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Jesus appears to Seven Disciples

After these things Jesus showed himself again to the disciples by the Sea of Tiberias; and he showed himself in this way. Gathered there together were Simon Peter, Thomas called the Twin, Nathanael of Cana in Galilee, the sons of Zebedee, and two others of his disciples. Simon Peter said to them, “I am going fishing.” They said to him, “We will go with you.” They went out and got into the boat, but that night they caught nothing. Just after daybreak, Jesus stood on the beach; but the disciples did not know that it was Jesus. Jesus said to them, “Children, you have no fish, have you?” They answered him, “No.” He said to them, “Cast the net to the right side of the boat, and you will find some.” So they cast it, and now they were not able to haul it in because there were so many fish. That disciple whom Jesus loved said to Peter, “It is the Lord!” When Simon Peter heard that it was the Lord, he put on some clothes, for he was naked, and jumped 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, only about a hundred yards off. When they had gone ashore, they saw a charcoal fire there, with fish on it, and bread. Jesus said to them, “Bring some of the fish that you have just caught.” So Simon Peter went aboard and hauled the net ashore, full of large fish, a hundred fifty-three of them; and though there were so many, the net was not torn. Jesus said to them, “Come and have breakfast.” Now none of the disciples dared to ask him, “Who are you?” because they knew it was the Lord. Jesus came and took the bread and gave it to them, and did the same with the fish.This was now the third time that Jesus appeared to the disciples after he was raised from the dead. (John 21:1-14, NRSV)

Don’t you think they would have questioned Jesus when He asked them if they had any fish and when they said no He said to cast the net to the right side of the boat? Really we’ve been out here all night and haven’t caught anything don’t you think we cast the net on the right side of the boat? But they don’t. Either they are too tired, or they really want to catch some fish. So they do it. And when they do, they catch so many fish they can’t pull the net into the boat.

That is when they realize it is Jesus. I wonder where did Jesus go? He appeared to Mary on Easter, and then to the 10 on the evening of Easter. Then to the 11 disciples including Thomas the week after. And then here to the 7 on the Monday after that. So where did Jesus go in between these appearances to the disciples?

But here is the point, I wonder, but it really doesn’t matter. If it was important for us to know, we would know. But it is not important for our journey. God is with us, Jesus never left us. We are in His presence, even when we question it. Know He is always with you. Leading you and guiding you as you walk the path you trod.

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hungry

Then Jesus called his disciples to him and said, ‘I have compassion for the crowd, because they have been with me now for three days and have nothing to eat; and I do not want to send them away hungry, for they might faint on the way.’ The disciples said to him, ‘Where are we to get enough bread in the desert to feed so great a crowd?’ Jesus asked them, ‘How many loaves have you?’ They said, ‘Seven, and a few small fish.’Then ordering the crowd to sit down on the ground, he took the seven loaves and the fish; and after giving thanks he broke them and gave them to the disciples, and the disciples gave them to the crowds. And all of them ate and were filled; and they took up the broken pieces left over, seven baskets full. Those who had eaten were four thousand men, besides women and children. After sending away the crowds, he got into the boat and went to the region of Magadan. (Matthew 15:32-39, NRSV)

Where are we going to find food enough for all of these people?

How long had the disciples been with Jesus?

How many miracles have they witnessed by this point? And yet they still don’t get it.

But would we be any different?

We would question. We would wonder. We wouldn’t understand.

So be hungry for what God as to do and ask how you will get to be a part of His plan, and allow Him to work through you.

 

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Where were you?

Then the Lord answered Job out of the whirlwind: “Who is this that darkens counsel by words without knowledge? Gird up your loins like a man, I will question you, and you shall declare to me. “Where were you when I laid the foundation of the earth? Tell me, if you have understanding. Who determined its measurements—surely you know! Or who stretched the line upon it? On what were its bases sunk, or who laid its cornerstone when the morning stars sang together and all the heavenly beings shouted for joy? “Or who shut in the sea with doors when it burst out from the womb?— when I made the clouds its garment, and thick darkness its swaddling band, and prescribed bounds for it, and set bars and doors, and said, ‘Thus far shall you come, and no farther, and here shall your proud waves be stopped’? “Have you commanded the morning since your days began, and caused the dawn to know its place, so that it might take hold of the skirts of the earth, and the wicked be shaken out of it? It is changed like clay under the seal, and it is dyed like a garment. Light is withheld from the wicked, and their uplifted arm is broken. “Have you entered into the springs of the sea, or walked in the recesses of the deep? Have the gates of death been revealed to you, or have you seen the gates of deep darkness? Have you comprehended the expanse of the earth? Declare, if you know all this. “Where is the way to the dwelling of light, and where is the place of darkness, that you may take it to its territory and that you may discern the paths to its home? Surely you know, for you were born then, and the number of your days is great! “Have you entered the storehouses of the snow, or have you seen the storehouses of the hail, which I have reserved for the time of trouble, for the day of battle and war? What is the way to the place where the light is distributed, or where the east wind is scattered upon the earth? “Who has cut a channel for the torrents of rain, and a way for the thunderbolt, to bring rain on a land where no one lives, on the desert, which is empty of human life, to satisfy the waste and desolate land, and to make the ground put forth grass? “Has the rain a father, or who has begotten the drops of dew? From whose womb did the ice come forth, and who has given birth to the hoarfrost of heaven? The waters become hard like stone, and the face of the deep is frozen. “Can you bind the chains of the Pleiades, or loose the cords of Orion? Can you lead forth the Mazzaroth in their season, or can you guide the Bear with its children? Do you know the ordinances of the heavens? Can you establish their rule on the earth? “Can you lift up your voice to the clouds, so that a flood of waters may cover you? Can you send forth lightnings, so that they may go and say to you, ‘Here we are’? Who has put wisdom in the inward parts, or given understanding to the mind? Who has the wisdom to number the clouds? Or who can tilt the waterskins of the heavens, when the dust runs into a mass and the clods cling together? (Job 38:1-38, NRSV)

Where were you?

And really what can we do without the help of God? Nothing really good…

God has done so much for us, that doesn’t mean we will always understand the circumstances we or our loved ones go through, but God has it all under control.

And this passage reminded me of this song:

I thought up all the questions that my human mind could bring
And laid them out before the Lord and demanded a reason for these things
I asked about inequality and the success of evil men
But what was I to say to Him, when He answered with this question

Where were you when I split the sky and the sea
Where were you when I taught the lion to roar
Where were you when I made electricity
Fall from the sky in the middle of a thunderstorm
Where were you

And I had no response, I had no reply
‘Cause the One who spoke and is the truth opened up my eyes
And I laid my time of doubt at the feet of the infinite
But what was left for me to say when He answered with this question

Where were you when I split the sky and the sea
Where were you when I taught the lion to roar
Where were you when I made electricity
Fall from the sky in the middle of a thunderstorm

Where were you when I put stars in the sky
Where were you when I taught the eagle to fly
Where were you when I made that little child
Look just like her mom but she had her Daddy’s eyes
Where were you

Where were you
Where were you

Where were you when I split the sky and the sea
Where were you when I taught the lion to roar
Where were you when I made electricity
Fall from the sky in the middle of a thunderstorm

Where were you when I put stars in the sky
Where were you when I taught the eagle to fly
Where were you when I made that little child
Look just like her mom but she had her Daddy’s eyes
Where were you

Songwriters
TONY REFLEX / RIKK AGNEW

 

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doubted…

Now the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain to which Jesus had directed them. When they saw him, they worshiped him; but some doubted. And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything that I have commanded you. And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” (Matthew 28:16-20, NRSV)

This is the passage of text most of us know as the great commission. This is where Jesus sends the disciples into the world to make more disciples.

Jesus sends the 11 into the world to share what they have learned. And through the sending of the 11, He also sends us into the world.

And many of us doubt that we are called to go and be a part of God’s plan in the world. We would say we were part of the some who doubted here on the mountain with Jesus. But what if I told you that the part of the verse “but some doubted.” maybe a bad translation? The Greek here is οἱ δὲ ἐδίστασαν.

οἱ is a masculine plural article or they.

δὲ is a conjunction meaning but or and.

ἐδίστασαν is the third person plural aorist active indicative for to doubt.

So the part of the sentence all together is but they doubted. Of course, some say that the οἱ is redundant and unneeded because the they is implied in the form of the word for doubt and therefore should be translated some. But the other side of this is this is not done in any other part of the New Testament. This is the only time this particular construction is found. And we have to explain why the 11 disciples would have walked with Jesus and witnessed everything He did and when they finally see Him resurrected they doubt what they are seeing.

So how is it possible they worshiped and they doubted? Well, we have to get beyond that doubt is the opposite of faith. Doubt is the opposite of certainty. And wouldn’t you be uncertain about what was going on in front of you at that moment on the mountain? It doesn’t mean you don’t believe, it doesn’t mean you can’t worship, it just means you don’t get it and you have questions. Questions are not bad, they lead us to discover and to investigate.

So don’t fall away from doubting and questioning, lean into the call God has on your life, knowing you are in good company when you wonder about it and question it.

 

Here is a wonderful cartoon about this:

 

 

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Worship and doubt

170109Now the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain to which Jesus had directed them. When they saw him, they worshiped him; but some doubted. And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything that I have commanded you. And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” (Matthew 28:16-20, NRSV)

Is it possible to doubt and worship at the same time?

Verse 17 says “When they saw him, they worshiped him; but some doubted.” Funny thing is the word for some is not in the original Greek. But some scholars say because of the construction of the sentence it is implied. But in all other instances of this in extra-biblical writing, as this construction is not found anywhere else in the bible, the some is never added. So the disciples gathered on the mountain, and they saw Jesus and the worshiped and they doubted what they saw.

But this should not be a problem for us. Because they were still worshipping even though they were wondering how what they were seeing could possibly be. So next time you wonder or question, don’t worry, just hold on to faith, and hope and keep on worshipping!

 
 

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unbelief

When Jesus had finished these parables, he left that place. He came to his hometown and began to teach the people in their synagogue, so that they were astounded and said, “Where did this man get this wisdom and these deeds of power Is not this the carpenter’s son? Is not his mother called Mary? And are not his brothers James and Joseph and Simon and Judas? And are not all his sisters with us? Where then did this man get all this?” And they took offense at him. But Jesus said to them, “Prophets are not without honor except in their own country and in their own house.” And he did not do many deeds of power there, because of their unbelief. (Matthew 13:53-58, NRSV)

The people of Nazareth could not receive His miracles because they did not believe He could do those things. They knew who He was and they were unable to think of Him in a different way.

They didn’t doubt that He had the power, they did not believe it.

Doubt is not having hope in something, it is not the opposite of belief.

I believe, help my unbelief we see in the gospels. Doubt leads us to wonder and question and deeper inspection of something. Unbelief closes our minds and keeps us locked in our box.

Do not be unbelieving but question and dig deeper and allow Him to do wonderful things in your life.

 

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Who is greatest?

At that time the disciples came to Jesus and asked, “Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?” He called a child, whom he put among them, and said, “Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Whoever becomes humble like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. Whoever welcomes one such child in my name welcomes me. “If any of you put a stumbling block before one of these little ones who believe in me, it would be better for you if a great millstone were fastened around your neck and you were drowned in the depth of the sea. (Matthew 18:1-6, NRSV)

I’ve learned that you never ask a question you don’t want the honest answer to. And usually the answer to a question like the one the disciples asked is not going to go they way they hope.

I mean they asked that question to hear, “You will be.” That is what we all want to hear.

But we are not the greatest. Jesus told us, whoever wants to be first must be last. So we have to serve all and be humble about it. We can’t be last in order to be first.

We can not cause anyone of the followers or those who might follow to stumble. We must open ourselves to Jesus and be humble and follow where He leads. Allowing His light and grace and mercy to shine through us.

So don’t think you’re the greatest, but be humble and follow where He leads.

 

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