John 21: 10,11- Jesus asks "them" so why did Peter alone? And how?


#1

Thoughts on this:

In John 21:10 and 11 Jesus asks the disciples to bring in the net of Fish (which was so heavy the net almost tore and all those there could not haul it in), yet it is Peter ALONE that goes and brings it in.

What is your view about Peter’s sudden accord to do it HIMSELF without even looking back for help?

Secondly, how in the world did Peter manage to haul the net of Fish anyway?!

Thoughts and clarity for me please. :smiley:

MJ


#2

Stephen Ray wrote a book on the Gospel of John that had a fascinating take on this passage. He said that the net represents the entire Catholic Church, of which, Peter is the visible head. Although the other disciples helped to catch the fish, it is only through Peter’s net (Church) that the fish are brought to Jesus. What I found interesting is that it says the net which Peter brought was NOT TORN. The Greek word used for torn is something like schizo (I can’t remember how he spelled it), but it is the root word from which the English word schism is taken. The net Peter brought to Jesus is without schism. Probably not the interpretation that an Orthodox poster would agree with, but it is important to recognize that Peter didn’t catch the fish by himself.

This is private interpretation, of course.


#3

Well, I’d advise you to read carefully what the text says first. :stuck_out_tongue:

Just as day was breaking, Jesus stood on the shore; yet the disciples idid not know that it was Jesus.
Jesus said to them, “Children, do you have any fish?”
They answered him, “No.”
He said to them, “Cast the net on the right side of the boat, and you will find some.”
So they cast it, and now they were not able to haul it in, because of the quantity of fish.
That disciple whom Jesus loved therefore said to Peter, “It is the Lord!”
When Simon Peter heard that it was the Lord, he put on his outer garment, for he was stripped for work, and threw himself into the sea.
The other disciples came in the boat, dragging the net full of fish, for they were not far from the land, but about a hundred yards off. When they got out on land, they saw a charcoal fire there, with fish lying on it, and bread.
Jesus said to them, “Bring some of the fish that you have just caught.”
So Simon Peter went aboard and hauled the net ashore, full of large fish, a hundred and fifty-three of them; and although there were so many, the net was not torn.

They cannot haul it aboard the boats because there were so many fish so they had to drag it closer to shore, but Peter could haul it inland.

You might say that there is something in Peter and the Beloved Disciple (John?): Peter is the first to enter the tomb, while the Beloved Disciple is the first to believe in the Resurrection; the Beloved Disciple is the first to recognize Jesus and tells Peter, and Peter jumps onboard and swims ahead of the other disciples. You might say that the Beloved Disciple and Peter represent the two qualities that represent true discipleship in John’s gospel: belief and action.

I think the better question is, how come Jesus already had some fish cooking before Peter and the others had even brought their catch? :smiley:


#4

I have another one. The verb used for Peter “hauling” (helkyein) the net to shore is the same verb used by Jesus in at least two passages:

“No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him; and I will raise him up at the last day.” (6:44)

Jesus answered, “This voice has come for your sake, not for mine. Now is the judgment of this world, now shall the ruler of this world be cast out; and I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all men to myself.” (12:30-32)

You might say that Peter and the disciples are the means to the end of Jesus’ mission of drawing/hauling people to salvation.


#5

Sure. I took your advice and…

So Simon Peter went aboard and hauled the net ashore, full of large fish, a hundred and fifty-three of them; and although there were so many, the net was not torn.[/INDENT]

They cannot haul it aboard the boats because there were so many fish so they had to drag it closer to shore, but Peter could haul it inland.

Yes, ok I see how it may not be a big deal I guess. However, why is it stated that the fish were BIG fish? Why not just fish if this was a simple technical matter of physics? Unless there is an intense weight matter that is the actual focus and thus amazingly Peter was able to “casually” drag it in with ease. Just thinking. :hmmm:

You might say that there is something in Peter and the Beloved Disciple (John?): Peter is the first to enter the tomb, while the Beloved Disciple is the first to believe in the Resurrection; the Beloved Disciple is the first to recognize Jesus and tells Peter, and Peter jumps onboard and swims ahead of the other disciples. You might say that the Beloved Disciple and Peter represent the two qualities that represent true discipleship in John’s gospel: belief and action.

Sure. This is quite enlightening and makes good doctrinal sense so to speak. That said Jesus’ instruction was to “them”. Thus it doesn’ t answer why when Jesus seemed to be giving specific instruction to all, to bring in the haul Peter does it alone. Is it possible that this was a test to see who was MOST willing without hesitation, thus who he should choose as the head?

I think the better question is, how come Jesus already had some fish cooking before Peter and the others had even brought their catch? :smiley:

That deserves another thread.:cool:

MJ


#6

I think the Ideas of Peter just going and doing it himself speaks to the single mindedness and purposefulness of the man - and of discipleship. Just go do it. God will provide the way and the help that might be needed.

Secondly, how in the world did Peter manage to haul the net of Fish anyway?!

It could actually be easier to haul the net onto the shore than to haul it into the boat. There are very different physical forces at play in each case.
In the boat - the men are working directly against gravity AND in a boat that could (and would) roll toward the weight of the net and fish.
Near the shore, and pulling a net up onto the beach, one is on solid footing. One need not try to lift the full weight of the netted catch, but can roll, twist or drag the net along. In this way one is not having to deal with the entire load all at once.

Now what I suggest above is simply the physics of the matter. Whatever spiritual meanings are suggested by the text - that is something else.

Just some thoughts…

Peace
James


#7

:thumbsup: We’re on the same page:D

It could actually be easier to haul the net onto the shore than to haul it into the boat. There are very different physical forces at play in each case.
**In the boat - the men are working directly against gravity AND in a boat that could (and would) roll toward the weight of the net and fish. **
Near the shore, and pulling a net up onto the beach, one is on solid footing. **One need not try to lift the full weight of the netted catch, but can roll, twist or drag the net along. In this way one is not having to deal with the entire load all at once. **

I bolded the above because I don’t think St. John was intending to talk on the physics what transpired. There must be more to it.

Now what I suggest above is simply the physics of the matter. Whatever spiritual meanings are suggested by the text - that is something else.

That’s the thing. St. John had very good reason to report it. As what Patrick was expanding on I think. There’s a respect for St. Peter, by St. John. Very special indeed. :slight_smile:

MJ


#8

:thumbsup:

I bolded the above because I don’t think St. John was intending to talk on the physics what transpired. There must be more to it.

Perhaps - but you asked for input to help clarify…physics can be a part of that.

That’s the thing. St. John had very good reason to report it. As what Patrick was expanding on I think. There’s a respect for St. Peter, by St. John. Very special indeed. :slight_smile:

Agreed.

Peace
James


#9

I understand that sir. However, don’t you think when it is stated “Big Fish” these words are carefully chosen, regardless of the physics in the dragging and hauling?

MJ


#10

Forgive me for butting in :slight_smile: as I read it, I see Peter doing Jesus’ will as soon as it is made known to him. He didn’t look for assistance because his intentions were to do what was asked of him, without asking how or why. The size of the catch could perhaps be similar to a child who gives himself a hernia by lifting, without thinking about whether it’s too heavy or not… often we’re strong enough to lift something but as we get older we know it isn’t necessarily a good idea to strain. I think that St John is showing that St Peter is doing whatever Jesus asks of him, which is a fine example to us all :slight_smile:


#11

You might say that the whole scene is really about the restoration of Peter. Jesus’ triple question is the more obvious example, but here’s another one. Jesus roasts the fish over a charcoal fire; the only other charcoal fire in John’s gospel is the one Peter was warming himself in when he denied Jesus. Yes, the fact that John draws attention to Peter hauling the net by himself could be an image of Peter becoming a successful leader and ‘fisher of men’ who will bring men to Jesus. And yes, Peter performs what Jesus ordered by himself - this ties in with what I kind of implied earlier: if the Beloved Disciple was someone who believes, Peter is a man who acts.

That deserves another thread.:cool:

MJ

I had this rather weird picture in my head of the fish miraculously coming up to Jesus and then Jesus taking and cooking them. Yeah, I know He’s God and all and all creatures are under His domain, but those poor fish. :stuck_out_tongue: :smiley:


#12

Yes I think that words in Scripture are carefully chosen. I also think that we can sometimes over think things in Scripture. But that is perhaps another thread.

My reply was not given to discount the chosen text. Rather it was to directly answer the direct question you asked in your OP…

Secondly, how in the world did Peter manage to haul the net of Fish anyway?!

Thoughts and clarity for me please.

MJ

(Bolding mine)
My addressing of the physics was intended to provide you with the asked for “clarity” as it relates to the question you asked about how Peter managed hauling the net of large fish.
I hope that my reply was helpful on that account at least.

Peace
James


#13

Despite all the good observations and analysis of the passage, I couldn’t help but wonder if it one of the MANY verses in scripture that we trip over by being hung up only on the linguistic, rather than spiritual sense of the scripture.

Peace and all good!


#14

Interesting. :slight_smile:


#15

Isn’t the net whole, without tear or schism?

-Tim-


#16

A good understanding of Scripture requires that we first understand the literal sense. The spiritual senses flow from the literal sense. We first have to understand what the words on the page actually say.

This has been the way Christians have sought to understand the Bible since the very beginning. There have been encyclicals and books written about the “Four Senses of Scripture” which stress the need to understand the literal sense first.

google.com/search?q=four+senses+of+scripture&ie=utf-8&oe=utf-8&aq=t&rls=org.mozilla:en-US:official&client=firefox-a

-Tim-


#17

This is just off the top of my head; I could be wrong:

The boat represents the Church; we refer to it as the barque of Peter.

Where Jesus is waiting is the promised LAND.

Peter pulls the untorn net, not to his boat which was just offshore, but directly to the safety of the land which is our final destination.


#18

Absolutely.

And the 153 fish represents the number of nations that the people of that time thought existed in the world.


#19

Or perhaps the number of nations at the end of the world… if Europe became one big nation for example :wink:


#20

:thumbsup:


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