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Summary: WHERE IS JESUS NOW? WHERE IS HIS PRESENCE? AND WHERE IS HE IN RELATIONSHIP TO YOU?

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Let me begin with a question which you can respond to in the privacy of your own heart.

WHERE IS JESUS NOW? WHERE IS HIS PRESENCE? AND WHERE IS HE IN RELATIONSHIP TO YOU?

- Close by… shaping your life in constant ways?

- Perhaps not so close or constant but a central figure in your overall thoughts of life?

- Perhaps a comfort in crisis?

- Or perhaps at this point, a figure of significant curiosity?

It’s important to ask ourselves where we may feel he is in relationship to us… but it may be even more important to ask where he actually is. Regardless of how we might be inclined to answer… the good news is that He’s quite close… wonderfully… dangerously close.

Series... We’ve looked at a number of ways in which Jesus has come to us.

- In every account there’s a discomforting and dangerous reality in Jesus… from which we can realize today’s greatest tendency is to make a safe Jesus by reinterpreting, in extreme cases reinventing him… to fit our preferences.

- But what of those of us willing to let the records speak for themselves? Can we in our orthodoxy also try to make him safe… more a profession of belief than the presence of a being in our midst? Can our shouts of “He is risen/alive” become a declaration that loses its dangerous reality? This morning before concluding our series let’s consider the living Christ; Jesus the Ever Present Lord. Peter in particular reveals to us just how…

Afterward Jesus appeared again to his disciples, by the Sea of Tiberias. It happened this way: Simon Peter, Thomas (called Didymus), Nathaneal from Cana in Galilee, the sons of Zebedee, and tow other disciples were together. “I’m going out to fish,” Simon Peter told them, and they said, “We’ll go with you.” So they went out and got into the boat, but that night they caught nothing.

Early in the morning Jesus stood on the shore, but the disciples did not recognize that it was Jesus. He called out to them, “Friends, haven’t you any fish?”

“No,” they answered.

He said, “Throw your net on the right side of the boat and you will find some.” When they did, they were unable to haul the net in because of the large number of fish.

Then the disciple whom Jesus loved said to Peter, “It is the Lord!” As soon as Simon Peter heard him say “It is the Lord,” he wrapped his outer garment around him (for he had taken it off) and jumped into the water. The other disciples followed in the boat, towing the net full of fish, for they were not far from shore, about a hundred yards. When they landed, they saw a fire of burning coals there with fish on it, and some bread.

Jesus said to them, “Bring some of the fish you have caught.”

Simon Peter climbed aboard and dragged the net ashore. It was full of large fish, but even with so many the net was not torn. Jesus said to them, “Come and have breakfast.” None of the disciples dared ask him, “Who are you?” They knew it was the Lord. Jesus came, took the bread and gave it to them, and did the same with the fish. This was now the third time Jesus appeared to his disciples after he was raised from the dead.

For Peter, the impulsively zealous disciple, the recent days had been overwhelming… We might imagine the thoughts that consumed his mind… soul…

- The Lord… Messiah… chose me… even gave me a new name ‘Peter’

- Revealed the kingdom of God… taught me… trained me to be a part of God’s great mission… and in the process, put up with so much… a few rebukes, BUT HE BELIEVED IN ME AND I FAILED HIM.

- Now he is risen, just as he said he would… came to us… RISEN… but to WHAT END?

- Have my failures forever left me on the sidelines?

What do you do at such a time?

- Something familiar… nothing more familiar than the good old sea of Galilee (after all Jesus told them to go ahead to Galilee and wait…) nothing more familiar than fishing… I can even get 6 others to go with me

- We’re told they set out not merely in “a” boat, but in “the” boat.

- He had known Jesus… now risen… but what difference does it make for one who’s failures had lead him back to the familiar… Jesus had risen, but would he still be relating? (Resurrection is one thing, relationship is another)

- Familiarity wasn’t proving productive… All night… common… (shout) ‘Hey boys, caught anything?’NoTry the other side!

- Peter leaps out… Finds a fire, not like the fire of strangers, but one kindled by a friend.

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