Humble Hero


The Call by the Sea

This chapter is based on Matthew 4:15-22; Mark 1:16-20; Luke 5:1-11.

Day was breaking over the Sea of Galilee. The disciples, tired after a night of fruitless labor, were still in their fishing boats on the lake. Jesus had come to spend a quiet hour by the waterside in the early morning. He hoped for a little rest from the crowds that followed Him day after day. But soon the people began to gather and press in close to Him on every side. HH 106.1

To escape the pressure, Jesus stepped into Peter’s boat and told him to pull out a little from the shore. Here everyone could see and hear Him better, and from the boat He taught the crowds on the beach. He, the Honored One of heaven, was declaring the great things of His kingdom in the open air to the common people. The lake, the mountains, the spreading fields, the sunlight flooding the earth, all illustrated His lessons and impressed them on the mind. And no lesson fell fruitless. Every message came to someone as the word of eternal life. HH 106.2

The prophets had looked forward to scenes like this, and wrote: HH 106.3

“The land of Zebulun and the land of Naphtali,
The way of the sea, beyond the Jordan, Galilee of the Gentiles:
The people who sat in darkness saw a great light,
And upon those who sat in the region and shadow of death Light has dawned.”
HH 106.4

Looking down the ages, Jesus saw His faithful ones in prison and courtroom, in temptation, loneliness, and affliction. In the words He spoke to those gathered around Him on the shores of the Sea of Galilee, He was also speaking to these others the words that would be a message of hope in trial, comfort in sorrow, and light in darkness. That Voice speaking from the fisherman’s boat would be heard speaking peace to human hearts to the close of time. HH 106.5

When He finished His message, Jesus told Peter to launch out into the sea and let his net down for a catch. But Peter was discouraged. All night he had caught nothing. During the lonely hours, he had thought of John the Baptist languishing in his dungeon, of what might happen to Jesus and His followers, of the poor success of their mission to Judea, and of the hatred of the priests and rabbis. As he watched by the empty nets, the future seemed dark with discouragement. “Master, we have toiled all night and caught nothing; nevertheless at Your word I will let down the net.” HH 106.6

After working all night without success, it seemed hopeless to throw the net into the clear waters of the lake, but love for their Master moved the disciples to obey. Simon and his brother let down the net. When they tried to pull it in, there were so many fish that they had to call James and John to help them. When they got the catch on board, both boats were so heavily loaded that they were in danger of sinking. HH 107.1