Thursday, November 6. John 20-21; Acts 1

As John ends his account of Jesus’ life, he emphasizes the truthfulness of the story he has told with vivid but unnecessary details: John tells the names of the disciples involved, he remembers that they had fished all night, that Peter had taken his outer garment off (and then put it on before swimming ashore), that Peter swam ashore leaving the rest behind, that Peter dragged the net of fish ashore by himself. Fairy tales typically lack this kind of detail.

There is also this puzzling conversation between Peter and Jesus. Three times, Jesus asked Peter if he loves him. Though the Greek text contains two different words for “love” in this story (Jesus uses one, Peter uses the other, until finally, the third time, Jesus uses Peter’s word), there is probably little significance in the word difference (though preachers often make much ado over it). The really important part of this conversation (often overlooked) is what it means to “love” Jesus. Jesus does not call us to tell him we love him. If we love him, we must show it: feed the lambs, shepherd the sheep, feed the sheep, follow Jesus. This is what it means to be a disciple. It’s what it means to believe. It’s what it means to be a person of faith.