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SPARKLE WITH JESUS’ GEM OF HUMILITY to be LIFTED UP to rise to every occasion!
Let God Expressed Meekly/Mightily in you sparkle brightly with new insights from Cobbey & others
as inspired by The Christian Science Quarterly Bible Lesson on

“Sacrament”
for
Sunday, January 8, 2023

 (Cobbey Crisler’s insights are shared with the blessing of Janet Crisler janetcrisler7@gmail.com)
by Warren Huff, CedarS Executive Director Emeritus, warren@cedarscamps.org


EXPUNGE FABLES! WAKE to TENDER MERCIES always holding you!

Make your own the psalmist’s prayers to God to “withhold not thy tender mercies…” “remember…thy tender mercies and thy lovingkindnesses” (Responsive Reading, Ps. 25:6) … let thy lovingkindness and thy truth continually preserve me.” ” (Ps. 40:11) and “according to the multitude of thy tender mercies BLOT OUT my transgressions.” (Psalm 51:1)

Here’s how Mary Baker Eddy puts the tender, loving, merciful correction of transgressions that need to be blotted out: “The human history needs to be revised, and THE MATERIAL RECORD EXPUNGED.”  Retrospection and Introspection,” page 22:1

“I awake each morn to A BRAND NEW DAYTENDER MERCIES ARE HOLDING MEWords and Music by Susan Booth Mack Snipes, Hymn 500 in 2017 Hymnal. [My favorite performance of it to hear it sung on the back deck of CedarS Care House as a duet by then CedarS Met contributors Craig Ghislin, CS, and David Price, CS, who were both serving as Christian Science practitioners.]

WITH THE SENSE OF NEWNESS THAT COMES WITH THE START OF THIS NEW YEAR, I’VE FOUND THESE THREE LINKS TO BE INSPIRING:

A new way to start your day” by CedarS Met contributor, Lindsey Biggs, CS, from the December 30, 2019 issue of The Christian Science Sentinel.  To listen, click on LISTEN link at:
https://sentinel.christianscience.com/shared/view/2kgx1ymxlnu?s=e

“My best resolution,” the “Daily Lift” for January 2, 2023 by Hilary Harper-Wilcoxen.

Click on January Vlog  by Maddie Maupin to watch a short, inspiring video with ideas illustrated by Biblical figures about the new year and “its new choices — and detours.”  She leads into it this way: “So I had an interesting moment recently that taught me about that.

“Maybe you, like millions of others, drove to an airport this holiday season. My local one is both huge and new to me, which doesn’t make either entering or exiting easy! After I picked up a friend, I looked for the freeway I needed and was amazed to count nine exits before I finally found mine. So many choices to go the wrong way. And suddenly I had the subject for this first vlog to you of 2023.”


“STAND IN GOD’S PRESENCE UNAFRAID” (Hymn 585), “FOR GOD HATH NOT GIVEN US THE SPIRIT OF FEAR; BUT OF POWER, AND OF LOVE, AND OF A SOUND MIND.” (II Tim. 1:7, cit. B3)

[Warren Huff:] As the opening lines of a favorite hymn reminds us “This is the day the Lord hath made, Be glad, give thanks, rejoice. Stand in God’s presence unafraid, in praise lift up your voice.” (Christian Science Hymnal #585)

It’s fun to see “sound mind” as a Biblical promise of mental health which seems especially needed these days to prevent anxiety attacks that start with just feeling anxiously on-edge or a bit stressed out.  We should do all we can to cultivate the feeling of being “too blessed to feel stressed!”
When “deadlines” and a seeming lack of TIME would claim to be a justified cause for the “strain and stress” that would rob us of our peace, a hymn that we sang and prayed together during CedarS January 1st Peace-themed Hymn Sing can give us a precious “life-line” to peace: “Take from us now the strain and stress, / And let our ordered lives confess / The beauty of Thy peace.” (Hymn. 49:4).
To bring a beautiful sense of God-blessed peace to any day, we need look no farther than the “Glossary” to the textbook, Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures. There we find TIME defined as “Mortal measurements” (587:17)  a higher, spiritual sense of not the time, but of the inspiration that is always what’s most needed. Looking to the spiritual    seems to be needed (“mortal measurements  “…Mind measures time according to the good that is unfolded. This unfolding is God’s day, and “there shall be no night there.” (SH 584:4)

. . “Sound mind” is also most often translated as “self-control”…

Ellicott’s Commentary for English Readers

(7) “For God hath not given us the spirit of fear.—Or better, perhaps, the spirit of cowardice—that cowardice which manifests itself by a timidity and shrinking in the daily difficulties which the Christian meets with in the warfare for the kingdom of God. (Comp. John 14:27, and Revelation 21:8.) “Hath not given us,” in this particular case, refers to the time when Timothy and St. Paul were admitted into the ministry. The Holy Spirit is no Spirit, be it remembered, which works cowardice in men. But the reference is also a far broader one than merely to the Holy Spirit conferred on ministers of the Lord at ordination. It is a grave reminder to Christians of every age and degree that all cowardice, all dread of danger, all shrinking from doing one’s duty for fear of man’s displeasure, proceeds not from the Spirit of God.

“But of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.—Instead of rendering the Greek word by “a sound mind,” it were better to substitute the translation, self-control. The Holy Spirit works, in those to whom it is given, power, or strength, to fight the fight of God, power, not only patiently to endure, but also to strike good blows for Christ—the power, for instance, of steadfastness in resisting temptation, the strong will which guides other weaker ones along the narrow way “of love.” It works, too, in those to whom God gives the blessed gift, that strange, sweet love for others which leads to noble deeds of self-surrender—that love which never shrinks from a sacrifice which may benefit the friend or even the neighbour. And lastly, the Spirit works in us “self-control”—selbst-beherrschung—that power which, in the man or woman living in and mixing with the world, and exposed to its varied temptations and pleasures, is able to regulate and to keep in a wise subjection, passions, desires, impulses.”


FIND ONENESS with God “as a humble ray of sunlight that is one with the sun” cit. S2/18:3, 26:10, John 10:30 & 315, 361:16 as sung in “I and My Father” YouTube Video

“Man’s oneness with the Father” is a central point in Jesus’ healing theology and is featured in citation S2, “Jesus of Nazareth taught and demonstrated man’s oneness with the Father, and for this we owe him endless homage.” (18:3-5) Below is a YouTube link to an inspiring song by a CedarS mom and award-winning Country Music artist, Cherie Brennan. It emphasizes the “I and my Father are one” mindset of Christ Jesus and mentioned in this week’s Bible Lesson citation S2/18:3 (& even more direct analogies derived from John 10:30 in SH 361:16, 26:10, 315:3. Enjoy! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bZMNlpZavkA

You can learn more about Cherie and buy her CD “You are Loved” (“I and My Father” is the 4th song) on her website through Spotify at: https://open.spotify.com/album/3Ii5CBrdNs6f8Y3t4l5XHl

 Or, on Watchfire Music by CedarS friend, Peter Link, — LISTEN TO A SAMPLE of a different version also called “I and my Father are one” SUNG by Mindy Jostyn. You can BUY IT and the SHEET MUSIC for SOLOISTS at: https://watchfiremusic.com/shop/recordings/songs/i-and-my-father-are-one-2/


THINK AGAIN TO PROVE THAT IT’S NOT PROBLEMS, BUT HEAVEN, THAT IS AT HAND!
Cobbey Crisler on Matt 4:16, 17, 23, 24/
cit. B4, a prelude to: “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.”

 [Cobbey:] “Verse 17. … Jesus’ opening word, according to Matthew’s gospel is “Repent.” Change your concept.  Again, just as John the Baptist said in Matthew 3:2, “the kingdom of heaven is at hand,” Jesus said in Mark 1:14, 15) That is radical good news for mankind. 

“It’s not a far-off event.  Many denominations have left the impression that heaven is something attainable in the far-off future.  But, the opening words of John the Baptist, as well as of Jesus, are “the kingdom of heaven is at hand,” right here.  That means that we must be able to do something with it and about it.  And, apparently that had something to do with the changing of our concept, even theologically, that heaven can do something about the problems that that seem to be at hand.

“… Are the problems at hand, or is heaven at hand?  That’s the test question that Jesus met in the preceding verses so beautifully as a sovereign over it in the wilderness.  He proved that heaven was at hand.”
“Book of Matthew, Auditing the Master,”
by B. Cobbey Crisler**

 [W.] We follow our Master Jesus, as we dismiss dualism like he did to feel a heavenly harmony that heals EVERY PERSON & EVERY ISSUE! (Matt. 14:23) As a prelude to these verses from this week’s lesson, you’ll enjoy Cobbey’s insights on Jesus’ wilderness testing experience where he overcame feeling isolated and alone, by feeling ALL One with his Abba “Daddy”! You’ll enjoy this even more if you’re feeling vulnerable to attacks from a devilish, divisive virus! (Devil or diabolos means to try to throw in 2 opposite directions at the same time.)
Cobbey Crisler on Jesus “acing” his long isolation tests & healing all, Matt. 4:
1-11 before verses 17, 23 (in citation B4):
[W. Before the Matthew 4:17 and 24 verses in this week’s lesson is what enabled Jesus to heal everyone.]
[Cobbey:] “There is what we might call an identity-crisis test in Chapter 4 (of Matthew).  The Anglo-Saxon word “tempt” has almost picked up a theological meaning.  It really means “test.”  That’s what the word means.  It’s a test. (Verse 1)  So, “Jesus was led up of the Spirit into the wilderness” to be tested on the fact that had recently been revealed (directly from God in Matthew 3:17 (and Mark 1:11) that Jesus was God’s “Beloved Son”).

Verse 23, 24. And “healing all manner of sickness and all manner of disease.”  Here are human problems that had defied solution, and Jesus solved them all based on his concept of theology, namely the kingdom.  Remember a kingdom is not chaos.  It’s an ordered government of heaven and harmony at hand.”
“Book of Matthew, Auditing the Master, A Tax Collector’s Report,”
by B. Cobbey Crisler**


SEE GOD BY APPLYING JESUS’ PRINCIPLES of HEAVENLY HAPPINESS with MATHEMATICAL CERTAINTY!  Cobbey Crisler on the Beatitudes (cit. B6/Matt. 5:8)

[Cobbey:] “The Beatitudes, the blessings. The word “blessed” in our sermon on the mount is not really the accurate translation of the Greek. The word is “makarios” which means “happy.”
Just think of the search for happiness among humanity. Here are rules laid down by Jesus simply stating that happiness can be obtained in the following ways…
… we should remember that Jesus never uttered anything that he hadn’t practiced.
The Sermon on the Mount is in essence a description of the life of Jesus…
The Sermon begins with the Beatitudes. (Verse 3). “Happy are the poor in spirit.” Doesn’t sound like they should be happy does it? But we find out the reason. Because such humility gets what results? And where is the kingdom of heaven? What was Jesus’ first announcement? “Right at hand” (Matt. 4:17). Later he says, “Within” (Luke 17:21 & SH 476: 28-32 & 248:29).

“We’ve talked about mathematics. How would you like to view Jesus as a mathematician par excellence? You can take his beatitudes and make equations out of them. Which shows how much of a mathematical thinker he was. For instance,
“Blessed are the poor in spirit.” Thus, B x PS = KH. When you invest on the left side of the equation, what is the yield on the right side? The “Kingdom of Heaven.” “B” multiplied times “PS” equals “KH,” i.e., B x PS = KH.
“You have measurable results. Do you see a difference here in Jesus’ approach to religion?  … here is the essence of Jesus’ thinking. And we have results…”
“… As you go down the Beatitude, read them all, scan them as they are in front of you. See if you can find results in every one of them. See if you can analyze them for those results. That becomes a very practical clue for how to lead one’s life.
The Commandments and Beatitudes have often been placed side by side. Many parallels have been used. Is that justified?
For instance, we are told in the Book of Revelation that those who have overcome the beast will stand on the sea of glass with harps. They’re singing two things representative of what has been given them. The victory over the beast, the animal origin of man.
How can we overcome that animal connection?
Those who have overcome are said to be singing two things: the song of Moses and the song of the Lamb. That sounds like they’re inseparable. They operate together. Do you know why? Because it’s part of the heavenly mathematics.

“Why did the Commandments say, “Thou shalt not,” taking care of the minus aspects in human nature? And the Beatitudes, “happy are they” that do certain things, take care of the plus? What do you do with the minus in thought, the chaff? It is dealt with by fire. You deal with the plus in thought through the Holy Ghost. They operate together for a single purpose and a unique commitment to the totality of One infinite, God, good. The Beatitudes must be considered in conjunction with the Commandments in your study.

“These Beatitudes took the same forty days preparation of Jesus in the wilderness as the Commandments took forty days of preparation in the wilderness for Moses. It may take the same wilderness experience for you and me to really appreciate what really is there behind the Commandments and the Beatitudes. They are really the staff on which we lean. If we try to go very far without that staff it must discipline us. [Discipline is] The same root word as disciple. We must come back and learn how to deal with the plus factors and the minus factors in our own thinking. That’s the baptism of the Holy Ghost and fire…

“Let me make recommendations for your own research. I have previously assigned my high school students to see on their own, through their own Scriptural research, whether there was any Old Testament precedent for each Beatitude. In other words, is this something that Jesus is saying, “Hey, here is a new idea of humanity, why don’t you consider it?” Or was he pointing out stones already in the foundation that had been neglected?

“These are interesting things. I’ll give you one as a lead. Verse 5 of chapter 5 (citation B6), “Blessed are the meek for they shall inherit the earth.” You’ll see in Psalm 37, Verse 11, that almost word for word, we find that Beatitude there.

“So, you see, it’s not always being original, but recalling human attention to something that has been already revealed, already discovered, but essential to our progress and growth.”
“Book of Matthew, Auditing the Master” by B. Cobbey Crisler**


 DISCOVER THE INDESCRIBABLE JOY OF FOLLOWING THE RULES OF HEAVENLY HAPPINESS AS JESUS DELIVERED THEM FROM THE ALTITUDE OF INSPIRATION IN HIS SERMON ON THE MOUNT.

[Warren:] This week’s Bible Lesson deals directly with our society’s temptations to think most about food and drink – and so worship them, instead of the one, true God – to seek comfort in “comfort food” instead of the Comforter.  There are several food-related words in this lesson! 

In Science and Health, Mary Baker Eddy challenges food worship with advice like: “”Whatever inspires… be it song, sermon, or Science — blesses the human family with crumbs of comfort from Christ’s table, feeding the hungry and giving living waters to the thirsty” (cit. S8/234:4); “neither eat to live nor live to eat” (388:12); and, find “rightful nutriment, such as peace, patience in tribulation, and a priceless sense of the dear Father’s lovingkindness.” (365:31)    

Here’s the scripture that Jesus used to counteract hunger after 40 days of fasting in the wilderness: “man doth not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of the Lord doth man live” (Deut. 8:3). And, Jesus also tells us what does satisfy and fill our hunger in his 4th Beatitude: “Blessed are they that hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled.” (Matt 5:6, cit. B6).

“Hungry? bring out the spiritual importance of Christ Jesus’ promise, ‘Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness.’ Click the link below to Beatitude #4 in an audio series available at www.christiansceience.com . Or, paste the address below into your browser:
https://www.christianscience.com/media/youth-media-except-images/audio/beatitudes-podcast-series/the-beatitudes-blessed-are-they-who-hunger-and-thirst-after-righteousness
This podcast on by our Bible scholar son, Barry Huff, and former Christian Science lecturer, Susie (Rynerson) Jostyn, is one of a nine-part, (Mother Church sponsored several years ago) audio series on the spiritual basis of the Beatitudes. You can hear the other eight podcasts at https://www.christianscience.com/youth/sunday-school-teachers/the-beatitudes/the-beatitudes-podcast

Here are more resources to become supremely happy!
Take a Beatitude-themed, “supreme happiness hike” at CedarS Bible Lands Park up our Bible Chronology “Time Travelers Trail.” Trace together the way that Bible characters have proved their worthiness to be divinely blessed long before Jesus summarized their acted-upon mindsets as the Beatitudes. You can make these divine blessings your own, now and forever, with these
8 Beatitude Pledges to make and cherish from CedarS Bible “A.P. History” Trail.


SING DIVINE AFFIRMATIONS TO HELP OVERCOME ALL CHALLENGES — EVEN BETRAYAL & CRUCIFIXON!
Cobbey Crisler on Matthew 26, like Mark 14:1-45, & Luke 22:39-48, citation B10 and nearby verses

[Cobbey:] Luke 22:39-48 Mark 14:1Matthew 26: (Verse 18). “Passover comes. Jesus knows what that’s going to mean.”

(Matt. 26: Verse 24). He, again using Scripture says, “As it is written of him: but woe unto that man by whom the Son of man is betrayed! ” It did not have to be Judas. But Judas elected because greed in his thought completely overpowered any other right element. He betrayed his Master for gold.

(Verse 26). “We find the Last Supper.”

(Mark 14:26/Matt. 26: 30). ”The last thing Jesus does before he goes out into the Mount of Olives is to sing a hymn.”

I suggest that you very quietly at home take Psalm 113 all the way through 118. Those are the hymns still sung today by Jews at Passover. These were undoubtedly the Psalms from which that hymn would have been taken. I think that every hair on your head will stand on end and you will be moved very deeply to read those psalms and determine what probably was being sung by Jesus, among which is a modern hymn, “This is the day the Lord hath made.” Just think when he sang this.

Look at the verses that face the subject of death. It’s very moving indeed. Psalm 118 and 116 specifically. Connect it with that event. Do it privately and within yourselves. Because it’s a very precious moment of studying the Scriptures.

(Verse 31). Jesus quotes Scripture, again, Zechariah 13:7, about “the shepherd being smitten, and the sheep scattered.”

BONUS from Matthew 26:36-45 (Luke 22:39-48, cit. B10) on Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane (where I went in January 2020 on a Principia Lifelong Learning Trip led by our Bible professor son, Dr. Barry Huff)
“His Gethsemane hour he faces.” You have to read every gospel account of Gethsemane to appreciate it. The oil press that forced out of Jesus, according to Luke, sweat that looked like drops of blood pouring on the ground.

“Jesus was fighting the Adam-myth of man’s origin, where the curse on Adam was, that from the sweat of his brow he would survive. Here Jesus was overcoming that claim on man of perspiration and relying on man’s salvation through inspiration,

(Verse 50).” Jesus’ first words to Judas. Could you have said that to Judas? “Friend, wherefore art thou come?”
(Verse 53). “He says to Peter who chopped off the ear of the High Priest’s servant, “Don’t you know that I could pray to God and immediately be saved?”

(Verse 54). “But how shall the scriptures be fulfilled, that it must be?”

“What was Jesus using as his guide going right through the crucifixion?  Everything he found in the Scriptures, or he wouldn’t do it.”
“Book of Matthew, Auditing the Master: A Tax Collector’s Report,” by B. Cobbey Crisler**


ACCEPT THE RISEN JESUS’ COMMISSION TO YOU AND ME TO BRING RESULTS!
Cobbey on Mark 14-16 (background for citations B11, B12):

[Cobbey Crisler:] Chapter 14.  We’re aware of Jesus’ final, so-called “passion week.”

“Mark treats it in some detail and reminds us in Verse 21 that, “The Son of man goeth, as it is written of him.” We see the Son-of-man always associated with Jesus’ human activities. Son-of-God is a higher status. The Son of man does go “as it is written of him.” He goes where Scripture places him, even if it’s on the cross. “The time is fulfilled” (Mark 1:15). There’s one of the foundational points.

“Chapter 15, Verse 1. The trial begins before Pilate.  Beginning Verse 22.  We have the crucifixion after the trial before Pilate.

“In Chapter 16, Verse 1, it’s almost as if the world were being prepared for the gracious receptivity of womanhood which it has so long ignored. We encounter “Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James, and Salome,” who is probably the wife of Zebedee, and therefore the mother of John (the beloved disciple), and James. What are they doing at a tomb where the stone would be beyond their capability of rolling away? Womanhood came with an expectation of possibility, despite the obstacles.

“Verse 3. They asked, “Who shall roll us away the stone?”

“But Verse 4 shows us, “the stone is already rolled away.”

“Verse 5. Entering within, and only the women bear witness to the fact, there is an angel, “a young man.”

“In some cases, two are reported inside the tomb. Matthew 28:2 records one “angel.”

“uke 24:4 records “two men.” John 20:12 records “two angels.”

“We know from other gospel accounts that Peter and John raced to the tomb, looked, searched every inch of it, went in, saw all the  linen clothes folded neatly, and then went back home to their supper (John 20:3-10). The women however, with greater humility and expectation saw that it is possible for one state of mind to look in the very place already searched by another state of mind, and find something there that the other had failed to bear witness to.

“We discover that women had the spiritual right to be witnesses in an age when it was said that women were not legal personalities, and could not even bear witness in court.

“Most of the early copies, if not all the early copies of Mark, end with Verse 8.  It ends on a rather uncertain note, “They were afraid.”

A longer ending from Verses 9 to 20 is included in other copies. Also, there are excerpts appended here or there as if early editors didn’t know where these belonged, but they were handed down as part of the Markan tradition.

“After Verse 8 is an example. You can see this in the Revised Standard Version in a footnote. It reads, “But they reported briefly to Peter and those with him, all that they had been told. After then, Jesus himself sent out by means of them east to west the sacred and imperishable proclamation of eternal salvation.”

“One codex has this placed after Verse 14, “But they excused themselves, saying, this age of lawlessness and unbelief lies under the sway of Satan who will not allow what lies under the unclean spirits to understand the truth and power of God. Therefore, they said to Christ, Reveal your righteousness now. Christ answered them, The term of years for Satan’s power has now expired. But other terrors are now at hand.  I was delivered to death on behalf of sinners that they might return to the truth, and sin no more. That they might inherit that glory of righteousness which is spiritual and imperishable in heaven.”

“That translation is by Moffett.  It is an early one. It is one manuscript.

“Verse 17. The gospel of Mark ends with deeds, not words. “These signs shall follow them that believe.” There’s one of our foundational points again (Mark 1:15). Those who believe will have signs that follow. Otherwise we’re not believers.

“We can say all we want, “We’re believers m Jesus Christ,” but we’re not unless signs are following. That is Jesus’ own definition of a believer.

“All of these signs are fulfilled in the Book of Acts except the sign regarding poison. This was accomplished in an early Christian tradition by Barsebus. He was forced to drink poison and recovered without any problem. So, we have “the new tongues.”

“Verse 18. The ”taking up of serpents, the drinking any deadly thing,” even a poisonous chemical! Look at that in the environment today. “And be healed.”  It’s a sign that follows those that believe.

“Why are we leaving our environment untouched by the Holy Spirit?

Why aren’t we seeing the Spirit there, and therefore, liberty.

“Verse 19.  The ascension then is very briefly mentioned.

“Verse 20. We find the apostolic works follow the apostolic words. They are inseparable. “They went forth, preached everywhere, the Lord working with them, and confirming the word with signs following.”

“Amen,” meaning this is the truth. And if it is the truth, we know it makes us free. That  gospel  can be freed from the page on which it is written and enter our own embodied lives, and be  seen worldwide in results.

“Satan, as Jesus was alleged to have said, “His term has expired.” Let’s live like his term has expired and take joy in that exultant victory.

Yes, from that very shout on the cross. Some people think Jesus is shouting in pain. But one commentator says the Greek word is a shout of victory.
That’s the gospel, the good news of victory.”
“What Mark Recorded,” by B. Cobbey Crisler** 


JESUS ELEVATES HIS DISCIPLES FROM THEIR OLD PROFESSION TO A NEW PRACTICE OF CHRISTIANITY THAT CHANGED THE WORLD!
Jesus’ command to “CAST YOUR NET ON THE RIGHT SIDE, THE RECEPTIVE SIDE” (toward the Decapolis & the rest of the very RECEPTIVE world.  This was a new view we got from our 2020 Principia Holy Lands (Palestinian Christian) Tour guide, when at the Morning Meal site.)  Cobbey  on John 21:1-12 (cit. B14) plus a BONUS “LOVE STORY” THAT LAUNCHED THE CHANGE

[Cobbey Crisler:] “John 21, the last chapter of John, is considered by some scholars to be a later addition, but still, very possibly, by the same author.

John 21:1. We’re told that Jesus appears at the Sea of Tiberias, which is Galilee.

John 21:2, “Already assembled there were seven disciples, all who had left the profession of fishing, –we thought: Peter; Thomas, Nathaniel, the sons of Zebedee, unnamed here, James and John, and two other of his disciples ”

John. 21 :3. They apparently had nothing to do. Discipleship returns to the fishing boat. “Peter,” with his fingers almost audibly drumming against the side of his boat, “says I have an idea. I’m going fishing. Nobody else had any better suggestion. “So, they all go fishing. They spent that entire night fruitlessly. The very fishes avoided them. “Isn’t it interesting that the Anchor Bible makes this comment on the disciples’ profession, “It is notable that never in the gospels do the disciples catch a fish without Jesus help.”

But notice the contrast between Verse 3 and Verse 4
John 21:3, ”That night they caught nothing.”

John. 21:4 “But, when the morning as now come, Jesus stood on the shore.”  What patience Jesus had with discipleship! Waiting for them to realize the importance of carrying on his work.  But, once again, without that realization, “they did not even recognize Jesus humanly.”

John 21:5. Jesus asked the man important question. You’ve spent the entire night out there. “Children, do you have any results?  Do you have any meat? No is their answer:

Now it is obvious when one is fishing – using a net that there’s very little difference between the right side and the left side. The factor then brought out in John 21:6 just be the obedience to Jesus’ word, the concept that he has exhibited throughout in his approach to economics and supply.  “Cast the net he says, “on the right: side of the ship, and ye shall find. ” They are obedient. They do exactly what Jesus requests of them. Now, instantly, they find their net is filled with fishes. They could have saved themselves that entire night.

Then, John 21 :7 refers once again to ”the disciple whom Jesus loved. He recognizes Jesus. It is the Lord, he says.” He must have recognized. that sign of dominion. over all, that mastery that he introduced even into the profession of fishing but was attempting to elevate them from profession to practice of Christianity. What had happened to his invitation to them, and expectation of them, to become fishers of men?

Edgar Lee Masters (1869-1950), U.S. poet and novelist, says this about it the impetuous Peter, “O Peter, gnarled. branch of the vine.” Peter throws his fisher’s coat around him and plunges into the sea. We must remember that the sea of Galilee has a shoreline that drops off quickly. So, he probably had to swim part of the way. Traditionally, sailors and fishermen. aren’t the best swimmers. But, ignoring that, just as Peter had burst into the tomb to be there first, he casts himself into the sea

John. 21:8, ”While the other disciples bring the ship ashore, it says they were not far from land. but as it were two hundred cubits, that’s about a hundred yards. dragging the net with fishes.”

John. 21:9. Here’s all that time they could have spared by giving priority to the lessons Jesus had already taught them. Jesus hadn’t toiled all night. He didn’t even have to use the fish that they brought in. “For when they arrived there “was a charcoal fire there.”  In fact, the Greek word is anthrakian which is the root of our word anthracite. “And fish. already there; laid thereon. and bread.”  Toast and fish all ready.

John. 21: 10. But Jesus wanted them to participate in this, “and said, Bring of the fish which ye have now caught.”

John.  21:11,   Simon Peter, who was already   on   shore, goes   to the net personally. and pulls it to shore.  Who but a fisherman would remember this detail? ”There were one hundred fifty-three fishes in that net. Someone counted. It might be just the sign of the authenticity of authorship here by an eye witness. “And still. the net was not broken.” Remember, back in Luke 5:6, at another incident, the net broke.

John. 21: 12, “Jesus invitation is Come and dine. Now, they know who he is.

BONUS VERSES, “THE REST OF THE STORY”— IS THE ULTIMATE AGAPE-LOVE STORY!”

John. 21:13. “Jesus,” in his characteristic gesture, “took bread, and gave them, and fish likewise.” This was indeed a breakfast, but how different from that last supper! This breakfast was celebrating his victory over death. Not looking forward to tragedy, death, and lack of comprehension by the disciples, the dawn was in the disciples thought as well as over the Sea of Galilee on that special morning.

Now we engage in a dialogue between Jesus and Peter. The dialogue as printed in the King James Version, seems rather dull and repetitive indeed.  In the original Greek however, there is a depth of meaning.

John. 21:15, “Jesus says to Peter, do you love me more than these?” It’s obvious that Peter is being tested. We may ask, tested for what? That becomes clearer later in the story.

… Another word which we find repeated in the Greek New Testament, is philia, a word that conveys brotherly love. It still has a sense of class consciousness about it. It has the compassion and the sympathy, such as organizations like the Peace Corps show. But there is sometimes a condescending quality in the thinking of those who are expressing love at the philia level. Almost like patting the head of the one you are helping. As if implicitly we were saying, you’re down there and l’m up here, and I’m going to try to help you.

The Greeks had a higher sense of love than that. And of course, taken out of classical Greek, it has a renewed and fuller meaning in concept in the New Testament. That word is agape. Agape, according to one commentator and lexicographer, conveys the following, “To desire good for the one you esteem. The concept of divine love.”

If I should to choose to love you at the level of agape, look what is required of me. First, I must esteem you. That’s not patting you on the head. That’s eye-to-eye respect and esteem. Can one really have love anywhere without that quality of respect? I must esteem you. But that, too, could be a passive sense of love, without that other part of the definition which this one commentator had provided.

To desire good for one you esteem. I must be actively employed in desiring for you good or I am not operating at the level of agape.

What word do you think Jesus uses when he says to Peter, “Do you love me?” ”Agapao?” he says. But Peter responds in the original text, “Yes, Lord you know that I love thee.” But he uses the word “phileo.” Maybe that explains Jesus’ repetition. He didn’t want to be crucified as his Master was, for he was not worthy. Tradition records that he was crucified upside down.

John 21: 19 said, “This spake he, signifying by what death he should glorify God. ” There is a possible implication here that the author survived…”
“Book of John, The Beloved Disciple,” by B. Cobbey Crisler**

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