Normally “fishing stories” are associated with exaggerations and misrepresentations…but in our study in Luke 5:1-11, we will see another kind of fish story.
“Fishin’ With Jesus” could have been a cool show for early morning local TV. Better yet, Discovery could have done a new reality series called “Heaviest Catch”… except it might have gotten a little monotonous after a while. You’d do interviews and back-stories on the local fishermen shot on location at the local pub, get tours of their fishing vessels and quick instructions on how they go about deciding where and when to fish and what equipment they use.
Then the big moment when Jesus is introduced to them and he goes out on a fishing run with them. Each show would have a predictable ending, where everything looks like they’re going to get skunked…and then the hand-held cameras start shaking around and you hear shouting and when the lense finally finds it’s stable focus…you see the fishing nets filled to beyond capacity and the boat is listing and Jesus is laughing telling the greenhorn that he has a sister who could pull the net faster than him. Cut to theme song and teaser for next week’s episode.
The thing is, in the story about Jesus and the big catch of fish, we find that miracle is actually only the platform being used to tell another story. A story that teaches us something about what it means to follow Jesus. The reason we know this is because in v10, Jesus merges the act of literal fishing with his call on Peter’s life to advance the message of the Kingdom of God, revealing to us that the whole story is a living metaphor. As best we can make out, a metaphor about following Jesus…being a disciple.
As you read the story, break it up into four parts. Read v1-3 and think about Simon’s (Peter’s) role. What Did Jesus ask of him, what did he do…and how can you translate that to YOUR life?
Then read v4-7 and consider the same things concerning Peter and Jesus. Again, read v8-10 considering the same questions. Finally, read v11 and re-read it and then read it again, and ask yourself, what does this mean about ME?
I’d be interested in hearing your thoughts. See yaz Sunday.