Reflecting on John 21: 1-19
We watched a stupid movie the other night. The wife has been disfigured, but transformed through plastic surgery. Now, beautiful again, she is shocked that her husband doesn’t recognize her.
“Oh, brother,” said my husband, “I would know you if you were a foot taller and bald. The second you even took a breath to say a word, I would know it was you.”
And I would know it was Ben. That’s why it’s so intriguing that the disciples, who have been with Jesus from the beginning of his public ministry at the Sea of Galilee, don’t recognize him when he appears at that very sea after his resurrection.
All but one, that is. The Beloved Disciple realizes at once that it is Jesus.
Who is this mysterious “disciple whom Jesus loved”? This anonymous disciple reclines next to Jesus at the Last Supper, stands with Mary at the foot of the cross, races to the tomb with Peter on Easter morning, and, now, is the first to know that the stranger calling from the shore is Jesus himself.
My student of many years ago changed my understanding of the Beloved Disciple forever. He said, “Kathy, whenever I read about the disciple Jesus loved I just put my name there. I say, ‘and then Jose, the disciple Jesus loved, put his head on Jesus’ breast.’ Or, at the cross, ‘Woman, behold Jose. Jose, behold your mother.’”
Now that’s the way to pray the gospels. Try it. Put your name there. Imagine that is you racing to the tomb, and you seeing the angels. And, yes, it is you who is given the charge to “go and tell the others.”
Are you afraid to talk about the resurrection of Jesus in our increasingly secular culture?
Kathy McGovern ©2016