The Chosen - Episode 4
The Gospel is not so much an argument to assent to (though there are many arguments one can make for the Gospel); but more than this, the Gospel is a person that you place your confidence in.
In Episode 4, Peter finally levels with his wife Eden. With the pressure of his mother-in-law’s illness closing in on him, he entreats his wife Eden. “Please listen to me. I haven’t been honest with you.” Her eyes widen. “There’s no woman, it’s not gambling…” Peter has her attention now. Peter said, “I’ve been fishing on Shabbat because I’ve had no choice. Andrew has tax debts. I’ve got tax debts. We haven’t been able to keep up. I did some things I’m not proud of to fix it, and now it’s gone bad, and – we’re in trouble.” Eden quickly interjects, “We? What do you mean?” Peter quickly clarifies, “I’m in trouble… I could go to prison. We could lose the house… If I don’t catch a ton of fish or get some help somehow, they’ll arrest me.”
Peter rushes off for a night of fishing, but not before his wife Eden gives him a reality check. “You’re not the man I married… That is why you are stuck, and you feel desperate, and now you are off to try to fix it yourself again.” “So go,” she’s sobbing now. “I don’t want you her tonight anyway… I’m glad you’re at least honest with me. But no more talking. Maybe God can get your attention now.”
Peter trudges out, as dejected as he’s ever been. He’s brought all this on himself, he knows, and he’s wounded the woman he loves more than anyone else on earth. Then Andrew shows up and says, “Messiah is finally here.” Simon shakes his head because in his mind, it changes nothing about his desperate situation; he has to get the boat and the oars and nets into the water.
Simon has been a lifelong fisherman. He knows all the species of fish. He’s not a big man, but he’s hardened and toned. He’s also realistic. He knows that even a successful haul this night won’t come close to satisfying his debt.
As the night of fishing wears on, he grunts and groans with a solitary effort. He tries both sides of the boat, front and back. He tries coves and inlets, favorite spots, even areas he’s left to other fisherman the last few years. All Simon knows to do is cast and cast and cast his net. Slowly he begins to boil. And now he seethes – throwing equipment, stomping about, ferociously cutting through snagged and tangled nets. Finally, he cries out, bellowing in rage. As the hours pass, he spends himself. At one point he simply sits, shoulders drooping.
Then he has it out with God. Simon struggles to his feet and snatches up the net. He says to God: “Make the Chosen as many as the stars, only to let Egypt enslave us for generations?” With a grunt, he flings the net into the water yet again. “Bring us out of Egypt, part the Red Sea, only to let us wander in the desert for forty years? Give us the land, only to let us be exiled in Babylon? Bring us back, only to be crushed by Rome? This is the God I’ve served so faithfully for my entire life! You’re the God I’m supposed to thank! You know, if I didn’t know any better, I’d say You enjoy yanking us around like goats and can’t decide whether we’re chosen or not! Which one is it? Huh?”
Peter and his friends stop fishing, exhausted. Jesus asks Peter and the gang to throw the net in one more time for a catch. Peter is reluctant but does it anyway. What happens next totally breaks him.