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Luke 5: 1-11

Peter is a great consolation to us. He is so like us. He really loves our Lord. But he is always putting his foot in his mouth–saying things he afterward regrets. All with good will–and perhaps a bit of human respect, too. Here he is quick, too quick to respond to an implied slur on his Master.

How patient Jesus is, and what a sense of humor. He doesn’t jump on Peter, or reprimand him. He gently leads him to the realization of his folly and then lets him stew a bit in his own juices. Peter the great fisherman, one of the best on the Sea of Galilee–later we will hear of him pulling in a hundred and fifty-three large fish in a single catch–must go down to the lakeside and cast in a solitary little hook and wait for a solitary little fish. We can well imagine that his eleven cronies did not let the irony of the situation escape notice!

Our Lord respects us. He does not treat us as helpless infants. He has given us minds and hearts, a way of life and spiritual insight. He expects us to use our gifts to lead a good and happy life. But, so often, as in the case of Peter, human respect, defensiveness, trying to do things our own way or write our own formula for happiness, brings upon us unhappy consequences. God does not shield us from these. He lets us experience them so that we will learn.

We don’t know what thoughts went through Peter’s mind as he stood on the seashore with his little line waiting for that special fish. He may have had some unkindly thoughts about his taunting confreres. He might even have been tempted to mutter a bit against his Lord. But I suspect our Lord left him there long enough to quiet down and look within himself, and, with a little insight, make some resolves in regard to a wiser future.

 


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