Christ Has Risen

John 21:1-14

Free Sunday School Lessons

Note to the teacher: Before preparing this lesson, Christ Has Risen please read our approach to planning a Sunday School lesson.

This lesson has the same format as our lesson planning sheet.

In preparing your lesson, we suggest that you:

1. Print the lesson planning sheet.
2. Read the Bible passage.
3. Fill in your lesson planning sheet.

You will find it helpful to have a printed copy of the lesson planning sheet along side as you read the lesson. The progression will make more sense.

Christ Has Risen

Bible Passage: John 21:1-14

The human need this passage meets is: to have a daily source of power.

Learning Goals: By the end of this session, each learner should be able to. . .

(Know) Name the ways Jesus showed his power to the disciples in this account.

(Feel) Have confidence to handle life, not in yourself, but in the power Jesus gives.

(Do) Identify one behavior that will change because you believe in Jesus' resurrection power.


Judith Viorst wrote a little children's book, Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day. Perhaps you can sympathize with Alexander.

I went to sleep with gum in my mouth and now there's gum in my hair and when I got out of bed this morning I tripped on the skateboard and by mistake I dropped my sweater in the sink while the water was running and I could tell it was going to be a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day. On top of that, Alexander doesn't have any dessert in his lunch sack and there is kissing on TV!

Turn to your neighbor and answer this question: How do you know you're going to have a bad day?"


We all have bad days. Often on our worst days God himself seems distant. God's power seems either unavailable, unaccessible or both.

But, Christ has risen! We only have to look at the resurrection of Christ to know that God is present and very powerful. Today we want to talk about the practical and personal ways the resurrection of Christ empowers us. . .especially on the terrible, horrible, no good, very bad days.

Bible Input

Read John 21:1-14

To summarize this passage:

The Bible teaches that Jesus lived on the earth 40 days after his resurrection. Then he ascended to heaven. During this period of time, he was apparently not physically with the 11 apostles every moment of every day.

One day seven of the apostles were together fishing on the Sea of Galilee. We know from Matthew 4:18-22 that Peter, Andrew, James and John were fishermen by trade. Since nighttime was the best time to fish, and fished all night. However, they caught nothing.

Early in the morning, Jesus came and called to them. Friends, haven't you any fish?" Perhaps they were too far from shore, maybe it was foggy - but they didn't recognize him. This was the third time he had appeared to them since the resurrection. (vs. 14)

However, when they followed his instructions to throw the net on the right side of the boat, they caught so many fish that they were unable to haul them all in - 153 fish!

John was the first to recognize Jesus. Perhaps this incident reminded him of the time three years before when he, James, and Peter had fished all night - without any success. Then Jesus told them, Put out into deep water, and let down the nets for a catch. Luke 5:4. When they obeyed, they caught such a large number of fish that their nets began to break.

Simon Peter said to the Lord, Go away from me, Lord; I am a sinful man!" In the presence of Jesus, Peter's failings loomed large. But this time, Peter wanted to be close to his Lord. He pulled on his coat and jumped into the water.

Jesus had a fire, fish, and bread ready for their breakfast. This wasn't a hallucination, it was the resurrected Jesus. They knew with certainty - Christ has risen!

Life Application

This simple story has profound implications for us today.

1. Christ has risen - and Jesus is your friend

In verse 5 - Jesus called them friends.

    this is a family word with family feelings
    friends have power - the closer the friend, the greater the power

A Sunday School lesson from Proverbs on friendships.

Listen to this true story about a friendship.

In the 1992 Barcelona Olympics, Derek Redmond of Great Britain lined up for the first semi-final of the 400 meters race. His father was sitting in the stands. Redmond had a fast start and was running easily. As he was coming to the half-way point, he heard a "pop". He had torn his hamstring. His father was in shock. The other seven runners finished the race, but everyone was watching Derek - who was limping along, trying to finish the race.

Suddenly a man appeared on the field beside Derek. It was his father, Jim. He told his son, You don't have to do this. Yes, I do. was his reply. Then his father said, If you're going to finish this race, we'll finish it together. Then as everyone watched, father and son completed the race and crossed the finish line.

That's the help that comes from the friendship of a father and son. How much more help can we have from our friend, Jesus. Christ's resurrection power can be known by us (Philippians 3:10). Christ has risen!

How does Jesus being your friend give you power for today?

2. Christ has risen -- and Jesus is your guide

v. 6 - Jesus said for them to throw down the net on the right side of the boat and you'll find some fish

    Jesus knew where the fish were
    Jesus could guide them before his death
    Jesus could guide them after his resurrection
    He was not trying to convince them of his power over fish
    He was trying to convince them of his identity as the Son of God
    He has the power to guide their lives

A guide has the power, because the Guide knows the way.

Once when our daughter was babysitting, she called us because there wasn't anything in the house for her dinner. She asked my wife to bring her something to eat. As Peggy left the house, I asked her if she knew the address.

"No", she replied, "but I know where it is." Peggy ended up asking at three neighboring houses before she found the right house. Obviously, those people need to get to know their neighbors better! The point is: Peggy didn't ask for guidance because she thought she knew the way.

Isn't that just like us with God?

Psalm 119:105 - Thy word is a lamp to my feet and a light for my path.

Psalm 119:9 - How can a young man keep his way pure? By living according to your word.

Read a short devotional on the importance of Bible study.

God's word can guide us through all of life's ups and downs. However, too often we are like the Israelites in the time of the Judges when Everyone did as he saw fit. Judges 21:25.

Anything you are not praying about, you are doing with your own strength.

Why don't we pray more?

    Because we think we know best.

George Mueller and his wife founded an Orphan Home in England in the 1800's. He determined that he would only reveal his financial needs to God and that he would never incur debt. George Mueller counted on God to meet every need of the children and staff. During his lifetime, he cared for 9,500 orphans, who never missed a meal. Over $7 million dollars came to him over his lifetime and he attributes it all to answered prayer.

I think it will be of great benefit to all of us to learn from his advice on how to know the will of God.

1. I have my heart in such a state that it has no will of its own. Nine-tenths of the difficulties are overcome when our hearts are ready to do the Lord's will whatever it may be.

2. I seek the will of God in connection with the word of God.

3. I take into account providential circumstances.

4. I ask God in prayer to reveal his will to me.

Jesus is the only person who knows where the future will lead you this week. He is the only one who has the power to guide you. Will you ask for his guidance? Will you submit to it?

Christ has risen!

How does Jesus being our Guide give us power for today?

God's guidance and you - the story of Esther

3. Christ has risen - and Jesus is your provider

v. 9-13 When they landed, Jesus had prepared a fire with fish and bread.

Where did Jesus get his fish?

    He had his own - not from what they caught

Who provides the money you need to live?

    Is it you - working hard at your job?
    Is it Jesus - who provides you with the strength and skills to do the work?

Think about it. . .

  • Who led the children of Israel out of Egypt? Moses or God?
  • Who killed Goliath? David or God?
  • Who fed the 5,000? the little boy's lunch or Jesus?
  • Who caught 153 fish? the apostles or Jesus?

Think back to the story of George Mueller. Who provided for the orphans?

Who provides your living? you or Jesus?

Matthew 6:25 - Do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear.

Matthew 6:31-33 - So do not worry, saying, "What shall we eat?" or "What shall we drink?" or "What shall we wear?" For the pagan run after all these things and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. Be seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.

Listen to this sermon of how God provided for the Israelites.

We work to be used in the kingdom of God.
We don't worry about making a living.
Our security, our food, clothing, and daily needs come from God.

Christ has risen!

How does Jesus being our provider give us power today?

Because Christ has risen, he shows us that he is our friend, our guide, and our provider. Let him be all of this to you this day.

Discussion Questions for Christ Has Risen

1. How does the reality "Christ Has Risen" change your outlook on life?

2. When has the realization that Jesus is your friend encouraged you? empowered you?

3. When have you needed Jesus to be your guide? Do you readily pray for guidance?

4. What encouraged you today to trust that Jesus will provide for you?

5. What will you do this week to show your dependence upon the resurrected Jesus' power?

Author: Paul Schlieker

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If you appreciated Christ has Risen, check out our other Easter related lessons.

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