Dec 09, 2018 | Jim Hodge

Jesus Changes Everything- Jesus Changes our Failures

John 21:1-23

*Due to technical difficulties, we regret that the audio is not available for this sermon.

Failure – lack of success or lack of thriving.  Missing the objective.

Michael Jordan- It is hard to imagine it, but Jordan, who is arguably the greatest basketball player ever, was once cut from his high school team. As Jordan puts it, “I have missed more than 9,000 shots in my career. I have lost almost 300 games. On 26 occasions I have been entrusted to take the game winning shot, and I missed. I have failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed."


Bill Gates- Before he launched MicroSoft, Bill Gates not only dropped out of Harvard University where he was a pre-law student, but he was co-owner of a business called Traf-O-Data that failed. The company ran up losses between 1974 and 1980 before it was closed. Gates business partner, Paul Allen, summed up the experience this way, “Even though Traf-O-Data wasn’t a roaring success, it was influenced us in preparing to make Microsoft’s first product a couple of years later. And that’s what they did.   Gates net worth is estimated at $90 billion as of 2018. He has said, “It's fine to celebrate success but it is more important to heed the lessons of failure.”

1. Walk with friends in failure. (vs.1-3)

  • Peter, Thomas, Nathanael, James, John plus 2 unnamed disciples + 7.
  • I’m going fishing! With Friends!

 2. Learn in the failure. (vs.3) 

  • They fished all night and caught nothing. Certainly, Peter must have remembered what happened two years before, when Jesus called him into full-time discipleship (Luke 5:1–11).

"I am the vine; you are the branches.  Whoever abides in me and I in him, he…bears much fruit..apart from me you can do nothing.”  John 15:5

 3. Receive Christ's words in the failure. (vs.4-11)

  • V4 – Jesus on the shore – didn’t know it was him
  • V12 – Jesus tells them to come and have breakfast They knew….was it is voice?
  • Where do we get to hear from Him? Bible..

 4. Surrender to Him in the failure. (vs.6, 12-13)

  • Cast the net….it was full to overload
  • Come….they didn’t need more fish…needed Him…

5. Pursue Him in the failure. (vs. 12-14)

  • Without hesitation they went
  • He met their needs
  • Maybe this inspired him to write…..

“Therefore let those who suffer according to God’s will entrust their souls to a faithful Creator while doing good.”  I Peter 4:19

 6. Accept His restoration in the failure. (vs.15-19)

  • The last time Peter was asked a question about Jesus in the presence of a charcoal fire, he denied Jesus three times (see 18:18). Thus it is fitting that around this charcoal fire Peter is again asked a question about Jesus “three times”.
  • The questions Jesus asks do not seek to take life but to restore it, for the person asking the question has already paid the price with his own life.
  • Peter had denied the Lord publicly, it was important that there be a public restoration.
  • Sin should be dealt with only to the extent that it is known. Private sins should be confessed in private, public sins in public. Both for restoration.
  • Since Peter had denied his Lord three times, Jesus asked him three personal questions. He also encouraged him by giving a threefold commission that restored Peter to his ministry.

“Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you.”  I Peter 5:6

“And Jesus said to them, ‘Follow Me and I will make you fishers of men.” (Kingdom work!)  Matthew 4:19

Thoughts of Church Restoration and Ministry:

  1. Our past failures need not define the direction of our lives.

“The ancient city of Jericho was defeated because Joshua and his troops defiled the ‘normal procedure’ of battle….never once fearing failure.  The Gentiles heard of Christ Jesus because Paul and a few companions kept getting back up after being knocked down.  Peter’s two letters are in the Bible because he refused to live the shadow of his bad track record.”  Dr. Chuck Swindoll

“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation.  The old passes away; behold, the new is come.”  2 Corinthians 5:17

  1. Believing we are useless will keep us from being useful.

“Success is not final, failure is not fatal.  It is the courage to continue that counts.” Winston Churchill (1874-1965)

  1. Restoration is personal but not private.
  • Failure gives us insight and empathy we could learn in no other way.
  • The next time failure leaves you feeling empty handed, look again. You may find you’ve received a priceless gift – the opportunity to grow in Christian character and to minister to another.  Failure is God’s training ground for encouragers! 
  1. We may not fly as high after our wings are clipped.
  2. Broken people in Christ have a depth and impact of ministry we never had before.

“We define success by our circumstances, while God defines success by our response to our circumstances.” Dr. Mitchell Dillon, founder of Grounded in Grace Ministries

“And after you have suffered a little while, the God of grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish (ground – to provide a firm basis for belief) you.  To him be the dominion (the power to rule – the one who has power over death) forever and ever.  Amen!”   I Peter 5:10-11

  • God calls us to demonstrate our love for Jesus by following Him – no matter where the journey leads and no matter what happens to us in comparison to those around us.
  • We can do this because we are recipients of God’s forgiveness and grace!
  • By His grace, Jesus Changes our Failures!! Jesus simply changes everything!

Series: Jesus Changes Everything