John

John Chapter 21

In the  last chapter of John, Jesus pointedly asks Peter 3 times “do you love me”.  An obvious connection to the 3 times, on the night of Jesus death, that Peter vehemently denied being associated with Jesus.  No doubt those 3 denials, predicted by Jesus, were eating away at Peter.  To desert a friend in their time of need, TO DESERT THE SON OF GOD IN HIS TIME OF NEED.  Jesus had forgiven Peter (grace is not a new thing), but I think Peter had to go through this exercise and convince himself that he was a true follower of Christ.

But, even in this time of absolution, Peter had to engage in a bit of one-upmanship.  The disciples were not above jockeying for position, and Peter was no exception.  Quite a footrace to check out the empty tomb after Christ had risen.  And again (and here my less than perfect knowledge of scripture fails me) there was a situation with concern about who sat where at the table with Jesus.  In this chapter, after Peter has this tremendous exchange with Jesus, he expresses concern about where does John fit in this.

I think, as devoted as he was to the Lord, Peter had times when he went through comparisons (is so-and-so the favorite disciple?, who does the Lord love best?).  Maybe I am all wet but that’s how I have read some of those passages.  Even if I am reading it correctly, what the heck.  Peter was just a man and those human traits show through in spite of his love and devotion to Christ.  Just gives me a reminder, if I am judging or comparing those around me, perhaps I have to re-focus my vision and attention where it should be, on my relationship with God and not on all that other noise.

     

John Chapter 20

I thank God and his disciples for the gift of the bible. As i read and study John 20 I realize what a loving and caring Abba Father God is. Always laying down all that we need to follow him and live a God centered life. As this scripture reveals, Jesus in the flesh was there to give some final support to the disciples as he was about to send them on their way to spread his word. He rose from the dead and left signs to help them to believe the Resurrection. His burial wrap was not ripped off but left as a cocoon to show them no ordinary person came in and took his body. Only he himself could have done this. He appeared to Mary so she could spread the word that he had risen. When Thomas (acting as I and so many of us have in the past) doubted the reports of the risen Lord, He in his loving and understanding self appeared to Thomas and showed his wounds and invited him to touch them. Jesus was not disappointed in Thomas but understood his skepticism. He knew this is what Tomas needed so he would be loyal to him and spread the Lord's word. And so he is still with us. Such a loving Dad. He welcomes our doubts as he knows that if we do not stop here and search out answers to our doubts, it will result in a stronger faith and a platform for us to go out and disciple others. So how does the Lord provide for us today? He lays the most powerful book into our hands. A book that is full of stories, parables and eye witness accounts of teaching that leads us to the Lord. Let us all put our hands out, accept the challenge and read this gift to us from the Lord, the Bible.