On several occasions, David had passed up the opportunity to kill Saul and gain the throne that God had promised him. Saul was chosen and anointed as God’s choice to reign over Israel. Even though God had removed the kingdom from Saul and given it to David, David refused to take matters into his own hands and kill the Lord’s anointed. In God’s sovereignty, He could take care of the details of giving David the kingdom.
It may seem harsh to us that David had the young man killed who claimed, by his own mouth, to have killed Saul. God is the giver of life…it is in His authority that life is also taken away. David recognized that the Amalekite had taken God’s authority into his own hands.
How often is this same sin committed today? Murders, mercy killings, suicides, and abortion…God’s sovereign design is pre-empted. How long can our nation survive when we ignore the sanctity of life?
“Now then, be strong and brave, for Saul your master is dead.”
Say what you want about David, but don’t accuse him of pandering. His son Absalom—that’s another matter. Mister “If-only-I-were-king-you-would-think-everything-is-awesome” never got the opportunity, chiefly because he spent all his time crafting promises for fans instead of devising strategy for kingly stuff like, you know, reigning. David needed a people who would understand the rigors of reality, and he knew it: Summon courage because the devil you don’t know is always harder than the devil you know. For many, that “devil” became an angel of a golden age. Others never would accept the house of Judah. But to supporters and detractors alike, David told the truth about the future. A true leader knows the future’s going to arrive soon enough and prove that leader either right or wrong.
Then David chanted with this lament over Saul and Jonathan his son,and he told them to teach the sons of Judah the song ofthe bow; behold, it is written in the book of Jashar. Vs. 17-18
David was a warrior-poet. I think we forever think of him as a shepherd boy trying to wear Saul’s armor. We seem to be ok with the ruddy-faced young man writing poetry and singing psalms. Can we advance that figure in years? This same king who was known for his sword, his sin, but also his devotion to God. Can you be ok with this very grown-up version of David? A warring man who also grieved and danced publicly? Moderns struggle with this concept. It is an either or proposition for most of us, but not to David. His expressions of grief, love, devotion, and joy are all part of who he was. I want to encourage all of you to be more demonstrative in how your express your faith. Yes, even in an artistic medium. If it was good enough for a warrior king, it’s good enough for you. Write a poem, sing a song, paint a picture, and by all means tell others of what life in Christ is all about. I think our church will be a radically renewed place if we were to follow that example.
Simon Peter went up and drew the net to land, full of large fish, a hundred and fifty-three; and although there were so many, the net was not torn. (John 21:11)
153 was a remarkable haul of fish and an unusually exact record. Many scholars have conjured up hypotheses to explain the exact accounting, but it seems the logical explanation is that the number 153 has no ulterior meaning. It was just a bunch of fish.
Just imagine, if Jesus points His disciples to a bunch of fish on an impromptu fishing trip, how much more will Jesus point these fishers of men to people ready for the Gospel. Like fish shoaling near a boat there are many like Zaccheus (Lk 19) or the Ethiopian Eunuch (Acts 8) who long for the Gospel that Jesus Christ can point His followers to.
May our nets be full of those ready to follow Jesus Christ.
John concludes his Gospel alluding to the wealth of activity and teaching of Jesus that simply would not fit in his book. What I find amazing is, instead of including something more glamorous, John chooses to include these simple and intimate final moments with Jesus by a campfire. They are not necessarily spectacular; after all, we’ve seen Jesus do that thing he does with fish before, so why include THEM?
If eternal life is to know the one true God and the one who he has sent, Jesus Christ, then these last few moments with these seven disciples make so much sense. They are a picture of closeness and knowingness. It is in these simple intimate moments that Jesus reminds them of who He is and who they are.
Sometimes we look for the profound in the glamorous, when what we need are simple intimate moments with Jesus. When we find ourselves there, we discover once again who we really are because we are reminded of who He is.
In the middle of restoring Peter, Jesus has amazing words of comfort and clarity for His followers and those who would lead them. It’s the pronoun Jesus uses when He commissions Peter (My). Jesus leaves no doubt or confusion about the ownership and belonging of His sheep.They/we belong to Jesus. There is such security and confidence in His statement.We belong to Him. He takes this facet of our relationship with Him seriously. So much so, that He provides under-shepherds to feed and lead His sheep.But, make no mistake, the sheep belong to Christ.What joy!What Peace!What encouragement!To rest in the knowledge and understanding that we belong to Jesus!
God does not need us to do His work for Him, but He chooses to allow us to join Him in His work. The disciples had been fishing all night, without success. Jesus appears on the shore and tells them to cast their nets on the right-hand side of the boat. What an amazing catch! When the disciples arrived to shore though, Jesus already had fish on the fire for breakfast. He did not need the disciples’ fish, but He invited them to bring some of their own.
In John 14:12, Jesus spoke of greater works that His disciples would do when He went to the Father. Here in chapter 21, the disciples have many more fish than Jesus…but at His word! They exceeded His work, but in His power!
There is work to be done in God’s kingdom. We must join Him in His work. When we work, in the power of Christ, we will have a great harvest for the kingdom. Henry Blackaby has said, “find where God is at work, and join Him in it!”
The firstborn over all creation, the image of the invisible God, the Alpha and the Omega, Beginning and the End, the crucified and risen Messiah who conquered death and the grave—built a fire and cooked some fish for his hungry friends. This isn’t Undercover Boss, this isn’t the compassionate CEO standing in solidarity with his employees, this isn’t the politician chewing the fat in a small-town diner to wow the folks and rustle up some votes. This is Jesus living with the people he loves. And that’s the point of his salvific work. If sin and death will stop early morning cookouts on the shore—and they will most assuredly stop them—sin and death will stop everything. Life is rich because of these small hours, and the Lord has made sure those hours will never end.
And there are also many other things which Jesus did, which if they *were written in detail, I suppose that even the world itself would not contain the books that would be written. vs. 25
John helps put in perspective the life and ministry of Jesus Christ in this last verse of his gospel account. Lest we think that we can read every word and miracle that Jesus uttered or performed. Scripture is indeed sufficient, but we can rest assured that Jesus was always about his father’s business. When others aren’t watching can that be said of you? At home, with family, at work, or worship the call is the same. We are here to proclaim Jesus until he returns.
The love of God is greater far
Than tongue or pen can ever tell;
It goes beyond the highest star,
And reaches to the lowest hell;
The guilty pair, bowed down with care,
God gave His Son to win;
His erring child He reconciled,
And pardoned from his sin.
Oh, love of God, how rich and pure!
How measureless and strong!
It shall forevermore endure—
The saints’ and angels’ song.
When hoary time shall pass away,
And earthly thrones and kingdoms fall,
When men who here refuse to pray,
On rocks and hills and mountains call,
God’s love so sure, shall still endure,
All measureless and strong;
Redeeming grace to Adam’s race—
The saints’ and angels’ song.
Could we with ink the ocean fill,
And were the skies of parchment made,
Were every stalk on earth a quill,
And every man a scribe by trade;
To write the love of God above
Would drain the ocean dry;
Nor could the scroll contain the whole,
Though stretched from sky to sky.