After reviewing John 21 for Sunday's Bible study, I had the following thoughts, which I decided to blog on so as to get the discussion started and not take to much time on Sunday morning. In the Good News Bible, Chapter 21 is divided into three sections with headings of: "Jesus Appears to Seven Disciples", "Jesus and Peter", and "Jesus and the Other Disciple". Here are my questions or comments.
- Jesus Appears to Seven Disciples - Why is it necessary to know that Peter was naked in the boat while fishing? If it was hot, why is only Peter naked? What is the writer saying by calling attention to Peter in this way?
- Jesus and Peter - As John was written some 70 to 90 years after the death of Jesus the person writing this was at least two generations removed from the life of Jesus. By this time the early church was in a struggle over who was the authentic successor to Jesus' leadership. There may have been several sects, some around Peter, some around Paul, maybe even some around Mary Magdelene. The author of these versus was definitely in the Peter camp.
- Jesus and the Other Disciple - What is this cryptic reference to a disciple that Jesus loved all about? If Jesus loved him, why did he pick Peter to "feed his sheep"? Even Peter doesn't seem to know what to do about him and Jesus essentially tells him it's none of his concern. What Greek word for love is used in the phrase "the disciple whom Jesus loved"? Is it "agape" or "philio" or "storge" or "eros"? By singling out this disciple in this way the text seems to be saying this was more than agape love. Why did the author put this in the text? What message is it trying to convey to us about Jesus or God?