Peter’s Call: Scene 1
Getting into one of the boats, which was Simon Peter's, he asked him to put out a little from the land. And he sat down and taught the people from the boat.
Jesus gets into Peter’s boat & asks for his help. When we look back to Luke 4: 38–39 we see that Jesus healed Peter’s mother in law, so essentially Peter “owes” Jesus. Returning favours is an integral part of most societies but so much more so in Middle Eastern cultures. Peter cannot refuse. But it is important to note that Jesus is not just collecting on social obligation here, he has another agenda.
Jesus doesn’t tell Peter how much he has to offer, he doesn’t explain how Peter’s life will change if he follows Jesus. Instead he approaches Peter by saying “I need your help. Will you help me?” The request for help from Jesus is within Peter’s every day working life with his boat and his rowing skills. Jesus chooses to use Peter’s boat as his pulpit/platform and he needs Peter’s help to keep the boat under control as he speaks from it to the crowd. Rowing boats do not remain still in large lakes, they drift, so this is a genuine request for help from Jesus. At the same time Jesus is “fishing” from a fisherman’s boat. He is engaged in catching people and bringing new life.
Confident and secure within his own professional world Peter was able to listen to Jesus speak God’s Word to those who had gathered on the shore. Well… he had no choice but to listen as he sat on the boat with Jesus. In the process Jesus totally transformed and changed Peter’s every day work surroundings into a life transforming meeting between them.
Jesus sat down to preach, assuming a posture of authority. When Jesus has finished his sermon/teaching session we expect him to thank Peter for the use of his boat & then they go back to shore & everyone goes their separate ways. But instead, Jesus (the inland carpenter) gives the man who has worked as a fisherman all his life an order on how and where to catch fish.
(We will see the tension that this request creates in the next scene)