In Luke 5:1-11, Jesus is preaching by the Lake of Gennesaret and attracts crowds of people. Nearby, men are fishing. After he finishes speaking, he greets the men fishing. They tell Jesus they are struggling to catch anything. Jesus tells them to cast their nets once again. They follow his request, and the nets fill to the breaking point. At the sight of the miracle, the men know they are in the presence of the divine. Simon Peter leaves everything to follow Him.
Jesus not only brings the fish together; he brings his men together. This gospel always speaks to me, specifically the ending line: “Don’t be afraid; from now on you will fish for people.” These words not only are clever, but they help me conceptualize the comparison of the men and the fish.
When I hear this story, I instantly think of one thing: community. This gospel reinforces my belief that community is extremely valuable. Even Jesus, the son of God, knew he needed support in spreading his message. We can’t and shouldn’t do things alone. Relationships with others are important: they bring support and help us find a deep meaning of life.
Jesus knew that a larger impact happens with help. As the Social Justice and Advocacy Coordinator at CCM, I often reflect on the importance of community organizing. Jesus knew that he couldn’t change the world alone, and neither can we. Social scientists and historians studied impactful social movements and found in a study with the International Center on Nonviolent Conflict that only 3.5% of the population must participate in civil disobedience to make change. Coming together quite literally can change the world. This gospel urges us to work together, be in a community, and follow the word of God. When we follow God and work together, miracles happen.