Saturday, February 23, 2008

When Jesus Found Nemo <><

In Luke 5 we find another example where people are pushing to get to Jesus. I can only imagine what must have been going through His head as the people pressed up against Him, with only the sea to His back and a sea of people to His front. Did He realize that this must have been what Moses felt like, looking at the Reed Sea in front with the the Egyptians not so far behind. Did He wonder if He would have to part the sea, again, in order to back up the word preached. Did He wonder what that putrid smell was off to the side as those grungy fishermen cleaned out the nets.

In vs. 2 the author notes how Jesus saw the boats and then in verse 3, probably up to His knees in water, He asks Peter to let Him get in the boat to preach. One thing we know is that Jesus obviously did not get seasick and even though He was sitting, He probably had good sea legs.

The common place is not exactly where one would expect God to come. If you were to expect the King of all Kings to visit you, the last thing you would expect is Him to have just come from a wharf, with a strange fish smell? Yet, there stood Jesus, on a lake, with fishermen to the side, boats to His rear and throngs of people on the shore. Somehow I think this really makes us ask if their really is such a thing as a specific "holy" location? Does a place, a secular job by the way, that just has Jesus in it make it holy? Is their really a place that cannot be holy?

After, the preaching, Jesus asked the fishermen to cast out to the sea. Now, these guys had been out there all night! I don't know if you have ever worked all night but the last thing you want is to be bossed around. Especially if it was a hard nights work that resulted in no $ (no catch for a fisherman= no $). (5) I can only imagine the disciples faces as they looked on Jesus, with bloodshot eyes, tired, ready to go home after a tuff day's works, as He stated: "Put out into the deep and let down your nets for a catch." (4) Here is a carpenter and a teacher telling us to go back out? We just cleaned these nets and He wants us to go back out there? That means we would have to clean again! Peter, surprise surprise, stated his hesitation: "Master, we toiled all night and took nothing!" (5) It would have been a different story if Peter hadn't qualified it: "But at your word I will let down the nets."

Many people like to argue over how much does Jesus speak to us today? Does Jesus tell me who my wife is? Does He tell me to take a job? Does He do this; does He do that? Yet, I find this verse comforting because of its simply state; what is Jesus word? How does it apply to my job? How does it apply to my life? I believe that He speaks words to us today! However, I think His words apply to our lives! Even something so mundane as fishing!

Finally, here, we can't miss the reaction of the fishermen to the catch. Peter states: "But when Simon Peter saw it, he fell down at Jesus’ knees, saying, “Depart from me, for I am a sinful man, O Lord.”" (8) Now, Peter was a fishermen, catching fish was his job. Yet, this catch seemed to really shake him up? Why is that? Peter cries out to Jesus that he is a sinful man, in a boat, with fish all around his ankles! When we encounter the Holy, it doesn't matter where we are at, we react to it! When we see God work in the most common of places, we fall to our knees! When God provides the miraculous, nothing that we have now can hold it! Jesus may have found Nemo, but Peter found Jesus and that is and still remains the bigger catch!


"Enter by the narrow gate. For the gate is wide and the way is easy that leads to destruction, and those who enter by it are many. For the gate is narrow and the way is hard that leads to life, and those who find it are few." Matthew 7:13-14