Luke 5:1-6

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. Luke 5:1-6

Words matter. Words share thoughts, spread ideas. Words evoke feelings and emotions. Words drive people to act. For good, or for ill.

The crowds gathered around Jesus because they wanted to hear what he had to say. Jesus got into a boat to speak both to escape the crush of the crowds and because the water acted as a natural loudspeaker, projecting his words even to those standing in the back.

The story tells us how Jesus spoke to the crowds, but it doesn’t tell us exactly what he said. It doesn’t need to. We already know that Jesus would have spoken from a place of honesty and love about the kingdom of God.

But then the story goes one step farther. We get to see the actions that Jesus’ words inspire. A huge haul of fish which the fishermen didn’t think possible. Those fish meant food on the table for many people. The response to Jesus’ words was a blessing to the people.

Ironically, this text for today comes on the heels of a dark day in Washington, DC. The out-going President of the United States spoke for over an hour to a crowd of people gathered in the nation’s capital to protest his loss. Late last night, using YouTube, I listened to every word he said. A word salad of lies, grievances, delusions, and scurrilous attacks on anyone who doesn’t do his bidding. And yes, he told them, “After this we will move to the capital building” and that is what happened.

The response to his words? The crowd not only moved to the capital building, they wreaked havoc when they got there. They broke windows, ransacked offices, attacked law enforcement officials, sending many to the hospital. At least four people died. The crowd desecrated democracy. They showed their true colors – deranged members of a destructive personality cult. We ought not have been surprised.

Words matter. Listen to Jesus!

Let us pray: Gracious Lord, this morning we are the crowd standing by the lake, eager to hear what you have to say. We need hope. We need healing. Yesterday’s events were tragic but not unexpected. They were the culmination of years of dishonesty and stoking resentments. Send us back out into the waters, that we might be surprised by the bounty of your love. In Jesus’ name. Amen.


One Response to “Luke 5:1-6”

  1. Steven Petty Says:

    Thank you — not only for this meditation but also for each and every wonderful prayer.

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