Monday, December 2, 2013

The move the boat yes (Luke 5:1-3)

Now it happened that while the crowd was pressing around Him and listening to the word of God, He was standing by the lake of Gennesaret; and He saw two boats lying at the edge of the lake; but the fishermen had gotten out of them and were washing their nets. And He got into one of the boats, which was Simon's, and asked him to put out a little way from the land. And He sat down and began teaching the people from the boat. (Luke 5:1-3 NASB)

Fishermen on the Sea of Galilee are fishing for tilapia. Most of their fishing is done after dark, so these fishermen were likely exhausted after a long, non-productive night. They were cleaning their nets and preparing to go home to sleep for a few hours. A crowd had gathered around Jesus, listening to Him teach and, without pews to contain them, they were pressing closer and closer to Jesus. As a result, He was at the edge of the water, near the two fishing boats. 

Jesus looked at the crowd pressing in, looked at the boats, and stepped onto one of them. "Peter," he said, "Do you mind putting out a little from the shore so I can teach from your boat?" Peter, exhausted, discouraged, disappointed, impulsive Peter, who was really just trying to get home for breakfast and a few hours of sleep, could have said no. I would have expected him to say no.  But with a yes that changed his life forever, Peter got back in the boat, the place of a complete failure the night before, and moved the boat out. 

It's interesting to me that a single decision, seemingly  inconsequential at the time, can result in radical change. By this time, Jesus had relocated to Capernaum, Peter's hometown. He likely already knew Peter on some level. When He invaded Peter's business, however, Peter came to know Jesus in a new and deeper way. That decision to move the boat ended up changing everything for Peter, and it began with a simple yes. It wasn't a "salvation yes" nor a "rededication yes". It was just a "move the boat yes," but it started a sequence of events with lasting consequences that still affect us more than 2000 years later. 

Today, pray that our loved ones will be 
given an opportunity to make a "move the boat" type decision that actually moves them closer to Christ. Pray that, when the choice is offered, they will say yes, and that their "yes" will be the starting point for lasting change.