow Him (John 3:1-36; 10:27-29).

BUT eternal life does not become an unforfeitable eternal possession until we enter into it (Matt. 7:13; 18:8-9; 19:17; Rom. 6:22); receive it (Rom. 6:23; Jas. 1:12; 1Pet. 1:13; Rev. 2:10); reap it (Gal. 6:7-8); and inherit it in the world to come (Matt. 19:27-29; Mark 10:28-30; Luke 18:28-30), and at the end of this life (Rom. 6:22).

The Word of Life

1John 1:1 That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon, and our hands have handled, of the Word of life 

‘That which was from the beginning’ that glorious and wonderful person, Jesus Christ the Lord (1:1, 3-4).

‘From the beginning’ ten things concerning Jesus Christ: He is from the beginning (1:1; John 1:1-2); from everlasting (Micah 5:1-2; Heb. 1:8); we [the disciples] have heard Him with our ears (1:1); we [disciples] have seen Him with our eyes (1:1); our [disciples] hands have handled Him (1:1); He is the Word of Life (1:1; John 14:6); we [disciples] bear witness of this Life (1:2); He is that eternal Life (1:2); He is not the Father, but was with Him from all eternity (1:2; John 1:1-2); He was manifested to us [disciples] (1:2); we [disciples] declare Him to you for two reasons: (1) That you may have fellowship with us, with the Father, and with His Son Jesus Christ (1:3); (2) That your joy may be full (1:4).

‘We have heard, which we have seen with our eyes’ the disciples had absolute certainty of the reality of what they proclaimed. They have actually heard, seen, and touched Christ, not transiently, but frequently. They lived with Him daily for years. They heard His teaching and saw His divine works (1:1-3; 2Pet. 1:16; Acts 5:31; 1Cor. 15:1-8).

‘Looked upon’ the Greek word theaomai, gazing with a purpose; see with desire; regard with admiration. Related to theoreo, to gaze at, as a spectacle. It is used of physical sight and the actual presence of the object on which the gaze is fixed. It means a prolonged and continued gaze.

‘Word of life’ the Word was made flesh and dwelled among men so that they would have as much proof of His personal existence, as they had of any other person in their midst (John 1:1-2, 14; 1Tim. 3:16). ‘Word’ the Greek word logos which refers to Christ (John 1:14; Rev. 19:13) and proves His pre-existence (Micah 5:1-2; Rev. 1:8, 11; 2:8; 22:13-16). He is an eternal Being as are also the Father and the Holy Spirit (Psa. 90:1-2; Heb. 9:14). They make the Divine Trinity (1Jn. 5:7).

The Beloved

John 21:20-25 Then Peter, turning about, sees the disciple whom Jesus loved following; which also leaned on his breast at supper, and said, Lord, which is he that betrayed thee? Peter seeing him said to Jesus, Lord, and what shall this man do? Jesus said unto him, If I will that he tarry till I come, what is that to thee? follow thou me. Then 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 tarries till I come, what is that to thee? This is the disciple which testified of these things, and wrote these things: and we know that his testimony is true. And there are also many other things which Jesus did, the which, if they should be written every one, I suppose that even the world itself could not contain the books that should be written. Amen. 

‘The disciple whom Jesus loved’ the last of five times, referring to John (13:23; 19:26; 20:2; 21:7, 20, 24). He was not loved more than others by Christ, but he accepted His love and chose to call himself accordingly. God does not have respect for persons, with regards to their looks, races, classes and sexes (Acts 10:34; Rom. 2:11; Gal. 3:28; Jas. 2:1-4).

‘Lord, which is he that betrayed thee? … what shall this man do? … If I will that he tarries till I come, what is that to thee?’ Peter had his instructions; now he wanted to know what John was supposed to do. Jesus rebuked his curiosity by stating that if He wanted John to live to the second coming that was none of his concern. He told Peter to follow Him and let John do likewise. This statement about John not dying is explained in John 21:23. He did die about the close of the first century after he finished the book Revelation on the isle of Patmos (Rev. 1:9).

‘This is the disciple which testified of these things, and wrote these things’ this is proof of the authorship of John. ‘Many other things which Jesus did, the which, if they should be written every one, I suppose that even the world itself could not contain the books that should be written.’ This verse simply expresses the idea that Jesus had done so many things which are not written, that if they should be written in books the world (Greek word kosmos: social world) would not have room for them. Men would not even take time to examine or digest them.

Follow Me

John 21:15-19 So when they had dined, Jesus said to Simon Peter, Simon, son of Jonas, love thou me more than these? He said unto him, Yea, Lord; thou know that I love thee. He said unto him, Feed my lambs. He said to him again the second time, Simon, son of Jonas, love thou me? He said unto him, Yea, Lord; thou know that I love thee. He said unto him, Feed my sheep. He said unto him the third time, Simon, son of Jonas, love thou me? Peter was grieved because he said unto him the third time, Love thou me? And he said unto him, Lord, thou know all things; thou know that I love thee. Jesus said unto him, Feed my sheep. Verily, verily, I say unto thee, When thou was young, thou girded thyself, and walked whither thou would: but when thou shall be old, thou shall stretch forth thy hands, and another shall gird thee, and carry thee whither thou would not. This spoke he, signifying by what death he should glorify God. And when he had spoken this, he said unto him, Follow me. 

‘Simon, son of Jonas, love thou me more than these?’ Peter is always addressed as “Simon” except in Luke 22:34. The question from Jesus to Peter was if he really loves Jesus more than the rest of the disciples, as he boasted (Matt. 26:33-35)? He had boasted of greater love than the rest and yet, no one (except Judas) had treated Him so basely. Peter in his reconverted state gave a most modest reply.

‘Love’ Jesus used the Greek verb agapao in the first two questions, which means ardently, supremely, perfectly, while Peter answered with the verb phileo to like, be fond of, feel friendship for another. The third time the Lord used phileo which deeply humbled Peter.

‘Feed’ the Greek word bosko, to feed, tend a flock, provide pasture for, take care of, guide, lead, defend, govern, and shepherd His lambs. ‘Lambs’ the Greek word arnion. Only here and 27 times in Revelation, and always of Christ except John 13:11. The other word for lamb is amnos as used in John 1:29, 36; Acts 8:32 and 1Pet. 1:19. ‘Sheep’ the Greek word probation for sheep. Used figuratively of Christ (Acts 8:32); lost people (Matt. 9:36; 10:6; 15:24; 1Pet. 2:25); saved people (Matt. 10:16; 26:31; John 10:1-27; 21:16-17; Rom. 8:36; Heb. 13:20); and people in general (Matt. 25:31-46).

‘Third time’ Peter had denied the Lord three times before the cock crowed; now Christ caused him to make a triple confession. ‘Grieved’ the Greek word lupeo, to make sorrowful, to affect with sadness, cause grief, make uneasy. It is translated “grieve;” “sorry” and “sorrowful;” and “be in heaviness.”

‘Lord, thou know all things; thou know that I love thee.’ This might have been the confession and the humility Christ was looking for. A few days before, he knew more about himself than Christ did and was frank enough to say so, but his fall and repentance had greatly humbled him. Now he was not so sure of himself, but he was sure that he loved Jesus.

‘Verily, verily, I say unto thee’ the last of 25 times in John meaning surely, surely or Amen, amen.

‘When thou was young, thou girded thyself, and walked whither thou would: but when thou shall be old, thou shall stretch forth thy hands, and another shall gird thee, and carry thee whither thou would not.’ The 43rd and last New Testament prophecy in John fulfilled. A prediction of the kind of death Peter should glorify God with. This was written after his death. Ancient writers say he was crucified head down as per his own request because he thought he was unworthy to die with his head up like his Master.

‘Young’ the Greek word neoteros that means younger. The word neos generally applied to people under thirty. The use of this word and the fact John outran him (20:4) gave rise to the tradition that he was a middle-aged man.

‘Carry’ the Greek word phero means lead, carry, bear, or bring forth. This refers to the time when Peter would die. Another would take him to where he would not desire to go – to death and the grave.

‘Follow’ in Greek is akoloutheo and is used of a servant, soldier, or pupils following their leader even to death (Matt. 8:19; 9:9; 19:27; John 12:26; 21:22). This statement no doubt relieved Peter, showing that Christ was not going to make any more predictions of his weaknesses and failure. Twice he is commanded here to follow (21:19, 22).

It Is the Lord

John 21:1-14 After these things Jesus showed himself again to the disciples at the sea of Tiberias; and on this wise showed he himself. There were together Simon Peter, and Thomas called Didymus, and Nathanael of Cana in Galilee, and the sons of Zebedee, and two other of his disciples. Simon Peter said unto them, I go a fishing. They say unto him, We also go with thee. They went forth, and entered into a ship immediately; and that night they caught nothing. But when the morning was now come, Jesus stood on the shore: but the disciples knew not that it was Jesus. Then Jesus said unto them, Children, have you any meat? They answered him, No. And he said unto them, Cast the net on the right side of the ship, and you shall find. They cast therefore, and now they were not able to draw it for the multitude of fishes. Therefore that disciple whom Jesus loved said unto Peter, It is the Lord. Now when Simon Peter heard that it was the Lord, he girt his fisher’s coat unto him, (for he was naked,) and did cast himself into the sea. And the other disciples came in a little ship; (for they were not far from land, but as it were two hundred cubits,) dragging the net with fishes. As soon then as they were come to land, they saw a fire of coals there, and fish laid thereon, and bread. Jesus said unto them, Bring of the fish which you have now caught. Simon 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, yet was not the net broken. Jesus said unto them, Come and dine. And none of the disciples durst ask him, Who are thou? knowing that it was the Lord. Jesus then come, and take bread, and give them, and fish likewise. This is now the third time that Jesus showed himself to his disciples, after that he rose from the dead. 

‘After these things’ After Christ’s resurrection and His two appearances to the disciples, He showed himself again to the disciples at the sea of Tiberias where they were catching fish. ‘Showed’ the Greek word phaneroo which means He manifested His power and glory after His resurrection.

Seven disciples of which were Simon Peter, Thomas, Nathanael and the sons of Zebedee, and two other of His disciples went on a fishing trip. They didn’t catch anything repeating the same results as when they went on the last fishing trip. In both instances, Christ gave them a miraculous catch, which convinced them that it was the Messiah. On both occasions, they received a call to preach the Word as it was given to them (Luke 5:1-11; John 21:1-20).

‘Knew not that it was Jesus’ Because of darkness, distance, or another reason is not stated.

‘Children, have you any meat?’ the word child is used for a term of endearment here for His followers, which are stated in the Word in various forms for believers and unbelievers: children of light (or darkness); children of righteousness (or unrighteousness); children of God (or of the devil); etc.

‘Meat’ the Greek word prosphagion which mean something to eat with bread. Here it was used of fish.

John said to Peter: “It is the Lord,” whereby Peter wrapped his fishermen’s coat around himself. ‘Naked’ means he had only his tunic or undergarment on. He cast himself into the sea, perhaps the shallow water to help draw the boat and net to shore.

‘They saw a fire of coals there, and fish laid thereon, and bread’ this was as miraculous as the catch of fish, demonstrating that the Lord could supply every need and that they did not have to go back to the fishing business to make a living.

‘Dine’ the Greek word aristao, to eat the morning meal (Luke 11:37); not deipnon which is supper (Mark 6:21; Luke 14:12-24; John 12:2; 13:2, 4; 21:20; 2Cor. 11:20-21; Rev. 19:9, 17). Christ no doubt ate with them to prove He was real and His friendship in them and that resurrected people still eat (Luke 24:42-43). Even God and angels eat (Gen. 18:1-33; Ex. 24:9-11).

‘Third time that Jesus showed himself’ the third time to show Himself to the majority of apostles (20:19, 26; 21:1-14). It was the seventh appearance since the resurrection.

The twelve appearances of Christ is as follows: To Mary Magdalene (Mark 16:9; John 20:15-16); to the women at the tomb (Matt. 28:9); to two disciples on the road to Emmaus (Luke 24:13-31); to Peter (Luke 24:34; 1Cor. 15:5); to the ten apostles (20:19); to the eleven apostles (20:26); to the seven apostles (21:1-22; this was after the second Sunday); to the eleven apostles on a certain mountain in Galilee (Matt. 28:16); to the twelve apostles, including Matthias (1Cor. 15:5; Acts 1:26); to five hundred brethren (1Cor. 15:6); to James, the Lord’s brother (1Cor. 15:7; Gal. 1:19); to all the apostles (1Cor. 15:7; Mark 16:19-20; Luke 24:50-53; Acts 1:3-12, 26).