Day 1 – Ordinary men follow Jesus
Bible reading: Luke 5:1–11
Jesus asks some men to go with him
Things have changed a lot! People these days look uncomfortable if the name of Jesus is even mentioned in conversation – unless it is used as a swear word. But when he actually lived, he was the most popular person you could imagine.
Crowds of people would leave work just to come and listen to him. And it wasn’t like he was a famous musician, attracting huge crowds of young people but having nothing much to offer them.
The man in the boat
People had a sense that God himself cared about them and was speaking to them through this remarkable local carpenter. It did not make them feel embarrassed. It excited them. They were so excited that the Jewish religious authorities began to panic and wanted to get rid of him.
But that was easier said than done. Ordinary people like you and me, not the religious types, crowded around him. And guarded him. Now for the clever part. Jesus got into the boat of one of his fishermen friends and asked him to row out a few yards. And from there he taught the people. A clever idea! Nobody could bother him, but everyone could hear him – and all without sound equipment.
I’ve been to that area and the shore makes a natural auditorium as the water of the lake makes sounds louder. He could easily make himself heard.
Only half the story
When he finished, he turned to Simon, his fisherman friend, and encouraged him to let down the nets to catch some fish. ‘Normally, it would be a waste of time,’ said Simon, ‘Night is the best time and I’ve been out all night and caught nothing – but OK, I’ll try again.’ And they caught such a great number of fish that the nets began to break. This was so amazing that it brought this tough fisherman to his knees.
How could this carpenter, Jesus, know where the fish were? He cried out, ‘Go away from me, Lord, I am a sinful man.’
His friends in the little group of boats saw all the fish he’d caught and were equally amazed. ‘Don’t be afraid, Simon,’ said Jesus, ‘You’ve been fishing for years. Come and join me, and we’ll catch people.’