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A “cast your net on the right side” miracle & a Morning Meal of Agape

Find meaning in YOUR “Morning Meal” today in Cobbey Crisler’s GEM
on cit. B18, John 21:1-14(+)

{Warren continues:] Picture the infinitude of God’s supply on YouTube and what it means to YOU!
If you’re looking these days for screen-time that is uplifting, you’re likely to enjoy visualizing the seemingly miraculous catching in an unbroken net of 153 fish that was brought about by obeying Jesus’ command to “Cast your net on the right side” (from John 21:2+, citation B18 this week). It will be far more meaningful to you if you first read Cobbey Crisler’s insights below on fishing and on the meaning of agape, one of the two Greek words for love that Jesus uses in asking if Peter loves him. (See Bonus beyond the part of this story in citation B18 in this week’s Bible Lesson.)

You will then understand more as you see a YouTube video re-visualizing and reenacting this Bible event on the *Sea of Galilee* made by The Church of Jesus Christ of the Latter-Day Saints. It is freely shared by them at .

After seeing it, and maybe sharing it with your Sunday School class on Zoom as I intend to this Sunday with a 7th grade class, ask yourself and anyone who sees it with you, what does it means to me? How can I apply this to help me bring about “a new heaven and a new earth”? Mary Baker Eddy invite us all to join the Revelator: “Have you ever pictured this heaven and earth, inhabited by beings under the control of supreme wisdom?” [Science and Health p. 91:1 (a better way to remember 911, yes?)]

[*W:] “This YouTube video refreshed my memory of this spot on the *Sea of Galilee* from a January 2020 Principia Lifelong Learning Trip to the Holy Lands, led by our son, Principia College Bible professor, Dr. Barry Huff, along with a Palestinian Christian guide, Suphien Abu Hanna. Suphien offered onsite this new-to-me insight: Jesus could well have been giving guidance to the boatload of future fishers of men, by gesturing to the hill country on the right side of the boat which was filled with Gentiles and the marginalized who had shown themselves to be very receptive to the Christ and to budding Christianity. This idea inspired me then and resonates even more now after coupling it with Jesus three times imploring Peter to “Feed my lambs/sheep!” (or feed those who receptively follow and hunger after righteousness, as recent Bible Lesson have featured.)

[Cobbey Crisler’s insights to read before seeing the YouTube video:] “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 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 was 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 them an 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 must 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 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, “So, 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 to Come and dine. Now they know who he is.”

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.”
“Book of John, A Walk with the Beloved Disciple,” by B. Cobbey Crisler**

[W:] BONUS for YOU of the transformative test of “AGAPE” in “the REST of the story” John 21:15+
Pass the test of Christ’s love to esteem all souls today & to desire, & actively work, for greater good for all!

[Cobbey, on the morning meal’s meaning for Peter being questioned three times by Jesus:]
“…we do know that three times Peter denied Jesus. Perhaps here he has an opportunity to redeem himself in three tests…

“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.

“John 21:17. The third time Jesus asks the question, he does not any more say agapao [the Greek for divine love that desires good for one you esteem]. Coming to where Peter is, and attempting to build there, he uses the verb phileo [Greek for brotherly love], “Peter was grieved because he had said unto him the third time, Do you love me?” If we use the JB Phillip’s translation, Jesus has simply said, “Alright Peter will you be my friend?” Peter says,Lord, you know all things; you know that I love you. And Jesus said unto him, Feed my sheep.”

“That instruction to Peter, “to feed the lambs,” _and then not the first time “to feed my sheep,” but rather, “tend, or guard my little sheep,” according to the Vatican manuscript, and finally, “Feed my sheep.” This is an assignment for which Peter obviously qualifies and which he just as obviously fulfilled in the Book of Acts. (See raising pf Lydia from death in Acts 9:32-35 & his angel vision to reach out to receptive Gentiles in Acts 10:1-35)

“But he evidently failed to pass the test Jesus was giving to him to some degree. He had not risen to the highest love that was a prerequisite, something Jesus had in mind… ·

“In John 21:19, Jesus turns to Peter and says, “Follow me.” He had given Peter a mission. He had told him in indicating to him, “Feed my sheep,” that Peter should be an “Abel” in his approach to Jesus’ religion, not a “Cain” [Gen. 4]. But notice the tendency of human nature when one is aware that he has fared badly on a test. In a classroom, when the papers are handed back and we see we have a big red “F” on top of ours, out first tendency is what? Generally, to turn the paper over so no one can see it. But after the initial flush of embarrassment has passed, the next tendency is to be curious about what our neighbor received, and a furtive glance to left or right might just reveal it.

“In John 21:20, Peter, if he ‘indeed flunked the test here, “turned about, and he seeth the disciple Jesus loved following. ” The author wants us to be quite clear that this is the very disciple who leaned on his breast at supper, and had said to him, Lord, which is he that betrayeth thee? Although avoiding naming this disciple, we find him described with certain precision so that the reader was not to be at a loss for identity.

[W:] “LEARN WITH PETER that: “TO LOVE IS TO STOP COMPARING” (Merrit Malloy) and that
Couldn’t this mean for you a liberating end of all jealousy and of any sense of sibling rivalry?!”

[Cobbey:] “John 21:21, “Peter, turning to this other disciple, the beloved disciple, with whom we have been visiting throughout this gospel, Peter says to Jesus, Lord, and something. He had not really comprehended what Jesus was after or where Jesus was trying to elevate him. Perhaps John would win a position or an honor that Peter himself failed to qualify for?

“John 21:22, Jesus had a response to Peter, “If I will that he tarry till I come, what is that to thee? follow thou me.” That seems to deliver a clear message that there would be a gap of time, and Jesus and John would have some relation even beyond the ascension of Jesus. Perhaps Peter had been tested for this very same role, but it would be John who qualified?

“Where would that be? Where do we find Jesus and John together? In the New Testament after the gospels, in none other book than the Book of Revelation, except for a brief inclusion of John with the other disciples in Acts 1:13.

“Let’s turn to the Book of Revelation to see if this is the unfinished business Jesus was referring to when he said in John 21:22,“If I will that he tarry till I come, what is that to thee?” … He “tarried” almost sixty years, if not more, beyond the time of Jesus’ ascension, and received the Revelation on the island of Patmos…

“The entire Bible meets the student in the Book of Revelation. Is that book what Jesus was referring to at the end of the Gospel of John when he said, “If I will that he, the beloved disciple, tarry till I come, what is that to thee? follow thou me.” (John 21:22). Peter, you have your mission. You are assigned to feed my lambs, to tend and guard my young sheep, to feed my mature sheep. But John has a very essential, important, individual mission as well. As usual there is a misunderstanding on that point.

“John 21:23 states a rumor went among the brethren that this disciple wouldn’t die. Notice the care with which either the author himself, or a later editor, states that Jesus didn’t say, “He shall not die” but, “If I will that he tarry till I come, what is that to thee?

“Among the early traditions about John, recorded in early primitive Christian literature, is his punishment under Roman authority by being boiled in oil. The account reads that he did not die. He survived being boiled in oil. Although this is not attested to in Scripture, there is much early evidence pointing to that as part of John’s biography. That recorder, that scribe, under orders, went through and survived in following the command of his Master, to be a fisher of men…”
“Book of John, A Walk with the Beloved Disciple,” by B. Cobbey Crisler**

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