The Least, First

Monte Asbury's blog

Getting well; going back (Readings for Sunday, April 22, 2007)

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Gassel

Back and back and back. Jesus, after the resurrection, shows up out of the city and back at the lake where so many of them first wondered who he was. Another “Throw the net on the other side of the boat” scene ensues; they’ve been there before. And he pow-wows with Peter, three times beside the fire pressing-in on Peter’s now-humbled bravado (though much appears in Greek here that is invisible in English—we’ll talk about that.)

Seems like Jesus wants to re-live the stories of where they’d been together, now that they’d been blasted by so much trauma. He reminds them of scenes of wonder and scenes of shame. And so characteristically, he has words for rebuilding—and self-examination—but none of condemnation.

Third Sunday of Easter, April 22, 2007
John 21:1-19; Acts 9:1-6, (7-20); Revelation 5:11-14; Psalm 30

John 21:1-19
Fishing

After this, Jesus appeared again to the disciples, this time at the Tiberias Sea (the Sea of Galilee). This is how he did it:

Simon Peter, Thomas (nicknamed “Twin”), Nathanael from Cana in Galilee, the brothers Zebedee, and two other disciples were together. Simon Peter announced, “I’m going fishing.” The rest of them replied, “We’re going with you.” They went out and got in the boat. They caught nothing that night.

When the sun came up, Jesus was standing on the beach, but they didn’t recognize him. Jesus spoke to them: “Good morning! Did you catch anything for breakfast?” They answered, “No.” He said, “Throw the net off the right side of the boat and see what happens.” They did what he said. All of a sudden there were so many fish in it, they weren’t strong enough to pull it in. Then the disciple Jesus loved said to Peter, “It’s the Master!”

When Simon Peter realized that it was the Master, he threw on some clothes, for he was stripped for work, and dove into the sea. The other disciples came in by boat for they weren’t far from land, a hundred yards or so, pulling along the net full of fish. When they got out of the boat, they saw a fire laid, with fish and bread cooking on it.

Jesus said, “Bring some of the fish you’ve just caught.” Simon Peter joined them and pulled the net to shore—153 big fish! And even with all those fish, the net didn’t rip.

Jesus said, “Breakfast is ready.” Not one of the disciples dared ask, “Who are you?” They knew it was the Master. Jesus then took the bread and gave it to them. He did the same with the fish. This was now the third time Jesus had shown himself alive to the disciples since being raised from the dead.

Do You Love Me?
After breakfast, Jesus said to Simon Peter, “Simon, son of John, do you love me more than these?” “Yes, Master, you know I love you.” Jesus said, “Feed my lambs.”

He then asked a second time, “Simon, son of John, do you love me?” “Yes, Master, you know I love you.” Jesus said, “Shepherd my sheep.”

Then he said it a third time: “Simon, son of John, do you love me?” Peter was upset that he asked for the third time, “Do you love me?” so he answered, “Master, you know everything there is to know. You’ve got to know that I love you.” Jesus said, “Feed my sheep. I’m telling you the very truth now: When you were young you dressed yourself and went wherever you wished, but when you get old you’ll have to stretch out your hands while someone else dresses you and takes you where you don’t want to go.” He said this to hint at the kind of death by which Peter would glorify God.

And then he commanded, “Follow me.”

The Message (MSG) Copyright © 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 2000, 2001, 2002 by Eugene H. Peterson

Acts 9:1-6
The Blinding of Saul
All this time Saul was breathing down the necks of the Master’s disciples, out for the kill. He went to the Chief Priest and got arrest warrants to take to the meeting places in Damascus so that if he found anyone there belonging to the Way, whether men or women, he could arrest them and bring them to Jerusalem.

He set off. When he got to the outskirts of Damascus, he was suddenly dazed by a blinding flash of light. As he fell to the ground, he heard a voice: “Saul, Saul, why are you out to get me?” He said, “Who are you, Master?” “I am Jesus, the One you’re hunting down. I want you to get up and enter the city. In the city you’ll be told what to do next.”

The Message (MSG) Copyright © 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 2000, 2001, 2002 by Eugene H. Peterson

Revelation 5:11-14
I looked again. I heard a company of Angels around the Throne, the Animals, and the Elders—ten thousand times ten thousand their number, thousand after thousand after thousand in full song:

The slain Lamb is worthy!
Take the power, the wealth, the wisdom, the strength!
Take the honor, the glory, the blessing!

Then I heard every creature in Heaven and earth, in underworld and sea, join in, all voices in all places, singing:

To the One on the Throne! To the Lamb!
The blessing, the honor, the glory, the strength,
For age after age after age.

The Four Animals called out, “Oh, Yes!” The Elders fell to their knees and worshiped.

The Message (MSG) Copyright © 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 2000, 2001, 2002 by Eugene H. Peterson

Psalm 30
A David Psalm

I give you all the credit, God— you got me out of that mess, you didn’t let my foes gloat.

 

God, my God, I yelled for help and you put me together.
God, you pulled me out of the grave, gave me another chance at life when I was down-and-out.

 

All you saints! Sing your hearts out to God! Thank him to his face!
He gets angry once in a while, but across a lifetime there is only love.
The nights of crying your eyes out give way to days of laughter.

 

When things were going great I crowed, “I’ve got it made.
I’m God’s favorite. He made me king of the mountain.”
Then you looked the other way and I fell to pieces.

 

I called out to you, God; I laid my case before you:
“Can you sell me for a profit when I’m dead? Auction me off at a cemetery yard sale?
When I’m ‘dust to dust’ my songs and stories of you won’t sell.
So listen! and be kind! Help me out of this!”

 

You did it: you changed wild lament into whirling dance;
You ripped off my black mourning band and decked me with wildflowers.
I’m about to burst with song; I can’t keep quiet about you.
God, my God, I can’t thank you enough.

The Message (MSG) Copyright © 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 2000, 2001, 2002 by Eugene H. Peterson


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Written by Monte

April 16, 2007 at 4:43 pm

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