Rescued from the Crab Trap

The Gospel for May 8, 2022:  John 10:22-30

22At that time the festival of the Dedication took place in Jerusalem. It was winter, 23and Jesus was walking in the temple, in the portico of Solomon. 24So the Jews gathered around him and said to him, “How long will you keep us in suspense? If you are the Messiah, tell us plainly.” 25Jesus answered, “I have told you, and you do not believe. The works that I do in my Father’s name testify to me; 26but you do not believe, because you do not belong to my sheep. 27My sheep hear my voice. I know them, and they follow me. 28I give them eternal life, and they will never perish. No one will snatch them out of my hand. 29What my Father has given me is greater than all else, and no one can snatch it out of the Father’s hand. 30The Father and I are one.”
Rescued from the Crab Trap written by Pastor Phil Beck

Grace be unto you and peace from God the Father Almighty and our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.  Amen

Some time ago there was a story in the San Francisco Chronicle about a female humpback whale that had become entangled in a spider web of crab traps and lines. She was weighted down by hundreds of pounds of traps that caused her to struggle to stay afloat. She had hundreds of yards of line rope wrapped around her body, her tail, her torso, and a line tugging in her mouth.  Thankfully, a fisherman spotted her just east of the Farralone Islands (outside the Golden Gate) and radioed an environmental group for help. Within a few hours, the rescue team arrived and determined she was in such bad condition the only way to save her was to dive in and untangle her, a very dangerous proposition.


One slap of the enormous whale’s tail could kill a rescuer. Still, the brave rescuers worked for hours cutting her free. One guy who was cutting the rope out of her mouth says her eye was following him the whole time. Eventually, they were able to free her.  As soon as she became free, the divers say she began to swim in what seemed like joyous circles. She then came back to each and every diver, one at a time, and nudged them, pushed them gently around-she thanked them. Some said it was the most incredibly beautiful experience of their lives.


Today’s Gospel lesson has a lot to do with being wrapped up and bound, a place where you might find it difficult to escape.  Jesus is again questioned about the timing of when he will reveal Himself as the Messiah.  These are not His followers who are asking but those who have not accepted God and have certainly not accepted Jesus as the one who was sent into the world in human form.  They are bound up in their little world, are afraid of the perils of the world, they are lost and cannot find their way.  They remain mired in their inability to see all that God can do for them in their lives if only they had faith.  Jesus replies to the questioners by telling them the truth about His followers.  His followers know who He is, they hear his voice, and they follow Him.
Hear the rest of the story here: