Peter’s Call: Luke 5:1–11. Introduction.

Over the next few days I’d like to share some thoughts on the call of Peter in Luke chapter 5. It’s a passage that I’ve been studying over these last ten days or so & I figured it would be of benefit to share them. I trust that what I’ve been learning from my study guide will be as big a benefit to you as its been for me. So here we go…

The call of Peter can be spilt up into seven scenes & an introduction. Four scenes unfold before the whole series is repeated backwards.

1: The boat goes out. (Jesus teaches)

2: Jesus speaks to Peter. (Catch fish)

3: Peter speaks to Jesus. (In ignorance)

4: A dramatic catch of fish. (A miracle)

5: Peter speaks to Jesus. (In repentance)

6: Jesus speaks to Peter. (Catch people)

7: The boat returns. (They follow Jesus)

In 1 & 7 the boat goes out & then comes in. In 2 & 6 Jesus speaks to Peter. In 3 & 5 Peter speaks to Jesus. The dramatic miracle filled climax is found in 4 with the catch of fish. A structure that has all the trademarks of ancient Jewish story telling.

In this passage the person of Jesus, the material world of Peter & renewal in spirit all come together. The introduction sets the stage by introducing the important elements of the story. These include:

  • Jesus
  • The crowd
  • God’s word
  • Boats
  • Fishermen & empty nets

The account is very carefully constructed & once again it has all the trademarks of ancient Jewish story telling. The introduction informs the reader:

Verse 1: While the people pressed upon Him to hear the Word Of God, He was standing by the Lake of Gennesaret.

Verse 2: And he saw two boats by the lake; but the fishermen had gone out of them & were washing their nets.

The first thing to note is that this account does not take place in a synagogue where everyone is sitting round silently waiting to be taught. The crowd press around Jesus by the shores of the lake, the place will undoubtedly wreak of dead fish & there is a group of tired, worn out fishermen nearby cleaning their nets after a long & fruitless night at sea. Jesus has entered their world rather than expecting them to step out of it into His. People have come to hear “the Word Of God” from Jesus. This language places Jesus in the world of the prophets.

(In my next post we will look at “Scene 1" where Jesus will turn Peter’s everyday working life upside down)