One day, I found myself taking a stroll along the sea of Galilee when I saw a great crowd. Out of curiosity, I drew closer. Unfortunately, I once again became aware of my height due to my inability to see what was happening in front. Boy, did nature always have to remind me of my 5′ 0″ frame?
I sighed and looked around; everyone had the gaze and attention on whatever was happening in front so it was easy to hear a familiar voice teaching. I decided to use my small body as an advantage and made my way through the crowd just like the woman with the issue of blood did. Well, apart from the fact that someone gave me a hard shove for which I nearly lost my balance. Anyway, I used that opportunity to push myself forward and was rewarded with hard stares from people who were obviously not pleased with my stunt.
Eventually, I got to the front just in time to see Jesus step into the boat. Simon, the owner of the boat pushed it out into the water. I thought Jesus had already called Simon to be his disciple, to catch men not fishes so what was he doing washing his nets?
I guess, “once a fisherman, always a fisherman.”
Jesus continued to teach. It was so insightful, I decided to record with my phone in order to send to my family and friends on social media.
“Hey, what is that?” a gruff voice enquired.
“Duh?” I replied. What a ridiculous question! I turned to see a very tall, slim man looking down at my phone with an inquisitive look.
He repeated his question to the guy standing next to him.
“Oh, you know these bible readers from the 21st century? They usually have these weird gadgets and dressing too,”
“You are right. His dressing is really funny,” The gruff voice remarked after turning to size me up. Such incredulity! There was no way I was going to listen to them again. I did not have to because I realized my imagination was playing tricks on me all the while. What!
Had I not controlled my self, I would have thrown my grandfather’s big black bible away in disgust. Goodness me! I looked at my snoring grandfather to make sure he had not seen my near blunder. The way he treasures his bible?
I should stick to reading. I gave a warning look to my imagination but he only mocked me.
Jesus had finished teaching and He told Simon to go out to where it was deeper for a catch. Seriously, a religious teacher telling a fisherman what to do at his own job?
I smirked at Peter’s response. They fished all night and caught nothing. How disappointing? I chuckled but Simon continued, “But if you say so, I’ll let the nets down again,”
One could only nod and look forward to whatever was next.
Simon did as Jesus said and lo and behold, there was a huge haul of fish that their nets began to break. I stared in wonder. They called for their partners, James and John. Eventually, both boats were filled and at the verge of drowning. My jaws dropped. Everyone was amazed as was I.
Simon dropped to his knees before Jesus and said, “Oh Lord, please leave me – I’m too much of a sinner to be around you.” Ow, the poor soul and his boys did not feel worthy of Jesus.
Jesus however replied, “Don’t be afraid! From now on, you’ll be fishing for people.”
Long story short, As soon as they landed, these men left everything and followed Jesus. Indeed, once a fisherman, always a fisherman. Only this time round, you catch men, disciples and not fish. That being said, would it be cheeky to say, once a fisherman, potentially a ‘disciplerman’?
Jesus had previously healed Simon’s mother-in-law so he knew Jesus’ capabilities and who Jesus was but to see such a big catch, a deeper realization must have hit him hard in the face. He felt unworthy. Maybe because he had not been a faithful disciple; lot of things could have contributed. Nevertheless, Jesus was looking at the big picture.
I understood Simon. I remembered how I stood Jesus up yesterday morning when I was supposed to pray but chose to sleep some more. I really felt unworthy to read the bible this morning when He brought that steaming cup of tea so we could read the bible. Jesus was willing to still spend time me. When I considered all he had done for me especially after I responded at His word, I felt ashamed. He did not deserve the way I treated Him so my response was exactly like Simon; I did not feel worthy of Jesus. I wanted to perform some pacification rites but all Jesus required was for me to come to him just as I was with a repentant heart.
I turned to Jesus and smiled. He smiled back.
What has Jesus said to you? Come to me just as you are? Forgive that person? Love him/her? Be patient? Wait? Work? Trust in me? Pray? Evangelize? Listen more? Read the bible?
Would you respond at His word no matter who you think you are or what you feel, against who Jesus is and what he has done?
Jesus told me to trust Him as I worked towards a particular goal I have been praying about. From this story my response will be, “Lord, nothing seems to be working towards that goal, but if you say so, I will continue trusting and working.”
Just leave all your doubts and fears and follow Jesus. I should too and I am ready to.
“Hmmm, But if you say so…”
Food for thought.
The bible closes with a loud sound.
My grandfather wakes up.
Scriptures (NLT, MSG) Luke 4:38 - 5:11 Mark 1:14-34 Featured image credit: National Geographic by Ly Hoang Long