“When they had accomplished eating, Jesus said to Simon Peter, “Simon son of John, do you applause me added than these?” “Yes, Lord,” he said, “you apperceive that I applause you.” Jesus said, “Feed my lambs.” Again Jesus said, “Simon son of John, do you applause me?” He answered, “Yes, Lord, you apperceive that I applause you.” Jesus said, “Take affliction of my sheep.” The third time he said to him, “Simon son of John, do you applause me?” Peter was aching because Jesus asked him the third time, “Do you applause me?” He said, “Lord, you apperceive all things; you apperceive that I applause you.” Jesus said, “Feed my sheep.
Very absolutely I acquaint you, if you were adolescent you dressed yourself and went area you wanted; but if you are old you will amplitude out your hands, and anyone abroad will dress you and advance you area you do not wish to go.” Jesus said this to announce the affectionate of afterlife by which Peter would acclaim God. Afresh he said to him, “Follow me!“” (John 21:15-19)
It’s the third Sunday in Eastertide, and so we acquisition ourselves aback on the bank with Peter and the actual eleven Apostles.
Easter is the defining accident of the Christian acceptance and so it makes faculty that on these Sundays afterward Easter we accord anniversary year with the aforementioned accustomed Biblical texts that abbreviate our amount behavior and values.
Easter Day is our anniversary of hope - the achievement of awakening and our achievement for the achievement of ablaze over darkness. On the Sunday afterwards the awakening we focus on faith as apparent in the adventure of ‘doubting’ Thomas. This anniversary – the third Sunday of Easter – our affair is love; the applause of Jesus and the applause of Peter for Jesus – as played out in this arena on the beach.
I don’t apperceive if you accept a favourite Easter adventure or favourite Easter image. I anticipate if it comes to balmy and affected Biblical images, Christmas tends to accept something of a cartel – images of the babyish on the manger, Mary and Joseph, the shepherds and the astute men…
When it comes to Easter, Christian art has focused about alone on the cantankerous rather than the resurrection, which is barefaced perhaps, but leaves us with a bit of a absence of balmy and adorable Easter images. For me, this adventure from John’s Gospel, with Jesus allurement Peter if he loves Him, and Peter swearing foolishly that absolutely he does applause Jesus, fills that gap. The analytical affair is that the access seems to accept originally been no added than an addendum to the Gospel narrative!
I heard one analyst accredit to this adventure in John affiliate twenty-one as the ‘encore’ to John’s Gospel, and indeed, if you apprehend the end of the above-mentioned chapter, you’ll see that it’s absolutely bright that the columnist was absolute the adventure there:
“Jesus performed abounding added signs in the presence of his aggregation which are not recorded in this book, but these are accounting that you may accept that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, and that by assertive you may accept activity in his name.” (John 20:30-31)
End of story, applause, the columnist takes a bow, walks off date and then, as the acclaim continues, walks aback on and says, ‘OK, just one added story’.
In accuracy though, it’s not acceptable that this adventure was added in acknowledgment to the applause of the crowd. The end of affiliate twenty-one itself suggests that there was some abashing in the aboriginal abbey over whether Jesus had said to the Apostle Peter that the Apostle John was traveling to reside to see Him return. This added adventure was acutely designed, at atomic in part, to put that altercation to blow by pointing out that this was not exactly what Jesus had said. I admiration too admitting if this adventure wasn’t aswell included to boldness assertive controversies surrounding Peter, who strikes me as the a lot of ambiguous amount in the history of the aboriginal church.
I don’t pretend to be an able in this field, but I anticipate that if you were account through the New Testament for the aboriginal time and had just accomplished the four Gospels, and had no abstraction as to what followed in the book of the Acts of the Apostles or what was said in the assorted belletrist that abounding out the book, I anticipate you’d be justified in bold that Peter would affection appealing acerb in just about all of it.
“Upon this bedrock I will body my church” says Jesus of Peter (Matthew 16:18), and on the base of that able agency our Catholic sisters and brothers accept consistently appointed Peter as the aboriginal Pope.
Peter was aboriginal amidst the Apostles – surely? Did not Jesus Himself fabricated that clear? Peter was the bedrock upon which the abbey would be built, the articulation upon which it would swing! The alone botheration with this is that the history of the aboriginal church, as recorded in the blow of the New Testament, doesn’t absolutely buck this out!
When it comes to abbey leadership, it seems that James, the alluvial brother of Jesus, seems to accept been the official arch of the abbey in Jerusalem, and if it comes to administration aural the churches alfresco of Israel, there can be no agnosticism at all that the arch amount there wasn’t Peter but Saint Paul!
What happened to Peter? He was acutely active, and he did absolutely accord a few belletrist that are included abreast the end of the New Testament. Even so, in these aboriginal annal Peter does not flash alternating as the bedrock aloft which the aboriginal abbey was built. He seems to be added in the accomplishments a lot of of the time. What happened?
Was Peter complex in some altercation that affected him to cull aback from demography a arch role in accessible ministry, or did he die aboriginal on?
Of course, those who apperceive the ‘Quo Vadis’ story apperceive that attitude has Peter affair Jesus on the alley to Rome area the aboriginal abbey was getting persecuted, afterwards which Peter follows Jesus aback to Rome to ache affliction with his sisters and brothers. Even so, a lot of historians would accede this as a ripping yarn rather than absolute history. The accuracy is, we absolutely don’t apperceive what happened to Peter!
The added absolutely abstract affair about Peter is the catechism of what happened to the adventure of his antecedent affair with Jesus afterwards the resurrection.
St Paul says of Jesus in his aboriginal letter to the abbey at Corinth, “that he aboriginal appeared to Peter, and afresh to the Twelve” (1 Corinthians 15:5). Acutely this was able-bodied accepted in the aboriginal abbey – that Peter was the aboriginal of the macho Apostles to accommodated with Jesus afterwards the awakening – and yet we accept no actual accounting almanac of this meeting. What happened to it?
I anticipate it’s about affected that this is what is missing at the end of the Gospel of Mark.
If you’re accustomed with Mark’s Gospel, you’ll apperceive that it is altered amidst the Gospel narratives in that it has no awakening adventure at all – at least, not in its accepted anatomy – or rather, that it has two or three altered awakening narratives in its accepted form.
Most advisers accept that Mark was the aboriginal of the four Gospels written, and with the oldest versions of that oldest Gospel adventure that we have, they end decidedly abruptly.
After Jesus’ changeable aggregation ascertain the abandoned tomb, we are told: “Trembling and bewildered, the women went out and fled from the tomb. They said annihilation to anyone, because they were afraid.” (Mark 16:8) THE END
This is hardly acceptable to be the way Mark advised to end his adventure about the life, afterlife and awakening of Jesus. The accepted acceptance is that the aboriginal catastrophe to Mark’s Gospel has been lost.
In its abode you’ll acquisition some added aboriginal awakening narratives. They about acquisition a abode in our versions of the New Testament as footnotes. Even so, the accepted acceptance amidst advisers is that the aboriginal catastrophe of the Gospel has been lost, and a lot of of us accept that this aboriginal catastrophe accept to accept included the adventure about that aboriginal affair amid the adored Jesus and Peter.
It’s mysterious! How could such an important Gospel anecdotal get lost? Did something absolutely awkward appear in that aboriginal affair amid Jesus and Peter afterwards the resurrection, such that Peter (or some of his affecting supporters) fabricated abiding that this adventure was larboard out if the Gospel was reproduced? That’s hardly likely, is it, as you couldn’t get abundant added awkward than what is included!
Did Peter conceivably get complex in addition aspersion of sorts, such that the aggregate of the aboriginal abbey absitively not to deliver some of the aboriginal belief that included Peter? That doesn’t complete acceptable either, does it?
The botheration is that it’s harder to appear up with any believable account as to why anyone would wish to advisedly lose the aboriginal catastrophe of Mark’s Gospel. All we do apperceive is that Mark has no catastrophe admitting John allegedly has two endings, and I anticipate it is absolutely believable that this added catastrophe in John, which was absolutely possibly appear bisected a aeon afterwards Mark’s Gospel, is there in allotment to accomplish up for what had gone missing.
Now, you’ll accept to absolve me if this address has appropriately far articulate like a address on Biblical arcane criticism. I acknowledge that while those of us who accept been belief the Bible all our lives do get absorbed in all these questions about which Gospel was appear aboriginal and why some $.25 are included and others are larboard out. I acknowledge too admitting that if you’ve acquainted in because you’re afflicted and you’re analytic for airy backbone and peace, this array of altercation about the dating of manuscripts and the architecture of narratives can assume appealing dry. If that’s you, my appeal is that you buck with me just a little longer.
The point I wish to accomplish is that if the aboriginal of Jesus’ post-resurrection appearances to the aboriginal accumulation of twelve aggregation takes abode with Peter, isn’t it absorbing that the endure affiliate of the endure of the Gospels accounting aswell deals with a post-resurrection affair amid Jesus and Peter.
I anticipate this is Peter’s epitaph, accustomed to us by his friend, John. Whatever happened to Peter during those years if he stepped aback from centre-stage in the aboriginal church, this is how the Gospel biographer capital him to be remembered.
“Simon son of John, do you applause me added than these?”
“Yes, Lord, you apperceive that I applause you.”
“Simon son of John, do you applause me?”
“Yes, Lord, you apperceive that I applause you.”
“Simon son of John, do you applause me?”
“Lord, you apperceive all things; you apperceive that I applause you.”
It’s an acute and admirable yet aching chat amid Jesus and Peter. Repeating the catechism three times was an accessible allusion to the three times that Peter had denied alive Jesus, just above-mentioned to the crucifixion. Jesus absolutely advised Peter to see that affiliation and the actuality that Peter gets affecting the third time he is asked, confirms that Peter doesn’t absence the point.
Interestingly, Jesus doesn’t acknowledge to Peter’s affirmations of applause with the words ‘I absolve you, I absolve you, I absolve you‘. Conceivably that chat of absolution and adaptation was what took abode in their aboriginal post-resurrection meeting. What Jesus does actuality is rather to agency Peter again. He appoints Peter already afresh to the role of disposed and agriculture the sheep – of extending the applause he has for Jesus to the associates of the association of acceptance who charge that love.
And afresh we get that air-conditioned prophecy:
“when you were adolescent you dressed yourself and went area you wanted; but if you are old you will amplitude out your hands, and anyone abroad will dress you and advance you area you do not wish to go.” (John 21:18)
And John adds, “Jesus said this to announce the affectionate of afterlife by which Peter would acclaim God.” (John 21;19)
Despite, John’s comments, it’s not absolutely bright what affectionate of afterlife is getting referred to here, except that it would not accept been a accustomed death. If Jesus says “someone abroad will dress you” does He beggarly that Peter will be dressed in beastly banknote afore getting fed to the lions, or does the angel of him addition out his easily artlessly beggarly that his easily will be angry as he’s led appear the block?
Either way, the angel is chilling, and I can never apprehend it after canonizing Henri Nouwen’s absorption on this apocalypse – that the fate of Peter is absolutely the fate of every addict of Jesus. Nouwen believed that this angel encapsulated the aisle appear airy ability – a action wherein we more amplitude out our easily and abide ourselves to Jesus, who leads us into places area we do not wish to go.
For Peter, as for Jesus Himself, this aisle of adversity is the another of his love. Jesus suffers because He loves us. Peter additionally will ache because he loves Jesus.
‘Do you applause me, Peter? Do you applause me? Do you applause me?‘
‘Yes, Lord. You apperceive that I applause you. You apperceive that I applause you.‘
This is Peter’s epitaph. These are the endure words accounting in the endure Gospel about a man about whom so abundant is said but about whom abundant is aswell larboard unsaid. The final chat on Peter is accustomed to the Gospel biographer John. Peter was a man who admired Jesus.
Let this be our epitaph too. Whatever abroad they say of us – that we struggled, that we failed, that we displayed all the weakness accepted to the animal action – let this be said of us too, that in the end we admired Him.