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It started off as a simple request. The kind of thing you might hear if you’re in a crowded restaurant, sitting at a table with an empty chair. Someone at the next table is one chair short, and they approach you. “May I borrow this chair?”

“Sure,” you say. No skin off your teeth. You have no need for the chair. And they’re not asking you to sit with them. It’s minimal involvement; hardly any inconvenience at all. Just the way you like it.

That’s about what it was like for Peter. He was washing his nets by the water’s edge. There were people all around; it was somewhat crowded. But no bother. He was busy, he and his partners. The crowd didn’t bother him; he didn’t bother them.

Then someone says, “I need a pulpit. May I use your boat? You know, just to sit in while I teach.”

A teacher, Peter thought. This should be good. What could it hurt? “Sure,” he said -- just like you did when a stranger asked to borrow your chair. “Sure.”