"Come and See": A Web Commentary on the Gospel of John: Section 15 Epilogue: A Picnic by the Beach Jn 21.1-19


211After this, Jesus showed himself again to the disciples, by the Sea of Tiberias1. He showed himself in this way - 2Simon Peter and Thomas - called "Twin" - and Nathanael from Cana of Galilee, and the sons of Zebedee, and two others of his disciples were together. 3Simon Peter said to them, "I'm going fishing". They said to him, "We're coming with you too." They went out and got in the boat, and that night they didn't catch anything. 4When morning came, Jesus was by the shore. Now, the disciples didn't know that it was Jesus. 5So Jesus said to them, "Guys2, aren't you catching anything to eat?" They answered him, "No". 6But he said to them, "Cast the net on the right side of the boat, and you'll find something." So they cast out and they weren't able to pull it back because of the great weight of fish! 7So that disciple that Jesus loved said to Peter, "It's the Lord!" So Simon Peter, hearing that it was the Lord, belted his outer garment - for he only had on his underwear - and cast himself into the lake. 8But the other disciples came in the skiff, dragging the net of fish, for they were not far from land - only around 100m away. 9Then, as they landed, they saw a charcoal fire laid and fish set out on it3 and bread. 10Jesus said to them, "Bring some of the fish you've just caught!" 11Then Simon Peter went aboard and drew the net onto the land, full of 153 large fish, and even though there were so many, the net did not break. 12Jesus said to them, "Come and have breakfast!". But none of the disciples dared to ask him, "Who are you?" - they knew he was the Lord. 13Jesus came and took the bread and gave it to them and likewise the fish. 14This was now the third time Jesus showed himself to the disciples after he rose from the dead.

15Then after they had breakfast Jesus said to Simon Peter, "Simon, son of John, do you love me more than these?" He said to Jesus4, "Yes, Lord. You know I love you." Jesus5 said to him, "Pasture my lambs!"

16Jesus6 said to him again a second time, "Simon, son of John, do you love me?" He said to Jesus7, "Yes, Lord. You know I love you!" Jesus8 said to him, "Shepherd my sheep!"

17Jesus9 said to him a third time, "Simon, son of John, do you love me?" Peter was unhappy because Jesus10 said to him the third time, "Do you love me?", and he said to Jesus11, "Lord, you know everything! You know I love you." [Jesus] said to him, "Pasture my sheep12!

18Amen, Amen I say to you, when you were young, you put on your own belt and went where you wanted. But when you get old, you will stretch out your hands and someone else will bind you and lead you where you don’t want. 19But he said this to signify by what kind of death Simon Peter13 would glorify God. And after he said this, he said to him, "Follow me!".

20When Peter turned, he saw the disciple Jesus loved following - the one who lay back on his breast at dinner and said, "Lord, who is the one who will betray you?". 21Then Peter, seeing him, said to Jesus, "Lord, what about him? 22Jesus said to him, "If I want him to stay until I come, what is that to you? Your job is to follow me!" 23 So this rumour spread among the brothers and sisters that that disciple would not die. But Jesus did not say to him, "He will not die", but "If I want him to stay until I come [what is that to you]?

24This is the disciple who bore witness about these things and he wrote these things down. And we know that his witness is true. 25But there are many other things that Jesus did. If they were written down, I don't suppose the world could hold the books that could be written.



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1 Sea of Tiberias: another name for the Sea of Galilee

2 Guys: literally Children ('paidion', the diminutive of 'pais', a child)

3 on it: added for sense

4 Jesus: him in original; added for sense

5 Jesus: he in original; added for sense

6 Jesus: he in original; added for sense

7 Jesus: him in original; added for sense

8 Jesus: he in original; added for sense

9 Jesus: he in original; added for sense

10 Jesus: he in original; added for sense

11 Jesus: him in original; added for sense

12 sheep: some witnesses read little sheep

13 Simon Peter: he in original; added for sense