Bruner on John 21.3


… I am impressed … in this chapter [John 21] … that John sees Jesus revealing himself, first and most impressively of all, to failing, not succeeding disciples. Jesus is, surprisingly, not recorded here as revealing himself to a prayer meeting (‘surprising’ because Jesus so honors prayer in this Gospel: e.g., ‘asking’ in John 4); ‘coming to me’ in John 6; and then especially in his Discipleship Sermons his repeated promises to ‘asking’ disciples in John 14.13-14; 15.7,16; 16.23,26-27; but perhaps in special particular, by the model of Jesus’ own ‘asking’ in his long, seventeenth-chapter prayer). Nor is Jesus reported here as coming to his disciples when they are gathered in Bible study (though Jesus seeks Christ-centered Bible study, esp. 5.39-40). Rather, John chooses to tell a story that teaches us that Jesus is comes, precisely, to disciples disappointed in their work (Recall Jesus’ first two Beatitudes, Matt. 5.3-4)

Frederick Dale Bruner, The Gospel of John: A Commentary (Eerdmans, 2012), p.1208

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