The great Catch

Me and the boys were having a very bad day. Not just a regular bad day but a woe is me might as well eat worms kind a day, oh why not put them in a blender and suck them through a straw kind of bad day! You see we have been up all night throwing that net out reeling it back in hoping to find fish in it yet each time we came up empty handed. Over and over and over we let those nets out only to find zip, noda, nothing. As the night led on our arms began to grow tired, the net grew heavier yet each time still nothing. My thoughts began to wander... why me, why do I always seem to be the guy that comes up short? Snapping out of my day dream or should I say night dream I cast out the net again thinking this is the cast that will bring in the fish for it is almost day break. There is a slight breeze across the lake and the cold is beginning to cut right through me. Still nothing. Oh to work so hard only to come in empty. Finally giving up for the night we head into shore. I’m tired not just worn out tired but that kind of tired you get working all night and getting nothing for a paycheck kind of tired. My arms are aching and my soul is aching, my spirit is down kind of tired.

We finally reach the shore as the sun beams it’s light onto us. I have to admit the warmth of the sun feels good on my arms as I step onto the sandy beach. Back on land again. It feels good after eight hours of rocking back in forth in the waves. The smell of the water, the seaweed, the boat, the fire... somethings missing...that’s right the smell of fish because we didn’t catch any! Now we pull the nets out stretching them across the beach and began to clean them. Oh look I caught a branch, oh and a sandal, and here is my favorite, trash. I love picking trash out of my net. 

This isn’t a normal quiet morning on the shoreline for the Rabbi is here. I see him preaching in the distance as a crowd of people surround him. I watch as we clean our nets getting the ship ready for tonights endeavor. People are coming in droves to hear the Rabbi speak. He is getting closer as the crowd grows. Then something I didn’t expect happened, he turned as he was telling a story and walked straight toward me. He continued to walk until we were face to face. With a kind look he stepped into my boat and he prayed to me, “Simon please let the boat out a ways. Pulling the anchor up we rowed out a ways thinking I might as well use the boat as a pulpit seeing how we haven’t landed any fish in it lately.

As the Rabbi spoke My foggy head began to clear. He spoke of how God loves us. And of how we aught to love one another. Somehow as he told his story my aching soul began to ease up a bit. My heart was moved for this man was different he seemed to see right into my heart. I don’t know what it is but what he has I want. Peace begin to enter my Soul as he continued on. Finally finishing up we brought him back to shore. As he stepped out he said something that I didn’t expect,” Simon launch out into the deep and let down your nets for a draught.” Suddenly my arms began to ache again as I thought to myself preacher go ahead preach but leave the fishing to the fisher. A moment later I replied,” Master we have been toiling all night and have taken nothing; never the less at thy word I will let down the net.

We half heartedly threw a net out thinking no one catches this time of day, appeasing the preacher we start to pull on the net when the miracle happened. I stood there stunned as fish began to flop around the surface of the lake. Fish fish fish everywhere fish instantly I was infused with the strength of Samson as I pulled on the net. Yelling to the shore I commanded,

”Get that boat out here now.” So many fish, I watched as the net began to break. We were unable to move for the net would break if we kept pulling. When the other boat arrived we used both boats to reel in the catch. As we loaded the fish in both boats were nearly sinking. The air was filled with cheers of joy as we made our way back to the shore. Reaching shore as I saw the whites of the Masters eyes suddenly a fear fell over me. What kind of man is this Rabbi? Who is this man that tells the fish to get into my net. As I remind myself of my thoughts earlier I see my sinfulness for I am a man of unclean lips. The thought slips into my mind I don’t deserve any of this. Who is this preacher. Stepping out of the boat there is Jesus with this giant grin on his face, Simon” but I cut him off. Falling onto my knees at his feet I say, “Jesus depart from my for I am a sinful man, oh Lord!” Then with the kindest eyes I have ever seen he declared, “Fear not for hence forth you shall catch men.” The Master reaches his hand toward mine. As we join hands he pulls me to my feet and I began to follow him.

This Story is taken from Luke 5:1-11.

Pastor Martin