All the way to the end
MEDIUM: Acrylic, Framed
This is the first piece for my new series titled, “Where Jesus Walked.”
We recently brought back many things from our trip to Israel. Biblical knowledge and insight, deeper friendships, a few artifacts, and lifetime memories. One of my fondest memories is when my eye caught a seasoned fisherman in his boat slowly moving across the waters at Sea of Galilee. Our group was walking down the pier to ride on a boat named, “The Faith Boat” when he raised a smile and gave me a kind wave. The boat was filled with colorful bags. My guess is that inside the bags were his nets.
This brief encounter had me revisit the story when Jesus told his disciples who were fishermen to cast their nets on two different occasions. They miraculously hauled in so many fish their nets almost tore. After the first time he performed the miracle he said that he would make them fishers of men. It wasn’t till the end when they would understand fully how that work of the Lord would be done.
Being at the area of Sea of Galilee and having time to reflect and hear stories I began to put some real life context to the person of Jesus. He went around from village to village embracing the people of that area with a humble warm invitation. Caring, healing, teaching, loving..
I thought about the nets of that old fisherman. The boat filled with bags. Jesus, if I too am to be a fisher of men what are the nets I use?
“It was almost time for the Jewish Passover Feast. Jesus knew that it was time for him to leave this world and go back to the Father. He had always loved those who were his own in the world, and he loved them all the way to the end. Jesus and his followers were at the evening meal. The devil had already persuaded Judas Iscariot to turn against Jesus. (Judas was the son of Simon.) Jesus knew that the Father had given him power over everything. He also knew that he had come from God and was going back to God. So during the meal Jesus stood up and took off his outer clothing. Taking a towel, he wrapped it around his waist. Then he poured water into a bowl and began to wash the followers’ feet. He dried them with the towel that was wrapped around him. Jesus came to Simon Peter. But Peter said to Jesus, “Lord, are you going to wash my feet?” Jesus answered, “You don’t understand what I am doing now. But you will understand later.” Peter said, “No! You will never wash my feet.” Jesus answered, “If I don’t wash your feet, then you are not one of my people.” Simon Peter answered, “Lord, after you wash my feet, wash my hands and my head, too!” Jesus said, “After a person has had a bath, his whole body is clean. He needs only to wash his feet. And you men are clean, but not all of you.””
“Jesus said, “My children, I will be with you only a little longer. You will look for me. And what I told the Jews, I tell you now: Where I am going you cannot come. “I give you a new command: Love each other. You must love each other as I have loved you. All people will know that you are my followers if you love each other.””
“At dawn Jesus was standing on the beach, but the disciples couldn’t see who he was. He called out, “Fellows, have you caught any fish?” “No,” they replied. Then he said, “Throw out your net on the right-hand side of the boat, and you’ll get some!” So they did, and they couldn’t haul in the net because there were so many fish in it. Then the disciple Jesus loved said to Peter, “It’s the Lord!” When Simon Peter heard that it was the Lord, he put on his tunic (for he had stripped for work), jumped into the water, and headed to shore. The others stayed with the boat and pulled the loaded net to the shore, for they were only about a hundred yards from shore. When they got there, they found breakfast waiting for them—fish cooking over a charcoal fire, and some bread. “Bring some of the fish you’ve just caught,” Jesus said. So Simon Peter went aboard and dragged the net to the shore. There were 153 large fish, and yet the net hadn’t torn. “Now come and have some breakfast!” Jesus said. None of the disciples dared to ask him, “Who are you?” They knew it was the Lord. Then Jesus served them the bread and the fish.”
““Come to me, all of you who are tired and have heavy loads. I will give you rest. Accept my work and learn from me. I am gentle and humble in spirit. And you will find rest for your souls.”
God reminded me, “I love you forever, Glenn — All the way to the end. “
*1437 painted on the boat is the number of letters in each word for, “I love you forever.”