I don’t know anything about fishing. Once I tried it with a friend in Beirut and I realized it was not my gift. You have to sit calm for hours in order to possibly get a small fish. They say it is relaxing. For me it was frustrating and time wasting!
That was not the case with Peter. He loved fishing and spent most of the time fishing. Jesus knew that fishing had a special place in Peter’s life so he approached Peter from a fisherman’s perspective.
Jesus got into Pater’s boat. Jesus will use whatever you have. Each of us has something, a craft, a talent, a gift, a job, a family, anything. God will use anything you have.
“He (Jesus) got into one of the boats, the one belonging to Simon, and asked him to put out a little from shore. Then he sat down and taught the people from the boat” (3). Teaching was usually done in the Temple or at the synagogue. On that day, Jesus used the boat as his pulpit. Jesus used such an unusual setting for his teaching.
Offer whatever you have to be used for God’s Kingdom. Use whatever you have to spread the Good News.
One thinks that the climax of the story is the miracle that Jesus performed. Yes, Jesus took the boat to an unusual place for fishing. Everyone who fishes knows that one cannot find fish in deep waters, yet Jesus said: “Put out into deep water, and let down the nets for a catch.” (4)
“They caught such a large number of fish that their nets began to break,” says Luke. It is like, “We made it. We hit the jackpot!” Some see the climax in this event but I see it in the events following this one.
What was Peter’s response? He said, “Go away from me, Lord; I am a sinful man!”(8) “I cannot handle this, Lord. I am a sinful person face to face with God. Fish don’t matter to me anymore.”
This was a very important turning point in Peter’s life. Peter went fishing, instead he was caught! He met the Lord and became a fisher of men.
The invitation of Jesus is always there. It could be your “boat”, which means your heart, your talent, your passion, everything. The problem is that we are frightened when we face the “sea” or the world. God is ready to use anything that you have. The young boy had two fish and five loaves of bread. Anything you have can be used.
Have you offered your boat to Jesus?
Rev. Nerses Balabanian,
Calvary Armenian Congregational Church, San Francisco