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John 21 - An Understandable Version (2005 edition)

Jesus and the Miraculous Catch of Fish

1. After these things happened Jesus showed Himself to His disciples again at Lake Tiberias. [Note: This was another name for Lake Galilee]. Here is the way He did it.

2. Simon Peter; Thomas, called “The Twin;” Nathaniel from Cana in Galilee; the sons of Zebedee [i.e., James and John] and two other disciples of Jesus were [all] together [at the lake].

3. Simon Peter said to [the rest of] them, “I am going fishing.” The others replied to him, “We will go with you, too.” [So], they went out and got into their boat but did not catch anything that night.

4. Now as the day was dawning Jesus was [seen] standing on the shore, but the disciples did not know it was Jesus. [Note: Probably because it was not light enough yet].

5. So, Jesus said to them, “Young fellows, you have not [caught] any fish yet, have you?” They answered Him, “No, [we have not].”

6. Then He said to them, “Throw your net over the right side of the boat and you will catch some [fish].” So, they threw [the net out] but they were not able to pull it in because of so many fish.

7. So, that disciple whom Jesus loved [i.e., probably the apostle John] said to Peter, “It is the Lord!” When Simon Peter heard it was the Lord, he wrapped his outer robe around him, (for he [had taken it off and] was wearing only his underclothing) and jumped into the lake.

8. But the other disciples came [to shore] in their little boat, dragging their net full of fish (for they were only about a hundred yards from land).

9. So, when they got to shore, they saw a charcoal fire burning there with fish [cooking] on it and [some] bread.

10. Jesus said to them, “Bring [me] some of the fish you just caught.”

11. Then Simon Peter boarded [the boat] and dragged the net full of large fish to shore. And even though there were one hundred fifty-three [fish], the net did not tear from such a large number.

12. Jesus said to them, “Come and have breakfast.” [But] none of the disciples dared to ask Him, “Who are you?” because they [already] knew it was the Lord.

13. [So], Jesus went [over to them] and took the bread and fish and gave it to them.

14. This was then the third time that Jesus was made known to His disciples after He arose from the dead.

Jesus Reinstates Peter

15. So, after they had eaten, Jesus said to Simon Peter, “Simon, son of John, do you really love me more than these [other disciples do]?” Peter answered Him, “Yes, Lord, you know that I love you.” [Note: Since two different Greek words for “love” are used in this conversation, some scholars see a distinction in their meaning. See Butler, Vol. II, pp. 453-457 for a discussion of these views]. Jesus replied to him, “[Then] feed my lambs.”

16. Jesus asked him a second time, “Simon, son of John; do you [really] love me?” Peter answered Him, “Yes, Lord, you know that I love you.” Jesus replied to him, “[Then] take care of my sheep.”

17. Then Jesus asked him a third time, “Simon, son of John, do you [truly] love me?” Peter was sad because Jesus had asked him a third time, “Do you [even] love me?” So, he said to Jesus, “Lord, you know all things. You [surely] know that I love you.” Jesus replied to him, “[Then] feed my sheep.

18. Truly, truly, I tell you [Peter], when you were young you used to fasten your belt around you [i.e., to get ready] and travel wherever you wanted to go. But when you are old, you will stretch out your hands and someone else will tie you up and take you [away] to where you do not want to go.”

19. Now Jesus said this to indicate the kind of death Peter would experience in honoring God. [Note: Some see the “stretching out your hands,” verse 18, as a reference to crucifixion]. And after saying this, Jesus said to him, “Be my follower.”

20. Peter turned around and saw the disciple whom Jesus loved [i.e., probably the apostle John] following [along behind him]. This was the same disciple who had leaned over close to Jesus at the [Passover] meal and asked Him, “Lord, who is it that will turn you over [to the Jewish authorities]?”

21. [When] Peter saw this disciple, he said to Jesus, “Lord, what will happen to this man?”

22. Jesus said to him, “If I want him to remain [alive] until I return, what [business] is that of yours? You be my follower.”

23. So, a rumor began circulating among the brothers that this disciple would not die. Yet Jesus did not tell him he would not die, but [He said], “If I want him to remain [alive] until I return, what [business] is that of yours?”

24. This is the disciple who is giving testimony about these things and has written them down, and we know his testimony is true.

25. And Jesus did many other things; if every one of them were written down, I do not think the world would hold [all] the books that would be written.






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