Poem: Lord of the Fishes
The poem below is based on this passage from the Bible. Luke 5:1-11. Only Luke speaks about this incident, none of the other gospel writers. It is unique!
So it was, as the multitude pressed about Him to hear the word of God, that He stood by the Lake of Gennesaret, and saw two boats standing by the lake; but the fishermen had gone from them and were washing their nets. Then He got into one of the boats, which was Simon’s, and asked him to put out a little from the land. And He sat down and taught the multitudes from the boat.
When He had stopped speaking, He said to Simon, “Launch out into the deep and let down your nets for a catch.”
But Simon answered and said to Him, “Master, we have toiled all night and caught nothing; nevertheless at Your word I will let down the net.” And when they had done this, they caught a great number of fish, and their net was breaking. So they signaled to their partners in the other boat to come and help them. And they came and filled both the boats, so that they began to sink. When Simon Peter saw it, he fell down at Jesus’ knees, saying, “Depart from me, for I am a sinful man, O Lord!”
For he and all who were with him were astonished at the catch of fish which they had taken; and so also were James and John, the sons of Zebedee, who were partners with Simon. And Jesus said to Simon, “Do not be afraid. From now on you will catch men.” So when they had brought their boats to land, they forsook all and followed Him.
from the NKJV
Let's go on to the poem!
Lord of the Fishes
Who would have thought that they,
Launching out into the deep that day,
Would have caught such a catch amazing
Under an afternoon sun that was blazing?
Beyond belief, beyond measure,
Was the immensity of that silvery treasure.
Did their voices tremble, did their hands shake,
When their nets struggled and started to break?
What did they imagine? what did they think,
When their boats staggered and began to sink?
Who was this in the boat with them?
Rabbi, Master? or God Himself?
This was the Creator of earth and sea,
The Lord from heaven, the Almighty!
With divine conviction piercing his heart,
Peter fell down and cried, 'Lord, depart
From me, for I am a sinful man.'
He realised the truth [as rarely we can]
That an unbelieving heart dishonors the Lord,
Though he acted seemingly upon His word.
With eyes open and hearts on fire
They left their business, the men on hire,
Father Zebedee, the two boats, the broken nets,
By the side of the Lake Gennasaret;
Forsaking even the blessing glorious,
To follow the Lord-of-the-fishes victorious.
© Tom Prato/Pratonix
Just a Few Thoughts
i. The title: He is not only Lord of the Fishes (i.e. Lord of the Sea), but He is Lord of heaven and earth, Lord of the universe, Lord of all. Jesus Christ is the Supreme Authority in the universe.
ii. Of course, no fisherman would have dreamt of catching fish with sun blazing. Fishermen go out late in the evening, and do their business at night, when the surface of the sea cools down.
iii. Interesting to note that the catch was transferred to the other boat, but it was so huge that that boat began to sink, along with Peter’s boat. It was surely an extraordinary and immense catch of fish.
iv. Peter’s conviction: ‘Lord, depart from me, for I am a sinful man!’ The Lord did not tell him that he was a sinner. The Lord did not preach the gospel to Peter. But the Lord’s miracle on the Sea of Galilee opened Peter’s eyes. It was ‘revelation’. You cannot understand Christ without first having your eyes opened. You and I need REVELATION.
Peter had said, ‘At Your word’. He obeyed, but with
doubt and unbelief in his heart. Peter must have felt: 'I am an experienced fisherman, whereas
Jesus is a carpenter and a teacher. I'm the sea man. He belongs to the land.'
vi. I remember the time when the Lord Jesus came into my life 20 years ago. It was the worst crisis of my career, and the Lord marvellously delivered me from it all. What could have ended in disaster with at least a 100-200 people being killed, ended smoothly with the safe release of the hostages – every one of them!
In the beginning, it’s always like that. There is ‘joy unspeakable, and full of glory’. But afterwards, there is the cross. We follow HIM, come what may! Through thick and thin, through storm and sunshine, through rough times and smooth. But we follow, follow – I will follow Jesus! Carrying the cross. That’s discipleship.