The Millennial Day

John 21  •  7 min. read  •  grade level: 7
The first thirteen verses of this chapter are an overall picture of the millennial day, come in power.
Christ had a fire of coals, with fish and bread ready to feed His own, but He also used what they brought to enhance the blessing of that day. For the meal, we have not only the result of the work among the remnant of Israel, but also the great fishes-a picture of the Gentiles, saved as a result of the preaching of the gospel of the kingdom for three-and-a-half years among them.
To go back to the beginning of the chapter, "Jesus showed Himself again to the disciples at the sea of Tiberias; and on this wise showed He Himself." Simon Peter, Thomas, Nathanael, the sons of Zebedee, and two other disciples who followed Peter, went fishing, but caught nothing that night. Israel had been scattered for a long time without fruit for God. When Jesus appeared, after that dark, fruitless night, standing on the shore of the new millennial day, the disciples did not know Him.
Jesus said to them, "Children, have ye any meat?" They answered, No. He told them to cast their net on the right side of the ship, and doing so, they were not able to draw the net in because of the multitude of fish.
John, who was always nearest the Lord, spoke saying, "It is the Lord." See Dan. 12:2,32And many of them that sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt. 3And they that be wise shall shine as the brightness of the firmament; and they that turn many to righteousness as the stars for ever and ever. (Daniel 12:2‑3) where it says, "And they that be wise for teachers]." This is a picture of the awakening of the remnant of Israel through their teachers to recognize the Lord. John pictures this.
Hearing this, Peter cast himself into the water. The other disciples rowed over to the shore dragging the net of fish. Having come to land, they saw a fire of coals with fish and bread on it. Jesus asked them to bring the fish that they had caught. Peter brought 153 great fish. Twelve squared (perfect administration) plus three squared (completeness) equals 153.
The net did not break, although there were many great fish. This shows the power of Christ in that coming day. Christ's millennial work is not marred, because it is all of Himself. His people shall be subject and willing in the day of His power.
The fish that the disciples brought, are what the Lord used, with His own provision, to enlarge the joys of the millennial day. Jesus asked them to dine. This is the millennial day on earth. Jesus took bread and fish and gave to them. This is the third time that Jesus showed Himself to them.
Peter’s Public Restoration
One who has publicly failed needs to be publicly restored. Peter was publicly restored before the other disciples. The Lord, in grace, before speaking to Peter, brought in the blessings of the kingdom to refresh the hearts of His disciples. Jesus did not reproach Peter, but judged the source of the evil that made him fall-self-confidence.
After they had dined, Jesus said, "Simon... lovest thou Me more than these?" Before failing, Peter had said that he did. He answered, "Yea, Lord; Thou knowest that I love Thee." He said to him, "Feed My lambs." Peter, having the care of the lambs of the Jewish flock, must provide suitable food so that they will grow.
The second time Jesus said, "Simon... lovest thou Me," he said, "Yea, Lord; Thou knowest that I love Thee." Jesus said, "Feed My sheep." There must be a sense in our souls, continually, that the Lord, who knows all things, can read our hearts. This is what Peter had to come to, before the Lord could cease bringing the matter before him. It is not enough for us to manifest the spirit of repentance. Peter having the lambs in his care, the Lord added the task of shepherding the more mature Jewish remnant also.
The third time Jesus said, "Simon. lovest thou Me," Peter, being grieved, said to the Lord, 'Thou knowest all things; Thou knowest that I love Thee." Jesus said, "Feed My sheep." Now Peter was free to serve the Lord.
The Lord told Peter that when he was young he went where he pleased, but when he would be old another would carry him where he would not. This refers to Peter's martyrdom. He said to Peter, "Follow Me." Grace gives confidence in God, not in self. This was Peter's lesson and ours.
Peter wanted to die for the Lord in his own strength, but failed. Now he is given to do this in God's strength as the will of God. Jesus said, "Follow Me." Peter subsequently followed Jesus to prison, and to death. This is what he wanted to do-such is grace.
John’s Work
Looking on John, Peter said to Jesus, "Lord, and what Shall this man do?" Jesus said, "If I will that he tarry till I come, what is that to thee? follow thou Me."
The saying went around that John would not die, but Jesus did not say that.
Peter and John's ministry was for the earth, the remnant. Peter and John, though different in their natures, had the same object. Absolute consecration to Jesus is the strongest bond between human hearts. John and Peter were much together.
"As planted on earth at Jerusalem, the assembly, as the house of God, is formally recognized as taking the place of the house of Jehovah at Jerusalem. The history of the assembly, as thus formally established as a center on earth, ended with the destruction of Jerusalem. The remnant saved by the Messiah was no longer to be in connection with Jerusalem, the center of the gathering of the Gentiles.
"Paul... performs a new work that was hidden from the prophets of old, namely, the gathering out of a heavenly assembly without distinction of Jew or Gentile.... John remained... after Paul, in order to watch over the assembly as established on that footing, that is, as the organized and earthly framework (responsible in that character) of the testimony of God, and the subject of His government on the earth.
'The Apocalypse [the Revelation] presents the judgment of the assembly on earth, as the formal witness for the truth, and then passes on to God's resumption of the government of the earth, in view of the establishment of the Lamb upon the throne, and the setting aside of the power of evil." When the assembly is gone, the world is left for judgment, and then the Jew fills his place for God in the earth.
"[John's] ministry, as far as connected with dispensation and with the ways of God, does not go beyond that which is earthly; the coming of Christ, is His manifestation to complete those ways, and to establish the government of God.... His epistle presents the reproduction of the life of Christ in ourselves, guarding us thus from all pretensions of perverse teachers. But by these two parts of the truth, we have a precious sustainment of faith given to us, when all that belongs to the body of testimony may fail: Jesus, personally the object of faith in whom we know God; the life itself of God, reproduced in us, as being quickened by Christ. This is forever true, and this is eternal life, if we were alone without the assembly on earth, and it leads us over its ruins, in possession of that which is essential, and of that which will abide forever.
"The government of God will decide all the rest, only it is our privilege and duty to maintain Paul's part of the testimony of God, as long as, through grace, we can. "
John has not related all that Jesus did, but that which revealed Him as everlasting life. Christ's works cannot be numbered.
John presents God to us; Paul presents us to God. In the lives and ministry of Peter and John we have the religious, earthly history from beginning to end: the Jews, then Christianity, the Jewish remnant, and finally the introduction of the Firstborn into the world.
No matter what blessing this work may be to the reader, the writer finds that this resume has been filled with blessing for himself. May God give us, as believers, a real sense of what it means to be in the family of God as His dear children, and to know the Lord Jesus as Friend as well as Savior.
May the grace of Christ be with you. Amen.
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