According to John


Chapter 21

  1. At what sea do the events of chapter 21 take place? What is another name for this sea? Had Jesus said he would appear to the disciples in this particular region? (Mt. 26:32, 28:7)

  2. How many of the disciples were together on this occasion? Give the names of five of them.

  3. Who announced that he was going fishing, and then who went?

  4. Where was Jesus and where were these disciples when they first saw him on this occasion? Did they recognize him immediately?

  5. Who first recognized him?

  6. What did Peter do that was so characteristic of him?

  7. Describe the events related in the following passages, focusing particularly upon Peter's role: Mt. 14:28-30, Mt. 16:21-22, Mt. 17:4-5, Mt. 26:31-35, Jn. 18:10-11, Jn. 20:2-8. Which of the following character traits do you see in Peter in these instances:

          overly sure of himself
          talks a better game than he plays,

  8. After they had eaten, What did Jesus ask Peter?

  9. Does Jesus mean, "Do you love me more than you love these other disciples" or "Do you love me more than you love these fish" or "Do you love me more than these love me"? Had Peter ever acted like he thought he loved Jesus more than the others did? (See especially Mt. 26:33, and notice that Jesus' question comes just after another incident where Peter's enthusiasm is on display.)

  10. There are two distinct words translated "love" in Jn. 21:15-21. These words overlap in meaning, and indeed are sometimes used as synonyms. However, they can have a different connotation.

    One is the word used in Mt. 5:44, "Love your enemies." Does this mean feel all warm and fuzzy about your enemies? Does it mean to "like" your enemies? What does it mean? Sometimes this word is used of willed love that is not contingent upon reciprocation. (see Romans 5:8 and Ephesians 5:25). It is not a love that must be kindled by the goodness of the one loved. This word is
    agapw (or in uncontracted form as you would find it in a lexicon, agapaw).

    Although either word can be used of affection, the other word can have especially the idea of affection. In fact, it is sometimes used in the sense of "kiss." This word is
    filw (or in uncontracted form as you would find it in a lexicon, filew)

    Follow the flow of the text and discuss whether or not it seems that John means to make a distinction between the two words here:

          Jesus says to Simon Peter, Simon son of John, do you love (
    ag-) me more than these?
          He says to him, Yes, Lord, you know that I love (
    fil-) you.
          He says to him, Feed my lambs.
          He says to him again a second time, Simon son of John, do you love (
    ag-) me?
          He says to him, Yes , Lord, you know that I love (
    fil-) you.
          He says to him, tend my sheep.
          The third time, He says to him, Simon son of John, do you love (
    fil-) me?
          Peter was grieved because the third time he said to him, do you love (
    fil-) me?

  11. Why did Peter become grieved? Do you suppose Peter had thought he was asserting even more than Jesus was asking?

  12. When there is a difference in the meaning of the two words, which one can run hot and cold depending on externals, for example, how one is being treated by another?

  13. What did Jesus tell Peter about the manner in which Peter would die?

  14. If the exchange between Jesus and Peter in verses 15-20 was Jesus' way of calling Peter's attention to his need to grow unto a love that would carry him through what he would suffer as the time of his death approached, which kind of love is it that Peter needed to further develop? Why?

  15. How did Peter respond to Jesus' words about his death? (Careful: Note that all of verse 20 is just an identification of the disciple whom Peter saw. Peter's response to Jesus' words about his death begin in verse 21.) Have you ever reprimanded a child only to have the response come back, "What about him/her?" If so, what do you tell the child? What did Jesus say to Peter? (vs. 22)

  16. What rumor got started as a result of Jesus' response?

  17. Read 2 Peter 1:12-15. In what verse does Peter allude to Jesus' words about how Peter would die?

  18. Read 2 Peter 1:14-21 and 1 Peter 4:12-19. Does it seem that Peter developed the love for the Lord he needed to have to face death bravely and confidently? What incident in Peter's earlier years might you especially contrast with the faith you see in his later years as he anticipates his death?