Use one or both of these questions to introduce the lesson:
1. What do you think each of these sayings means: write off one’s losses, try Plan B, raise a white flag, chalk it up to experience, throw in the towel, go on damage control, sing one’s swan song? What is the common theme?
2. When have you felt like a total failure? What next steps did you consider at that time?
Read John 21:1-5.
1. Read these verses, inserting these words after verse 2 and before verse 3: “They looked at each other and said, ‘Now what are we going to do?’” Why do you think that conversation could have occurred? How does it fit with the mood the apostles were probably in, the confusion resulting from recent events, and their relationships with each other?
2. What do you think this fishing trip was meant to accomplish? How do you think the apostles felt after their long night in the water? What might they have muttered to each other after hearing the question from the shore?
Read John 21:6-9.
3. Compare these events to the events recorded in Luke 5:1-11. Consider the time these earlier events occurred, the main character in this account, and the results of the encounter. Why do you think Jesus reenacted that scene?
4. Who was the first to recognize Jesus? What do you think led him to that conclusion? This is the second time an event occurred that caused Peter to get out of a boat and into the water (Matthew 14:28-33). What are some similarities to this event and that one?
Read John 21:10-14.
5. In this post-resurrection appearance, Jesus served a meal to some of his apostles. Review these post-resurrection appearances and notice that they also include sharing food: Luke 24:30, 37-43; Acts 1:3-5. What might be some reasons for including that fact in these accounts?
6. Although this event is similar to the Luke 5 account, there are big differences. What might we infer from the differences in the condition of the net and boat in this second account?
7. Recall the events that led you to follow Jesus. If part two of your life in Christ were to start today under similar circumstances, what might be some of the events contained in Your Life with Jesus—The Sequel? Would you welcome such a fresh start? Explain.