This is a fabulous passage simply because we all think we remember the story (and remembered story is vitally important) but when you actually read it you have to say, “Wait a minute, that’s not how I remember it.”
This is chapter 5 of Luke. Jesus has already done a lot of ministry up to this point. He’s been to Capernaum, Nazareth and ever down south. He’s already met Peter and cured his mother-in-law. Jesus hasn’t just come strolling out the water of Baptism. He’s already preached in synagogues and been driven out of town.
Only now does he call the fishermen but it’s a fabulous story of change. It’s about taking your skills and reapplying them: do something new with them. Up to this moment you’ve been catching fish. Okay, so you’re surviving but doing the same old same old doesn’t really change the world does it? Up to now you’ve been doing it ‘this way’. Time to do it another way. Let’s take these skills and re-imagine them in a different context.
In other words let's not keep doing what we have always done before and trust that one day God will fill our nets. There is a new ethic in town: "Let's stop fishing the way we have always done it. Let's re-imagine who we are and how we are and what we are called to do now” as George Hermanson has put it. This is a story for the church, not so much about call but about recognising the moments when a new thing is necessary, a new intent, a new purpose, a new way of doing things.
Let’s take all that fishing experience and re-imagine what it means to fish and for who.