"Great Catch of Fish," John August Swanson. Used by permission from the artist.
Image © by John August Swanson. Artwork held in the Luther Seminary Fine Arts Collection, St. Paul, Minn.
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Great Catch of Fish
Luke 5:1-11 Commentary
by O. Wesley Allen Jr.
This short passage is complex in that it mixes several genres, or, better, progresses through several genres.
Due to his popularity, he climbs into Simon’s boat to teach those on the shore.
The story then shifts from the focus on Jesus’ teaching ministry to a miracle story. Jesus instructs Peter to go out deeper into the lake and drop his nets. Peter and his partners have caught “nothing” after a night of labor, but when Jesus commands the nets be dropped there is suddenly enough fish caught to tear nets and fill two boats to the level that they begin to sink!
The story then shifts one more time from a miracle story to a call story, ending with Jesus delivering the concluding line that he will make Peter and his partners (James and John) catch people.
Narratives work inductively with the emphasis coming at the end, just as in jokes (a form of narrative) the movement is from set up to punchline. Preachers will most appropriately focus on the call element of the text as the focus of the sermon. Because Luke’s version of the call of the first disciples is so different ...
| Bible Text
Summer 2020 Readings
2020-21 Readings (Year 3)
The narrative lectionary is a four-year cycle of readings. Read more.
NL253: Great Catch of Fish
January 22, 2017
This podcast on Luke 5:1-11, the Narrative Lectionary reading for Jan. 22, 2017, features Profs. Rolf Jacobson, Kathryn Schifferdecker, and Matt Skinner. Podcast recorded at Luther Seminary, Saint Paul, Minn.