Saturday, September 8, 2012


Artist Masaccio
"Adam and Eve Expelled
 from the Garden"
At some point or other, we have all either actually been embarrassed by our nakedness or have had the "Pants free dream" which has caused a bit of stress in our lives.

I was reviewing notes in one of my well-read and marked up Bibles and came across John 21.  While this chapter is FULL of hope, grace, and promise, there is a section which acts as the precursor and is sad to me.

John 21: 1-7 (KJV)

"After these things Jesus shewed himself again to the disciples at the sea of Tiberias; and on this wise shewed he himself.  There were together Simon Peter, and Thomas called Didymus, and Nathanael of Cana in Galilee, and the sons of Zebedee, and two other of his disciples. Simon Peter saith unto them, I go a fishing. They say unto him, We also go with thee. They went forth, and entered into a ship immediately; and that night they caught nothing. But when the morning was now come, Jesus stood on the shore: but the disciples knew not that it was Jesus.  Then Jesus saith unto them, Children, have ye any meat? They answered him, No.  And he said unto them, Cast the net on the right side of the ship, and ye shall find. They cast therefore, and now they were not able to draw it for the multitude of fishes.  Therefore that disciple whom Jesus loved saith unto Peter, It is the Lord. Now when Simon Peter heard that it was the Lord, he girt his fisher's coat unto him, (for he was naked,) and did cast himself into the sea."
To set the stage a bit, if you are unfamiliar: within the past several days, Jesus was arrested, Peter had denied the Lord three times, Jesus was crucified and buried, Jesus resurrected, the disciples found the grave empty, and the disciples gathered together to contemplate what to do next.

Notice how soon they return to what they used to do.  Peter and the others went fishing.  They were fishermen before their calling.  When they encounter an obstacle they do not understand or know how to deal with, they returned to their old ways.

Many Christians are like this (I, too, am guilty in the past).  They encounter a road block, so they return to the wide road with fewer struggles along the way.

While they were out fishing, and having no success, Jesus appeared to them unrecognized. (Powerful to me: when we return to our old ways, we can't see Jesus for who He is!!!)  It took a minor miracle (cast your nets on the right side and ye shall find...and now they were not able to draw it for the multitude of fishes) for them to see Him for who He is.  (Side note: my interpretation of Jesus's command to cast the net on the right side is what He is really saying is "Get right! Fix your eyes on what is truly important and you will see the bounties of my glory!")

Peter was reeling still from his denial, his disassociation with the Man he had sworn to follow even unto the grave (Matthew 26:35)  He had been told of the missing body and ran to the tomb to see it himself, and walked away "marveling to himself at what had happened" (Luke 24:12).

Peter of all the disciples, was the impulsive one.  He usually let his mouth and actions overshoot the goal.  Do a character study on him and you will find, time after time, he overreacts or gets ahead of Jesus's plans.  The main point I am hoping to make here occurs in the last verse.  Peter, after realizing it was the Lord, "girt his fisher's coat onto him (for he was naked) and did cast himself into the sea."

In this case, the parallel to Genesis 3:10 is striking, "And he said, I heard thy voice in the garden, and I was afraid, because I was naked; and I hid myself."

Adam (and Peter) realized they were naked in the presence of the Lord.  This nakedness, both physically and spiritually, caused them to be embarrassed and to cover themselves.  But clothes (or leaves) can only cover the physical nakedness.  When our spirits are naked, they need so much more that only God can provide, for only God can cover up our true nakedness.

Dear Lord, when I hit a roadblock, help me to wait on your directions instead of returning to my old ways.  Keep me clothed in your Word so my spiritual nakedness is covered.  Father, thank you for allowing me to see You more clearly day by day. Keep my eyes open so I can see You for who You are. 

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