B i b l e   S t u d y




Rev. Ronald C. Purkey, an ordained Baptist minister, claims no originality for this Bible study outline.

However, every Bible study posted on this website has been taught by Rev. Purkey.

To see more Bible study outlines go to page two: More Bible Study Outlines.



April 8, 2018


SCRIPTURE: John 21:1-14


KEY VERSE: Jesus saith unto them, Come and dine. And none of the disciples durst ask him, Who art thou? knowing that it was the Lord. (John 21:12)


BACKGROUND: When Jesus Christ was taken and crucified, the apostle Peter sinned. Peter denied the Lord three times.


·        The First Denial.


(John 18:17) Then saith the damsel that kept the door unto Peter, Art not thou also one of this man’s disciples? He saith, I am not.


She knows the followers of Jesus are there and assumes Peter is one of them. She just asks the question as he is about to go through the gate, “Aren’t you one of this man’s disciples?” He says, “I am not,” and walks on through.


·        The Second And Third Denials.


(John 18:25-27) And Simon Peter stood and warmed himself. They said therefore unto him, Art not thou also one of his disciples? He denied it, and said, I am not. One of the servants of the high priest, being his kinsman whose ear Peter cut off, saith, Did not I see thee in the garden with him? Peter then denied again: and immediately the cock crew.


We learn from the other gospels how Peter went out and wept bitterly. I think that he caught a glimpse of the face of our Lord all bloody and beaten, and he caught His eye. That is when he went out and cried like a baby.


You know that if he was arguing with a kinsman of Malchus, he must have been pretty intense. He denied his Lord. But, thank God, the Lord was on His way to die for him and had already told Peter that He had prayed so that his faith would not fail.


INTRODUCTION: There are three incidents in John chapter 21. All three are related to the apostle Peter.


A. The first incident. (John 21:1-11)


This is the fishing experience on the Sea of Galilee (also called the Sea of Tiberias). It shows Jesus Christ as the Lord of our wills, and He directs our service.


B. The second incident. (John 21:12-17)


This is the breakfast on the seashore. This shows the Lord Jesus as the Lord of our hearts and presents our love for Him as the motive for service.


C. The third incident. (John 21:18-25)


This is Jesus announcing the death of Simon Peter. It shows the Lord Jesus as the Lord of our minds and teaches that lack of knowledge or variation of circumstance is no excuse from service.


The entire chapter reveals to us that the resurrected Jesus is still God. We will look at two of these three incidents in in our Bible study today.


I. I’M GOING FISHING. (John 21:1-3)


(John 21:1-3) After these things Jesus shewed himself again to the disciples at the sea of Tiberias; and on this wise shewed 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 saith 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.


A. Simon Peter: Revealed by His CHOICES.


1. After the resurrection, Peter must have assumed that his ministry was over.


2. He had denied the Lord and so he decided to return to the old way of life.


3. Peter had been called to forsake all those things and to follow Jesus.


4. The Lord's call had been a call to come and be a fisher of men!


5. People who are out of God's will always make the wrong choices!


6. They will base their decisions on fleshly motives rather than spiritual ones.


7. This is what Peter did and he was foolish because of it!


B. Simon Peter: Revealed by His COMPANIONS.


1. When Peter went back to the old life, he took others with him.


2. We have all heard the saying that "Misery loves company".


3. When a person backslides, they usually aren't content to go it all alone and they will try to drag others down with them.


4. You see it in families all the time! One will get cold on the Lord and before long everyone in the family is out of God's will.


5. What a shame it is when we feel the need to drag others into the same foolish pit into which we have placed our self!


6. What's equally sad is the fact that there always seems to be those who are willing to follow the wayward child of God!


7. Why are things this way?


a. Because we like to surround ourselves with people who are on about the same level as we are.


b. If we are right with God, we want to be around others who are right with God.


c. If we are out of God's will, we feel rebuked by the lives of those who are living for the Lord and seek out those who are like we are.


d. Sadly, we will often try to reproduce our spiritual temperature in the lives of those who are close to us.


e. This is merely an effort to make self more comfortable.


C. Simon Peter: Revealed by the CONSEQUENCES.


1. Peter and his friends fished all the night long and did not catch a single fish!


2. Peter had been a professional fisherman; this must have been a devastating thing to have to deal with.


3. They toiled and labored all the night and produced nothing of value!


4. This is just the way it works for those who are out of God's will…


5. Jesus said, "Without me, ye can do nothing!"


INSIGHT:  We have seen Peter's Failure and Peter’s Sin, but (here is the best part) now (3) Peter’s Restitution.


II. IT’S THE LORD. (John 21:4-9)


A. Jesus FOUND Peter. (John 21:4-6)


(John 21:4-5) But when the morning was now come, Jesus stood on the shore: but the disciples knew not that it was Jesus. Then Jesus saith unto them, Children, have ye any meat? They answered him, No.


1. (1) After the SIN, (2) after the return to the OLD LIFE, (3) after a long night of FAILURE, Jesus stepped onto the scene and in a few minutes turned everything around and made things like they ought to be.


2. What made the difference?    (Jesus made the difference!)


3. There was a change in Simon Peter.


4. Notice three things that changed when Jesus came by:


a. Peter was forced to admit his failure.


·        This is the first step in coming back home.

·        There must be an acknowledgment of sin and wrong doing.


(1 John 1:9) If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.


b. Peter started to obey Jesus again.


(John 21:6) And he said unto them, Cast the net on the right side of the ship, and ye shall find. They cast therefore, and now they were not able to draw it for the multitude of fishes.


·        Peter stopped doing things Peter's way and started doing them the Lord's way.

·        This brought success where there had been only failure!


B. Peter OBEYED Jesus. (John 21:7-9)


(John 21:7-9) Therefore that disciple whom Jesus loved saith 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.


1. Peter has a renewed desire to be near the Lord.


2. He was NOT willing to wait for a more convenient time but went to meet the Lord immediately.


3. He was READY to return…he realized his foolishness and was ready to come back to the Lord.


4. Today, if you have wandered away from God, you need to know that you still have a Friend in Jesus.


5. He hasn't forgotten you, and He hasn't forsaken you.


6. He still loves you as much right now as He ever has. He just wants you to come to the place Peter came to.


7. He wants you to be willing to (1) confess your sins, begin again to (2) follow Him and just (3) love Him like you ought to.




(John 21:10-14) 10 Jesus saith unto them, Bring of the fish which ye have now caught. 11 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. 12 Jesus saith unto them, Come and dine. And none of the disciples durst ask him, Who art thou? knowing that it was the Lord. 13 Jesus then cometh, and taketh bread, and giveth them, and fish likewise. 14 This is now the third time that Jesus shewed himself to his disciples, after that he was risen from the dead.


A. When Peter, and the other Disciples, reached the shore, they found that Jesus had a fire prepared with fish already cooking.


B. They found there, with the Savior, all the things they needed after being out on that boat all night long.




1. They found a Savior who loved them and who had all the provisions in place that they needed.


2. Everything they lacked out on that boat, they found when they came to Jesus!


3. I am here to tell you today that we find all this and more if we will come to Jesus.


4. He loves us and desires to have close fellowship with us.



By Richard De Haan


A. We usually think that denying Christ is an outright act -- like Peter’s disavowal of Jesus in John 18. But Reginald Heber, the English writer of the hymn “Holy, Holy, Holy,” pointed out that we can deny the Savior in more subtle ways. Heber wrote:


·        “We deny our Lord whenever, like Demas, we, through love of this present world, forsake the course of duty which Christ has plainly pointed out to us.


·        We deny our Lord whenever we lend . . . our praise, or even our silence, to [things] . . . which we ourselves believe to be sinful . . . .


·        We deny our Lord whenever we forsake a good man or woman in affliction, and refuse to give countenance, encouragement, and support to those who, for God’s sake and for the faithful discharge of their duty, are exposed to persecutions and slander.”


B. Those who have been born again will consciously AVOID any open, deliberate, and vocal DENIAL of the Lord. But there are subtle ways we do, in effect, deny the Lord Jesus Christ – the One who has redeemed us.


·        Loving the world.

·        Failing to do as God directs.

·        Tolerating sin.

·        And refusing to support our fellow believers.


C. Let’s determine to LIVE FAITHFULLY for Jesus so that no one will ever be able to accuse us of turning our backs on Christ. Remember, we’re always in danger of denial.


 – Adapted from Richard De Haan, Our Daily Bread, July 6, 1997


CONCLUSION: Why is it that Simon Peter, who did a deed as reprehensible as Judas, could make his way back to the Lord?


·        It was because Peter was a child of God, and it broke his heart to know what he had done. A child of God may get far from God, but God is never far from him.


·        You may be dead to God, but God is never dead to you. He is always there and He is always available. The Lord never said to Peter, “I’m sorry, but because you failed Me, I just can’t use you anymore.”


·        No, the Lord appeared personally to Peter after His resurrection, and He selected Peter to preach the first sermon on the Day of Pentecost. There has never been a sermon like it!


Thank God for a Savior and a Lord like that. He will always take you back!


THOUGHT TO REMEMBER: You can't turn your back on Christ if you keep your eyes on Him.”


* * *


REFERENCES: References used in these Bible studies are the King James Bible (KJV), The Moody Bible Commentary, Dr. J. Vernon McGee © Thru the Bible Radio Network ( www.ttb.org ), the Scofield Study Bible, the Believer’s Bible Commentary, Dr. Charles J. Woodbridge Bible Outlines, Dr. Lee Roberson’s Sermons, Dr. Charles Stanley: ( http://www.intouch.org/ ), Don Robinson’s Bible Outlines, Women’s Study Bible, The Bible Reader’s Companion Ed. 3, The Nelson Study Bible: New King James Version, KJV Bible Commentary, Wiersbe’s Expository Outlines of the New Testament ed. 4, Dr. David Jeremiah: ( http://www.davidjeremiah.org/site/ ), Dr. Cliff Robinson’s Bible Outlines, Wiersbe’s Expository Outlines of the Old Testament, Dr. Alan Carr’s The Sermon Notebook ( www.sermonnotebook.org ), With the Word Bible Commentary, Wiersbe’s “Be” Series: Old & New Testaments, RBC Ministries ( http://rbc.org/ ), selected illustrations, and other references.



E-mail: Ronald Purkey


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