Arulvakku

18.04.10 LOVE IS THE BASIS

Posted under Reflections on April 17th, 2010 by

 

…When they had finished breakfast, Jesus said to Simon Peter, "Simon, son of John, do you love me more than these?" He said to him, "Yes, Lord, you know that I love you." He said to him, "Feed my lambs." He then said to him a second time, "Simon, son of John, do you love me?" He said to him, "Yes, Lord, you know that I love you." He said to him, "Tend my sheep." He said to him the third time, "Simon, son of John, do you love me?" Peter was distressed that he had said to him a third time, "Do you love me?" and he said to him, "Lord, you know everything; you know that I love you." (Jesus) said to him, "Feed my sheep…

 And when he had said this, he said to him, "Follow me."  (Jn 21:1-19)

 

One of the most beautiful conversations that we have in the whole Bible, we can say. Peter is given a new mission. But Jesus questions him three times regarding his love for Jesus before giving him the mission. Does Jesus want to remind him of the three times when Peter denied him? May be. It is also said that when a thing is reminded three times, it is only to give importance to the things talked about. So the mission given is important in the sight of Jesus.

All the three times, the duty of Peter as a shepherd is insisted. He has to feed the sheep, tend the sheep and care for them. Here, Jesus shares his own personal ministry, as a shepherd to the people, with Peter. To have a share in the mission of Jesus is the duty of every disciple, in fact every believer.

Whether one has denied the Lord, or sinned against is not the matter for giving a new mission. Love for Jesus is the only requisite for a mission. Forgiveness is totally a gift of God. New mission is a sign having been forgiven.

If there is no love then there is no following. To be a follower one has to love Jesus. That is loving a person (Jesus) is important. So,

 Love is the basis for following,

 Love is the basis for new mission and


 Love is the basis for forgiveness, 

17.04.10 WALKING ON THE WATER

Posted under Reflections on April 16th, 2010 by

When it was evening, his disciples went down to the sea, embarked in a boat, and went across the sea to Capernaum. It had already grown dark, and Jesus had not yet come to them. The sea was stirred up because a strong wind was blowing. When they had rowed about three or four miles, they saw Jesus walking on the sea and coming near the boat, and they began to be afraid. But he said to them, "It is I. Do not be afraid." They wanted to take him into the boat, but the boat immediately arrived at the shore to which they were heading. (Jn 6:16-21)

 

This chapter of John’s gospel takes place in the context of exodus and particularly of Passover. So we are obliged to read this event of walking on the water also on the background of exodus. Israelites started their life of freedom by coming through the Red Sea. Moses parted the Red Sea and led them to the wilderness while they were chased by their pursuers.

Here in this story the crowd has just declared Jesus to be the prophet who has come into this world. The prophet, that is like Moses. Sea, in general, was chaos for the Jews. It was evil and an untameable force.  They always celebrated God as the king over mighty waters. The fishermen also were afraid of the Sea of Galilee. This sea would suddenly become rough and frightening.


Except Luke, the three gospel writers place this event of walking on the water just after the feeding of the five thousand. The disciples see him walking on the water and the crowd sees him and are surprised to see him (Rabbi when did you come here). Jesus said to the disciples;’ It is I. Do not be afraid’. This reminds them of Gods presence among them as in the case of Exodus. As he is there with them then they are on the shore of Capernaum. He led them to the other side of the sea.   

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