Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Digging Deeper: The Afterwards

Early on the first day of the week, while it was still dark, Mary Magdalene went to the tomb and saw that the stone had been removed from the entrance. 

So she came running to Simon Peter and the other disciple, the one Jesus loved, and said, “They have taken the Lord out of the tomb, and we don’t know where they have put him!” 

So Peter and the other disciple started for the tomb. 

Both were running, but the other disciple outran Peter and reached the tomb first. 

He bent over and looked in at the strips of linen lying there but did not go in. 

Then Simon Peter came along behind him and went straight into the tomb. 

He saw the strips of linen lying there, as well as the cloth that had been wrapped around Jesus’ head. 

Finally the other disciple also went inside and he saw and believed even though they didn’t understand. 

The disciples leave Mary Magdalene crying at the tomb. 

As she wept, she bent over to look into the tomb and saw two angels in white, seated where Jesus’ body had been, one at the head and the other at the foot. 

They asked her, “Woman, why are you crying?” 
“They have taken my Lord away,” she said, “and I don’t know where they have put him.”

At this, she turned around and saw Jesus standing there, but she did not realize that it was Jesus. 

He asked her, “Woman, why are you crying? Who is it you are looking for?” 

Thinking he was the gardener, she said, “Sir, if you have carried him away, tell me where you have put him, and I will get him.” 

Then Jesus spoke her name, and she looked at him and cried, “Rabbi!” 

Jesus tells her not to hold on to him, but to go and tell his brothers that he is going to ascend to their Father. 

So Mary goes and tells the disciples that she has seen Jesus and delivers his message to them. 

That evening, the disciples are hiding behind locked doors in fear, when Jesus suddenly appears. 

He says to them, “Peace be with you.” And he shows them the wounds in his hands and his side. And the disciples are filled with joy. 

Again Jesus said, “Peace be with you! As the Father has sent me, I am sending you.” 

And with that he breathed on them and said, “Receive the Holy Spirit. If you forgive anyone’s sins, their sins are forgiven; if you do not forgive them, they are not forgiven.” 

Now Thomas was not with the disciples when Jesus came. So the other disciples told him, “We have seen the Lord!” 

But he said to them, “Unless I see the nail marks in his hands and put my finger where the nails were, and put my hand into his side, I will not believe.” 

A week later his disciples were in the house again, and Thomas was with them. 

Though the doors were locked, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you!” 
Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here; see my hands. Reach out your hand and put it into my side. Stop doubting and believe.” 

Thomas said to him, “My Lord and my God!” 

Then Jesus told him, “Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.” 

John writes that Jesus performed many other signs in the presence of his disciples, which are not recorded in his book. 

He also says that he wrote what he wrote so that his readers will believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, and that by believing they may have life in his name. 

This is the first ending to John’s Gospel, but another ending was added to it. 

In this appendix to the appendix, seven of the disciples – Peter, Thomas, Nathanael, the sons of Zebedee (James and John), and two others – are back in Galilee after the resurrection of Jesus and decide to go fishing one evening, but catch nothing that night.

Early the next morning, Jesus (whom they had not recognized) calls out to them from the shore:

“Friends! You haven't any fish, have you?”

When they reply negatively, Jesus responds: "Throw your net on the right side of the boat and you will find some."

After doing so, "they were unable to haul the net in because of the large number of fish."

Realizing the identity of their adviser, the disciple whom Jesus loved says to Peter, "It’s the Lord!," at which Peter jumps into the water to meet him, while the remaining disciples follow in the boat, towing the net, which proves to be full of 153 large fish.

At the time of the composition of this Gospel, it was believed that there were 153 different kinds of fish in the world.

The writer is making a point when he says that the disciples caught 153 fish – they will be “fishers of men” to all the peoples of the world. Everyone is included!

Jesus cooks the disciples a breakfast of fish and bread over a charcoal fire.

When they had finished eating, Jesus said to Simon Peter, “Simon son of John, do you love me more than these?” 

“Yes, Lord,” he said, “you know that I love you.” 

Jesus said, “Feed my lambs.” 

Again Jesus said, “Simon son of John, do you love me?” 
He answered, “Yes, Lord, you know that I love you.” 

Jesus said, “Take care of my sheep.” 

The third time he said to him, “Simon son of John, do you love me?” 

Peter was hurt because Jesus asked him the third time, “Do you love me?” 

He said, “Lord, you know all things; you know that I love you.” 

Jesus said, “Feed my sheep. 

Jesus then goes on to say that one day, when Peter is an old man, he will stretch out his hands, and someone else will dress him and lead him where won’t want to go. 

Jesus is saying that one day Peter will be crucified, too, and according to church tradition, Peter was in fact crucified… upside down even. 

And Jesus says to Peter, “Follow me!”
Jesus and Peter were walking along the shore, and Peter turned back and saw the Beloved Disciple following them, and he asked, “Well, what about him?” 

Jesus is like, “If I want him to remain alive until I return, what’s it to you? You must follow me!” 

John then writes that because of these words Jesus spoke, a rumor arose among the early church that the Beloved Disciple (probably John) would not die, but John points out that this wasn’t what Jesus actually meant. 

The writer (probably John) then reveals to the reader that he himself is the Beloved Disciple, and that he witnessed and heard all these things himself, so the readers should be reassured that they have heard the truth. 

The Gospel ends a second time with these words: 

“Jesus did many other things as well. If every one of them were written down, I suppose that even the whole world would not have room for the books that would be written.”

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