Fishers of None

31/05/10 | Posted by MattPage

I read recently that the numbers of fish in the Sea of Galilee have become so low that the Israeli authorities have been forced to ban fishing there for the next two years. Some blame overfishing, whilst others point the finger at illegal fishermen. Still others blame changes in the environment which have disrupted the food chain. But it’s interesting that the fish that is worst-affected is the St. Peter’s fish, named after Jesus’ right-hand-man, Simon Peter.

image
 The Sea of Galilee

Simon Peter’s obsession with Jesus had actually begun on a fishing boat on the Sea of Galilee. Still smarting from a failed fishing trip the night before, he’d agreed to let this new rabbi use his boat to preach from: after all, Jesus had just healed Simon’s mother-in-law. But when Jesus wrapped up his talk he asked Simon to take him out on the boat and try a spot of fishing in the day, contrary to conventional wisdom. Suddenly Simon’s nets were bursting with fish and Simon knew his life would never be the same again.

Whilst Jesus himself was a carpenter from inland Nazareth, he was very familiar with life in the fishing villages dotted along the shores of Galilee. Four of his closest followers were Galilean fishermen, and at least one of his other disciples worked at the side of the lake. The gospels tell us that most of Jesus’ early ministry was spent on the shores of Lake Galilee. It was there he cut his teeth as a preacher, perhaps even stumbling over his words the first few times. It was also the place where he carried out his first healings and soon the crowds beginning to follow him. He often sat on boats to preach to his growing band of followers. Galilee was buzzing with the news about Jesus long before word got to the big city in the south, Jerusalem.

The lake itself was also the site of some of Jesus’ more unusual miracles. These were the waters he walked on, much to the disciples amazement, and where he made a coin appear in a fish’s mouth just so he could pay his tax. And of course, there’s the story of him calming the wind and waves threatening the lives of his disciples.

So it’s not hard to imagine Jesus would have great sympathy for the people who will lose their livelihoods, not to mention their staple diet as a result of this ruling, and I can’t help but wonder how these stories will sound to those who will suffer so much over the next couple of years.

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I was raised in YWBC. It was my whole life as a child. I am so interested in seeing how you have developed. You are nothing like the church I attended as a child.
I see you still have the Boys Brigade. What happened to the Girls Life Brigade. I live in america and haven’t been in england in abut 14 years so I’ve not kept up with the GLB. Do they still exist.
God bless You in all your endeavours. You seem to be doing great things.

#1. By Barbara Harris on June 14, 2010

Hi Roger

I’m glad somebody read my message. I’m still very curious about the Girls’ Life Brigade. Do they still exist????

It would be such a shame if they didn’t!!

#2. By Barbara Harris on June 24, 2010

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