In our Gospel lesson for this week, we hear a fishing story.
At the end of Chapter 4, in the passages right before our text for today starts, it says that Jesus had been proclaiming the good news of God in the synagogues of Judea
Jesus had been preaching in the places of worship, the place where we might expect the Son of God’s place of business to be… But instead of staying there and waiting for the people to come to him Jesus went out to the lake of Gennesaret. Jesus went to meet the people where they were, in their daily work world.
Jesus left the synagogues to go fishing for people. However the crowds began to press on him, so much so that he got into Simon’s boat, and asked Simon to take him out a little way from shore so that he could continue to preach from the boat.
Teaching and Fishing
After Jesus finished teaching the crowd, he did not go immediately back into shore. Instead, he told Simon to row out to deeper water and put his nets down for a catch.
Now Simon was a trained fisherman. Fishing was his business and his livelihood, so he knew fishing and he knew that lake. He also knew that he had been out fishing all night on the lake and had not caught a thing.
He was tired and he was sure that there were no fish to be caught.
Yet Jesus tells him to go out into the deep water anyway and Simon, although he has his doubts, responds by saying, “Master, we have worked all night long but have caught nothing. Yet if you say so, I will let down the nets”
Does This Sound Familiar?
Basically he said to Jesus “we already tried that and it didn’t work.” Simon didn’t want to go because he thought that there weren’t any fish to catch.
Haven’t we said those same or similar words,
- “We’ve tried that before and it didn’t work”
- Nobody’s interested in that!
- Everybody in this community belongs to a church or doesn’t have any interest in being a part of a church
- I invited a friend from work, but she didn’t come.
We convince ourselves that if people want to know Jesus that they’ll just come to where we are. They see the signs they know the church is here and they’ll come find us.
So sometimes we don’t go fishing at all, instead we stay inside our church building and focus our time on cleaning and mending our nets or maintaining our equipment, but not really using it.
Simon obeyed and cast his nets….and that’s when it happened!
The very same nets he had used just hours before, now yielded the biggest “catch” he had ever seen. So big that it started to break the nets and so Big that Simon could not handle it alone and needed to call his partners to help him.
And after seeing the miracle of this “catch” and knowing that Jesus was the one who made it happen, Simon fell on his knees because in that moment he realized how small he was in comparison to Jesus.
Casting Our Nets in Deeper Water
It would be easier for us to stay here and huddle together but Jesus calls us to go out from here into deeper water and cast our nets. Even if we are doubt-filled and uncertain that a “catch” is possible, even if we are tired and we have been fishing a long time, Jesus calls us to cast our nets yet another time…
Knowing that the same God who calls us to the task is the one who will bring in the “catch”! Jesus calls us to take the time to find out who are our neighbors and our co-workers really are:
- Casting our nets means sharing with others how important Jesus has been in our lives.
- Casting our nets means serving other people children, families, single persons without expecting something in return.
- Casting our nets means sticking up for the kid that always gets picked on and caring for him because he matters to God.
- Casting our nets means living our faith, through our actions as well as our words.
- Casting our nets means telling others that God’s love and fullness is for them.
Trusting that God will use you to do extraordinary things in the lives of others.
PTTags: evangelism, mission