Summary: Leaving the past behind and getting on with our spiritual walk
It had been an interesting spring. I suppose interesting would be a good word to use here. They had seen their best friend tried in a Roman Court and sentenced to death. They had seen him nailed to a cross and die, they had seen him taken down and buried. Three days later they saw him alive and well and talked to him and ate with him. Yeah I think I’ll stick with interesting. And then the scripture that was read this morning said that later, after all of this happened that Jesus appeared to the disciples in a little bit of a different setting.
John wrote that Jesus met with the eleven remaining disciples on the shores of the Sea of Galilee. Let’s pull up a map here, some familiar spots, here’s Jerusalem, here’s the Dead Sea, here’s the Sea of Galilee and here is the Sea of Galilee. Now some of you might be looking in your bible and you are saying “Oh no Pastor in my Bible it says it was the Sea of Tiberias.”
Simple reason, an old name and a new name. Recognize this? It’s Ayers Rock, well actually it used to be called Ayers Rock now it’s called Uluru, well actually it used to be called Uluru, then it was called Ayers Rock and now it’s called Uluru again. And if you were to go to Australia you would hear some people call it Ayers Rock, and some would call it Uluru and some people just refer to it as the “Red Centre”.
Kind of like what used to be Hammonds Plains became just a part of the Halifax Regional Municipality, and now it’s just Halifax, but let’s not go there. To really confuse the issue the name Gennesaret was used at another point in history to describe the same body of water.
Story is told about a lady who had been to the Holy Land and she was trying to impress her pastor with her new found knowledge. “I was able to see the Sea of Galilee and Lake Gennesaret” she told him. “Actually” he replied “Galilee and Gennesaret are synonymous” “I know” she said “But I found Gennesaret a little more synonymous than Galilee.”
And just to add a little more to the thing, Galilee, Gennesaret or Tiberias, whatever you want to call it is less then 20 kms long and 12 kms wide so it’s not a sea, it’s a lake. Oh well whatever you want to call it, this is where Jesus met his disciples.
But it wasn’t all of the disciples who were there; we are told that there were John 21:2 Several of the disciples were there—Simon Peter, Thomas (nicknamed the Twin), Nathanael from Cana in Galilee, the sons of Zebedee, and two other disciples. If we wanted to speculate on who the other two disciples were one good guess would be Andrew, cause he was Peter’s brother and fishing partner and maybe Phillip because he had been listed alongside of Andrew before. And they were kind of hanging out, talking, today if they were doing that in a church we’d say they were “Fellowshipping”. It seems like today Christians get guilt feelings if they aren’t doing something churchy, so they don’t just hang out and have fun they fellowship.
And it was at that point that John 21:3 Simon Peter said, “I’m going fishing.” “We’ll come, too,” they all said.
It Started When He Looked Back
So there it was, Jesus had risen from the dead, appeared to the disciples, had commissioned them to his service and given them a vital task but nothing was happening, for whatever reason Christ didn’t have them doing anything and it was getting on Peter’s nerves. From everything we know about Peter we’d have to say he was a type “A” personality. I was in traffic with a friend of mine one day and I mentioned that in relation to the traffic that I was a type “A” personality. So my friend asked what other types there were and the response was that in the eyes of a type “A” there were Type “A’s” and the people who are in the way. Well that was definitely Peter, and if there wasn’t something to do then he was going to make something to do
And so there they were, doing nothing, watching the boats getting ready, the sails going up, the nets being prepared and I can almost hear Peter say, “I don’t know about you, but I’m getting tired of sitting around here twiddling my thumbs, I’m going fishing.” And it was just the spark they needed. “You’re right, count me in Peter” “I’m coming to, what are we waiting for?”
Now I don’t know what it is about Fishing, have never been able to figure it out. I came out of High School with fairly high marks, I’d been accepted at Kings, could have stepped into management training with Tip Top, instead I joined a rag tag collection of would be adventurers on the Rali 2, a mid-water trawler based out of Paspebeac Quebec. I mean we all had experience in selling clothes, and advertising, running hotels and renting cars, managing restaurants, driving dump truck, being policeman and digging graves. We weren’t short on experience, except fishing experience. But fishing we went. At the end of our first summer the boat went to dry dock for some modifications, and we all went back to some semi respectable professions.