Grace to you!
I continue our reflections on the theme of the Lord's resurrection.
Just as I have shown previously, there are several Biblical proofs to justify the Lord's resurrection. The Lord's appearances weren't a mere random occurrence. They weren't a phantom or a product of hallucination, or mere ghost appearances as some skeptics claim. There was a touch of order and strategy to them. The way and manner in which the Lord appeared, not just to one or two people but to many, should be convincing to an average person.
The Risen Lord appeared to many, from individuals to hundreds of people, as I have hinted before, over eleven times. The appearances to seven of the disciples, as recorded in the Gospel of John 21:1-14 by the Sea of Tiberias, is significant. Pay attention to its details.
Simon and the other disciples went fishing. They weren't daydreaming or praying in the Upper Room, nor were they deranged people. They knew precisely their left from their right.
The death of Jesus was a deep blow, for sure. Their hoped-for Messiah was dead. Hence, following the call of Simon, all seven returned to their old profession—fishing. They were fishermen.
Then came the appearance of Jesus by the Sea of Tiberias. It’s a vivid proof of the Resurrection. This 3rd appearance of Jesus to the disciples took place at a named location. It fulfilled the five Ws and one H of any valid eyewitness account. Namely: 1) Who was involved? They were the seven disciples. 2) What happened? Jesus' appearance. 3) Where? It happened by the Sea of Tiberias? Also, 4) when? It was morning because the Jewish fishermen at the time of Jesus fished in the morning. 5) And why? It was to prove Jesus truly resurrected in bodily form, not as a ghost or a spirit.
The "how" was evident from the opening line in the Gospel of John 21. "After this Jesus revealed himself again to the disciples by the Sea of Tiberias; and he revealed himself in this way” (Jn 21:1).
The evidence of the post-resurrection appearance by the Sea of Tiberias was so striking that the writer of the Gospel of John could not skip even minutest, most ordinary details of it. There were details about the names of the disciples—Simon, Thomas, Nathaniel, James, and John (the sons of Zebedee). Only two of the seven's names were not mentioned. There were details about Jesus standing on the beach. There were tiny information about the disciple's inability to recognize Jesus even after he opened up a friendly conversation with them, asking, "Children, have you any fish?" (John 21:5). There were also details about Jesus asking them to cast the net at a particular side of the Sea, and how they made a huge catch.
If these eyewitness accounts were a hallucination, it would be an unbelievable one. Also, such an illusion that took over the minds of seven fishermen on the boat on the Sea must be extremely beyond human experience.
How about the big catch, the sudden realization by John when he confessed, "It is the Lord"? Besides, there were details about the charcoal fire with fish lying on it and bread already prepared by Jesus. What about Jesus having breakfast with them? Do ghosts eat breakfast?
These are evidence beyond the imagination of the apostles. They knew that it would be impossible for the dead to appear in bodily form. Yet they saw Jesus. They touched him. Heard him ask them to cast the net in the lake. They also ate with him. This kind of phenomenon would be the complete opposite of what they could have imagined. Yet, they saw it right there and touched the body of the Lord.
Truth is, Jesus is Risen and alive. He is the Lord.
Pray: Lord Jesus, let me know you, the Risen Lord. May I continue to love you with all my heart by the power of your grace. Amen.
God love you. God bless you.
Fr. Maurice Emelu
[Easter Octave Friday: Acts 4:1-12: Jn 21:1-14]
Author and Goal
Father Maurice Emelu Ph.D., provides a daily blog of reflections based on the Scriptural readings of the day from the Catholic liturgical calendar. The goal is to teach, inspire, encourage, and foster healing through the grace of God's word. They are written in a language that is appropriate for a general audience. You will find these reflections helpful for your spiritual growth, inspiration, and developing your thoughts. They may also be useful for ministers in preparing their sermons for liturgical celebrations.