|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
21:1-14 Christ makes himself known to his people, usually in his ordinances; but sometimes by his Spirit he visits them when employed in their business. It is good for the disciples of Christ to be together in common conversation, and common business. The hour for their entering upon action was not come. They would help to maintain themselves, and not be burdensome to any. Christ's time of making himself known to his people, is when they are most at a loss. He knows the temporal wants of his people, and has promised them not only grace sufficient, but food convenient. Divine Providence extends itself to things most minute, and those are happy who acknowledge God in all their ways. Those who are humble, diligent, and patient, though their labours may be crossed, shall be crowned; they sometimes live to see their affairs take a happy turn, after many struggles. And there is nothing lost by observing Christ's orders; it is casting the net on the right side of the ship. Jesus manifests himself to his people by doing that for them which none else can do, and things which they looked not for. He would take care that those who left all for him, should not want any good thing. And latter favours are to bring to mind former favours, that eaten bread may not be forgotten. He whom Jesus loved was the first that said, It is the Lord. John had cleaved most closely to his Master in his sufferings, and knew him soonest. Peter was the most zealous, and reached Christ the first. How variously God dispenses his gifts, and what difference there may be between some believers and others in the way of their honouring Christ, yet they all may be accepted of him! Others continue in the ship, drag the net, and bring the fish to shore, and such persons ought not to be blamed as worldly; for they, in their places, are as truly serving Christ as the others. The Lord Jesus had provision ready for them. We need not be curious in inquiring whence this came; but we may be comforted at Christ's care for his disciples. Although there were so many, and such great fishes, yet they lost none, nor damaged their net. The net of the gospel has enclosed multitudes, yet it is as strong as ever to bring souls to God.
Verse 13. - Jesus cometh, and taketh the bread, and giveth them, and the fish likewise. It would seem that the specific bread and fish already referred to (ver. 9) was the material of at least the first part of this sacramental meal No benediction or prayer is mentioned. If this may not be presupposed, his presence made the feast, and was the blessing. Meyer says, however, that ἄρτον and ὀψάριον, as in earlier verses, are simply generic. On either supposition, it is clear from ver. 15 that more fish were prepared and used by the seven disciples than the solitary loaf and ὀψάριον which were first seen upon the fire. The Lord gave them symbolically the entire gift of his love by that which he came forward at this moment to supply.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
Jesus then cometh and taketh bread,.... After they had taken the fish out of the net, and all was prepared for the meal, and the disciples were set down to eat, Christ came and took his place as the master of the feast, and head of the family; and taking up the bread, as was his usual method, he asked a blessing over it, and gave thanks for it. Beza's ancient copy, and one of Stephens's read, "and having given thanks he gave", &c. which is agreeably to his usual practice at meals.
And giveth them, and fish likewise; he distributed both bread and fish to his disciples. So, in a spiritual sense, he provides plentifully for his people; gives them to eat of the hidden manna, and tree of life, and leads to fountains of living waters; encourages them to eat and drink freely, what is of his own preparing, and at his own expense provided for them.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
13. Jesus … taketh bread—the bread.
and giveth them, and the fish likewise—(See on Lu 24:30).
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