Gone Fishing

by | May 1, 2022 |

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A fishing trip provides the context and the opportunity for Jesus to make his third post-resurrection appearance to his disciples. Because of Jesus, they catch a lot of fish, and Jesus serves them breakfast on the beach.

They are still processing all that is happening when Jesus and Peter take a walk.

This private conversation is really a fishing trip for Jesus. Jesus wants to know if Peter is a reliable friend. Jesus wants to know if he can count on Peter.

Jesus wonders the same about us. Can he count on you?

Pastor Rick Stevens can be heard Saturday and Sunday at 8 AM ET on the iHeart Radio Network. Find all the Faith is…with Pastor Rick Stevens episodes also available on the America Out Loud Podcast Network.

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Pastor Rick Stevens

Pastor Rick Stevens has served churches from Oklahoma to New Brunswick, Canada. He has been a pastor, youth pastor, and church music director. Since January 1997, he has been the pastor of Diplomat Wesleyan Church in Cape Coral, FL. He is married to Jan and has two children and four grandchildren. His most unusual travel experience was visiting the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Station in Ukraine, the world’s worst nuclear power accident site.

Faith Is… with Pastor Rick Stevens can be heard every weekend on the America Out Loud Network. Every week we’ll take a fresh look at the Bible and discover that Faith Is . . . absolute confidence in the trustworthiness of God.

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j. bailey
j. bailey
5 months ago

When Pastor Stevens talked about patron and client relationship (unequal parties-one had more resources that the other) towards the end of his sermon, I had a difficulty understanding how he arrived at his point of view.   Some of my cryptic notes from the sermon.   Patron helps client. reciprocity gratitude service   Client would give something back to patron for gift given by patron. Jesus is the patron. Friendship testing question do you love me.  Jesus wanted to know if  Peter was really his friend.    patron-client conversation
 
My take on the Jesus- Peter conversation is, Jesus was questioning Peter’s ‘agape’ love for him.  Have you so soon returned to the carnal employment where I first found you, fishing.   Have you forgotten about spiritually ‘fishing for men’?  
 
Jesus said the first two times to Peter ”do you ‘agape’/love me”, is nothing about fillial/friendship. But  have you forsaken all, and are still spiritually following Jesus?  Anannais and Sapphira.   Peter answer all three times, ‘philo’/friendship you Jesus. Jesus seeing that he was getting nowhere with Peter, Jesus asked the third time ‘phileis’ me, hoping to get a better response from Peter.     
 
It was ‘agape’ that hung on Calvary, not  ’philo’/friendship. It is ‘agape’ that will judge this world. Regarding patronage,

 
Luke 22:25 — “Jesus is not among us as a benefactor , but as a servant” 
Matthew 10:8 — Freely have you received (the power to heal and cast out devils), freely give. 
                                                                                                                                                                         
Patron-client relations defined Roman social life, not the early Church.  
 
That 2nd person personal pronoun ‘you’ is used throughout John 21, a personal relationship between Jesus and His disciples, not impersonal nor an arms length relation, but an “I in you, and you in me’ relationship.      
 
John 21 is John’s version of the ‘great commission’ that Jesus gave to His disciples, like  in Mark 16:15,16, Luke 24:47, and Matthew 28:19, 20
                                                                                                                                                                                 
John 21 is full of verbs in the imperative mood, which in one sense ‘might be taken as commands from a superior to an inferior’, ie, client-patron. New Testament Greek Professor Daniel Wallace wrote,     

“The imperative mood is the mood of intention. It is the mood furtherest removed from certainty. The imperative mood  is the realm of violition (the imposition of one’s will upon another) and possibility. ..the imperative is most commonly used for commands….a command from a superior to an inferior rank”.—–in the book, “Greek Grammar beyond the basics”, by Daniel Wallace, page 485
 
It is the Church changing the world to be as it is in Heaven. And not the world changing the Church to as it is in Hell. In that sense we must impose the will of Jesus upon the World, and not assimilate Worldliness into the Church.   
 
http://www.Blueletterbibble.org says of the Greek word ‘Bosko’,  which is interpreted as the English word ‘feed’, means to “promote spiritual welfare of members of the church”, but is primarily used in the NT in a secular sense at ,   Matthew 8:30   Mark 5:11  Luke 8:32. But  John 21:16 says ‘take care of/sheperd   my sheep’.   Protect my sheep from the wolves in sheep clothing that are in the Church.  The ‘great commission’   of God to the Church. 

 
We see the provisional nature of God in John 21. While we seek to work out a solution, God has already provided a way (ie, the fish already on the fire cooking). We see the omniscience (all knowingness) of God in John 21, knowledge of exactly where the fish were hiding.  We see the omnipotence of God in John 21:11, “Simon Peter climbed aboard and dragged the net to shore”,  a net of 153 big fish.  At five pounds a piece, close to 800 pounds. Certainly Peter had help with that net and those fishes, an omnipotent (all powerful) God got those fish to shore, without a tear in the net.    
 
Yes, confidence and trustworthiness in God is necessary, but don’t let your ‘agape’ (what you are required to do by God such as tithe, not worship idols, not live carnally outside of marriage) get sloppy.
 

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