Read Luke 5:1-11
“’Don’t be afraid; from now on you will catch men.’ So they pulled their boats up on shore, left everything and followed him”
Note how Jesus takes the initiative and gets into Peter’s boat. He does the same with us and in our baptism Jesus came into the boat of our lives. However like Peter, we need to hear the Word of God addressed to us personally and also like him we then need to respond in faith even when we think we know better. After all, logically Peter was right: if you don’t catch fish in the night you’re even less likely to catch them in the morning. But he obeys and lets his net down into the deep. God wants us too to ‘let down our nets into the deep’. We too will find that one minute of obedience to Jesus is worth more than a 1000 hours in our own strength. Like Peter, we may be tempted to tell the Lord that we are too sinful and weak to be close to Him or to be of any use to Him. But He will be the one who purifies us and He tells us to catch the vision and reach out to others in His love and in the power of the Holy Spirit. Soon you will be able to hear this Word addressed to you personally when we read it on the boat ride on the Sea of Galilee, in the very place the first disciples first heard the Lord call them.
In Jesus’ time, if you were a young man who wanted to go further in your pursuit of your religious formation, you would look for a Rabbi of whom you could say ‘In my walk with God I want to be like him’. You would then ask the Rabbi ‘Can I follow you?’ If he accepted you would become one of his disciples. The Rabbi wouldn’t give you a text book or a syllabus but invited you to be with Him 24 hours a day so you would not just learn from him but actually live with him. Following a Rabbi meant becoming like that Rabbi. It demanded a lot of passion, discipline and sacrifice. After many years, the Rabbi would then say to you ‘OK you’ve made it, now go and make other disciples’. Jesus is unique because unlike other Rabbis, he chose his talmidim disciples not they chose him. As we read in the Gospels they lived with Him day in and day out for three whole years.
This pattern is also true of you and me. He chose us to be His talmidim so we would spend time with Him, become like Him and fulfill His vision for our life: “You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you to go and bear fruit - fruit that will last. Then the Father will give you whatever you ask in my name” (John 15:16). The whole aim of our upcoming pilgrimage is for us to be more fervent disciples who are willing to listen to the Lord and to obey Him.
Lord I am so grateful that You Yourself chose me to follow You as your disciple. Help me obey you and put out my net into the deep water of truth, prayer, Scripture and loving service to others.