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JESUS
at the Lake of Tiberias
John 21.1-14
Jesus shewed himself again to the disciples at the sea of Tiberias; and on this wise shewed
he himself.  


(2)  There were together Simon Peter, and Thomas called Didymus, and Nathanael of
Cana in Galilee, and the sons of Zebedee, and two other of his disciples.  


(3)  Simon Peter saith unto them, I go a fishing.


They say unto him, We also go with thee.


They went forth, and entered into a ship immediately; and that night they caught
nothing.  (4)  But when the morning was now come, Jesus stood on the shore: but the
disciples knew not that it was Jesus.  


(5)  Then Jesus saith unto them, Children, have ye any meat?


They answered him, No.  


(6)  And he said unto them, Cast the net on the right side of the ship, and ye shall find.


They cast therefore, and now they were not able to draw it for the multitude of fishes.  


(7)  Therefore that disciple whom Jesus loved saith unto Peter, It is the Lord. Now when
Simon Peter heard that it was the Lord, he girt his fisher's coat unto him, (for he was
naked,) and did cast himself into the sea.  


(8)  And the other disciples came in a little ship; (for they were not far from land, but as it
were two hundred cubits,) dragging the net with fishes.  (9)  As soon then as they were
come to land, they saw a fire of coals there, and fish laid thereon, and bread.  


(10)  Jesus saith unto them, Bring of the fish which ye have now caught.


(11)  Simon Peter went up, and drew the net to land full of great fishes, an hundred and
fifty and three: and for all there were so many, yet was not the net broken.  


(12)  Jesus saith unto them, Come and dine.


And none of the disciples durst ask him, Who art thou? knowing that it was the Lord.  
(13)  Jesus then cometh, and taketh bread, and giveth them, and fish likewise.  


(14)  This is now the third time that Jesus shewed himself to his disciples, after that he was
risen from the dead.
The Sea of Tiberias

1. The Name


This is the name 5 times given in the New Testament (Mat_4:18; Mat_15:29; Mar_1:16; Mar_7:31;
Joh_6:1) to the sheet of water which is elsewhere called “the sea of Tiberias” (Joh_21:1; compare
Joh_6:1); “the lake of Gennesaret” (Luk_5:1); “the sea” (Joh_6:16, etc.), and “the lake” (Luk_5:1,
etc.). The Old Testament names were “sea of Chinnereth” (ים־כּנּרת, yam-kinneretȟ: Num_34:11;
Deu_3:17; Jos_13:27; Jos_19:35), and “sea of Chinneroth” (ים־כּנרות, yam-kinerōtȟ: Jos_12:3;
compare Jos_11:2; 1Ki_15:20). In 1 Macc 11:67 the sea is called “the water of Gennesar” (the
Revised Version (British and American) “Gennesareth”). It had begun to be named from the city so
recently built on its western shore even in New Testament times (Joh_21:1; Joh_6:1); and by this
name, slightly modified, it is known to this day - Baḥr Ṭabarı̄yeh.


2. General Description
The sea lies in the deep trough of the Jordan valley, almost due East of the Bay of Acre. The
surface is 680 ft. below the level of the Mediterranean. It varies in depth from 130 ft. to 148 ft., being
deepest along the course of the Jordan (Barrois, PEFS, 1894, 211-20). From the point where the
Jordan enters in the North to its exit in the South is about 13 miles. The greatest breadth is in the
North, from el-Mejdel to the mouth of Wādy Semak being rather over 7 miles. It gradually narrows
toward the South, taking the shape of a gigantic pear, with a decided bulge to the West. The water
of the lake is clear and sweet. The natives use it for all purposes, esteeming it light and pleasant.
They refuse to drink from the Jordan, alleging that “who drinks Jordan drinks fever.” Seen from the
mountains the broad sheet appears a beautiful blue; so that, in the season of greenery, it is no
exaggeration to describe it as a sapphire in a setting of emerald. It lights up the landscape as the
eye does the human face; and it is often spoken of as “the eye of Galilee.” To one descending
from Mt. Tabor and approaching the edge of the great hollow, on a bright spring day, when the
land has already assumed its fairest garments, the view of the sea, as it breaks upon the vision in
almost its whole extent, is one never to be forgotten. The mountains on the East and on the West
rise to about 2,000 ft. The heights of Naphtali, piled up in the North, seem to culminate only in the
snowy summit of Great Hermon. If the waters are still, the shining splendors of the mountain may
be seen mirrored in the blue depths. Round the greater part of the lake there is a broad pebbly
beach, with a sprinkling of small shells. On the sands along the shore from el-Mejdel to ‛Ain et-
Tı̄neh these shells are so numerous as to cause a white glister in the sunlight.


The main formation of the surrounding district is limestone. It is overlaid with lava; and here and
there around the lake there are outcrops of basalt through the limestone. At eṭ-Tābgha in the
North, at ‛Ain el Fulı̄yeh, South of el-Mejdel, and on the shore, about 2 miles South of modern
Tiberias, there are strong hot springs. These things, together with the frequent, and sometimes
terribly destructive, earthquakes, sufficiently attest the volcanic character of the region. The soil on
the level parts around the sea is exceedingly fertile. … Naturally the temperature in the valley is
higher than that of the uplands; and here wheat and barley are harvested about a month earlier.
Frost is not quite unknown; but no one now alive remembers it to have done more than lay the
most delicate fringe of ice around some of the stones on the shore. The fig and the vine are still
cultivated with success. Where vegetable gardens are planted they yield plentifully. A few palms
are still to be seen. The indigo plant is grown in the plain of Gennesaret. In their season the wild
flowers lavish a wealth of lovely colors upon the surrounding slopes; while bright-blossoming
oleanders fringe the shore. …


4. Fish


The sea contains many varieties of fish in great numbers. The fishing industry was evidently
pursued to profit in the days of Christ. Zebedee was able to hire men to assist him (Mar_1:20). …
Four of the apostles, and these the chief, had been brought up as fishermen on the Sea of
Galilee. Peter and Andrew, James and John.


        International Standard Bible Encylopedia


The Net Full of Fish


Jesus’ disciples were fishing, and failed to catch anything during the night. The next morning, they
did not recognize Jesus on the bank when He told them to throw their net into the sea on the other
side of the boat. They caught a net full of large fish. Then John recognized Jesus, and told Peter.


He Was Naked

Peter is called “naked.” All this has reference to is that he did not have his outer coat on. It is
reference to the fact that he was not properly dressed. He put on this outer coat – his fishing coat –
and jumped into the water. Once he reached shore, he helped the others bring the net in.


Come and Dine

Jesus had prepared a charcoal fire to roast the fish. He invited the disciples to eat with Him. They
ate bread and fish. This showed that Jesus was a resurrected body, not just an apparition. His
nail prints and spear wound identified Him as Jesus of Nazareth. The physical body identified Him
as the Only-begotten Son of God, the Messiah.


Luke 24:21-35  But we trusted that it had been he which should have redeemed Israel: and
beside all this, to day is the third day since these things were done.  (22)  Yea, and certain
women also of our company made us astonished, which were early at the sepulchre;  (23)  
And when they found not his body, they came, saying, that they had also seen a vision of
angels, which said that he was alive.  (24)  And certain of them which were with us went to
the sepulchre, and found it even so as the women had said: but him they saw not.  (25)  Then
he said unto them, O fools, and slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken:  
(26)  Ought not Christ to have suffered these things, and to enter into his glory?  (27)  And
beginning at Moses and all the prophets, he expounded unto them in all the scriptures the
things concerning himself.  (28)  And they drew nigh unto the village, whither they went: and
he made as though he would have gone further.  (29)  But they constrained him, saying, Abide
with us: for it is toward evening, and the day is far spent. And he went in to tarry with them.  
(30)  And it came to pass, as he sat at meat with them, he took bread, and blessed it, and
brake, and gave to them.  (31)  And their eyes were opened, and they knew him; and he
vanished out of their sight.  (32)  And they said one to another, Did not our heart burn within
us, while he talked with us by the way, and while he opened to us the scriptures?  (33)  And
they rose up the same hour, and returned to Jerusalem, and found the eleven gathered
together, and them that were with them,  (34)  Saying, The Lord is risen indeed, and hath
appeared to Simon.  (35)  And they told what things were done in the way, and how he was
known of them in breaking of bread.


The Third Appearance


The third time that Jesus shewed himself to his disciples. John does not say that this was the
third appearance of Jesus, but the third time he had showed himself to the disciples, or apostles,
for that is the sense in which disciples is here, and often, used. The first time was his appearance
to the ten apostles, on the evening of the day of the resurrection (Joh_20:19). The second was to
the eleven (Thomas was now present) one week later (Joh_20:26).


        B. W. Johnson,
The People’s New Testament with Notes