tirsdag 25. april 2017

Statistics with a deeper meaning - a time for everything.

When I see a deeper meaning in a Bible text than what is immediately there, I want to make it very clear that my reflection must be seen as an 'interesting observation' and should not be regarded as a doctrinal statement. This also applies to the subject of the ‘mystery of numbers’

I think the disciples saw some remarkable connections between numbers and the surrounding world of their time. May be that is why we find accurate statistics in the report of the great catch at the Sea of Galilee after Jesus’ resurrection:
So Simon Peter climbed back into the boat and dragged the net ashore. It was full of large fish, 153, but even with so many the net was not torn.
John 21:11
Normally we tend to give a round number when we tell a story. If I had been part of the event above, I guess I would have said, "We caught more than 150 large fish!". But that is if I had not discovered something sensational with the figure "153". John must have seen something significant since he recorded it, and it must have been important for the message of the gospel he wrote.

Today we can only guess and there are many theories. Several of them may seem a bit farfetched. For me the most interesting theory is that a Greek zoologist around the time of Jesus stated that the number of all known species of fish was 153 (1)

If Peter's catch of fish is also a prophetic event and a confirmation that he and the disciples were called to become fishers of men, it is a fascinating thought that all "species" are included. Then the disciples could have seen something prophetic in the '153 figure'. The mission they had received was for all races and nations. This was an important repetition of education in the 'refreshment period' between Easter and Pentecost. More thoughts about this tomorrow.

‘Manna’ for today:

Whosoever will, can be ‘caught’. 
(1) A. Skaaheim: «Johannesevangeliet» Lunde 1990 s. 353 (Norwegian source)
* 'A time for everything' is connected with the Bible's teaching about a 'season for every activity' Eccl 3 This series is about the teaching in the time between Easter and Pentecost.

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