Called to be sent
Philip Manuel and Laila Anie Philip
Carmel MTC, Boston
10. Then Jesus said to Simon, “Do not be afraid; from now on you will be catching people.”
In this passage we read about the “great catch” but was it the fish that was caught or was it the disciples who were hooked on to Jesus. The great catch of fish was a turning point in their life as they left everything and answered Jesus' call to follow Him.
The passage begins by stating that Jesus was being jostled by the crowd. He wanted to teach them so He gets in Peter’s boat and teaches the crowd. When He had finished with the crowd, He turned His attention to Peter. Jesus asks Peter to let down their nets but Peter is hesitant. They had just returned from a night of fishing and caught nothing. Finally, in despair, they had given up, washed their nets and most probably put it out to dry. Now, Jesus, a novice fisherman, is asking them to let down their nets again. Peter, addressing Jesus as “Master” presents his arguments against doing so. Peter, being an expert fisherman knows that night time is the best for fishing. Envisioning failure and a chance to tell Jesus “I told you so”, Peter acquiesces to Jesus' command and the most remarkable thing happens. Not only do they catch fish, they catch so much that they had to call in their partners and even then both the boats seemed to be on the verge of sinking.
Peter’s transformation is significant. He goes from addressing Jesus as ‘Master’ to addressing Jesus as "Lord". He is here acknowledging that Jesus is the “Lord of the Land and the sea”. This divine revelation creates in Peter a sense of inadequacy to stand in the presence of so Holy a person as Jesus. He asks Jesus to depart from him but he himself does not depart as he was in awe of Jesus. His resistance and doubts may have been the contributing factor to make Peter to believe that he was a sinner. But now he saw Jesus as Sovereign Lord and himself as a sinner. The Lord’s answer to Peter is “Do not be afraid; from now on you will be catching people.”One of the important lessons to be learnt from this incident is that we can only truly and faithfully follow Jesus if we acknowledge our own inadequacies and weakness. Secondly like the disciples we need to have complete faith in Jesus. The disciples left their livelihood and occupation to take up a totally new and unfamiliar occupation. They were “called to be sent” to become fishers of men. Thirdly we need to understand that Jesus knows all our thoughts and feeling and He is ready to empathize with us just as He knew Peter’s thoughts. Instead of berating them for their evil thoughts, He provides them with a miraculous catch which they will never be able to achieve again in the future. He satisfies their longing for a good catch by this miracle.
Let us be grateful that our God is Omnipotent, Omnipresent and Omniscient and let us be aware that we also are" called to be sent".
PRAYERHeavenly Father, We acknowledge that we sometimes have our doubts and fears. Help us to overcome all our fears and put our complete trust in You and serve You faithfully. In Jesus name we pray. Amen
THOUGHT FOR THE DAY:"Every Marthomite is a missionary". Abraham Mar Thoma