Beautiful and I enjoying the breeze as we sit in the sun room reading and discussing the twenty-first chapter of John's gospel. We see Jesus's disciples about 100 yards offshore in a "small ship" engaged in a futile attempt to make a catch. Jesus, standing on shore, tells them to cast the net on the other side of the boat.1 They caught so many fish that the boat would not draw the net. John told Peter, "It is Jesus," whereupon Peter, who was naked, put on a cloak and belted it. Then he stepped into the sea and other of the disciples in a nearby boat went to the aid of the first in dragging the net to shore.
Jesus was near a bed of coals on which were cooking fish and bread. "Bring your fish," he said. Peter drew the net filled with "great fish," even 153 fish. Here Beautiful and I had a discussion about the significance of the number 153. We'll have to cogitate on that a bit more.2
Jesus said, "Come and dine." Then follows the conversation in which Jesus asked Peter three times, "Do you love me?" At the third questioning Peter was grieved and Jesus said, "Feed my sheep." Then we hear Jesus say, "When you were young you dressed yourself and walked wherever you wanted; but when you are old you will stretch out your hands and another will dress you and take you where you don't want to go."
At our age, we observed, this requires no explanation or interpretation. We get it.
Then the greatest two-word commandment of Christ: "Follow me." And we have arrived at the crux of the message.
I was reading Pastor Pete Wilson a few days ago. He observed that all Christians are followers of Jesus, but we do not all walk in the same path. Beautiful and I were discussing this. I believe we grasp his point in that we all have different offices, different paths, in the same mission, namely "Go and make disciples." But she observed that the paths all converge before we pass into our eternal reward, for "Strait is the gate and narrow the way that leads into life everlasting."
She nailed it.
1This was Christ's third appearance to his disciples following his resurrection.
2We have studied this scriptural curiosity a bit more and found that many Bible scholars have puzzled over it, some proposing ideas or theories concerning the importance of the number 153 but there seems to be no widely-held belief on the subject