The Wonderful Catch (Luke 5:1-11)

Duccio, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

Bible Study #14, Based on Luke 5:1-11

The people were pressing on Jesus because they wanted to hear God’s word preached by him (otherwise, they would have gone to the nearest synagogue). It is likely, however, that after hearing aboug the miracles Jesus had peformed (the healings and the exorcisms), the people believed Jesus was a prophet.

Jesus went into Simon’s boat, even though Simon was washing the nets off the boat. Simon may have been busy, but Jesus had other plans for him. So, Jesus asked Simon to place the boat in the water, a little off the land. We deduce Jesus wanted enough distance between him and the people so they would not press on him, but he also wanted to be close enough to them so he could teach them.

What about Jesus? Didn’t he have anything else to do? Of course, Jesus was fully committed to teach God’s word. As God’s prophet, teaching God’s word was his sacred duty and sole purpose in life. So, whenever he could, he taught; and, when people sought him, he taught.

After Jesus was done teaching, he told Simon to drive the boat deeper in the waters, and to let his net down to catch more fish. To Simon, Jesus wasn’t making much sense. Simon had been fishing all night, so this was obviously not time to fish—and, what did Jesus know about fishing anyway? Nevertheless, Simon chose to honor the instructions of God’s prophet.

When Simon finally cast the net, he caught so many fish that the net was breaking and he had to call other fishment to help. And then, they all caught so many fish that the boats were sinking. Clearly, this was no ordinary catch!

Simon was obviously impressed with what had happened,. and he knew that this miracle had something to do with him. So, he turned to Jesus and said to him, “Depart from me because I am a sinner.” In other words, Simon realized that he was not worthy to be in the presence of such a prophet, such a man of God, Jesus.

However, the point of Jesus’ miracle for Simon was not to make Simon wealthy, but signal to him that he had been chosen to follow Jesus. What an honor!

Moreover, the miracle was symbolical. Jesus told him that he would now catch men (instead of fish). In other words, as God’s servant, Simon would now preach God’s word, be concerned about people (instead of fish), and also experience that many people would respond to his ministry.

Questions for Reflection

  • How is catching fish similar to catching men? How is it different?
  • Why would many peopel respond to the ministries of Jesus and of Peter? What compels people to respond?
  • How do God’s servants today experience God’s calling in their lives? Is there even such a thing as a divine calling in the lives of God’s servangts today?

Prayer Focus

  • Father God, thank-you for the wonderful work you did through your Son Jesus and your servant Peter.
  • Father God, nothing is impossible to you.
  • Father God, call me to follow Jesus and serve you as you wish me to serve you.
  • Father God, I am no fisher of men, but I pray that you make me one.
  • Father God, help me identify and understand your calling in my life.


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