Christ-led Leadership

John 21:1-14 | Sermon Resources | 7 April 2024


This Sunday’s passage of Scripture is one of the most powerful passages about Christian leadership in the Bible. It is a historical account – this is eyewitness history following Jesus’ resurrection – but it is also meant to be a parable for the Christian life. In other words, it is not just for Peter and the other 6 disciples in the boat. It is for you and me. Some of you, like Peter, are natural born leaders, but you may be leading out of your flesh. Today’s lesson will be critical for you to understand to achieve the kind of impact that you long for. Others of you, like John, may be quick with your insight and words, but slower to act. You might be a young leader, as John was in this story. This passage is for you, too, for John eventually became a leader of the church.

Here in the epilogue we find Jesus reintroducing himself to the disciples he first called when they were fishing. Peter and Andrew, James and John, the sons of Zebedee, were fishermen when Jesus first called them in Luke 5. What’s interesting about Jesus’ first introduction to the disciples and this post-resurrection re-introduction is that they are both stories of failure. On both occasions, the disciples had fished all night and caught nothing. This Sunday we’ll touch on this topic of failure, because failure is often a necessary means of sanctification, of growth in Christ-like leadership. We’ll look at leadership on 3 levels: 1) Leadership led by the flesh, 2) Leadership that is changed through failure, and finally, 3) Leadership that is led by Christ’s Spirit.

Discussion Questions

  1. Are you more of a natural leader or more of a critic? Are you quicker with your words or quicker with action? How does God use different kinds of leaders?
  2. What was Peter missing?
  3. How does your relationship with Jesus affect your choices at work, your family life, or your choices in your neighborhood?
  4. How did the disciples’ admission of failure in v. 5 become a life-giving, revolutionary experience?
  5. How can failure become a “creative” event in your life? Have you ever been changed by failure?
  6. Compare and contrast the two accounts of the miraculous catches of fish here and in Luke 5:1-11.
  7. How does Peter’s response to Jesus in verses 7 and 11 challenge and encourage you? “The place of strength is still at the feet of the Savior, and strength will be imparted exactly in proportion as we are in conscious fellowship with Him and drawing from His infinite fullness” (Arthur Pink).
  8. How does the fact that the net was not torn (v. 11) affect you?
  9. Thinking about one person in your life, what is one thought or idea from this week’s sermon you could share with them to encourage them?

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