“Then Joshua, son of Nun, secretly sent out two spies from Shittim, saying “Go, reconnoiter the land and Jericho.” – Joshua 2:1
Here we are with the Israelites camping near the Jordan River, preparing to cross into the long-awaited land promised to them by God. As the community prepares to move, Joshua sends out two spies to get a sense of the land of Jericho. The last time the Israelites sent spies into the land (Numbers 13ff), the Israelite people ended up spending another forty years in the desert. All the men of Joshua’s generation, except himself and Caleb, died in the wilderness for their rebellion against God. Only Joshua and Caleb remained faithful, trusting in the Lord, and they will now lead the people into the promised land.
In the Gospel of Luke today, we encounter Simon the Fisherman and his fishing partners. After a disappointing night out on the Lake of Gennesaret they are cleaning their nets before heading home. Jesus enters the boat of Simon and tells him to “put out into deep water and lower your nets for a catch.”
Simon could have scoffed at the idea and said, ‘what do you know about fishing?’, but he simply said he would do what Jesus asked. Did he believe in Jesus at this point? It’s not easy to tell, but he seems open to belief. He had nothing to lose but an hour of sleep, and he was richly rewarded with an amazing catch. The fact that Simon used the word ‘Master’ indicates that he knew Jesus to some extent. Now he was being called to be more than a fisherman.
Joshua, Caleb and Simon all have something in common. They were good men, whose hearts were disposed toward God, and wanted to trust in God. They demonstrated their trust, and were called forth to lead others as God’s people.
How is God calling you to ‘lower your nets for a catch’? It seemed crazy for Simon to do so – no one fishes in the daylight – yet he believed. When is your fidelity to God seem like a madman’s inspiration? Illogical? Whimsical?
Let us ask the Lord today, that by the help of the Holy Spirit, we may be ready to respond to God’s grace, to His voice, willing to seem foolish in our faithfulness to God. Joshua, Caleb and Simon all became great Biblical figures because of this one choice. Let us too be faithful to God in what is asked of us. And who knows. If He can call simple fishermen to be catchers of men, can He call us too?
May God bless you.