February 3, 2010

a well known tale

The story of Jesus and the miraculous catch is probably the best known fishing tale in history. It is a favorite of Sunday school programs, an easy teaching for youth groups, and it gets preached all the time. It is so well known that we barely know it at all. We've heard it so many times, we think we know it, but we know only bits and pieces.

A fellow priest and I were on the phone on Monday lamenting the translation of the NRSV when Jesus tells Simon from now on he'll be "catching people." Why ruin the pun of fishers of men, we both wondered. Well, mostly because that's Matthew's version, not Luke's. In Luke the Greek verb means "live catching" and not "fishing." Did you know that? I didn't.

But what that does is amazing. It opens up this story, and the whole of Luke/Acts. The disciples want to use a particular lure in a particular way to catch particular fish. They are fishermen. Jesus, on the other hand, uses a net drug through deep water to catch anything and everything. He is a catcher. Jesus' way will get him and his disciples and Paul, and many others in trouble, but Jesus' way is one of eternal life.

What sort of Church do you belong to? In Luke, Jesus is clear, we are called to be catcher churches not fisher churches.


Peter Carey said...

Hey Steve, welcome to the CCblogs network!!


Adam said...

Hey Steve, Good to have you aboard at CCblogs. Thanks for the image of catching rather than fishing. Also, good to see you last week at school.
Adam (wherethewind.com)

Diane said...

I love this!

Scout said...

Great work, Steve! I'll send this out to our diocesan email list! - cindy

Tripp Hudgins said...

Luring or catching...An interesting distinction! Thanks for this. I found you through CCBlogs.

Keep up the good work!