Bedtime Discussions

By Tim Lehman

The last couple of nights before bed I was reading Luke 5:1-11 with my kids, each at a different time.  After reading it, we talked about it, and some interesting things came up.  One of the questions was, “What does it mean to fish for people?”  I started to reply that they would go around and tell people about the good news of Jesus dying for our sins.  But of course that hadn’t happened yet.  So what was Jesus’ gospel that he preached?

After thinking about this for awhile, I think the focus of Jesus’ teaching must have been that there is a different way to live life. Shortly after this incident at the lake, we are given details on one of his sermons (Luke 6:17-49).  He said we don’t have to follow our sinful desires and temptations.  We can choose to live rightly by paying attention to why we make the choices that we do.  The kingdom of God is available to all, starting now.

Another question that came up while talking with my kids was, “What did Jesus do each day?”  Well, I guess his job was preaching.  He was no longer a practicing carpenter.  So he got up, got dressed, had breakfast, then…what?  I guess he went out looking for people.  That probably means he headed for Walmart or Sobey’s.  There he talked with them, healed them, and hung out with them.  He attended parties, and on the Sabbath, preached in the synagogue.  It still leaves me wishing I could just travel around with him for a few days and watch him in action.  One of the reasons I like having a formal “job” is that I know what to do with my time each day.  Jesus seems to have had a busy 24 hours each day, often getting up early and working late.  I’d like to see what Jesus did in all the “in-between times” we don’t hear about in the gospels.

One other point that was made by one of my kids was that Jesus must have asked Simon to catch people because he wasn’t very good at catching fish!  Sure enough, the only two times we see Simon fishing (Luke 5 and John  21) are on occasions when he’s been at it all night and hasn’t caught a thing.  That gave us a chance to talk about these two bookends of Jesus’ ministry on Earth.  Simon Peter was way more familiar with Jesus by the second occasion than the first, and was sure excited when he realized it was Jesus who had called to them from the shore.  I’d like to think that my first meeting in heaven with Jesus will be something like that.  “There he is!  Hey, Jesus!  I’m coming!”

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