The Fishermen and the Carpenter

A reflection for the Gospel on February 10, 2013. Luke 5:1 – 11

While the people pressed upon him to hear the word of God, he was standing by the lake of Gennes’aret.2And he saw two boats by the lake; but the fishermen had gone out of them and were washing their nets.3Getting into one of the boats, which was Simon’s, he asked him to put out a little from the land. And he sat down and taught the people from the boat.4And when he had ceased speaking, he said to Simon, “Put out into the deep and let down your nets for a catch.”5And Simon answered, “Master, we toiled all night and took nothing! But at your word I will let down the nets.”And when they had done this, they enclosed a great shoal of fish; and as their nets were breaking,7they beckoned to their partners in the other boat to come and help them. And they came and filled both the boats, so that they began to sink.But when Simon Peter saw it, he fell down at Jesus’ knees, saying, “Depart from me, for I am a sinful man, O Lord.”For he was astonished, and all that were with him, at the catch of fish which they had taken;10and so also were James and John, sons of Zeb’edee, who were partners with Simon. And Jesus said to Simon, “Do not be afraid; henceforth you will be catching men.”11And when they had brought their boats to land, they left everything and followed him.

I have had a reflection on this Gospel several years ago. It was during perhaps one of the darkest moment in my life, if not the darkest, this along with other Gospels in which I planned to write a series of reflections I entitled “Lessons from the Sea of Galilee 1” I’ll share them some other time perhaps.

In this particular Gospel, my reflection focuses on verses 1 to 7, where the Simon (Peter) and the fishermen had been fishing all night but got nothing. Now here comes a carpenter telling them to go the deeper part of the sea and cast their nets.

Just think about this,    Peter and his company were brought up as fishermen and perhaps been fishing since they were at the kindergarten (ok there was no kindergarten  yet at time), but at the time, Jews always inherit the profession of their fathers. Let’s just say kids always learn the family business at an early stage. And Joseph, Jesus’ father was a carpenter.  Now how can a carpenter tell a fisherman where to cast his net? Perhaps if we fast forward in time, it would be like a structural engineer telling a surgeon how perform an appendectomy.

But what did Peter do? At first he told Jesus (could a have been complaining) that they had been fishing all night and caught nothing! But he added “Because you said so, we will do it.” He did and caught the biggest catch in his lifetime.


I have two points for my reflection on this Gospel:

  1. Faith
  2. Obedience/Action


Jesus had already started His ministry before that day, and presumably,  Peter and the other fishermen already heard Him preach and seen Him perform some miracles. That’s why he did say “But at your word I will let down the nets” (verse 5b).

In my life, how many times had I asked God for guidance, but when His guidance comes (and they come in more forms than one), did I recognize it, when I recognized did I have the faith to believe that it was the guidance that I had been asking for?


How can you show your faith? Peter show his faith by obeying what Jesus had told him and took action. As a result, he caught more fish than he and the others have caught before. It was so abundant that their two boats couldn’t carry their catch and began to sink.

Want to Receive Abundant Blessings?

Who wouldn’t?

I just realized that I should have done this blog a long time ago. I wrote in my welcome page, that I love to read. And I always learn something from the things that I read. But what’s missing, I don’t take action!

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