Summary: This is message is about Peter going from an observer to a participant.
A Day at the Beach Because you say so
Have you ever been tired? I mean, dead beat tired? They had fished all night and caught nothing, nada, zip and they were exhausted, but there was still work to do. The nets had to be washed to get the seaweed and guck out and everything had to be put away before they could go home and go to bed. Bed! What a magical, mystical, wonderful word.
Right then, I’m sure the promise of sleep was the highest thing on their list of priorities. As they washed and tended the nets their friend Jesus showed up and began to preach to a few people. And it was always the same, the few people became a few more and a few more and finally there was a whole crowd listening to the carpenter. And as the crowd pushed forward to hear the words of Christ he kept backing up until he was at the very edge of the beach, and then it was as if he had just noticed the fisherman, and as Peter and his partners begin to load the net back into their boats Jesus yelled, “Hey Pete can I use the boat for a few minutes?”
This is week two of our “A Day at the Beach” series. Through January and into February we are focusing on the events in Jesus life that happened in and around the Sea of Galilee. Which as we explained last week wasn’t even a sea it was just a good sized lake. And maybe you are thinking “Well why did they call it a sea?” Because. And why would we call it a lake? In Newfoundland they would call it Galilee Pond.
But what is interesting that Luke doesn’t call it the Sea of Galilee, and yes I know that in our reading this morning from the New Living Translation it appears that Luke does exactly that. Actually if you were following along in your Bibles, you would have noticed an asterisk, Luke 5:1 One day as Jesus was preaching on the shore of the Sea of Galilee*, great crowds pressed in on him to listen to the word of God. And down at the bottom of the page it would have said something like *“Greek: Lake Gennesaret, another name of the Sea of Galilee.”
If you were using other translations it would read something like, Luke 5:1 (NIV) One day as Jesus was standing by the Lake of Gennesaret, with the people crowding around him and listening to the word of God,
If I’m clear on this, the original name was Lake Gennesaret, and that gradually morphed into the Sea of Galilee because it was situated in Galilee and eventually when the Roman city of Tiberius became more prominent people starting calling it Lake Tiberius.
Story is told of a very boastful lady who visited the Holy Land and when she came back she told her pastor “We visited both the sea of Galilee and Lake Gennesaret.” Her pastor corrected her by saying “Actually Galilee and Gennesaret are synonymous.” To which the lady replied, “Oh I know that but I found the Sea of Galilee to be just a little more synonymous.” Luke was most likely the more formally educated of the gospel writers and whenever he refers to the body of water it is by its older name.
But really that is neither here nor there. So let’s go back to the story. Jesus shows up once again on the beach that was Simon Peter’s home port, so to speak. Remember last week, I spoke about Jesus’ initial call to Peter, Jesus met him on the beach and invited Peter to follow him.
This time there is a crowd following Jesus and he begins to preach. All the while Peter is washing his nets in preparation for stowing them for the day. And as the crowd pushes in against Jesus while he is preaching he notices that there are two empty boats on the shore and he asks Peter if he can borrow his to preach from.
I’m not sure that having his boat used as a floating pulpit was nearly as high on Peter’s priority list as getting a little sleep was. I remember what it was like to fish all night, and want nothing more than to go to bed, but friends have to do what friends have to do.
So Peter pushed the boat out a little bit, threw out the anchor and no doubt laid his head down on the drying nets to get a little bit of shut eye. And as he drifted off in the gradually warming sun Christ’s words became a drone in the back ground, until he heard, “ Peter, hey Peter,” and it’s in Luke 5: that we can read the unusual request that Jesus made to Peter, Luke 5:4 When he had finished speaking, he said to Simon, “Now go out where it is deeper, and let down your nets to catch some fish.”