View print-optimized version

Daily Devotions banner


Thursday, April 23, 2015

Today’s Reading | Luke 5:1–11

Once while Jesus was standing beside the lake of Gennesaret, and the crowd was pressing in on him to hear the word of God, he saw two boats there at the shore of the lake; the fishermen had gone out of them and were washing their nets. He got into one of the boats, the one belonging to Simon, and asked him to put out a little way from the shore. Then he sat down and taught the crowds from the boat.

When he had finished speaking, he said to Simon, “Put out into the deep water and let down your nets for a catch.” Simon answered, “Master, we have worked all night long but have caught nothing. Yet if you say so, I will let down the nets.” When they had done this, they caught so many fish that their nets were beginning to break. So they signaled to their partners in the other boat to come and help them.

And they came and filled both boats, so that they began to sink. But when Simon Peter saw it, he fell down at Jesus’ knees, saying, “Go away from me, Lord, for I am a sinful man!” For he and all who were with him were amazed at the catch of fish that they had taken; and so also were James and John, sons of Zebedee, who were partners with Simon. Then Jesus said to Simon, “Do not be afraid; from now on you will be catching people.” When they had brought their boats to shore, they left everything and followed him. (NRSV)

It’s kind of amazing how many of these stories start out with some version of “One day, while Jesus was teaching, this really interesting thing happened.” The story goes on to tell you all about this really interesting thing that happened, but somehow it never gets around to what Jesus was talking about in the first place. And you would think that it must have been some really interesting teaching because, you know, Jesus and all, and sometimes not hearing about it is a little frustrating. I mean, did no one think to take notes?

The thing is, no matter where it’s done, teaching is never about the teacher. It’s always about what happens to the people in the room. Any teacher can put out information—a great teacher opens your mind. They’re talking, and it may be something they’ve said fifty times before, but somehow this time something happens inside you, a light bulb goes on, a voice in your head says, “Yeah!” and when you walk out of the room, the world is a different place. Transformation is not in the teacher teaching; it is always in the student who has his or her ears opened so they can hear that voice in their head.

God’s voice is always heard inside you. It doesn’t come from somebody else. The most they can do is help open your ears so that you can hear that voice inside you. On this day, out on the shores of the lake of Gennesaret, something happened to a guy named Simon, and he heard a voice inside him say—even though he’d had a long day of work for no reward—”Let’s go fishing.” And that’s why he didn’t say, “Hey, carpenter, you don’t tell me how to fish and I won’t tell you how to build a house.” He said, “If you say so, I will let down the nets.” And the world became a different place.

Lord, give us ears to hear that inner voice that you use to speak to us. Open us, so that we may be inspired and create a new and transformed world. Amen.

Written by Rob Koon, Coordinator of Fine Arts

Devotion index by date | Id like to receive daily devotions by email