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What Were They Thinking?

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“I am going out to fish,” [John 21.3] said Peter to the other disciples who for some strange reason were down by the Sea of Galilee when Jesus had specifically told them on that first night to wait in Jerusalem until the Holy Spirit had come.  So what were they doing some 70 to 80 miles away from Jerusalem when they had been told to wait there?  It would appear that they had gone home instead of waiting for Jesus.  Or did they leave Jerusalem specifically for the fishing trip?  Now, it seems well and ordinary for them to go fishing, so we have thought, until you realise that those were the days after the resurrection.

What would go through our minds that we can only think of going fishing after we have seen Him risen from the dead?  It is amazing that though Jesus appeared to them in Jerusalem, they did not tell Jerusalem about it until Acts 2.  And what is more amazing is that when they were back in Galilee, the only noteworthy event was the fishing trip.  There are not records that they spread the good news of the resurrection as they passed through Samaria and around Galilee.  Would Galilee not be the place where you would tell everyone that He has risen from the dead?  How do we know that they did not preach the gospel in Samaria as they passed through on the way back to Galilee, and likewise did not preach the gospel when they were back in Galilee?

In Acts 8.5 Phillip preached the word of God in Samaria, and in verse 14 it is written:  When the apostles in Jerusalem heard that Samaria had accepted the word of God, they sent Peter and John to them.  The same Peter and John who would have had to walk through Samaria to go fishing in Galilee.  If they had preached when they first went through, then Phillip would not be greeted by the Samaritans as if his message was new.  So, it is apparent that they kept silent when they went pass Samaria on the way to Galilee.

If they had preached the good news of Jesus’ resurrection in Galilee, they would not have had the time to go fishing.  They would have had people following them in the hope of catching a glimpse of Jesus.  However, it is obvious that there were no crowds on the shore that morning waiting for them… waiting for Jesus.  Instead, it was the lone figure of Jesus on the shore that they saw.

So, what is this mystery?  Why would men who have been discipled by the Lord Himself keep quiet about the greatest miracle of all?  Keeping quiet in Jerusalem may be understandable, but in Galilee where they themselves were known to be the disciples of Jesus, how could they have kept quiet?  That is the mystery.  How can men keep quiet about the truth, and not just a truth, but a truth so powerful and glad that everyone should know?  If you can see the problem, you might understand why when John was shown the title of the woman in Revelation 17, the one the angel called the great prostitute, her first title is MYSTERY.

The power of the prostitute church comes from men who would keep silent about the resurrection of the Lord Jesus and the truth of His word.  Instead, they seek to silently pass by people who need to hear the news because they are considered inferior to them, and they seek after their own desires first rather than let their neighbours know the truth and the good news.  That is the behaviour of the sons and daughters of the prostitute – hiding the truth from people whom they consider inferior to them while they seek to satisfy their own desires and needs.  The forced conversion of pagans and the colonisation of nations so that their ‘Christian’ society is established while the land is pillaged and the people are sold as slaves.

That is the reason why the first title of the prostitute is MYSTERY.  It is the mystery of the apostles.  How could they have kept silent in Jerusalem after they had seen the risen Christ?  How could they have kept silent when they went through Samaria?  Surely they would have visited and stopped at Sychar.  How could they have kept silent in Galilee when there were multitudes there who had been healed?  Surely they would have told the two centurions, for their fishing boats were moored near Capernaum.  Surely… truly… MYSTERY.

As such, the first order of battle against the prostitute is to remove the mystery, and be disciples who would share the truth about the resurrection of the Christ we know, in places that are hostile to us, to people we consider inferior to us and to all our friends and neighbours… just for the sake of sharing the joyful, most wonderful news of our Lord and Friend – He is ALIVE!!!  Really alive… like walking, talking, eating… alive… for that is how Jesus first showed Himself.

Hr. Ed Kwan

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