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Third Sunday of Easter

May 5, 2019 Speaker: Murray Keith Series: Easter

Passage: John 21:1–21:14

†††In the Name of Jesus†††
Pastor Murray Keith
Text: John 21:1-14
Date: May 5th, 2019; Easter 3; Series C
Grace and peace to you from God our Father and our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.
  • This morning in our Gospel lesson we heard that Jesus helped some of his disciples with fishing.  They had been at it all night and hadn’t even caught one fish.  
  • This must have been especially frustrating for them since fishing was their profession before they dropped everything to follow Jesus.
  • After this night of unsuccessful fishing, Jesus appeared on the shore as the sun was rising.   
  • We heard that 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.”
  • This isn’t the first time that Jesus miraculously helped his disciples with their fishing.
  • In Luke chapter 5 we hear of another occasion when the disciples failed to catch a single fish after a whole night of casting their nets.
  • But when Jesus got into Peter’s boat the next morning and told them to again cast their nets, they caught so many fish that they filled two boats - and the boats began to sink!
  • An important thing to note in these two accounts is Peter’s reaction to seeing Jesus.
  • In our text for this morning we heard that when Peter learned that it was the Lord standing on the shore – he jumped into the lake and swam to him.  
  • He was so excited that he dove right in - he couldn’t even wait for the boat to get there!  He was so eager to be in the presence of Jesus.
  • This is such a different reaction from the first time that Jesus helped them with their fishing.  
  • That time, when Peter saw Jesus, he fell on his knees and cried out, “Go away from me, Lord; I am a sinful man.”
  • At that time, he felt that his sin was simply too much for him to be in the presence of God.
  • That’s the “before” picture of things.
  • But we see that something significant changed for Peter in our Gospel reading for this morning.
  • Again, this time, Peter jumped into the lake and swam because he was so excited to be in the presence of Jesus.
  • So what caused this change?  Why did Peter react so differently this time?  
  • Well, it was his relationship with God that changed.  His fear had been replaced with peace.
  • On the first occasion, Peter recognized Jesus as his Lord because of his miracle.  
  • But he didn’t fully understand why Jesus had come.  He expected that the Messiah would come with great power and reign as a mighty king.
  • This time, however, Peter had witnessed Jesus be crucified and killed.  
  • This time, he saw with his own eyes that Jesus had risen! 
  • He came to realize that Jesus had not come to be a terrifying king, but to be the suffering Servant who would sacrifice himself to bring forgiveness to the world!  
  • Peter had faith that his relationship with God changed when all of his sins were forgiven because of Christ’s life, death, and resurrection. 
  • This is the “after” picture of things. 
  • After your sins have been forgiven – it changes everything.  It changes your relationship with God.  It changes the way that you view and understand God.
  • In view of the Good News of the gospel you can be certain that there will never be separation between you and God.
  • There will never be separation between you and God because Jesus took upon himself the curse of sin and separation when he cried out from the cross, “My God!  My God!  Why have you forsaken me?”
  • Because Jesus was forsaken, because he suffered separation from God as he hung on the cross – you never will.  
  • St. Paul tells us, “For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
  • There is no sin that is too big that will keep you from God.  
  • There is no sin that will make you unwelcome in God’s house, the church.  
  • There is no sin that will make your heavenly Father turn a deaf ear to your prayers.
  • After Peter trusted that his sins were forgiven – it changed his view of Jesus.  It changed his relationship with Jesus.  
  • Instead of cowering at Jesus’ feet asking him to depart from his sinful presence – he now wanted nothing more than to be with him.
  • He dove right into the lake so that he could be the first one to get to Jesus.   
  • It’s almost funny to think of this gruff and burly fisherman being so overcome with joy to see Jesus - that he just jumps right into the lake to be in his presence!
  • But that is the gospel of Christ.  It changes everything!  It changes you.
  • My brothers and sisters in Christ, I encourage you also to dive right in.  
  • Do not be afraid to come into the Lord’s presence.  
  • Do not be afraid to approach the Lord with your needs.
  • He lived, died, and rose from his grave for you.  
  • He has removed the separation that sin causes.  He has suffered the punishment of sin so that there is no more punishment for you.  
  • Our Lord cried from the cross, “It is finished!” and he meant it.
  • So, dive in!  Come into your Lord’s presence with joy as he gives to you his life giving gifts.
  • Dive into the waters of your Holy Baptism and remember the glorious gifts of forgiveness, life, and salvation given to you there!
  • Dive into the words of Absolution where Christ forgives you for all of your iniquity. 
  • Dive into the Sacrament of Holy Communion and receive the faith strengthening and sin forgiving body and blood of Jesus.
  • Dive into God’s Word and grow in your faith and understanding of all that God has done for you and the world.  
  • Do not stand back uninvolved.  
  • Do not stand back wondering if you are welcome. 
  • Do not stand back wondering if you are worthy.
  • You are God’s loved and redeemed and he welcomes you into his presence.  
  • In his presence you will find peace and comfort.  
  • In his presence you will find strength and purpose in your life as you serve God by loving and serving your neighbour.  
  • In his presence you will find eternal life.  Thanks be to God!  Amen. 
The peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus unto life everlasting. Amen.

More in Easter

May 19, 2019

Fifth Sunday of Easter

May 12, 2019

Fourth Sunday of Easter (no audio this week)

April 28, 2019

Second Sunday of Easter