Today’s reading: John 19-21.
The final chapter of the gospels reveals the resurrected Jesus continuing to dramatically change lives. In a way it’s a short summary of all the things he did during his ministry.
He changes the normal into the miraculous. Once more he tells the fishermen to let down their empty nets, and once more the nets come up full to the bursting. The first time he did this he told them they would become fishers of men. This time he does it again to prove beyond any doubt that he is Lord and that they are still called to disciple the world.
He changes our failures into success. Peter was a broken man, but still a leader. He was the one who told his buddies that he was going back to fishing and they had followed him. Jesus gets him off the boat and back to discipling. His three-fold “Do you love me” questions mirror Peter’s three denials, but are all about restoration. Jesus forces Peter to face his failure, but at the same time reinstates him to the position of feeding and shepherding the flock of believers.
He feeds us. Once more he sets the table and provides the meal. He is the bread of life. He provides for us physically, but more than that he gives us spiritual food, his word, that satisfies us eternally.
He changes death into life. Throughout his time here Jesus pushed back against death. He pushed back against the little death of disease. He showed his authority over physical death by raising Lazarus and others back to life. He showed his dominion over death’s cause, sin, by proving he could forgive our sins. His own resurrection reminds us that if we die with him, we shall also be raised to new life with him.
As the gospels began the world was lost in sin and a prisoner to the Law. Jesus came and preached deliverance to the captives, opened the floodgates of grace, and left behind a group of dedicated disciples who continued his work. He changed everything.
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