Jesus' plan to be crucified (5)
One night, the disciples, who had trusted in Jesus' words that he would go ahead of them into Galilee after he was raised from the dead(Mat26:32,Mr14:28), returned to Galilee and went out to the Sea of Tiberias to fish. But that night they caught nothing.
Early in the morning, a man stood on the shore and called out to them, "Throw your net on the right side of the boat." When they did, they caught the net full of fish, 153.
When they landed, they saw a fire of burning coals there with fish on it, and some bread. The man took the bread and gave it to them, and did the same with the fish. None of the disciples dared ask him, "Who are you?" They knew it was the Lord. (John21:1-12)
Do you truly love me more than these?
When they had finished eating, Jesus said to Simon Peter, "Simon son of John, do you truly love me more than these?" "Yes, Lord," he said, "you know that I love you." Jesus said, "Feed my lambs."
Again Jesus said, "Simon son of John, do you truly love me?" He answered, "Yes, Lord, you know that I love you." Jesus said, "Take care of my sheep."
The third time he said to him, "Simon son of John, do you love me?" Peter was hurt because Jesus asked him the third time, "Do you love me?" He said, "Lord, you know all things; you know that I love you." Jesus said, "Feed my sheep. (John21:15-17)
Agapao and Phileo
Jesus included all earthly things into the words of "these things" and asked Peter if he could cut the ties with "these things" and love "Son of man" as an entity which transcend everything in this world such as the seed of Abraham and then take care of his sheep. Howeve Peter seems to have been unable to understand Jesus' real intention.
When he asked Peter "Do you love me?" three times, Jesus used the verb "agapao" in Greek each time which means the greatest or spiritual love. On the other hand, Peter used the verb "phileo" which means secular love such as loves among brotherhood or between parents and children in each his answer.
You must follow me
Jesus continued to talk to Peter, "I tell you the truth, when you were younger you dressed yourself and went where you wanted; but when you are old you will stretch out your hands, and someone else will dress you and lead you where you do not want to go." (John21:18)
Here, the author of the Gospel of John annotated that Jesus had said this to indicate the kind of death by which Peter would glorify God. (John21:19)
Then Jesus said to him, "Follow me!" Peter turned and saw that the disciple whom Jesus loved was following them. This was the one who had leaned back against Jesus when Jesus testified, "I tell you the truth, one of you is going to betray me" at the supper and all his disciples were startled and stared at one another except him. It seemed to be utterly indifferent to him who he was. He remained leaning back against Jesus and said, "Lord, who is going to betray you?"
When Peter saw him, he asked, "Lord, what about him?" Jesus answered, "If I want him to remain alive until I return, what is that to you? You must follow me." (Jon21:21-22)
John plays Kichiuemon's role？
The author of the Gospel of John not only often described himself as "the disciple whom Jesus loved" and claimed his testimony to be true but also suggested that Jesus had entrusted him with the duty to tell the truth and true meaning of his crucifixion to posterity, letting Jesus, who had appeared to his disciples by the Sea of Tiberias, say "If I want him (the author of the Gospel of Jon) to remain alive until I return, ....".
Among the Apostles, there were, James the Greater, the elder brother of John, was beheaded by Herod Agrippa I in 43 AD. and James the Lesser, Jesus' younger brother, who led the Christian sect after Jesus and was martyred in 63 AD.. Paul and Peter were executed by Nero in 65 AD. and 67 AD. respectively.
Afterward, Thomas, Matthew, Andrew and Thaddeus, another younger brother of Jesus suffered the same fate in India (Thomas), in Ethiopia or Heliopolis of Persia (Matthew), in Achaia region of Greece (Andrew) and in Persia (Thaddeus) respectively.
Regarding Simon the Zealot, he was said to have suffered death in British Isles, Egypt or Persia and also said to have beeen involved in a Jewish revolt against the Romans, which was brutally suppressed.
Bartholomew (Nathanael), whom Jesus called "a true Israelite", was said to have been flayed alive and crucified, head downward in Armenia.
Therefore only Philip and John fulfilled their natural lives among the 12 Apostles.
Kichiuemon Terasaka only survived while joining to the raid of the Forty-seven Akoo Loyal Retainers who commited seppuku (ritual suicide) except Kichiuemon after completion of their mission of avenging their master's honor. Therefore he suffered the disgrace of a fugitive for some time. However he was actually given another mission to remain alive and tell the truth of the raid to posterity by Kuranosuke Ohishi, the leader of the Forty-seven Samurai.
The author of the Gospel of John may have also felt a certain sense of shame on which he was the only one remaining among the 12 Apostles.
Truth of the Crucifixion
The author of the Gospel of John suggested that the High Priest Caiaphas played a very important role by quoting two times latter's words "You do not realize that it is better for you that one man die (as a Messiah) for the people than that the whole nation perish. He will die for the Jewish nation, and not only for that nation but also for the scattered children of God, to bring them together and make them one." (John11:50-52)
Caiaphas, who might think that rapprochement with the Roman Empire was important as the Old Testament prophets, Jeremiah and Daniel had preached cooperation with the New Babylonia and Persia, seems to have welcomed the advent of the Messiah such as Jesus.
Afterwards Caiaphas' plan was affected by the revolt against Rome which occurred twice. However Paul succeeded in laying the foundation for the rapid growth of the Christian world outside of Judea through structuring a theory that combined the faith of Jesus' resurrection and the Jewish eschatology.
Mr. Shlomo Sand, Professor of history at Tel Aviv University says "The biggest reason for the depletion of Jews' population in Palestine is that many Jews have converted to Christian and Islam. It seems that Christian missionary work realized great achievements in the Jewish nation too.
According to his book "The Invention of the Jewish People", the Jewish population in Palestine was only about 800 thousand in the 1st century. In contrast, the Jewish population in the world was about 4 million. He thinks that the judaism permeated quickly in area around the Mediterranean from the B.C. 1st century to the A.D. 1st century.
Around the overseas Jewish community, there might be huge number of reserve army of believers who were interested in monotheistic faith of salvation but yet hesitated to embrace thanks due to strict commandments. Therefore a new theory of soteriology and the new covenants, which Paul had built, were a respond to the needs of the era.
True meaning of the Crucifixion
However the more important thing which the author of the Gospel of John wanted to tell us is the mystery that salvation through the atonement and resurrection of the Messiah will be immediately realized without having to wait for the last day which no one knows, including Jesus.(Mat24:36).
After Last Supper, Jesus said "If you love me, you will obey what I command. And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Counselor to be with you forever, the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him, for he lives with you and will be in you.(John14:15-17)" He continued to preach "In that day you will no longer ask me anything. I tell you the truth, my Father will give you whatever you ask in my name. Until now you have not asked for anything in my name. In that day you will ask in my name. I am not saying that I will ask the Father on your behalf. Ask and you will receive, and your joy will be complete.(John16:23-26)"
After finishing the last preachment, Jesus went a little distance away from his disciples and prayed, "For them I sanctify myself, that they too may be truly sanctified. (Now I will crucify myself and give you my flesh in sacrifice, so that they too may truly sublimate their flesh filled with blind passions.)"(John17:19)
As long as Jesus remains in this world, his disciples rely on him and never directly confront God. And Jesus himself, if remains in this world with his flesh, he also cannot dwell in the disciples' hearts as the Spirit of truth. This is why he chose to be crucified.
He took Peter and the two sons of Zebedee (John and his elder brother, James the Greater)along with him while praying according to the Gospel of Matthew.(Mat26:37)
God of the living
Nevertheless, Jesus never denied this world and yet there are not two different, spiritual and secular loves in this world.
Jesus was said to love Mary Magdalene most among his disciples. Jesus' love was "phileo" as Son of man and was "agapao" as Son of God. Regarding "Agapao" that he had with God before the creation of the world(John17:5/17:24), there is no difference between male and female. There is no God and no Jesus. Indeed, Holy am I alone throughout heaven and earth. I will release all the suffering in the world.(Xiuxingbenqijing)
Jesus said to them, "When you make the two into one, and when you make the inner like the outer and the outer like the inner, and the upper like the lower, and when you make maile and femaile into a single one, so that the maile will not be maile nor the femaile be femaile -omit-, then you will enter the kingdom.(Thomas 22)
Jesus said to the Sadducees, who alleged there is no resurrection, "God is not the God of the dead, but of the living"(Luke20:38) and to the Pharisees "Haven't you read that at the beginning the Creator made them male and female. For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh. So they are no longer two, but one. Therefore what God has joined together, let man not separate."(Mat 19:3-6)
Although the way to build the Kingdom of God in this world is far and it may extend through all eternity, a man, who makes a step forward for it, is the one who lives in heaven while staying in this world.(Thomas18)
Fusion of Eschatology and Gnosticism
When the author of the Gospel of John became the only survivor among the Twelve Apostles, he built its own revival faith by incorporating doctrines of the Gnostic Gospels such as Thomas and Paul's theory of atonement and eschatology.
The Gnostic preaches that people can be released from the bitter misfortune of this world and obtain eternal life by recognizing the intrinsic self as the supreme entity in human being.
Jesus says "This is eternal life: that they may know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent."(John17:3)
The author of the Gospel of John has fused the eschatology and Gnosticism perfectly, claiming that Jesus is incarnation of the intrinsic Self, the Spirit of Truth and people who believe in Jesus and practice his teaching can conceive the Spirit of Truth and live in heaven while staying in this world.
The origin of Gnosticism
Actually Paul also more or less preached the theory of Gnosticism in his letters, such as the Epistle to the Romans.
Or have you forgotten that when we were joined with Christ Jesus in baptism, we joined him in his death? For we died and were buried with Christ by baptism. And just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glorious power of the Father, now we also may live new lives. Since we have been united with him in his death, we will also be raised to life as he was.(Roma 6:3-5)
There is no longer Jew or Gentile, slave or free, male and female. For you are all one in Christ Jesus. (Galatians 3:28)
It indicates the fact there are Gnosticism origin in Jesus' teaching itself, along with the resurrection belief and the eschatology.(Eko-an Hensho:2011-07-21)
What is "Baptism with The Holy Spirit"?
According to the dialectic of the Gospel of John,
【thesis】 "A man can possess eternal life through accepting testimony of the Son of man and being baptized by him." (John 5:24)
【anti-thesis】 But "The one who comes from the earth cannot accept the testimony by one from heaven."(John 3:32)
How then can a man possess eternal life?
【synthesis】 "If you want to be baptized with the Holy Spirit, you can just go back to the word which was with God in the beginning (John 1:1) and certify that God is truthful. (John 3:33)"
When he said, "You are Huichao," Zen Master Fayan thrusted vivid Self in Huichao in front of his eyes. (The Origin of Christianity P.171)
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