John 21.1-3 cont.
1 After these things Jesus showed Himself again to the disciples by the sea of Tiberias, in addition He showed Himself in this way.
2 Simon Peter and Thomas (the one called Didymus, twin) and Nathanael, the one from Cana of Galilee, the sons of Zebedee, and two other disciples of Him were together.
3 Simon Peter said to them: “I’m going to fish”. They said to him: “We are also coming with you”. So they went into the boat, but that night they caught nothing.
It would seem that not all of the disciples were together at this point. John lists five of them plus two other disciples. We cannot be certain who the other two disciples were. Some have supposed them to be Philip and Andrew. All of these are actually spoken of by John in his first chapter.
However, since we cannot be certain of this, others have speculated that the two ‘other disciples’ were not members of the original twelve disciples called by Jesus, but were disciples in a more general and wider sense. Joseph of Arimathea may be seen as such a disciple.
We have no idea where the remaining disciples were, but it is probably safe to assume that they were in Galilee, since Jesus had commanded them to be there, where He would meet them.
Presumably they did not go fishing because they were not fishermen.
Those who went fishing spent the night working hard, but caught nothing. This was the second occasion that such an incident is recorded in the gospels. Luke (chapter 5) records a similar miracle early in his gospel, linking it to Jesus calling the first of His twelve disciples.
There are those who try and say that both incidents are actually the same incident, and that John has put it at the end of his gospel as an afterthought.
However, the context of both occasions is different, although the location is the same, which is unsurprising since the Sea of Galilee was the centre of fishing in northern Israel.
On the first occasions Jesus comes to meet the disciples and displays His awesome power and knowledge. This brings Peter to confess his own sinfulness and not being worthy to be in the presence of Jesus.
The second occasion happens after the resurrection of Jesus and is the prelude to Jesus restoring Peter after his denial of Jesus.
We must learn that what Jesus has done once He can do again. During His ministry there were many times when Jesus cast our demons, and healed lepers.
His power is not limited.