Jesus of Nazareth – Chapter 9

           Pope Benedict had some very interesting points of reflection in this chapter. The first half of the chapter he puts the main focus on Peter and his confession to Jesus. Pope Benedict points out how Peter’s reaction to Jesus after catching the abundance of fish, when told to cast out into the deep, is really man’s reaction when coming into contact with the Divine. Peter realizes that this catch of fish is miraculous and he immediately realizes that the power of God had come in contact with him, a lowly fisherman. He does not know how to act in front of the Divine so he asks Jesus to depart from his presence.

       In the second half of this chapter, Pope Benedict reflects on the Transfiguration of Jesus on the mountain. He makes a beautiful comparison of Moses receiving the Torah on Mount Sinai and Jesus being the Torah.

5 thoughts on “Jesus of Nazareth – Chapter 9”

  1. When one comes into contact with the Divine, one casts into the deep. That’s a neat image! It’s amazing how Benedict writes, capturing the human experience when explaining the Gospel message. When we come into contact with God, we should have this sense of being “amazed and afraid” at His power and His love for us. The encounter demands a response. The demand seems to center on a conscious living in the presence of God. If God is in “our boat”, so to speak, it changes everything.

  2. One of the indications of meeting the Lord Jesus is the fact that he unveils our unworthiness and inadequacies before his presence. We realize immediately how unable we are, to either repay or reciprocate his love lavished generously on us. Despite all these however, Jesus continues to bless us and show us that our own reason is not enough to draw us closer to him. He is the one who ultimately calls us, cleanses us and commissions us to go out to the world and bear fruits, fruits that will last forever. All we have to do just like Peter, is to recognize our unworthiness.

  3. I like your criticism! It is short and simple, basically, to the point. It is interesting to know that Peter’s reaction is a common reaction when one has an encounter with God. Such a moment/moments could fill one’s heart with joy or peace… as when people experienced Jesus’ healing power or one could react with doubt and rejection… as Peter did. Another thing I learned from your observation is the comparison between receiving the Torah and being the Torah. Being the Torah, which is Jesus, is present and waiting for each one of us in the sacraments, especially in the Eucharist. Each time one receives the Holy Communion, he/she is receiving the Torah.

  4. this is a very simple yet insightful reflection, you catch the purpose of Pope Benedict on Chapter 9. The way you describe Peter’s reaction to the divine presence of God in the person of Jesus is useful and relational and when got me into thinking of how I can be overwhelming in different situations of my life when I experience the presence of God in the person of Jesus in my relationship with others. Thank you, Ckain!

  5. I really appreciate Carson’s summary, as well as the further discussion of Peter’s reaction in the face of Divinity. I recall an experience early on in my (re) conversion, where it became clear that I had just stumbled into an opportunity to help a desperate friend closer to Christ. After it had occurred, that passage (Depart from me, Lord, for I am a sinful man…) “popped” into my prayer, even though I was very much a Bible beginner myself. I knew I was unworthy and in over my head – and that was a major step forward for me. This chapter also includes a great example of Benedict – studious and holy – forcefully dismantling theological excesses. To those who try to attribute the words of Peter as post-Easter additions, Benedict says: “Scholarship overplays its hand with such reconstructions.”

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