So Long and Thanks for All the Fish
SBS: First time I filled in for Dr. Kennedy, difference between a piece of cardboard and a pane of glass. I hope I have been an adequate piece of cardboard and not a real pane.
Intro: So long and thanks for all the fish. I am not saying that I am smarter because I am leaving. In fact I am not leaving the planet or the church. I am not saying that the church is going to implode. This is just a geek way of saying goodbye. If you have been to a sci-fi or comic book convention you will hear this a lot.
Kids often go to breakfast with famous characters: with Santa or with the Disney characters. This is a story about going to breakfast with Jesus.
EVERY PERSON SHOULD REALIZE WHAT JESUS BROUGHT TO THE BEACH THAT DAY.
- JESUS BRINGS UNITY VV. 1-3
- Unity between those who are different personalities. Peter and John; Peter is at times boastful and loud, John will not even mention his own name.
- Unity between those who are different philosophically. Thomas and Nathanial. Thomas is a skeptic, Nathanial is an anti-skeptic (he believes too easily in John 1:48-51.
- There will be an attempt by the evil one to disrupt the unity of this church in the next few weeks or months. Don’t let that happen.
The German philosopher Schopenhauer compared the human race to a bunch of porcupines huddling together on a cold winter’s night. He said, “The colder it gets outside, the more we huddle together for warmth; but the closer we get to one another, the more we hurt one another with our sharp quills. And in the lonely night of earth’s winter eventually we begin to drift apart and wander out on our own and freeze to death in our loneliness.”
Christ has given us an alternative—to forgive each other for the pokes we receive. That allows us to stay together and stay warm.
- JESUS BRINGS COURAGE VV 4-7
- Courage causes us to do things that we never thought we could do. Peter Jumps into the water with his clothes to get closer to Jesus. When this same miracle happens in Luke 5 Peter says “get away from me, I am unclean”
- Courage causes us to do things that we don’t understand. “Put your net on the right side. The disciples dragged a net with 153 fish in it. WHAT DOES 153 FISH MEAN?
Winston Churchill was famous for his occasional merciless attacks on his foes. Once, speaking before Parliament, he tore into England’s Prime Minister Ramsay MacDonald, whom Churchill regarded as spineless and weak. Staring across the well at MacDonald, Churchill growled, “I remember when I was a child being taken to the celebrated Barnum’s Circus which contained an exhibition of freaks and monstrosities, but the exhibit on the program which I most desired to see was the one described as ‘The Boneless Wonder.’ My parents judged that the spectacle would be too revolting and demoralizing for my youthful eyes, and I have waited fifty years to see the ‘Boneless Wonder’ sitting on the Treasury Bench.”
We must never be “boneless wonders,”
- JESUS BRINGS GRACE VV8-14
- Grace does not pretend -word for fire is unusual and used only here and in John when Peter denies Jesus beside a fire. There has been failure, but no failure is so great that it cannot be used by Jesus.
Malcom Muggeridge says “Christianity, from Golgotha onwards, has been the sanctification of failure”
- Grace does not discourage. Peter is still a disciple despite his flaws. Notice what will happen to Peter in vv 18-19 Peter will be crucified. Not because Peter is the greatest at not sinning, but because he is the greatest at repenting.
John Paton’s life was molded by his childhood in a little cottage in Kirkmahoe, Scotland. The cottage had ribs of oak, stone walls, a thatched roof, and three rooms filled with eleven children. The front room served as bedroom, kitchen, and parlor. The rear room was his father’s stocking-making shop. The middle room was a closet where John’s father retired each day for prayer and Bible study. The sound of his father’s prayers through the wall made a powerful impression on young John.
Years later, when Scotland’s Reformed Church issued a plea for missionaries for the South Pacific, John went to his parents for advice. They told him something they had never before disclosed—he had been dedicated to foreign missions before birth.
John sailed from Scotland April 16, 1858, landing on the islands in November. He found himself among cannibals, endangered again and again. “They encircled us in a deadly ring,” he wrote of one incident, “and one kept urging another to strike the first blow. My heart rose up to the Lord Jesus; I saw him watching all the scene. My peace came back to me like a wave from God. I realized that my life was immortal till my Master’s work with me was done.”
The turning point came when Paton decided to dig a well to provide fresh water for the people. The islanders, terrified at bringing “rain from below,” watched with deepest foreboding. Paton dug deeper and deeper until finally, at thirty feet, he tapped into a stream of water. Opposition to his mission work ceased, and the wide-eyed islanders gave him their full respect. Chief Mamokei accepted Christ as Savior, then a few others made the daring step. On October 24, 1869, nearly eleven years after his arrival, Paton led his first communion service. Twelve converted cannibals partook of the Lord’s Supper. “As I put the bread and wine into those hands once stained with the blood of cannibalism, now stretched out to receive and partake the emblems of the Redeemer’s love,” he wrote, “I had a foretaste of the joy of Glory that well nigh broke my heart to pieces.”
That Grace is available to you. You remember that.
SO LONG, AND THANKS FOR ALL THE FISH.