Sermons

Easter 3C (Jn 21:1–14)

Immanuel Lutheran Church—Bremen, KS || AUDIO
Bethlehem Lutheran Church—Bremen, KS || AUDIO

Alleluia! Jesus Christ is risen!

HE IS RISEN INDEED! ALLELUIA!

INI + AMEN.

(5. What do you think of Jesus?)

Well, what do you think about Jesus? That’s what it all comes down to in the end. Not only now but on the Last Day. There’s lots of answers to that question floating around out in the world, even among those who claim to be Christian. To the world Jesus is just some guy. Some guy who lived 2000 years ago, some guy who could stand on the sea shore, and maybe said or did some or none of what’s written about him. Then there are those who view Jesus as some sort of divine vending machine. Say the right prayer, do the right things, and Jesus, with His almighty, awesome power, will give you whatever you want. He’ll work a miracle in your life if you just do what He says.

(4. Jesus is Lord God Almighty)

Now, Jesus is Lord God Almighty. John points out this fact in our Gospel text. Jesus shows His power. He knowingly asks, “Children, you don’t happen to have any fish, do you?” “Cast your net to the right side of the boat, and you will find some.” He says it, and it happens. That’s what happens when God speaks. Yeah, Jesus shows His power, and it’s in an all too familiar way too. There the disciples were by the sea of Tiberius. Jesus shows up and tells them to cast their nets on the other side. They catch a boat load—more than a boat load of fish! Except that time was different. That was before Jesus had disciples. He did this miracle to call them as His apostles and disciples. Jesus reprises this miracle to show He’s the same one who called them, and it’s not the only miracle Jesus repeats and echoes here. That morning, Jesus supplied His over-abundance of fish, but He also supplied breakfast for the disciples. “As they came to the land, they saw a charcoal fire in place, with fish laid out on it, and bread.” He supplied fish and loaves in abundance, just like He did for the 5,000. 5 loaves and two fish for 5,000+, and 153 fish and a few loaves for 7 disciples.

(3. He’s more than all this.)

Jesus does supply for the disciples’ needs. He gives them fish. He gives them food. He shows His power, but, you see, He’s more than all this. Jesus isn’t some divine vending machine where you can get fish sandwiches on demand. He’s not some bread King as the 5,000 wanted in John 6. A king who supplies bread doesn’t save you. In fact, an almighty, off-somewhere god doesn’t necessarily save you either. As Jesus says, “God makes His sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust.” Just because He’s almighty doesn’t mean He saves you. You can confess and believe in some big, powerful, all-knowing god who’s got a big grey beard and sits on a big heavenly throne, who rewards the good and punishes the bad, or maybe just winks at the bad and lets them off the hook—like some grandfather type god. That’s the god of the world. As Paul says, quoting a Greek poet, “In him we live and move and have our being.” Some might even say, “We’re his children.” 

(2. JESUS IS THE RESURRECTED LORD.)

It all sounds so close. Close but no cigar. Close only counts in horseshoes. It’s all a far cry away from the true God Jesus. Jesus is the LORD. He’s God. He’s the Son of the Father. He’s the giver of the Spirit. He’s eternal and everlasting. But generic “god” talk won’t do. A generic god won’t do. A generic god won’t get you anywhere. Generic medications might save you some money, but a generic god won’t save you at all. But a tangible God, a God who gives tangible and countable gifts saves you. Jesus saves you. Jesus is not a generic God or Lord. JESUS IS THE RESURRECTED LORD. Yes, Jesus was raised. The 153 fish tell you so. It’s an eyewitness detail. John’s Gospel is full of them. Jesus was dead then was alive. He was seen by many after that, and one time He had His disciples catch 153 large fish.

(1. He is “Lord Almighty” who cares for you.)

JESUS as the RESURRECTED LORD proves that He is “Lord Almighty.” Not just some heavenly architect or puppet master, not just some divine vending machine or miracle giver, not just some nice guy or good teacher, but He’s the one who was crucified for your sins. He rose for you! That’s the true Jesus! Your true Jesus! Who saves from false Jesuses. “This was now the third time that Jesus was revealed to the disciples after He was raised from the dead.” Yes, it was all familiar. He was the same Jesus, after all. The same one who called them. Who died. Who rose. For them and for you. All the same Jesus. He is the LORD God Himself, and He cares for you. He cares for all your needs. He cares for your bodily needs. He gave His disciples fish and a meal so He cares for your physical needs too. So much so that when you die, He’ll physically raise you from the dead as He was raised. And for that reason He also cares for your spiritual needs. He cares for your soul. If you kept reading in John 21, you’d see Jesus restore Peter. He needs His eyewitness to go out and proclaim that JESUS IS THE RESURRECTED LORD…FOR YOU. He never wants you to be without any spiritual blessing and benefit. He sends out His men with His message and with the gift of His body and blood so that He may keep you firm in His Father’s Word and faith until you die. He does this with His body and blood.

JESUS THE RESURRECTED LORD keeps you body and soul until life everlasting. He doesn’t do this off somewhere being all powerful. He does this right here today. His body and blood for you. Just the way He wants it.

Alleluia! Jesus Christ is risen!

HE IS RISEN INDEED ALLELUIA!

INI + AMEN.

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