Wednesday, 31 May 2017

John 21v1-19 Body positive

This is a story about a body!

As the disciples are being told by Cleopas about the Jesus’s appearance to them on the road to Emmaus, he appears before them. They were scared as the women had been, because they thought they were seeing a ghost. So he shows them his hands and his side to prove he is real. Then he ate a piece of fish again to prove he is real. He has a real body! Real evidence. Touch me.

Then a while later some of the disciples are returning to their normal duties going fishing and they catch nothing that night.

Thomas was there, Didymus is the Greek word for the Hebrew "Thomas", both of which mean "twin".

Peter announced I am going to fish. So they went out leaving the house they were staying at in Capernaum, possibly Peter's house. the boat-this is the boat that the disciples used for fishing, possibly owned by one or two of them. Possibly even the boat that nearly sunk two years before when weighed down with a haul of fish.

It was early in the morning, when dawn was already breaking when they were coming back and they saw Jesus on the shore but they did not realize initially that it was Jesus. “You haven't caught any fish have you? He said. 
“Throw to the right side of the boat." And they did and this time they were not strong enough to haul the catch of fish.

John realizes the man on the shore is Jesus and Peter on realising this, he wrapped [his outer garment around him, tucks up his working/fisherman's smock, under his belt before diving into the water, because to offer a greeting naked would be bad manners. Note the details. An eye witness account. 

 Peter climbed aboard to haul the net ashore.

Jesus invites them to eat breakfast with him and has made a charcoal fire.
(notice the detail) and grilled fish on it for them to eat. He asks them to bring some of the fish they have just caught.
“Come eat breakfast” Not one of the disciples dared ask who he was. They knew it was Jesus.

Jewish hosts always said a blessing at the beginning of a meal. Jesus is therefore following the norm when he blesses the food. Of course as in all the resurrection appearances we remember that most of them take place within the context of eating together. There may be a profound truth here that Jesus is always potentially to be found as we eat together. Jesus takes the food and distributes it, alluding to the last supper, the appearance at Cleopas house and the feeding of the 5,000.

We are told this is the third time that Jesus appeared after he was raised from the dead, but this seems to ignores Jesus' appearance to Mary (because she is a woman? Even today we find that woman are discounted as legal witnesses.) ; it reads as if it were a first time appearance.

First there is “no body”. The women at the tomb were grieving for the body which they thought had been taken. The missing body is the beginning of the end.

Then there is a somebody but he is not easily recognized as Jesus. Not by Mary, not by Cleopas, not by Thomas and not by the disciples. 

But the body is of importance central to the tale. This is not any body-it is the body!

This story is about the whole person being resurrected. God is concerned about the whole of us, bodies as well. 

If God resurrected Jesus’ body then he will resurrect ours! What do we think of our current body? Do you want to take it with you to eternal life? Do you love your body at all or regard it as baggage? We are encouraged to be spiritual, to pray but also to present our bodies to God (Rom.12). Our bodies are not only a gift from God but to be used by God.  
    
The film 21 grams referred to the weight of a body before and just after death. 21grams was reckoned to be the weight of our soul or spirit. But God cares about all of us! And so should we! And about other peoples. So we should care for example about the air that we breathe and our environment because our bodies depend on us having good air to breathe. There are lots of other implications of God caring about our bodies not just our souls. As for me
Im looking forward to my new body! 



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