June 10, 2009

A New Take on John 21 (3)

Here are my two keys to understanding the context of Peter’s conversation with Jesus as recorded in John 21.

Key Number One: I take it to be historical that Jesus breathed his abiding presence into Peter and the other disciples on Easter night. Given that as a fact, it's clear that Jesus left for a week so that the disciples (except poor Thomas) could 'practice his presence' in spirit, apart from his presence in physical person. It was a perfect training strategy. He left them physically for a week at a time so they could begin to adjust to this new spiritual experience before he had to be physically gone for good. All together, that means Peter was beginning to seek the Lord in his inward man. To abide. To know God spiritually, which is to say, mystically.

This is another reason John 21 isn't about restoring Peter's relationship to Jesus. [What Cleopas said was the first reason.] And now here is my major thesis – the passage IS about restoring Peter’s mission to serve Jesus. Which brings us to...

Key Number Two: After two weeks of "breathing", Peter was growing antsy without something to do. The man simply had too much testosterone to sit around forever. This explains the fishing. Practicing the Lord's presence is wonderful, but most men are simply not mystics. (Don't get me wrong, I have longed to be one for many years. But I just ain't. Lord forgive me again.) Peter didn't know how to do *NOTHING* for much more than a week at a time. So he got up and got busy. He took action.

In the natural world, action always takes time. So next time, I’ll sum up the timeline, before moving on.

(To be continued…)

Series Update:
A New Take on John 21
preface 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 summary

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