Gospel of Luke 5:1-11
While the crowd was pressing in on Jesus and listening to the word of God,mhe was standing by the Lake of Gennesaret. He saw two boats there alongside the lake; the fishermen had disembarked and were washing their nets.Luke 5:1-11
Getting into one of the boats, the one belonging to Simon, he asked him to put out a short distance from the shore.
Then he sat down and taught the crowds from the boat. After he had finished speaking, he said to Simon,
“Put out into deep water and lower your nets for a catch.” Simon said in reply, “Master, we have worked hard all night and have caught nothing, but at your command I will lower the nets.” When they had done this, they caught a great number of fish and their nets were tearing. They signaled to their partners in the other boat to come to help them.
They came and filled both boats so that the boats were in danger of sinking. When Simon Peter saw this, he fell at the knees of Jesus and said, “Depart from me, Lord, for I am a sinful man.” For astonishment at the catch of fish they had made seized him and all those with him, and likewise James and John, the sons of Zebedee, who were partners of Simon. Jesus said to Simon, “Do not be afraid; from now on you will be catching men.” When they brought their boats to the shore, they left everything and followed him.
When I heard this week’s Gospel as a younger man, the disciples leaving their boats on the shore and following Jesus was not noteworthy to me. Half the people I knew had boats and if someone gave one away, it would not have been a big deal. Then I learned in a Scripture class that boats in Jesus’ time were hard to come by, difficult to make, and relied upon for livelihood. For the disciples to leave the boats is the equivalent of someone today permanently surrendering a college degree, medical license, or other livelihood. Leaving the boats suddenly became a very powerful thing when I reread today’s passage. I can only imagine how intimidating and scary it was for the disciples to be led into the unknown and simply asked to trust.
When I reflect on this in regard to mental health, I think about how quickly our lives can change when we least expect it. Illness, an accident, death of a loved one, or losing a job can change our lives in very dramatic ways. We are left feeling numb and, like the disciples, exploring unknown territory.
I imagine that trust was difficult at times for the disciples. I’m sure that they second-guessed many things about Jesus and about their decision to follow Him. After all, they were still very much human. However, the continued trust that the disciples had in Jesus taught them new ways of thinking, loving, and praying that resulted in peace and their sainthood. When our lives take an unexpected turn, good or bad, it is important that we remain mindful of God’s presence in all of it and our need to remain faithful, trusting, and prayerful. If you find that your life is different than you thought it would be or has recently taken an unexpected turn, consider reflecting on the disciples from today’s Gospel and the uncertainty that was replaced with trust in Jesus.
- What are some of the unexpected changes you’ve experience in your own life? How did you respond?
- What is a favorite Bible verse that helps you remember to trust in God?
- Do you have difficulty trusting in God? Why or why not?