An Amputated Soul

Scripture Resource Passage: John 21:20-24

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            Disconnected. An amputated soul—as in a cut-off arm or leg. If the limb is gone, it is gone—disconnected. 

            Peter (a close follower of Jesus) disconnects himself, when he presumes to know more than he knows—thinking he understands more than he understands. Amputated—please read today’s Scripture Resource Passage with care (John 21:20-24).

            Personally, I am very glad God saw fit to include the startling encounter, because I find myself thinking ‘Hea brothers and sisters, I know what’s happening.’ Actually, I seldom know what’s happening. An example? Sure.

            I thought I knew there was a nearly unstoppable positive and seismic-like shift occurring in the world’s economy. February, 2020 and businesses world-wide and the United States were booming. Corporate profits were up. At some levels there were good beginnings for a national debate of caring for disenfranchised people. Additionally, employment numbers were at all time high levels. 

            Moving forward to June, 2020 there are now reports of profound unemployment. Will it stabilize at 20%? Even asking the question tells us—not good; and our national focus now moves to social distancing. Washing your hands has become more than your mother’s gentle reminder before dinner

            Small businesses are crashing—employment layoffs and furloughs are being reported hourly. We long to see indicators of non-amputated souls even as additional tragedies occur which reveal continued racial bias and discrimination. 

            I thought I knew what was occurring—turns out, I did not. 

            There is a miniscule presence, maybe you know of it—Covid-19? Very very small in size. Joining the corona virus, a recent incident issue of social justice denied is demanding to be acknowledged. Has a heart amputation occurred?

            I, like Peter, may have thought I understood the grand scheme at play, obviously I did not. I was focusing elsewhere when I should have been paying attention. Here’s the transition from my own foolish heart to Peter—as portrayed in John’s Gospel.

            Peter seems caught up in the issue of what is happening with someone else—whose name was John (check the Scripture Resource Passage if you have lost the thread of the story). An amputation of Peter’s heart has occurred. 

            In the story Jesus speaks to Peter’s disconnect (his spiritual amputation). Jesus asserts that Peter’s focus should be on Peter’s own issues. Directly to Peter Jesus says, “You [must] follow me” (John 21:22).

            Jesus continues, “What is it to you if I want him to remain alive?” Peter, close companion of Jesus for nearly three years  presumed to act as if he was in on the inside game of God. Jesus simply reminds him that he may be a rock, but he (Peter), is not the Rock.

            God have mercy on us. Correct me, correct the nations as you will. We hear the words of Jesus— ‘You, pay attention. Follow me—don’t live an amputated-life.’

Life Application Questions

  1. How would you counsel Peter to continue developing as a disciple?

What feelings were evoked in Peter’s soul when he heard the words of Jesus?

Published by Andrew Simkins

Dr. Andrew Simkins provides spiritual direction for individuals and small groups through the regular blog posts found on this site. He resides in northwest Indiana with his beloved, along with nearby children and grandchildren who are the adornment of his life.

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