Fourth Sunday After Pentecost: When God Chooses Your Boat.
I have a prayer on my heart that a pastor from Alabama use to pray. It goes like this: “Lord, the answer is yes even before You ask.”
I want to be able to say yes to the Lord at all times. I want you to be able to do that too, so let me talk to you about fishing and your "yes Lord" agreement.
I don’t really fish. I have been fishing but I am by no means a fisherman nor do I enjoy it.
You always hear of people telling their fish story where the fish seems to get bigger and bigger the more they tell it. In actuality they caught Nemo, but over time they hooked Jaws.
Today’s reading shows us a great fish story. This one is Peter’s:
And it came to pass, that when the multitudes pressed upon him [Jesus] to hear the word of God, he stood by the lake of Genesareth, And saw two ships standing by the lake: but the fishermen were gone out of them, and were washing their nets. And going into one of the ships that was Simon's, he desired him to draw back a little from the land. And sitting he taught the multitudes out of the ship. Now when he had ceased to speak, he said to Simon: Launch out into the deep, and let down your nets for a draught. And Simon answering said to him: Master, we have labored all the night, and have taken nothing: but at thy word I will let down the net. And when they had done this, they enclosed a very great multitude of fishes, and their net broke. And they beckoned to their partners that were in the other ship, that they should come and help them. And they came, and filled both the ships, so that they were almost sinking. Which when Simon Peter saw, he fell down at Jesus' knees, saying: Depart from me, for I am a sinful man, O Lord. For he was wholly astonished, and all that were with him, at the draught of the fishes which they had taken. And so were also James and John the sons of Zebedee, who were Simon's partners. And Jesus saith to Simon: Fear not: from henceforth thou shalt catch men. And having brought their ships to land, leaving all things, they followed him. (Luke 5:1-11)
Don’t miss those first few words, because they are significant.
Jesus saw two boats (verse 2).
He got into one boat (verse 3).
He saw two, He got into one. This leaves me with the question, had I been there, would it have been my boat He got into?
Why is that important? It’s important because that’s the boat the miracle came from. That’s the boat that had the big fish story attached to it. That’s the boat that caught so many fish that the net broke.
But something else happened. Verse 7 says when the fishermen saw that the net was breaking, “they beckoned to their partners that were in the other ship” That’s boat number 2 of the story—the boat that wasn’t chosen. Peter received the miracle; the other boat received the overflow.
The other boat didn’t have Jesus preach from it.
The other boat didn’t have Jesus challenge them to go out deeper.
The other boat didn’t hear fishing commands from a carpenter.
The other boat got to participate with the fish.
The other boat did not get a fish story but they got to tell another man’s fish story.
The more I thought about it, the more I realized . . .
I want God to choose me.
I want God to pick my boat.
I'm tired of telling other people’s fish stories. I’m tired of getting to experience other people’s obedience.
It’s time for me to go out deeper.
It’s time for me to hear from God for myself.
It’s time for me to let the carpenter tell the experienced man, “You don’t know everything, do what I say.”
It’s time for me to get my own fish story.
Tired of secondhand fish stories? It’s time for you to say, “Yes, Lord! Use my boat, Jesus!”