Posted by: randydunning | January 21, 2008

Day 21 | John 21


Text: John 21

Key Verse: 3
“Simon Peter said to them, ‘I am going fishing.’ They said to him, ‘We will also come with you.’ They went out and got into the boat; and that night they caught nothing.”

Editors Note: This is my favorite chapter in the Bible. I’ve read it many times. I approached it today wondering if I was going to find anything new in it. I certainly wasn’t expecting to see a lesson on leadership.

Peter’s first foray into leadership doesn’t go so well. We find the disciples at a difficult juncture. Jesus had been crucified and died. Jesus had risen and stood before them. But Jesus wasn’t there now instructing them what to do next. So a decision had to be made and Peter chose this moment to step out boldly with direction. From our perspective he seems foolish. But I have no doubt he was resolute in his decision.

Everyone has certain areas of life where they need to (or should) turn the reigns over to another along with proper instruction and examples. Parents do this with children, employers with employees, non-profit directors with volunteers, etc. You can’t be everywhere and do everything so you must begin trusting others with responsibilities. And those others will often stumble, especially right out of the gate.

The wonderful thing we see in John 21 about the leadership of Jesus is that he doesn’t let Peter get very far in his endeavor before refocusing him. He didn’t let Peter fish and fail for days but just one night. And then, very graciously over breakfast, he once again invited Peter to lead the church the way Jesus desired. “Shepherd my sheep.”

Peter was destined to be a great leader. But even the greatest of leaders weren’t born that way. Learning to lead can be a frustrating and painful process, requiring more of us than we imagine ourselves capable of giving. But if potential leaders don’t lose heart in doing good, and if they won’t give up the call to lead, in due time they will reap a tremendous harvest!

Lord, of all people you know how challenging leadership can be. And I know how easy it can be to lead people in the wrong direction. To lead effectively as a husband, father and minister, help me to be focused on You and follow your example and your call to shepherd well the sheep you place in my care.



  1. This reading/journaling challenge has really been helpful to me. I hope that it has helped established a practice of reading and meditating on Scripture.

    I really feel like God is calling me to simplify my faith. After reading through John, I only feel this more. I feel like I muddle up the faith I hold to, adding all sorts of stuff that just isn’t necessary or biblical.

    Perhaps this need to simplify my faith is because of our plans to journey to Central Asia, but I think we all could get a lot out of simplification. Jesus talks about the Kingdom of God in simple, but still deep, terms. That is what I want my faith to be built upon.

    I think that I am going to read through Romans and learn more about authentic faith without a lot of add-ons.

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