Summary: EPHIPHANY 5, YEAR C - I will make you a fisher of men.


Have you heard the story about the two American soldiers who were walking down a Paris street one night while on furlow during WW II. As one of these men went to light a cigarette he found he was out of matches. His friend was also short so looking around he saw another American soldier walking towards them. It being night and the lighting poor he was unable to identify the soldiers rank or insignia so he called out, “Hey buddy, got a match?” “Yes,” said the stranger and producing a lighter lit the cigarette. “Thanks a lot, bud,” he called out as the stranger continued on his way. At that moment his friend blurted out through tightened lips “Are you crazy, don’t you know who that was?” That was general Patton.” Realizing the major blunder he had just committed the young soldier quickly ran after general Patton and catching up to him snapped to attention and presenting his best hand salute cried out, “Sorry sir! No disrespect sir! Didn’t recognize you sir!” “That’s all right son,” said general Patton, “Just be glad I wasn’t a 2LT.”

Have you ever had one of those days where you made a major blunder in front of the last person you would have wanted to have seen you act that way. Woops! To late to take it back now! Now what are they going to think? Simon the fisherman was about to have one of those days. While the people pressed upon Jesus to hear the word of God, he was standing by the lake of Gennesaret. And he saw two boats by the lake; but the fishermen had gone out of them and were washing their nets. Getting into one of the boats, which was Simon’s, he asked him to put out a little from the land. And he sat down and taught the people from the boat. We have no idea why Jesus got in that boat. Many have tried to speculate. Perhaps the crowd was getting too pushy so Jesus wanted to keep some distance between himself and the crowd. Others have said that the water of the lake provided a natural means of amplifying the human voice, so Jesus wanted to make sure the crowd could hear him. But I think the real reason Jesus got in that boat on that day is revealed by what takes place as a result of him getting in that boat that day.

“And when he had ceased speaking, he said to Simon,

‘Put out into the deep and let down your nets for a catch.”

And Simon answered, “Master, we toiled all night and took nothing!

But at your word I will let down the nets.”

What would you do if you ran into on the streets of New Hartford one of your favorite stars or idols. Perhaps Billy Graham or Britney Spear. And having met them, what would you do if they asked to borrow your car for a few hours. Would you give them your keys? It’s one thing to meet the people you idolize. It’s another thing to let them have control over your life. Even if it is a small thing like your car or the boat by which you earn a living. Now why did Jesus ask Simon to cast his net once again into the sea? What did a little fishing have to do with His teaching for that day? Simon was an old hand at the fishing business. He knew those waters well. They had fished all night and caught nothing. He knew, therefore, there should be no possible way to make a catch at that time of day. But his mother had probably taught him to always show respect towards religious teachers and so out of respect for this teacher Simon cast off again into the water though he knew there would be no fish to catch.

Have you ever wondered why at times God has asked you to do some strange things. To go somewhere you don’t want to go. To talk to someone you don’t want to have anything to do with. To do something you really don’t feel like doing. What could God possibly be thinking of? For what reason would He want us to speak about this, to do that, or to go there? Why does God do what He does? Why does Christ ask of us some times for the strangest things? I’ll tell you why I think he does. Jesus is searching high and low, here and there, up and down for those people who can recognize the divine within the common. The movement of the Spirit among every day events. And when they had put out into the deep and let down your nets,

“they enclosed a great shoal of fish; and as their nets were breaking, they beckoned

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