An Admirable Life-33-Failure

This Will Be a Long One. Eat in Small Bites.

There were together Simon Peter, and Thomas called Didymus, and Nathanael of Cana in Galilee, and the sons of Zebedee, and two other of his disciples. Simon Peter said to them, I am going fishing." They say to him, "We go with you. They went forth, and entered into a ship immediately; and that night caught nothing.

But when the morning came, Jesus stood on the shore, but the disciples knew not that it was Jesus.  Then Jesus said to them, "Children, have you any fish?" And they answered him, "No."

And He said unto them, "Cast the net on the right side of the ship, and you shall find." They cast therefore, andd now they were not able to pull in the nets because of the great mass of fish.

Therefore the disciple whom Jesus loved said unto Simon Peter, "It is the Lord. Now when Simon Peter heard that it was the Lord, he clothed himself with his fisher's coat, for he was naked and cast himself into the sea.

And the other disciples came in a little ship (for they were near land), dragging the net with fishes.

As soon as they were come, they saw a small fire with coals laid there and  some fish on it, and bread. Jesus said to them, "Bring of the fishes you have now caught."

Simon Peter went up, and drew the net to land full of the catch of great fishes, and hundred and fifty and three: and for all there were so many, yet the net was not broken.

Jesus said unto them, "Come and eat." And none of them dared ask Him who he was for they knew He was the Lord. Jesus then came, and taking bread, blessed it, and gave it to them, and fish likewise. This is the third time that Jesus showed Himself to his disciples, after he was risen from the dead.

So when they had dined, Jesus said to Simon Peter, "Simon, Son of Jonas, do you love me more than these?" He Peter, said unto Him, Jesus, "Yes, Lord , you know that I love you." He, Jesus, said to him, Peter, "Feed my lambs."

He, Jesus, said to him, Peter, a second time, "Simon, son of Jonas, do you love me?" He, Peter, said to him, Jesus, Yes, Lord: you know I love you." And Jesus said to Peter, "Feed my sheep."

And Jesus said to Peter  the third time, "Simon, son of Jonas, do you love me?" And Peter was hurt to the very core of his being because Jesus said to him the third time, "Do you love me?" 

And Peter said to Jesus, "Lord, you know all things; you know that I love you." Jesus said to Peter, "Feed my sheep."

  —-St. John's Gospel, Chapter 21, Verses 2 through 17


   We will return to the passage a bit later but I need to give some of my readers something to preach on, so I am going to stop there for the time. I want to say what I just saw.

   In this rich, succulent portion of Scripture, with twists and turns of the language and customs of the times, the most important portion of this passage is the simple pronouncement of Peter, "I am going fishing…" followed by the individual apostles agreeing with Peter, saying, "We are going with you."

   Peter intended to go back to his old life. He had tried religion. He had failed. Peter was going back to his old life. He was serious enough that others would go with him.

   Peter, the most colossal failue of the Apostolic Band, the man called "Enemy" by Jesus, the man who lost his courage and faith all in one night, was going back to his old life.

   Peter had had enough. 

   He had planned this departure for some time. He had a boat to go to immediately in a day when boats were not easy to get.

   Peter was going home.

   So, everything that happens afterward is extraordinary and destructive of free will.

   Jesus would not let Peter get away.

   Monday, I will say why this is admirable.



Opinions expressed here are mine alone.

4 thoughts on “An Admirable Life-33-Failure”

  1. Mark gives opportunity for us to think that Peter was just leading his brethren to the place Jesus had indicated perhaps even before his crucifiction that He would meet them.
    Mark 16: 7. But go your way, tell his disciples and Peter that he goeth before you into Galilee: there shall ye see him, as he said unto you.
    Apparently Peter may no longer be a disciple?

  2. Rob,
    I wonder. Why the elaborate recommission if Peter is just doing what Jesus said? Why the long talk about what Peter used to do and what he will do when he gets older? Why the confusion about if it is even Jesus present with them, mentioned twice in this passage, if they expected to meet Jesus there?

  3. I am not trying to say Mark is right and John is wrong, or vice versa, but rather in accepting that they are both right, then might we see that going to Galilee was set in their hearts for hope, but the reality of Jesus, and for some his adjusted appearance since their last sighting of him, made it hard to think, much less accept, that this was Lord of Lords-King of Kings, friend Jesus, who they knew had suffered and died.
    I am sure that there were nuances of language that Jesus used there at the lakeside, cooking fish, that indicated none other than He, and none other than what kind of sheep, lambs or otherwise and what manner of feed. So that all who were there and all who heard and hear later will know that God knows our every intention and objection and action or sloth. He also forgives all that we are in order to fill us with the amazingly good things that he alone can feed us, if we will acknowledge this replicating love he offers. Peter, as have many since, stated thusly and surely to his great relief.

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