Jesus became more familiar with Peter, staying in his home (Luke 4:38) and healing his mother-in-law of a fever, no small malady in a time before pain relievers, antibiotics, and vaccines. Peter’s home became a gathering place of sorts as word spread throughout Capernaum, and others made their way to his home, the desperate seeking healing and hope from this new rabbi.
For Peter, this was completely new. In Peter’s time the blind never saw. The lame never walked. The demons never left.
One day, after Peter returns from an unsuccessful overnight fishing trip, Jesus appears again on the beach and crowds began to form, eager to listen to His teaching. So Jesus asked the brothers to lend their boat to use as a place to sit and teach the gathering crowds. The brothers’ grimy and smelly boat—now a stage for the Son of God. And when the crowd dispersed, Jesus urged the men to give the nets another chance.
The Scripture suggests this tip rankled Peter, and we know why. When an amateur weighs in on our area of expertise, it raises our hackles. These guys knew the lake better than almost anyone. They were good at fishing, having spent their whole lives mastering the currents, discerning where schools of fish gathered and when exactly to cast their nets and when to draw them in. This was their business, their livelihood, their way of life. Jesus—He’s good for miracles and messages, but why was He messing with their business? Peter didn’t say it, but you know the internal dialogue went something like this: Jesus, You know nothing about this business. I’ve been doing this my whole life. It’s just not a good day out here. We’ll come back and get it tomorrow.
What followed was, well, a miracle. This was a vision of Peter’s future life. He was the empty net God would one day fill with spiritual power to preach to thousands of people at Pentecost, lead the early church, and write two books of inspired biblical canon.
This was Peter’s miracle. An empty net and an empty lake suddenly, inexplicably full of fish. Peter knew the sea, but Jesus made the sea.