Wow! A free river cruise on a 90-passenger ship in Europe! The travel company, founded by a Christian couple Jeff and Gina, charges about 1/3 of the cost of Viking Cruises and their website is here. We had a great time with them two years ago.
For this cruise I will be conducting a Sunday church service on August 25th. I have chosen Luke 5 as my text and want to begin thinking through it in these posts. Here’s that great passage:
I need a good title for my message! I’m open to ideas from you my readers. I’ve thought about titles like “Only Pigeons Belong in Pigeon Holes” or “A Whooping Fishin’ Story” or “The Challenge of Categorizing Jesus.” Any suggestions?
I. Doing a Religious Teacher a Favor (vv. 1-3)
Interesting that Jesus doesn’t even ask Peter to borrow his boat as a floating pulpit. He sees the crowds and hops on board without even a customary “Permission to board?” request. And then He asks Peter to put out a little from shore. Presumably folks would not want to tread water to listen to Jesus, but would stay on the beach and give Him a bit of speaking room.
Imagine the added acoustics such a situation probably provided. A scientist wrote the following: “If you are sitting in a boat, a sound coming from the shore will seem louder than the same sound heard by a person on land. Sound seems to be amplified when it travels over water. The reason is that the water cools the air above its surface, which then slows down the sound waves near the surface. This causes refraction or bending of the sound wave, such that more sound reaches the boat passenger. Sound waves skimming the surface of the water can add to the amplification effect, if the water is calm.” (https://www.school-for-champions.com/science/sound_amplified_over_water.htm#.XUnTiFB7kWo).
Using Peter’s boat as a floating lectern might have amplified Jesus’ voice, as well as provided a little auditory distance between Him and the crowds.
I would imagine that Simon Peter was proud that he could help out Jesus. And perhaps he and his co-workers were able to take a needed break and listen to Jesus. They had been washing their nets after a fruitless night of fishing. Maybe these fishermen said to each other things like, “That Jesus sure is a good spiritual teacher, isn’t He?” Or “At least Simon’s boat is being used for something worthwhile.” Or “When’s supper?”
But then Jesus says something completely unexpected. And it changes everything! (to be continued)