Posted by: The Simple Guy | May 12, 2011

Comparing John 21 with Psalm 23

Tuesday night we looked at Psalm 23 in our home Bible study.  Jesus’ conversation with Peter in John 21 was mentioned in passing.  The more I think about the two passages, the more parallels I see.

Let’s look together:

Psa 23:1-6 ESV

(1) A Psalm of David. The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want.
(2) He makes me lie down in green pastures. He leads me beside still waters.
(3) He restores my soul. He leads me in paths of righteousness for his name’s sake.
(4) Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.
(5) You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; you anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows.
(6) Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life, and I shall dwell in the house of the LORD forever.

In these verses, the shepherd comes and finds them:

Joh 21:1-5 ESV
(1) After this Jesus revealed himself again to the disciples by the Sea of Tiberias, and he revealed himself in this way.
(2) Simon Peter, Thomas (called the Twin), Nathanael of Cana in Galilee, the sons of Zebedee, and two others of his disciples were together.
(3) Simon Peter said to them, “I am going fishing.” They said to him, “We will go with you.” They went out and got into the boat, but that night they caught nothing.
(4) Just as day was breaking, Jesus stood on the shore; yet the disciples did not know that it was Jesus.
(5) Jesus said to them, “Children, do you have any fish?” They answered him, “No.”

In these verses, He feeds them:

Joh 21:6-13 ESV
(6) He said to them, “Cast the net on the right side of the boat, and you will find some.” So they cast it, and now they were not able to haul it in, because of the quantity of fish.
(7) That disciple whom Jesus loved therefore said to Peter, “It is the Lord!” When Simon Peter heard that it was the Lord, he put on his outer garment, for he was stripped for work, and threw himself into the sea.(8) The other disciples came in the boat, dragging the net full of fish, for they were not far from the land, but about a hundred yards off.
(9) When they got out on land, they saw a charcoal fire in place, with fish laid out on it, and bread.
(10) Jesus said to them, “Bring some of the fish that you have just caught.”
(11) So Simon Peter went aboard and hauled the net ashore, full of large fish, 153 of them. And although there were so many, the net was not torn.
(12) Jesus said to them, “Come and have breakfast.” Now none of the disciples dared ask him, “Who are you?” They knew it was the Lord.
(13) Jesus came and took the bread and gave it to them, and so with the fish.

Notice, this story takes place by the still waters:

  (4) Just as day was breaking, Jesus stood on the shore; yet the disciples did not know that it was Jesus.

Now he restores Peter’s soul:

Joh 21:14-19 ESV
(14) This was now the third time that Jesus was revealed to the disciples after he was raised from the dead.
(15) When they had finished breakfast, Jesus said to Simon Peter, “Simon, son of John, do you love me more than these?” He said to him, “Yes, Lord; you know that I love you.” He said to him, “Feed my lambs.”
(16) He said to him a second time, “Simon, son of John, do you love me?” He said to him, “Yes, Lord; you know that I love you.” He said to him, “Tend my sheep.”
(17) He said to him the third time, “Simon, son of John, do you love me?” Peter was grieved because he said to him the third time, “Do you love me?” and he said to him, “Lord, you know everything; you know that I love you.” Jesus said to him, “Feed my sheep.
(18) Truly, truly, I say to you, when you were young, you used to dress yourself and walk wherever you wanted, but when you are old, you will stretch out your hands, and another will dress you and carry you where you do not want to go.”
(19) (This he said to show by what kind of death he was to glorify God.) And after saying this he said to him, “Follow me.”

He did not restore Peter because of Peter’s faithfulness, but because He is the Good Shepherd who does not lose any whom the Father has given Him.

Joh 10:25-30 ESV
(25) Jesus answered them, “I told you, and you do not believe. The works that I do in my Father’s name bear witness about me,
(26) but you do not believe because you are not part of my flock.
(27) My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me.
(28) I give them eternal life, and they will never perish, and no one will snatch them out of my hand.
(29) My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all, and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father’s hand.
(30) I and the Father are one.”

So He is leading Peter in paths of righteousness for His name’s sake.

Now he tells Peter about the valley of the shadow of death:

Joh 21:18-19 ESV
(18) Truly, truly, I say to you, when you were young, you used to dress yourself and walk wherever you wanted, but when you are old, you will stretch out your hands, and another will dress you and carry you where you do not want to go.”
(19) (This he said to show by what kind of death he was to glorify God.) And after saying this he said to him, “Follow me.”

The Rod is for the enemies.  The staff is for rescuing the sheep.  We see Jesus tenderly bringing Peter back on the path in this conversation.  We see Him “dress Peter’s wounds”  We see the assurance that goodness and mercy do in fact follow us in this life, and that after this life we look forward to His coming.

This is a real life look at the Good Shepherd walking out Psalm 23 before our eyes.

What do you think?  Do you see any others?

Craig

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