Ponderings (Luke 5:4-6)

When he had finished speaking, he said to Simon, “Now go out where it is deeper, and let down your nets to catch some fish. “Master,” Simon replied, “we worked hard all last night and didn’t catch a thing. But if you say so, I’ll let the nets down again.” And this time their nets were so full of fish they began to tear!

The nets Simon Peter used, one theologian suggests, were “trammel nets.” These nets were “made of linen, visible to the fish during the day.” So they were used only at night, and required two to four men to handle, and were washed every morning. This theologian makes the point that the details of this story are therefore precisely realistic.

Beyond that, he makes the point that what Jesus was asking Peter to do was more unusual that we have understood. The fish would be able to see the nets during the day and would avoid the net. So “this identification underscores the miraculous nature of the catch.” (Green 232)

If I had been Peter, and Jesus had asked me to put my linen nets into the water during the day, I wouldn’t have done so. My logical brain would have kicked in and said it was foolishness.

And why is this? Somewhere along the way, I have ceased to believe that Jesus does the impossible. In all of my “logical” education about God, my faith itself had become “logical,” or mature. Yet how have I forgotten that faith itself actually defies logic? Faith itself is belief in the supernatural, in that which cannot be known or proven.

How did I begin many years ago with this defying-logic type of faith only to end up here – where I would not putd my nets down into the water with Peter?

When I was younger, I (perhaps naively) expected Jesus to do miracles. I remember taking with a friend, and she shared with me that she wanted to take her family to Ireland so that they could see their extended family. She told me that they could not afford the trip. Without a thought, I responded, “Have you asked Jesus about it?”

She had not, for she did not know that she could ask the Father for these types of things. “Why not?” I wondered. “I’m a parent and I love to give my kids things beyond their needs.” Not that God owes us that, but he can choose to say no, and he is our Father, and if I, as a parent, feel this way, how much more must God? And Jesus says this very thing quite explicitly, does he not? In Matthew 7:11, Jesus says, “If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask them!”

So I urged her to ask Him. She did, and, miraculously, God provided for a trip to Ireland!

I am challenged by Peter’s actions. I’m going to start believing, asking, expecting the impossible.

Lord, revive my faith. Make I ask and anticipate the impossible.