Summary: Jesus calls His disciples while they are out fishing
The Great Catch
Our text this morning will begin in Luke 5:1. I never understood fishing. I get some people make a living at it but as a hobby it seems weird to me because it requires something that I don’t have a lot of: patience. The idea of just sitting around for hours waiting to maybe catch a fish is maybe big enough to keep and cook just seems impractical to me. I remember going fishing with my dad when I was younger and I didn’t really have a lot of patience for it. Having tossed my line out into the water and waited all of a sudden there was a pull. I got really excited. I grabbed the rod and began to struggle reeling it in. After an intense battle I pulled out of the water an enormous…shoe. Soggy, wet, and gross. That was it for me. Some people just aren’t cut out to be fishermen.
Lk 5:1 One day as Jesus was standing by the Lake of Gennesaret, with the people crowding around him and listening to the word of God, Lk 5:2 he saw at the water’s edge two boats, left there by the fishermen, who were washing their nets.
Jesus has been ministering and healing people for some time now. He has been to His home town, He has cast out an evil spirit from a man and now He begins traveling around Judea preaching.
Here His teaching takes Him to the Lake of Gennesaret or you might better know it as the Sea of Galilee. It is actually not a sea it is an enormous lake that runs twelve miles north to south and seven miles across. It sits over 650 feet below sea level and is surrounded by a barrier of hills that are a thousand feet tall. This lake is extremely fertile with fish making it a popular fishing location. What is really cool about this is that the Sea of Galilee is still a popular fishing spot today. You can go there and see this lake and all the people fishing there because the Bible is not a book of philosophy it is a book of history. We can go where Jesus walked. We can stand where Jesus stood and see the places Jesus saw.
When Jesus arrives at the Sea of Galilee He sees some men tending to their nets. This tells us it is the end of their day and they are done working. They have had a long and unproductive night and now they get to enjoy the really fun part of cleaning their equipment. My brother-in-law cleans airplanes. Scrubbing, washing, removing trash I cant imagine that job is fun for long. But after a long day the benefit is he gets paid for it. The frustrating thing for these fishermen is that they have to clean their nets even if they don’t catch anything.
After a long night they are tired, sore, frustrated, and more than anything they probably just want to go home and rest. They entire night was a waste they worked themselves to the bone and have nothing to show for it. So it is probably fair to say that they are not in the best of moods. Before they can go home they have to clean out pebbles, grass, sand, and various others things that get caught in the rope of their nets. They also have to repair any tears in the strands after a long night of heavy use.
When Jesus finds them he sees Peter and Andrew first. They are using a type of net called an amphiblestron which is a small net that you would cast into the water and it would sink down and when you pulled it up it would capture anything in its path. This small net was not the typical net used for fishing. While James and John are tending to the larger nets Peter and Andrew are throwing the smaller net in shallow water trying to catch something, anything to redeem an unproductive night. This is their last ditch effort to keep all the hard work from being a total waste. Then Jesus shows up.
Lk 5:3 He 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. Lk 5:4 When he had finished speaking, he said to Simon, “Put out into deep water, and let down the nets for a catch.” Lk 5:5 Simon answered, “Master, we’ve worked hard all night and haven’t caught anything. But because you say so, I will let down the nets.” Lk 5:6 When they had done so, they caught such a large number of fish that their nets began to break. Lk 5:7 So they signaled their partners in the other boat to come and help them, and they came and filled both boats so full that they began to sink.