Jesus Boat - Study Guide
The fishermen who own them are nearby, mending nets from their toil the night before. Fishermen have fished the waters of this lake for thousands of years. Occasionally people would fish with a hook and line Matthew They primarily used two types of nets:. You can imagine the need for mending the nets. Disentangling fish from the nets sometimes broke the fibers, as did debris from the lake bottom, or the strain of too many fish.
The hours must have been rugged. The best deep water fishing was at night, then the mornings would be given to mending the nets, sorting fish, and perhaps using casting nets along the shore if their nights labors hadn't "netted" any fish Matthew 4: Peter and his brother Andrew, and their neighbors James and John, the sons of Zebedee, were partners, often working together as they fished the Sea of Galilee.
In addition to Capernaum, there were other commercial fishing towns: Bethsaida "house of fishing" and Magdala Migdal Nunaya, "bulwark of the fishes" or Tarichaea "salting installation for fish," the Greek name of Magdala. They would sell their fish fresh in the local markets.
David Guzik :: Study Guide for Matthew 14
The rest they would salt and dry for export as far as Spain. Galilee Fishing Boats In a drought in Palestine brought waters in the Sea of Galilee down to their lowest level in memory. One day a couple of Israeli men spotted a plank sticking out of the water. After an day excavation the boat they discovered was drowned in a preservative to keep its timbers from disintegrating further. The boat is about 27 feet long, and could either be rowed or propelled by a single sail.
It was built with used wood from older boats, timber felled about 40 BC; whether Jesus saw the boat during his ministry nearly 70 years later is unknown, but it gives us our first real example of boats from that era. Back to our story, Jesus is teaching by the lakeside, crowded by the people. He sees a couple of fishing boats pulled up on the shore, and asks the owner of one, Simon Peter, if he would put out a little from shore. Then he sits down in the boat and teaches the people -- sitting being the accustomed position for teaching in those days see Luke 4: On other occasions in his ministry he uses Peter's boat in a similar way Matthew I can see Jesus twenty or thirty feet out from shore, sitting in the boat which is bobbing slightly.
His voice carries well across the water. And the people along the shore stop their crowding, and sit down to listen. In the boat, listening as well, is Peter. I think he's proud that his boat can be used by the Teacher, and that he can sit next to him, publicly sharing a bit of the glory. But the glory ends when Jesus concludes his teaching and dismisses the people. On some occasions he prays for the sick after the formal teaching, but not today.
Jesus turns to Peter with a request, almost a command: I wonder what is the expression on Peter's face? Is it weariness -- or more? He replies, "Master, we've worked hard all night and haven't caught anything.
# The Call of Peter, James, and John (Luke ) -- JesusWalk
But because you say so, I will let down the nets" 5: Is he humoring Jesus? Or is he weary beyond the point of caring. Maybe he bites his tongue rather than explain to his new landlubber friend that the best fishing is done at night, and that in the daytime the catch isn't nearly as good. But he doesn't argue. He pulls in the anchor that has held them in the shallows just off shore, and pulls up the sail so that it catches the breeze coming off the western hills.
The ship begins to pick up a little speed until they are out in the deeper parts. Now Peter is the example of efficiency. He'll show Jesus how real fisherman do things -- even if they don't catch anything. One end of the net goes over the side, and Peter and his crew play out the long net until it is extended full length, floats bobbing on the surface.
Now he fastens the other end of the net to the far end to the boat. All off a sudden they feel a jolt, the lines become taut, and the boat leans over at a dangerous angle. Jesus grabs the gunwale to keep from going overboard. A whole school of fish has hit the net and are pulling hard against the boat. Peter is instantly alert, and begins to give orders pulling in the ropes on the net to bring it closer to the boat. It is a huge catch, Peter can tell. He steadies himself by the mast and shouts at the top of his lungs across the water where his partners James and John are still mending nets.
Far away on the shore he can see that they've heard him and are running for their boat. Now he turns back to the task at hand and doesn't look up until James' and John's boat is alongside, helping to pull fish out of the net into their boat, flapping, flopping on the boat bottom. Jesus, too, is pulling fish aboard as fast as he can. The men work noiselessly until the last of the huge catch is into the boats. The gunwales of the boats are now dangerously close to the waterline. Carefully, oh, so carefully, they row the laden boats ashore, not relaxing until they can hear the prow crunch on the rocks of the beach.
It is the biggest catch they have EVER brought in. And not at night, but in the middle of the day! Jesus has stepped out of the boat into the shallows and up onto the dry shore. Peter sees him, leaps over the side of the boat and falls at Jesus' knees.
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For a moment he can't speak. You can see that he is overcome by emotion and his recent exertion. Jesus puts his hand on Peter's shoulder, and looks down at him. You can see Peter nodding his head. He knows it is true. Finally he lifts his eyes to meet Jesus' eyes. But wait just one minute until we get these boats pulled all the way up.
We don't want to lose a catch like this. James and John help Peter and Andrew as they pull first Peter's boat, and then their own boat up onto the shore. Then they leave everything where it is and begin to follow akolutheo Jesus. I don't wonder what Peter felt, for I've felt it, too -- an overwhelming sense of unworthiness in the face of the outstanding miracle he has just witnessed.
This is no ordinary man. He heals, he teaches good news, and he can command hundreds of fish and tell a couple of fishermen where to go to find them. Peter is overwhelmed and humbled. His pride has drained way, and all that is left is his sense of sinfulness in the presence of this Man.
And then he says some wonderful words that Peter will never ever forget: Peter had been catching fish to kill and sell them. But now he will be taking men alive to give them liberty. Jesus "captures" men to free them. Of course, my re-creation of the story above goes beyond the words of Scripture.
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Thank you for giving me the freedom to try to imagine how it might have happened that morning. The final sentence of this passage marks a turning point for both Jesus and for the fisherman. There is both the negative and the positive, the leaving and the following. I've wondered about Mrs. Peter and the other fisher families in Capernaum. Yes, Peter and the men came back often, since Jesus was using Capernaum as his base-of-operations in Galilee. To learn more about Amazon Sponsored Products, click here. John and his wife Nancy enjoy spending time with their three adult children, dog Baxter, and surfing the Pacific.
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Unlike some study guides, this one has relevant questions to the book and its topics. Although our group is still in the middle of the study, we find many of the questions thought-provoking and stimulating discussions. The video and the author's presentation style are also very engaging. Highly recommended for any small group reading Ortberg's book. Note that reading the book is not required for this study.
However, as with the video, Ortberg's writing style is interesting and engaging and can only increase the groups overall benefit upon completing all the sessions in this study. The participants guide seems to be thrown together with not much to go over compared to all his other participants guides. Need I Say More. I have been a long time Christian and fan of John Ortberg. Once again he does not disappoint. Who is This Man make the reader really consider the impact Jesus has had on our world -impact in places you may not have considered before.
Christians and non-Christians alike will take something important away from reading this wonderful book. One person found this helpful. Students of any age of the Bible will find this series very interesting and very thought-provoking. One person found this helpful 2 people found this helpful.
In typical Ortberg fashion, we're given a compelling study on historical and cultural impact of this Man. It makes my faith in and love for Jesus Christ stronger. This book and study guide will be our next small group study.