authority, bread, disciples, faith, fishing, Jesus Christ, John, love, miracles, Peter, work

It’s the Lord, #108

“Just as day was breaking, Jesus stood on the shore; yet the disciples did not know that it was Jesus. Jesus said to them, “Children, do you have any fish?” They answered him, “No.” He said to them, “Cast the net on the right side of the boat, and you will find some.” 

“So they cast it, and now they were not able to haul it in, because of the quantity of fish. That disciple whom Jesus loved therefore said to Peter, “It is the Lord!” 

John 21:4-7 (context, vv. 3-8)

Perhaps this is the way Jesus comes to us. Every time he comes to the 12, it’s unexpectedly. Three times he visits them, and he never comes with a rebuke, or a harsh word of correction. In my mind at least, I certainly wouldn’t have let them off-the-hook that easy. I would’ve pounced on them.

They’re out fishing, following Peter’s decision. Peter again is blowing it. And Jesus, rather than a word of correction, shouts to them that they need to cast their net to the other side of their boat. He tells them, if they do that, they’ll catch more than they can handle.

This has come before, when they were first called to follow. It’s appropriate that what happened at the beginning, has now occurred at the end. Later, when they counted fish, they had a 153. And the nets, had not been torn.

John is the first to recognize Jesus, but Peter will be the first to the shore.

Peter instantly knows that this man is Jesus. He strips down to his underwear and jumps in. He must be with Jesus, the others are pulling in the net, and the boat is moving too slow. (Maybe Peter thought he would walk on water a second time?)

“When they got out on land, they saw a charcoal fire in place, with fish laid out on it, and bread. 10 Jesus said to them, “Bring some of the fish that you have just caught.”

John 21:9-10

The passage points out that they worked till morning, and they probably were hungry. The Lord is aware, and he’s built a campfire for them. It’ll be fried fish and bread for breakfast.

There’s a sensitivity here, and a proactive kind of love that is really concerned about others. He’s aware of what others might need, and he finds a way to serve them. That’s precisely the way love works. (1 Cor. 13.)

“Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others.”

Philippians 2:3-4

The resurrected Jesus is still the humble servant. The disciples could’ve fallen on their faces, and that would’ve been entirely appropriate. This after all, is the risen Savior of the world. Perhaps Jesus is more approachable than we think? Perhaps?

 “They ate the bread and fish that morning, I doubt not, in silent self- humiliation. Peter looked with tears in his eyes at that fire of coals, remembering how he stood and warmed himself when he denied his Master. Thomas stood there, wondering that he should have dared to ask such proofs of a fact most clear. All of them felt that they could shrink into nothing in his divine presence, since they had behaved so ill.”

C.H. Spurgeon

Oh, how he loves you.

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authority, contamination, decision, faith, fishing, miracles, offense, Peter

Jupiter vs. Jesus, #54

Jupiter, Creator: Hulton Archive | Credit: Getty Images

“However, not to give offense to them, go to the sea and cast a hook and take the first fish that comes up, and when you open its mouth you will find a shekel. Take that and give it to them for me and for yourself.”

Matthew 17:25 (context vv. 24-27)

Jupiter was the king of the gods in the Roman empire; it was believed that he ruled the sky and thunder, he made the rain to fall. His temple in Rome was built on the highest hill (naturally) in 294 B.C. He was the head honcho of the Roman pantheon, and his cult following could be somewhat fanatical.

A tax was collected from Israel to support his temple, which caused hard issues among the Jewish leaders. They obviously didn’t want to support Jupiter, “no ifs, ands, or buts.” Not only were there spiritual reasons, but they had real patriotic issues too. Rome could be pretty insistent though.

Not completely sure about this. But apparently rabbis and priests were exempt from paying this. This is the setting for “Jesus-Peter-and-the-fish” in Matthew 17. Everyone’s eyes were now on Jesus: “Would He pay the tax, or not?”

Jesus specifically uses the word, “skandelion” for offense. We should know that this is the root word for scandal, or scandalize. That might bring us much needed clarity.

Jesus didn’t seem to bat an eye. There doesn’t seem to be any hesitation. Peter is dispatched to go catch a fish, the very first one, and when he reels it in he’s going to find in it’s mouth a coin, a drachma–that coin will pay the tax. This is a miracle, albeit a strange one.

Why? In the light of the spiritual implications did Jesus, and Peter, find themselves “indirectly” supporting Jupiter’s temple in Rome? Wouldn’t taking a stand against this religious cult be loyalty to God and declare a commitment to the nation of Israel?

Was Jesus ‘selling out’ and compromising His faith?

There’re lot’s of things we should say. First, how do we look at our government and its evil issues? How do we determine the steps we should take to be holy and separate from the world and its anti-christ system? What about the Old Testament stance of Daniel, or “the three Hebrew children” warming themselves in the king’s furnace?

I have lots of questions.

“Everything except God has some natural superior; everything except unformed matter has some natural inferior.”

-C.S. Lewis

   

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disciples, faith, fishing, Galilee, Simon Peter, transformation

Peter’s New Job, Entry #16

“And Jesus said to Simon,”

“Do not be afraid; from now on you will be catching men.”

 “And when they had brought their boats to land, they left everything and followed him.”

Luke 5:10-11, (context vv. 4-11)

They were business men, sort of. These fisherman scraped out a living catching fish at night (with lanterns of course) and selling their catch to the merchants of Galilee by day. They worked very hard, fishing and always it seems, having to mend their nets. Plenty of back-breaking work and not much sleep.

Simon Peter seems to be their “foreman.” They probably had a collection of 2-3 boats that worked together and they ‘pooled’ their efforts to work the Sea of Galilee and go where the fishing would be best. They wanted to make money. That was their motivation.

But along comes Jesus, and their lives are about to be dramatically “turned-upside-down.”

Much of this account of Jesus’ calling these fishermen to become His disciples mystifies me. (I really challenge you to read the full account in Luke 5, and make your own judgments. The account is pretty straight forward and yet their is plenty of room for interpretation.)

Simon Peter is about to be schooled in the very first lesson of discipleship, and he doesn’t yet realize it.

Jesus commands them to throw out their nets again. But it’s daytime, and you don’t catch fish then, and besides they’ve already had a long hard night. They have already worked very hard.

This ‘crazy’ rabbi insists they throw out their nets. If they obey Him in this, they’ll catch a catch. Peter is a bit hesitant. They had fished all night. Zero. Zilch. Somehow I think Jesus had designed it that way.

At Jesus’ word the net is thrown out. And they catch such a catch that they filled up two boats, up to the brim. So full as a matter of fact, that both boats were on the verge of sinking. Peter was astonished. They had never ever seen anything like it!

“But when Simon Peter saw it, he fell down at Jesus’ knees, saying, “Depart from me, for I am a sinful man, O Lord.” 

This is Peter’s first step. He saw it, he broke down, and he fell at his Lord’s feet. He was completely undone. Kneeling on the fish, he saw who he was, a sinner extraordinaire. Peter realized then that he was a man who didn’t deserve forgiveness. He wanted Jesus to leave him alone.

Perhaps this is the first lesson we must take to be His witness to a watching world. If we want to reach those who are terribly lost, we must ‘discover’ our own brokenness.

Peter would reflect on his own weaknesses and ‘pen’ a letter to the Church: “Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you.”

1 Peter 5:6

“We had long known the Lord without realizing that meekness and lowliness of heart should be the distinguishing feature of the disciple.”

-Andrew Murray

 

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