Friday, November 16, 2012

Nov 16: John 21

Today's reading in our daily plan is John 21. Take a moment to pray, asking God to speak to you from this passage. Then read, using the following notes and questions to help you get everything out of the passage.

SAY WHAT? (What is the passage saying?)

  • This last chapter of John’s gospel highlights Jesus’ acceptance of Peter after the three denials before the crucifixion. This event is not recorded in the other gospels but is significant in the life of the disciples.
  • Jesus asks Peter three times, “do you truly love me?” Peter had denied his friendship with Jesus three times, and it seems that Jesus is giving him the chance to make up for it. After each question Peter responds with. “of course!” and Jesus tells him to shepherd his flock. In this interaction, Peter is reinstated as a leader in the Kingdom of God. Right after this, in verse 18, Jesus says some cryptic stuff about what will happen to Peter. Up until that point Peter had been able to do whatever he wanted but Jesus contrasts this with the future. In the IVP New Testament Commentary it says, “ according to tradition, Peter was crucified head down during the Neronian persecution in the midsixties A.D. So John, late in the first century, knows that Peter’s hands were stretched out and tied to a cross.”
  • In the last verse, John explains that no book could capture everything that happened in Jesus’ lifetime. We have four books in the bible about Jesus and we still don’t know it all. Each of those four gospels are unique in how they explain the events of Jesus life. This should reinforce their authenticity for us because they are obviously not copies, yet harmonize very well. 

SO WHAT? (What are the underlying principles?)

  • We can be confident that God left us trustworthy writings that are free from the effects of manipulation. We can be sure of the events in the gospels because their authors died for what they believed in.
NOW WHAT? (How will you personally apply this passage?)

  • We should believe with the same determination that the disciples had. Remember what Jesus says: “In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”