Skip to content Skip to cookie consent
Skip to content

Bible studies

Bible study: The Lord's breakfast

This study looks at the life of Peter the disciple in John 21:1-17

1995 Available in English, French, Spanish and Portuguese

Footsteps magazine issues on a wooden desk.

From: Fish farming – Footsteps 25

Practical tips and advice on small-scale fish farming

The Lord's breakfast.

The Tilapia Fish is also known as Saint Peter’s fish. In this study we look at the disciple Peter.

When Jesus first came into his life (John 1:40–42), Peter was a fisherman – rough, tough and resentful of the rule of the Romans over Israel. It took real courage for Peter to give up his boats, his nets and fishing and follow Jesus. He believed the risk was worth it and was prepared to fight against the Romans. No doubt he was puzzled at Jesus’ lack of military preparations, but recognised that people had to repent and turn humbly to God so that the people of Israel could once again be God’s special people. He reacted strongly when Jesus spoke of coming suffering and death – which Peter felt was going too far (Matthew 16:21–23).

Then came the crucifixion. All that Peter had believed and lived for was shattered. He denied his connections with Jesus three times (John 18:17, 25–27). He wept bitterly – for the loss of Jesus and for the frustration of three years lost out of his life. Then, to his amazement, Jesus came back to life and appeared to the disciples (John 20:19–21). His hopes were raised again – until Jesus spoke to them, ‘As the Father has sent me, so I am sending you.’ With this, Jesus made it clear that there was to be no glorious, earthly future for the disciples, no victory over the Romans, no thrones or crowns. They were to continue to live and work as Jesus had done, facing rejection, poverty, persecution and possible death.

Read John Chapter 21:1–17. Peter was very confused. He needed time to think. He told the others he was going fishing and they joined him. For Peter, this night of fishing was a time of temptation – his chance to run away from Jesus. He thought his old skills in fishing would return. Maybe he could start again as a fisherman.

But that night they caught nothing… Nothing until a man on the shore told them to cast their nets on the other side. A huge catch of fish – 153 great fish – which threatened to break the nets. What a catch! But Peter knew now that this was Jesus’ catch, not his own. As they joined Jesus for breakfast, this became a time of truth for Peter.

Jesus asked Peter, ‘Do you love me more than these?’ Some people think Jesus was asking if Peter loved him more than the other disciples did, or if Peter loved him more than his other friends? But if we think of the beach, and the huge pile of fish lying there, I’m sure Jesus was asking Peter which came first in his life – his skills and pride in fishing or his love for Jesus, which might mean giving up his fishing and following a life of servanthood.

To discuss:

  • What kind of difficult choices did you make when choosing to follow Jesus?
  • Were there things you needed to put to one side?
  • Are you still putting off decisions about things you need to put right in your relationship with Jesus?

Jesus chose the early hours of the day for some of the prayers that meant the most in his life. He is ready to meet with us as we set aside time to renew our faith each day at ‘The Lord’s Breakfast’. Do you take time to meet with him each morning before rushing into the day’s work?

by Dr Paul Brand. Condensed from a chapter of Dr Brand’s book, The Forever Feast. Text and illustration used with kind permission of Servant Publications.

Share this resource

If you found this resource useful, please share it with others so they can benefit too.

Subscribe to Footsteps magazine

A free digital and print magazine for community development workers. Covering a diverse range of topics, it is published three times a year.

Sign up now - Subscribe to Footsteps magazine

Cookie preferences

Your privacy and peace of mind are important to us. We are committed to keeping your data safe. We only collect data from people for specific purposes and once that purpose has finished, we won’t hold on to the data.

For further information, including a full list of individual cookies, please see our privacy policy.

  • These cookies are necessary for the website to function and cannot be switched off in our systems.

  • These cookies allow us to measure and improve the performance of our site. All information these cookies collect is anonymous.

  • These allow for a more personalised experience. For example, they can remember the region you are in, as well as your accessibility settings.

  • These cookies help us to make our adverts personalised to you and allow us to measure the effectiveness of our campaigns.