I was having a real nice time with Saints Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. They were first hand witnesses of what really happened before the cross and after the cross. They really did show me a lot that happened among Jesus’ disciples and what is happening now and I see the reason to share it with you!
It wasn’t a month; it was just a day or few hours after Jesus was crucified and the disciples came out from their hiding places, pretended they never followed Jesus and went back to their old business of fishing! What a way of forgetting someone whom they have followed for three good years! What a way of giving up on a man who kept telling them that on the third day, he will arise from the dead. Well, this time they never believed him anymore even though they witnessed the miracles. Why?
They saw Judas betray him, they saw him being bullied, they saw people spitting on him, they saw all manner of treatments he received from ordinary people who couldn’t command demon, the storm, the sickness and death… people who couldn’t swim talk more of walking on water. Yet, these people treated a man who had all manner of powers the way they wanted! The disciples saw all these things happen to the almighty Jesus but they never witnessed the kind of power they saw previously in Jesus. This time around Jesus stood helpless and weak; he expressed pains and even expressed fears… The last time they saw Jesus cry a dead Lazarus came back to life but this time he cried again he was about to die. Even Peter whom Jesus saved from drowning tried defending Jesus with the sword but it wasn’t successful and perhaps they saw it as time to quit! Because the power is all gone and perhaps they too might join him in death…
The women who followed from a distance did so out of compassion, love and emotional outburst but they had also given up on the powers of Jesus and they felt following him is the only way they could repay him for all the good things he had done for them. They loved Jesus but they lacked trust in his powers. When Jesus cried to God about how he has been rejected, the rumours must have spread so fast to the ends of the earth. If they had instagram, facebook and other social network communities at that time it would have been the trending hash tag, it could have made headlines on all local and international newspapers, it would have been a very huge source of income for journalists because it was an usual statement from a man who once claimed that if you see him you have seen the father, that he is the only way to God and that he is one with God! The same man who demons trembled at his presence became the person that anyone could spit at, mock and yet go scot free! They would have assumed it was a mistake to even compare Elijah to Jesus, now they seem to have had more respect for Elijah. In Matthew 27:49 they witnessed people accusing Jesus of seeking salvation from Elijah (Elias is the Greek rendering of Elijah). After witnessing all these things, they also saw Jesus give up the ghost! They heard things they didn’t understand, they even heard Jesus say that something is finished, perhaps they must have thought he was talking about his powers!
The moment the body of Jesus was laid in the grave, the male disciples went about their various businesses because there was no longer a man who could double the fish and bread, a man who could have the women bring in all they have for the ministry! A man whom a woman gave up treasure for, an expensive perfume that could bring fortune. There was no longer a man who could print money using the mouth of a fish! All of those was gone and they even believed that Jesus was gone too and never to return! All that Jesus did while alive wasn’t enough to hold them that long in faith, it couldn’t hold them any farther than few hours. Peter even denied him before he died; others did the same by not identifying with him… Only the ladies followed behind but not because of trust in him anymore but as a result of genuine love. Women are good lovers anyway; when they love you they can do virtually anything for you.
The disciples forgot about Jesus and forgot his message, even those who killed Jesus remembered he talked about resurrection but the disciples didn’t. Perhaps they did but they never believed such a man whose power is finished can still come up from the land of the dead. The women remembered Jesus, loved him to death but also never believed that Jesus would come alive on the third day. Had they believed? They wouldn’t be coming to anoint him on the third day, they would be coming with musical instruments, dancing with lots of perfumes and oil to anoint him as king and not as corpse! They would dance their way to the tomb accompanied by the Disciples who would be so proud of ever associating themselves with Jesus. But no! They were coming with face full of tears and mourning because they believed that was the end of the man who showed them love, a man who was an example of what the perfect husband should look like!
Had they believed? The Disciples wouldn’t have gone fishing, they would have selected a planning committee that would ensure Jesus second grand entrance into Jerusalem, they would have hired the best horse in town and the best hall in Jerusalem, they would have published it all over Israel that Jesus is coming back to life but they didn’t trust Jesus and they were afraid Jesus won’t come back… they weren’t expecting Jesus, period! Even the women were only expecting a dead Jesus as long they live. When Mary Magdalene couldn’t find the body of Jesus in the tomb, she could have leaped in joy and announce the resurrected Jesus but rather she began to cry that the body of the dead Jesus has been transferred to a location where it will rotten! Oh yes! They believed Jesus will rot and that’s the end. So many things were just going on… The men who could have consoled them had simply gone fishing! It wasn’t their business any longer.
Even when an Angel had instructed the women to announce that Jesus is alive after they couldn’t find him in the tomb, the disciples saw them as people who were hallucinating. I love Luke, he has a way of making you feel the very scene of whatever has happened come alive. He wrote in verse 21:11 “And their words seemed to them as idle tales, and they believed them not”. The disciples didn’t believe those testimonies of a resurrected Jesus because they were sure Jesus died helplessly! Peter still doubted that Jesus is alive even after seeing an empty tomb! He had simply gone fishing!
In the past few weeks, we underwent a rigorous time of self discipline, self denial of so many things as we reflected on the suffering of Jesus, his death and his resurrection. In the Catholic churches, it was acted as though it was happening again, we had our diverse ways of journeying down into those times, we had diverse experiences and we equally acknowledge that Jesus is alive! However, Lent is over, Easter is far spent and the message of the resurrected Jesus is gradually fading from our lips. Our tweets are gradually shifting from the good news of Jesus, from the good news of God’s love to our various businesses! Have we also gone fishing?
Before Jesus ascended to heaven, he recalled all that has happened among him and his disciples. He wasn’t surprised at all, he knew it would happen and he choosed them for that reason! He knew Judas would betray him, he knew Peter would deny him; he knew that everyone will disbelieve him at the cross and he knew that he was all alone on this! But now that he has proven his words and his awesome power, he really needed to reassure his disciples that he is indeed worthy of their trust. He didn’t come asking them why they all left him and gone fishing, he didn’t bash them for forgetting him and for loosing trust in him. He simply needed to renew their relationship and remind them that they have signed an eternal pact with him. Peter was feeling guilty of all he did wrong, he could remember trying to stop Jesus from going to Jerusalem, he could remember all the things that really went wrong with him and it all burdened him as he gazed at Jesus. The scars were still fresh, the wounds seem un-healing and he really thought that this would be an everlasting reminder to Jesus that he denied him. He just couldn’t help the raging thoughts that almost took control of him. He didn’t only deny Jesus before the cross; he also denied Jesus on the cross and even denied him after the cross! So many sins… He thought Jesus was looking for better ways to show him his guilt. He deserved it anyway, he must have thought inside of him.
According to John, Jesus met them as they’ve gone fishing. They had all rejected him, it wasn’t just a thing peculiar to Peter, and they were all as guilty as Peter. Jesus would have barked at them angrily but he even repeated an action he did the first time they met him. He made them successful fishers but called them at the spot to leave their businesses and do his business! Yes, they have gone fishing but Jesus had his way of redirecting them. It was in this scene of regrets, scene of confusion and scene of emotional trauma that Jesus looked at Peter and decided to remind him of a task ahead… Peter wasn’t meant to fish in the sea, he was meant to fish men! Jesus saw Peter as guilt was written all over his face and he calmly said to Peter the best thing one could ever say to Peter. Three times did he ask Peter if he really loved him, three times did Peter assured him of his love for him and in these three times did Jesus ask him to feed his lamb, his sheep and his flocks. Peter was grieved when Jesus asked him if he really loved him but once again Jesus said to him “follow me”.
“Follow me” meant a lot to Peter and should mean a lot to us. Jesus was saying that he should leave the fishing business and follow him, Jesus was asking that he forget his past mistakes and follow him, Jesus was telling him that he give up on himself and follow him! It was a call of deliverance; it delivered Peter of all the emotional problem and guilt he had felt concerning his sins against Jesus. He forgot Jesus and went fishing but Jesus came up again to him and ask him to follow him!
Many of us have gone back to our sins, many of us have gone back to our old ways of life, and many of us have gone back to the business we were once called out from! After all, Lent and Holy Week is over and many are bent on covering up for all the alcohol they missed… It is Just two weeks and many aren’t talking about Jesus anymore, the passion of Christ movie has fade away and the television channels are back to their normal soap operas… We all have gone fishing! But Jesus is asking us again “Do you love me as much?”… Jesus is saying to us even in this time “FOLLOW ME…. Have you gone fishing? Leave it and follow me.”
(This narrative is based on the four gospels of the New Testament Bible.)
I hope this article blessed you… Please take a moment to share your story or testimony with us here.
You can also follow George on twitter @georgennad or download our android app to get all contents right into your device and read later. You can download George’s Diary App here