Wednesday, January 23, 2008

The Primacy of Peter Part 7

Picking back up in Chapter 21 "So Simon Peter went aboard and hauled the net ashore, full of large fish, a hundred and fifty three of them; and although there were so many, the net was not torn." (Jn 21:11) When reading the Gospel or letters by John, take note any time you come across a number. They always have a significant meaning. Jerome's explanation for the exact count of the fish is that at this time there were 153 known species of fish. The fish symbolize that at some time all men of all nations will be gathered together to Jesus. "After this I had a vision of a great multitude, which no one could count, from every nation, race, people, and tongue. They stood before the throne and before the Lamb, wearing white robes and holding palm branches in their hands." (Rev 7:9)
We have Peter and only Peter hauling the net ashore. Even more important is that the net Peter is bringing ashore is not tearing. The Greek word for tear is "schizo". This is where we get the English word "schism". The net symbolises the Church. This is why there is an amazement that the net full of every known species of fish, being brought to Jesus by Peter, is not in schism "torn".

Lets back up a little in John 21. "That disciple whom Jesus loved said to Peter, 'It is the Lord!' When Simon Peter heard that it was the Lord, he put on his clothes, for he was stripped for work, and sprang into the sea. But the other disciples came in the boat, dragging the net full of fish, for they were not far from the land, but about a hundred yards off." (Jn 21:7-8) Peter is not the first to recognise Jesus, but Peter is the first to act. But the million dollar question is why the heck is Peter fishing naked? Take note that no one else is fishing in the nude! This has a Jeff Foxworthy "You might be a Redneck" joke all over it. But since I couldn't find Jeff Foxworthy's commentary on the Gospel of John. I went with Steven K. Ray. Stephen K. Ray in his book St. John's Gospel comments "Why did Peter dress and jump into the water? Some see Peter's nakedness as his spiritual state after denying Jesus; putting on cloths as his conversion, plunging into the water as his purification, and his swimming as a return to Jesus."

"When they got out on land, they saw a charcoal fire there," (Jn 21:9) What do we have here! Peter and a charcoal fire. There is only one other place in the NT that we will find a charcoal fire. "Now the servants and officers had made a charcoal fire... Peter also was with them, standing and warming himself." (Jn 18:18) Peter then will proceed to deny Jesus 3 times.
Talk at ya Later

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