The Gift of Fire to Mankind: A Mythical Study on the Spiritual Significance of Coal, Part 4
Introduction: This week we are surveying myths, legends, and faith traditions which celebrate the gift of fire to mankind. We looked at an ancient Greek myth from the European continent, which reflects a theme of divine benevolence and care for man, and a delight in the progress and wealth that fire brings. But we also noted in Zeus’ response a theme of spiritual hostility and rage in the heavenly places at the elevation of man’s physical life brought by the power of fire.
Today we turn to Asia, to a little country on the eastern shores of the Mediterranean Sea called Israel.
“Simon Peter, Thomas called the Twin, Nathanael of Cana in Galilee, the sons of Zebedee, and two others…were together. Simon Peter said to them, ‘I am going fishing.’ They said to him, ‘We are going with you also.’ They went out and got into the boat, and that night they caught nothing.
But when the morning had now come, Yeshua stood on the shore: yet they did not know that it was Yeshua. Then Yeshua said to them, ‘Children, have you any food?’ They answered Him, ‘No.’
And He said to them, ‘Cast the net on the right side of the boat, and you will find some.’ So they cast, and now they were not able to draw it in because of the multitude of fish.
…Then, as soon as they had come to land, they saw a fire of coals there, and fish laid on it, and bread. Yeshua said to them, ‘Bring some of the fish which you have just caught….Come and eat breakfast.'” (NKJV)
Comment: In this New Testament account from the ancient world, we see the expression of divine care and love towards a very confused, grieving, and hungry group of individuals, shown both through the catch of fish, and the little fire of coals laid out with fish and bread.
This appearance of divine love involves fire. Therefore, this passage sanctifies of the combustion of hydrocarbon fuel and the energetic as well as chemical reactions from the fire – including the combination of carbon atoms with oxygen atoms to create carbon dioxide, which we now know is necessary for the respiration of plants. This passage from a sacred text reflects and reaffirms the spiritual and physical divine care of all mankind as expressed through fire, which is to be used for the purposes of cooking, heat, light, hospitality, gathering together, and for communication.
Merry Christmas and Happy Hanukkah to all.