MY GOD! OUR GOD? A spiritual journal from the Holy Land and A long apologetic prologue

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Peter: 'In all truth I tell you, when you were young you put on your own belt and walked where you liked; but when you grow old you will stretch out your hands, and somebody else will put a belt round you and take you where you would rather not go. After this he said, 'Follow me. Some scholars believe the fourth Gospel was written several decades after Peter's death, but other scholars, including the Navarre theologians and Dr. Scott Hahn, believe John's Gospel was completed before the destruction of Jerusalem in 70AD and therefore was written within a year or two of Peter's death.

Perhaps in writing this passage Peter's martyrdom was still a painful reminder of this prophetic warning John witnessed some 37, or so, years earlier. Question: The first time Jesus called to Peter to "follow me" was after the huge catch of fish on the Sea of Galilee three years earlier. Now He uses the same words again but this time there is a double meaning to the command "Follow me"; what is the significance and what is the irony of this double meaning?

Answer: Peter will indeed "follow" Jesus and spread the Gospel message across the known world, but he will also follow Jesus, not only in imitation of His life but also His death. Peter, the first Pope [Papa] of the Universal [Catholic] Church will demonstrate his agape love for Jesus when he is crucified upside-down in Rome circa 67AD because he said he was unworthy to be crucified in the same position as his Lord [scholars debate the exact date most accept that it was sometime between 64 and 67AD].

John Peter turned and saw the disciple whom Jesus loved following them-the one who had leant back close to his chest at the supper and had said to him, 'Lord, who is it that will betray you? Jesus answered, 'If I want him to stay behind till I come, what does it matter to you? You are to follow me. Answer: It reminds me of when my children think a sibling isn't doing her share or the burden of work or the blessings of the profit isn't divided evenly.

The Apostles are so human These two disciples, Peter and John, have been compared and contrasted in chapters 20 and They have formed a bond through this experience that will link them throughout Acts [see , 3, 11; ; ] as they shepherd the New Covenant Church. In this passage Jesus had decreed the fate of both men: one to suffer and die and the other to suffer and live.

The information that the "beloved disciple" lived a long time also helps to identify John as the "beloved disciple. Only John died a natural death. John This disciple is the one who vouches for these things and has written them down, and we know that his testimony is true. There was much else that Jesus did; if it were written down in detail, I do no suppose the world itself would hold all the books that would be written.

The disciple of Jesus who wrote this fourth Gospel testifies that he is an eyewitness to the events he has recorded.

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He is pledging his honor that what he has recorded is true. Some scholars believe the "we" in verse 24 indicates that this conclusion was written by a group of John's disciples who copied John's Gospel for the Churches of Christendom. But there is another possible explanation for the "we" in verse In a Biblical scholar named L. Muratori published an ancient fragment of Church history which has since been variously ascribed to Hegesippus, the 2 nd century Church historian, to Clement of Alexandria, Melito of Sardes, Polycrates of Ephesus or Hippolytus.

Melito, Polycrates, and Hippolytus were all bishops of churches that were under St. John's control and lived a generation removed from John's time; in other words, they were disciples of John's disciples.

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The fragment records some interesting information about the writing of the Fourth Gospel:. When his fellow disciples and bishops were urging him, he said, 'Fast with me for the three days beginning today, and whatever will have been revealed to us, let us recount it with each other. And therefore while various points are taught in the different books of the Gospels, there is no difference to the faith of believers; for in all of them all things are spoken under the one guiding Spirit, whether concerning the nativity, the passion, the resurrection, conversation with His disciples, or His two advents, the first of which was in the humiliation of rejection and is already past, and the second in the glory of royal power, which is yet to be.

It is no wonder, then, that John constantly returns to these things even in his Epistles, saying of himself, 'What we have seen with our eyes and have heard with our ears and what our hands have touched, these things have we written to you. According to the information recorded in this fragment it is possible that the "we" of verse 24 could be the surviving disciples and the Bishops of the Churches in Asia Minor who urged John to write his remembrances of Jesus and His ministry and who verified his eye-witness testimony.

John began his Gospel with eternity and the pre-existence of Christ, and he ends with Jesus' promise that He will return to earth again [verse 22]: "What if I want him to stay behind till I come.. John's Gospel closes with this last encounter with Christ on the shores of the Sea of Tiberias.

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During the last 40 days Jesus spent on earth with His disciples He continued to teach them and to prepare them for the paths He had called them to follow on their faith journeys. He did not promise them that they would not face turmoil, suffering, and death, just as He does not promise us that belief in Him will exempt us from suffering and struggle in our lives. But He did give them, and us, the assurance of His deep abiding love and the promise of the peace that comes from faith in Him.

It is only through Him that we will experience peace in a world filled with violence and injustice, and we can have faith in His promise that if we obediently persevere to complete our faith journeys that we will be united with Him for all eternity. Come, Lord Jesus! Permissions All Rights Reserved. His face was like lightning, his robe white as snow. The guards were so shaken by dear of him that hey were like dead men. Matthew It was very early on the first day of the week and still dark, when Mary of Magdala came to the tomb.

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She saw that the stone had been moved away from the tomb and came running to Simon Peter and the other disciple, the one whom Jesus loved. John So Peter set out with the other disciple to go to the tomb. The disciples then went back home. But Mary was standing outside near the tomb, weeping. John , Having risen in the morning on the first day of the week, he appeared first to Mary of Magdala from whom he had cast out seven devils.

She then went to those who had been his companions, and who were mourning and in tears, and told them. But they did not believe her when they heard her say that he was alive and that she had seen him. Mark The other women who had joined Mary at the tomb had seen an angel but now they are greeted by Jesus Himself: And suddenly, coming to meet them, was Jesus. And the women came up to him and, clasping his feet, they did him homage. Then Jesus said to them, 'Do not be afraid; go and tell my brothers that they must leave for Galilee; there they will see me.

Jesus appears to Simon-Peter [Luke ; 1Corinthians ] After this he showed himself under another form to two of them as they were on their way into the country. Mark They set out that instant and returned to Jerusalem. There they found the eleven assembled together with their companions. Luke In the evening of that same day, the first day of the week, the doors were closed in the room where the disciples were, for fear of the Jews.

Jesus came and stood among them. John Thomas, called the Twin, who was one of the Twelve, was not with them when Jesus came. John Lastly, he showed himself to the eleven themselves while they were at table. A number of arguments can be made in support of the continuity of this chapter with the rest of the Fourth Gospel: Since St. John begins his Gospel with a Prologue, it follows that he should end his Gospel with an Epilogue.

The Prologue set the stage and the Epilogue closes the curtain on the events of the fourth Gospel. The encounter with Jesus in the Galilee supports Matthew and Mark's accounts in which Jesus instructed the Apostles to meet with Him in the Galilee after His resurrection. Chapter 21 completes Peter's reconciliation with Jesus and his re-commissioning as the Vicar of Christ. Without this addition Peter is left in disgrace and his position of authority over the Apostles in question. With St. Peter's martyrdom occurring sometime between 64 and 67AD, Peter's death may have been the reason John included this material concerning Peter's affirmation of his love for Christ, the re-commissioning of Peter as the leader of Jesus' flock and the prophecy of Peter's death.

The Epilogue also completes the Gospel narrative by showing a triumphant Jesus who clarifies the mission of the Church, and brings the call of Peter and the disciples full circle back to the Galilee. The Epilogue also gives some final clues to the identity of "the beloved disciple.

Question: Why doesn't John jump into the water and swim to Jesus? Answer: Perhaps John is acknowledging Peter's precedence as he did in Question: Why doesn't Peter wait in the boat until they sail into the shore? Jesus passes two boats by the water's edge; fisherman mending their nets Jesus calls to the fisherman in Simon-Peter's boat and asks if they have caught anything. They answer 'no'.

Jesus gets into Simon-Peter's boat and asks him to put the boat out into deeper water. Jesus teaches the crowds from the boat Jesus tells them to throw the net out to starboard and tells them they will find something.

A parallel to this theory is found in Matthew where Jesus compares the Kingdom of Heaven to a dragnet which when thrown into the sea gathers fish "of every kind" indicating the universality of the Christian mission Scholars, ancient and modern, have also tried to find some connection to the gematria of this number The third possibility is preferred by the New Jerusalem translation scholars who include the words "others do", interpreting Jesus' question to be: is Peter's love for Jesus greater than the other Apostle's love for Jesus?

Answer: Around a charcoal fire. The two nouns used for sheep are arnion, translated as "lamb" and probaton [probata] sheep. Arnion is only used this one time in the New Testament with the exception of the Book of Revelation where it is used 30 times. Some scholars translate this word as "little lamb". It is a word not often used in Greek texts. Otherwise the word for lamb used in John is amnos in and 36, and in the Gospels and other books of the New Testament the noun aren is used for lamb and probaton [probata] for sheep. The verb boskein [boske] is used both literally and figuratively for feeding animals [providing nourishment], while the verb poimainein [poimaine] includes shepherding duties toward the flock such as guiding, guarding, and ruling, whether literally or figuratively.

A quote from the Jewish historian Philo employs both verbs "Those who feed [boskein] supply nourishment Exchange 1 verse 15 Jesus: " Simon, son of John, do you love [agapas] me more than these?