Reflections on Faith and Community
In this blog, you will find weekly reflections on life and faith. My hope is that, in some way, they will prove helpful to you in your daily living. May God bless you on the spiritual journey.
Andrew S. Odom
Jesus showed himself again to the disciples by the Sea of Tiberias,
and he showed himself in this way. (John 21:1)
The end of the gospel of John actually comes in chapter 20, right before the verse above, describing how the book was written so you will come to believe in Jesus as the Son of God and have life in his name. It’s an excellent ending, but then there’s the matter of this whole other chapter after that says Jesus showed himself again to the disciples. Scholars widely agree that it was added later, probably by a follower of John.
This “add on” chapter has always fascinated me. It speaks of the disciples on the beach fishing with no luck. Jesus then appears and they miraculously rake them in, much like in Luke 5. Then they sit down and have breakfast on the beach just like old times. It is a touching story, but why include it? Why add this on to the end of an already excellent gospel? Did something need to be mentioned that wasn’t before? Why the need?
I have a thought, and here it is. I think this follower of John added this story on because that’s what we all do after a tragedy. When something despicable happens, we all stop and share about what we saw happen. That’s what this is, after all. Jesus had already made two resurrection appearances, so there was really no need for another one, but that didn’t stop others from coming forward with their own Jesus sighting. “I heard that he appeared here!” “Well, I heard that he appeared again the next day!” The stories kept getting added on because the people needed to hear of the hope in each sighting.
When we get hit deep in the gut and the light seems to have faded from the world, we need to know where someone saw God in the dark. We need to hear about how the hand of Christ was felt, yet again, reaching into the fire and holding us all close. We need to know
Published on 07/18/2016 @ 11:07 PM CDT