While the other three gospels portray Jesus as the King, the Servant, and the Son of Man, John portrays Jesus as the Son of God. John stated his theme more clearly than any of the other gospel writers.
So, as we conclude this Gospel, we see this coda, “This is the disciple who is testifying to these things and wrote these things, and we know that his testimony is true. And there are also many other things which Jesus did, which if they written in detail, I suppose even the world itself would not contain the books that would be written.”
Notice the movement here; tend My lambs, shepherd My sheep, and tend My sheep. The three times here is important because it reverses Peter’s three times of denial. That is no accident. The charcoal fire is another symbol of this. Peter denied Him three times before a charcoal fire, and now he is restored three times before a charcoal fire. This, to me, is no accident.
Now, let’s move on and take a look at verses 12 to 17. Here we are going to see that we are shepherds. The real issue here is also going to be related to the issue of love. So, there is a change here, from being fishermen, to moving into the realm of the shepherd or having a pastoral impact on other people.
So, let’s take a look, first of all, at the first 11 verses, which concerns the issue of being ‘fishers of men’. This is an image they could understand, because seven of the twelve disciples were fishermen.
Now, in verse 22, “And when He had said this, He breathed on them and said to them, ‘Receive the Holy Spirit’.” Now, not only does He commission them, what does He do? He empowers them to fulfill that which they need to do. Without the Holy Spirit they would not be able to fulfill the commission, but now He empowers them.
Now, going back to the Sabbath in the Old Testament, the Sabbath was given, in the Hebrew Bible, as a day for physical rest and reflection and refreshment, both for men and for their animals.
So, He could manifest Himself, even in another form to those two disciples, as it tells us in another Gospel. In His resurrection body, He is capable of manifesting in any form He wishes because, in a very real way, that resurrection body is far more awesome than we might suppose.
Now, only a few weeks later, after the resurrection, there they are preaching boldly, in the very city of the resurrection. Paul makes it clear, in Romans chapter one that this is also the foundation of the Christian message.
But one of the soldiers pierced His side with a spear, and immediately blood and water came out.” Now, if we turn to Zechariah chapter 12, we see in verse ten, “I will pour out on the house of David and on the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the Spirit of grace and of supplication, so that they will look on Me whom they have pierced; and they will mourn for Him, as one mourns for an only son, and they will weep bitterly over Him, like the bitter weeping over a firstborn.”
Let’s consider, then, seven statements from the Cross. The first three, actually, relate to the needs of others. The first one was to those who crucified Him. That would be found in Luke 23, verse 34. “Father forgive them, for they know not what they do,”
So, what you have here is, from a human standpoint, the crucifixion was, indeed, a great crime. From a human standpoint, it was a tragedy. But, from a Divine standpoint, you see it totally differently. From the Divine standpoint, it was the total fulfillment of prophecy and an accomplishment of the will of God.