As we are being challenged to read and study the book of John, I wanted to share some of my personal sermon notes with you to help you understand the book. I preached through the entire book over the course of 1 year when I pastored First Baptist Church Del Rio. Enjoy!
Introduction— Today we end a journey through 21 chapters of John’s Gospel.
- Chapter 1 – John tells us that Jesus is the living Word
- Chapter 2 – Jesus performs His first miracle by changing water into wine
- Chapter 3 – Jesus says that “one must be born again”
- Chapter 4 – Jesus encounters the woman at the well, so He could explain to her that He is the living water
- Chapter 5 – Jesus explains the authority that has been given to Him
- Chapter 6 – Jesus feed the thousands with a few fish and a few bread loaves
- Chapter 7 – Jesus begins preaching the Kingdom of God, thus the controversy follows
- Chapter 8 – Jesus boldly says “I am the Light of the World”
- Chapter 9 – Jesus heals the blind man, but reveals the spiritual blindness of the world
- Chapter 10 – Jesus accuses Satan of stealing, killing, and destroying, while claiming the full life
- Chapter 11 – Jesus raises Lazarus from the dead
- Chapter 12 – Mary anoints Jesus by pouring perfume on Jesus feet, while wiping it with her hair
- Chapter 13 – Jesus washes the disciples feet reminding them that He came as a servant leader
- Chapter 14 – Jesus exclaims that He is the Way, the Truth, and the Life, while promising the coming of the Holy Spirit
- Chapter 15 – Jesus says He is the vine and we are the branches, and we are to show the world how much Jesus loves us by loving each other
- Chapter 16 – Jesus explains the work of the Holy Spirit, and He comforts us with peace
- Chapter 17 – Jesus prays for Himself, His current followers, and His future followers
- Chapter 18 – Jesus is arrested, while Peter denies Jesus 3 times
- Chapter 19 – Jesus is sentenced, crucified, dies, and is buried
- Chapter 20 – Jesus rises from the grave, and makes His first resurrection appearance
- Chapter 21 – Jesus makes His final appearance to challenge His followers to spread the Gospel
That is where we are today. We are expected to spread the gospel until Jesus returns. It is not an option, it is an expectation. When Jesus comes back, and He will be back, He is coming back to gather His church, His people, His sheep! His words to Peter in our text this morning are really for all of us that claim His name.
When they had finished eating, Jesus said to Simon Peter, “Simon son of John, do you love me more than these?”
“Yes, Lord,” he said, “you know that I love you.”
Jesus said, “Feed my lambs.”
16 Again Jesus said, “Simon son of John, do you love me?”
He answered, “Yes, Lord, you know that I love you.”
Jesus said, “Take care of my sheep.”
17 The third time he said to him, “Simon son of John, do you love me?”
Peter was hurt because Jesus asked him the third time, “Do you love me?” He said, “Lord, you know all things; you know that I love you.”
Jesus said, “Feed my sheep. 18 Very truly I tell you, when you were younger you dressed yourself and went where you wanted; but when you are old you will stretch out your hands, and someone else will dress you and lead you where you do not want to go.” 19 Jesus said this to indicate the kind of death by which Peter would glorify God. Then he said to him, “Follow me!”
20 Peter turned and saw that the disciple whom Jesus loved was following them. (This was the one who had leaned back against Jesus at the supper and had said, “Lord, who is going to betray you?”) 21 When Peter saw him, he asked, “Lord, what about him?”
22 Jesus answered, “If I want him to remain alive until I return, what is that to you? You must follow me.” 23 Because of this, the rumor spread among the believers that this disciple would not die. But Jesus did not say that he would not die; he only said, “If I want him to remain alive until I return, what is that to you?”
24 This is the disciple who testifies to these things and who wrote them down. We know that his testimony is true.
25 Jesus did many other things as well. If every one of them were written down, I suppose that even the whole world would not have room for the books that would be written.
- Church, do you love Jesus? Then feed my sheep, is what Jesus says.
- Let’s break down what all this means for us today.
- Jesus is obviously calling out Peter to be a leader, pastor, or whatever title you want to label Him.
- Simon, son of John, do you love me more than these? Do you love me more than your brothers, or your fishing, or anything else that could be put in place of me?
- Simon, son of John, do you really love me?
- Simon, son of John, I have got to know, do you LOVE me?
- When your parents use your full name to call you out, you know its serious, don’t you?
- Jesus wanted Peter’s attention, because this was the last time He would receive face to face instructions from Jesus.
- Feed my lambs, take care of my sheep, feed my sheep.
- What was Peter going to feed the lambs (babies) to sheep (adults)? The Word of God!
- Peter got it because he wrote in 1 Peter 2:2-3—Like newborn babies, crave pure spiritual milk, so that by it you may grow up in your salvation, 3 now that you have tasted that the Lord is good.
- People need God’s instructions and His Word. Deuteronomy 3:8—He humbled you, causing you to hunger and then feeding you with manna, which neither you nor your ancestors had known, to teach you that man does not live on bread alone but on every word that comes from the mouth of the Lord.
- Jesus reiterated this passage to Satan himself in Matthew 4:4, as Satan was trying to convince Jesus to prove His Lordship by changing stones into bread.
- Hebrews 5:12-14—In fact, though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you the elementary truths of God’s word all over again. You need milk, not solid food! 13 Anyone who lives on milk, being still an infant, is not acquainted with the teaching about righteousness. 14 But solid food is for the mature, who by constant use have trained themselves to distinguish good from evil.
- My people need solid teaching. Teaching that will mature them, disciple them, and guide them into leadership.
- You are not created to be part of the body of Christ just to squander your time, talents, and treasure. Jesus will return one day. Don’t you want to stand before Him unashamed of the life you lived? Don’t you stand before Him knowing you lived out your calling?
- Jesus says to Peter once again, “Follow Me.” In verse 19. Why would Jesus reiterate the same words when He first called Peter to “follow Him?” We need to be reminded of what God has called us to do. And that is to follow Him. Peter you must not sway from this calling in your life because it is easy to follow someone or something else when it gets tough.
- Jesus said follow me. Join me. Love me.
- What can we say about the Gospel of John? Are we going to take what we learned and use to His glory? Or will we follow Him?
- What does it mean to follow Jesus?
In conclusion—Jesus is coming back to collect His prize and that is His church. When that day comes, it won’t be like any other day. The day will come like a thief in the night.
1 Thessalonians 5:1-11—Now, brothers and sisters, about times and dates we do not need to write to you, 2 for you know very well that the day of the Lord will come like a thief in the night. 3 While people are saying, “Peace and safety,” destruction will come on them suddenly, as labor pains on a pregnant woman, and they will not escape. 4 But you, brothers and sisters, are not in darkness so that this day should surprise you like a thief. 5 You are all children of the light and children of the day. We do not belong to the night or to the darkness. 6 So then, let us not be like others, who are asleep, but let us be awake and sober. 7 For those who sleep, sleep at night, and those who get drunk, get drunk at night. 8 But since we belong to the day, let us be sober, putting on faith and love as a breastplate, and the hope of salvation as a helmet. 9 For God did not appoint us to suffer wrath but to receive salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ. 10 He died for us so that, whether we are awake or asleep, we may live together with him. 11 Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing.
Do you love Jesus, then feed His people and follow Him, because the He will be back, so Hebrews 12: 1-4—Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, 2 fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. 3 Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.
Stay in the Light, 1 John 1:7,