Musings from Mountains and Valleys-Fishing With Jesus
I am currently doing some physical therapy and as a bonus I am getting some local fishing advice. My therapist was giving me a great overview of the accessibility of different streams in the area, which ones get stocked, the kinds of trout, etc. He ended by saying something to the effect “If you don’t catch a fish there, it’s not because there are no fish; it’s because you don’t know how to fish.”
One assumes that Peter, James, and John knew what they were doing. Even so, sometimes you come up empty even if you know what you are doing, whether it be fishing or life. Luke’s version (Luke 5:1-12) of the call of the first disciples includes Jesus facilitating a miraculous catch of fish that nearly breaks the nets and sinks the boats. Obviously, Peter is in a state of both awe and a little bit of terror in the presence of Jesus or he might have tried to recruit him into the fishing business. But instead, Jesus does the hiring and invites Peter to come on a different kind of fishing expedition, where they will be in the business of “catching humans” (Luke 5:10).
Personally, I have some questions for everyone involved. You would think one of the three fishermen might ask a few follow up questions, such as, “what being a “fisher of men” entails or “if we follow you, where exactly would we be going?” However, I am not so sure they would have liked Jesus’s answers. And what about Jesus? He was probably a good carpenter, obviously a remarkable preacher and healer, and apparently had a keen eye for finding a great fishing hole. But given how these guys perform through the rest of the Gospel, there seem to be some real issues with both his hiring practices and HR skills.
Apparently, Jesus is not that picky when it comes to recruiting followers and not that forthcoming about where this path may lead. God comes to us as we are and will be with us for the duration. Which by the way, is great news for all of us. Blessed are those who are both caught and set free; blessed are those who go fishing with Jesus.