Third Sunday of Easter 14.4.13 John 21. 1-19

7 04 2013

Fish and Sheep

This beautiful passage begins with the disciples going fishing together and ends up with Peter being commissioned for discipleship and ministry. All the while the movement is from work to love, from old to new, but the constant across the whole gospel is the call to follow.

John 21.1-19

After these things Jesus showed himself again to the disciples by the Sea of Tiberias; and he showed himself in this way. 2Gathered there together were Simon Peter, Thomas called the Twin, Nathanael of Cana in Galilee, the sons of Zebedee, and two others of his disciples. 3Simon Peter said to them, ‘I am going fishing.’ They said to him, ‘We will go with you.’ They went out and got into the boat, but that night they caught nothing.

4 Just after daybreak, Jesus stood on the beach; but the disciples did not know that it was Jesus. 5Jesus said to them, ‘Children, you have no fish, have you?’ They answered him, ‘No.’ 6He said to them, ‘Cast the net to 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 there were so many fish. 7That disciple whom Jesus loved said to Peter, ‘It is the Lord!’ When Simon Peter heard that it was the Lord, he put on some clothes, for he was naked, and jumped into the lake. 8But the other disciples came in the boat, dragging the net full of fish, for they were not far from the land, only about a hundred yards off.

9 When they had gone ashore, they saw a charcoal fire there, with fish on it, and bread. 10Jesus said to them, ‘Bring some of the fish that you have just caught.’ 11So Simon Peter went aboard and hauled the net ashore, full of large fish, a hundred and fifty-three of them; and though there were so many, the net was not torn. 12Jesus said to them, ‘Come and have breakfast.’ Now none of the disciples dared to ask him, ‘Who are you?’ because they knew it was the Lord. 13Jesus came and took the bread and gave it to them, and did the same with the fish. 14This was now the third time that Jesus appeared to the disciples after he was raised from the dead.

15 When they had finished breakfast, Jesus said to Simon Peter, ‘Simon son of John, do you love me more than these?’ He said to him, ‘Yes, Lord; you know that I love you.’ Jesus said to him, ‘Feed my lambs.’ 16A second time he said to him, ‘Simon son of John, do you love me?’ He said to him, ‘Yes, Lord; you know that I love you.’ Jesus said to him, ‘Tend my sheep.’ 17He said to him the third time, ‘Simon son of John, do you love me?’ Peter felt hurt because he said to him the third time, ‘Do you love me?’ And he said to him, ‘Lord, you know everything; you know that I love you.’ Jesus said to him, ‘Feed my sheep. 18Very truly, I tell you, when you were younger, you used to fasten your own belt and to go wherever you wished. But when you grow old, you will stretch out your hands, and someone else will fasten a belt around you and take you where you do not wish to go.’ 19(He said this to indicate the kind of death by which he would glorify God.) After this he said to him, ‘Follow me.’

Reflection

To help give shape to the reflection here are three types of question: head questions, heart questions and hand questions. They are about our intellectual response, our emotional response and our practical or behavioural response. I hope that you will want to work at all three levels.

Head Questions

  1. It all begins with a fishing trip – why?
  2. Charcoal fire – what does this remind us of?
  3. Why did the third question grieve Peter?

Heart Questions

  1. Can you plot Peter’s emotional journey from verse 9-19?
  2. The beloved disciple was quick to see, but Peter was quick to act. Which are you more like?
  3. How would you describe the feeling experienced in verse 12: when they knew but did not dare to ask?

Hand Questions

  1. The disciples went back to work. Was this good or a distraction from their calling?
  2. Jesus is hospitable. Are you? If so, how and when?
  3. Peter’s pastoral commission is ultimately a call to discipleship, ‘follow me’. Is yours?

Finally

These questions are intended to challenge you to engage more closely with the passage and to hear and feel what it has to say to you.  That’s more than a five-minute task. And so is the follow-up, working out what you might want to say to others as a result of engaging with the passage with head, heart and hands.  Take your time.


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2 responses

14 04 2013
Gone Fishing! The Tale of Simon Peter. | hungarywolf

[…] Third Sunday of Easter 14.4.13 John 21. 1-19 (preachersfriend.wordpress.com) […]

14 04 2013
Feed my Lambs and Follow Me–Reflection for the 3rd Sunday of Easter | Ordinary Glimpse

[…] Third Sunday of Easter 14.4.13 John 21. 1-19 (preachersfriend.wordpress.com) […]

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