Welcome to Antidote - the cure for anything
Dear Friends, this is the Fourth in this series of articles on The Risen Christ for reflection. Please let us know if you find them helpful or if you do not wish to receive any more.
Antidote - 9 Peter meets the risen Christ
Peter was what I would call an "action man". He wanted to try everything and do it now. It is believed that Peter dictated to Mark what we know as the Gospel according to Mark. The shortest version of the Gospel but it is full of words like Immediately and straightaway. Peter was a fisherman who probably couldn't read and write so told his version of events through Mark.
Peter would have been in the upper room when Jesus appeared both with and without Thomas. Then everything went quiet and it was Peter who decided what to do - I'm going fishing. A number went with him. Peter was going back to what he did before he was called by Jesus.
The fishermen, all highly skilled, caught nothing on their nights fishing. As it was coming light, they returned to the shore and as they approached, they saw someone they didn't recognise. He asked them if they had caught ant fish and when they answered no, he told them to cast their net over the left side. There were a number of problems with this.
All of these were good reasons why they wouldn't want to do what the man said. However, they did, and their catch was beyond their normal
- they were skilled fishermen
- it was light - the fish could see them
- they were shouting to each other - frightening the fish away
- the water was shallow - very few fish
- casting on the left side - normal practice was to cast the net on the right side to avoid confusion in the dark
Any one of these conditions would cause the fishermen to ignore the man as an amateur. However, they obeyed his command and what a result!
It was at this point that John recognised the man as Jesus and told the others. Peter's response was not verbal. True to his "action man” character, he jumped in the water and swam to shore. He wanted to be with Jesus NOW.
Even the fact that he had denied Jesus three times did not put him off – all he wanted was to be with Jesus. Jesus forgave him and restored him as the shepherd of his sheep. Don't forget that Peter remained near to Jesus when the other disciples had gone into hiding. Would they too have denied Jesus had they stayed?
We all want lockdown to be over. We want to go back to the way things were. As we look back on lockdown, we will realise that many things have changed, some for the better. We are learning the value of friends, family and strangers who all want to help. Our values on job roles are being changed day by day. Real key workers are being recognised and applauded. Our communities are growing closer and more supportive.
Peter learned that going back was not an option and went on to serve the Lord as a leader of the emerging Christian church – quite different to a simple fisherman. All this happened when following his simple response of wanting to be near the risen Lord NOW.
Mary – a single word response – "Master”
Thomas – five profound words – "My Lord and my God”
Peter – no words – just action to be with Him NOW
The disciples on the Emmaus Road -?