Sermon for Easter 3 – 5.1.22

+ 3rd Sunday of Easter – May 1, 2022 +

Series C: Acts 9:1-22; Revelation 5:1-7; John 21:1-19

Beautiful Savior Lutheran

Milton, WA


“An Easter Epiphany”


In the Name of the Father and of the + Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.


Whenever I visit the Hobby Hall at the Puyallup Fair the display of quilting, cross-stitching, and needle point entries always stand out. There’s a marvelous craftmanship found in the sewing and stitching together of countless threads and a wide spectrum of colors, and, in the end, threading them all together to reveal a work of art.


John is doing something similar for us in today’s gospel reading from John 21. John artfully and carefully takes various threads from the life and ministry of Jesus and stitches them all together for us in this final post-resurrection account of his gospel.


The setting is the Sea of Tiberias, also known as the Sea of Galilee, a familiar backdrop to many of Jesus’ words and works. Peter, Thomas, Nathanael and the Zebedee boys go fishing just as they did when Jesus first called them  follow him as his disciples. Once again there’s a miraculous catch of fish. Fish and bread appear again just as Jesus fed the crowds at the feeding of five thousand. Peter, who denied Jesus three times by a charcoal fire, is now restored by Jesus three times beside a charcoal fire. Once again Jesus invites his disciples to a meal that is more than a meal; it is table fellowship. A foretaste of the feast to come.


John sews all of these details together, and in the end, reveals the restoration, forgiveness and life Jesus delivers to us in His dying and rising. On the seashores of Tiberias, our Lord appears to Peter and his disciples in a great Easter Epiphany. But not only for Peter and the disciples. Jesus is the crucified and risen one for you too. The same crucified and risen Lord who appeared to Peter and the disciples is the same Lord who rescues, redeems, and restores you in his dying and rising.


So… when the morning had now come, Jesus stood on the shore; yet the disciples did not know that it was Jesus. Then Jesus said to them, “Children, have you any food?”


What a marvelous picture of Jesus’ compassion. Jesus calls them children. A term of family and love and welcome. A relationship that he restores in his dying and rising. Not only that, he knows exactly what his disciples need even before they reply. He knows they’ve caught nothing. His question anticipates his gracious, abundant giving. Same is true for us. Before the prayer leaves your mouth, the Lord knows. He sees that we, like the disciples, have nothing to show for on our own. So Jesus gives and fills and provides for us in his dying and rising. And because he provides the big things in life – forgiveness, life, salvation – he also promises to provide for the little things in life.


And so Jesus tells them, “Cast the net on the right side of the boat, and you will find some.” And they did. A boat-load of fish. Jesus reveals once again that he is the Lord of creation. Now in his resurrection he reveals that he is Lord of the new creation as well. He exercises dominion over the fish and the sea, just as he has dominion over death and the grave. Nothing is outside of his good and gracious rule and reign. And he does it all for your good.


Jesus also reveals himself as the God who feeds his people. Just as God fed Israel manna and quail in the exodus, God in the flesh now feeds his disciples a feast of resurrection victory by the seashore.


as soon as they had come to land, they saw a fire of coals there, and fish laid on it, and bread. Jesus said to them, “Bring some of the fish which you have just caught.”Come, and have breakfast.”


An abundant catch of fish. A gracious invitation. A meal with Jesus. John seems to echo the road to Emmaus where Jesus was known in the Word and the breaking of the bread. This lakeside breakfast also echoes the Lord’s Supper and looks forward to the marriage supper of the Lamb. Jesus is present with and for his disciples just as he is with us and for us and gives himself to us in the Lord’s Supper.


Just as Jesus sat and ate with his disciples, so too, he sits and invites us to His table. Where Jesus gathers sinners. Feeds sinners. A holy communion of Jesus’ holy body and blood to forgive sinners and make you holy.


Here by the sea of Tiberias, Jesus also reveals himself as the forgiver and restorer. Over a charcoal fire, Peter denied his Lord three times. Here beside a charcoal fire, Peter is restored and absolved three times.

“Simon, son of Jonah, 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.”

In Peter’s restoration we see our own restoration. Like Peter we are rescued, redeemed, and restored in Jesus’ death and resurrection. All of our denial and betrayal. Our fears. Guilt. Sorrow. Sin. Even death itself. Jesus took that all upon himself on the cross, buried it in his tomb, and then, like those fish, he drags us through the net of his death and resurrection, hauls us ashore, and brings us back to the Father.


There’s a beautiful exchange that takes place in Peter’s restoration. Jesus moves Peter from denial and betrayal to restoration and reconciliation. From death to life.


Our Lord does the same for you as well. Not by the Sea of Tiberias, but in the sea of the font, where your sin is drowned. Where you are buried and raised with Christ. Where you are clothed in his death and resurrection. Where you are caught in his gracious nets and hauled into his holy ark, the Church.


Where he invites us to dine with him. “Children, come, eat and drink. My body in the bread. My blood in the wine. Given and shed for you for the forgiveness of all your sins.”


And, like the disciples, he sends us out in our daily vocations, our callings as witnesses of his grace and mercy for all. You are his priests and servants: called to pray for and live in humble service to others in our daily lives; to love as Christ first loved us. Come, follow me.


In the Name of the Father and of the + Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.







Beautiful Savior

is a traditional Lutheran Church, faithful to God's Word and His Sacraments. We equip God's people to serve, love, and encourage one another as we grow in our personal relationship with Christ. We reach out to the community as beacons of light, sharing the love of God in Christ Jesus, our Savior.

Church Office Hours

Monday - Thursday 8:30am-3:30pm

Friday 8:30am-11:30am

The office is closed on Fridays during the summer months of June, July, and August.

Preschool Office Hours

August - May
Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday

By appointment only June and July


2306 Milton Way
Milton, WA 98354
(253) 922-6977
(253) 922-6977