By Adesoji Fasanya
Matthew and Mark called that body of water, “the Sea of Galilee” (Matthew 4:18, Mark 1:16) Luke called it “the Lake of Gennesaret” (Luke 5); John called it “the Sea of Tiberias” (John 21). Although it had diverse names, its property remained the same. One of such is the fact that it is the lowest freshwater lake on Earth. It has levels between 705 and 686 ft below sea level, it is also approximately 53 km in circumference, about 21 km long, and 13 km wide. Its area is 166.7 km square at its fullest, and its maximum depth is approximately 43 meters. The warm waters of the Sea of Galilee support various flora and fauna, which have supported a significant commercial fishery for more than two millennia. Some reports suggest that only the Dead Sea (the lowest place on Earth) has more oxygen than the Sea of Galilee. Hence, the Sea of Galilee sounds like a good and right place to fish.
A good and right place isn’t enough but also the right time to fish. Science has explained that there is a low amount of dissolved oxygen in water bodies at night till dawn. Water plants give off oxygen during the day and use it up at night. All these lead to a low amount of oxygen in water at night, hence fishes move up the water bodies to get oxygen since they need it. Fishermen harness this and go fishing at night. It is expected that they catch enough. So, the disciples of Jesus didn’t just pick the right place but also the right time to fish.
Some have said there is no such thing as luck, and that luck is when opportunity meets preparation. The disciples of Jesus were skilled fishermen. James and John were fishing with their father Zebedee when Jesus called them. Simon Peter and Andrew were skilled fishermen too. They left this job to follow Christ. Now, they again went out to fish. They went with their skill and expertise, they went to the right place and at the right time. One would expect that they come back with a great harvest of fish. Sadly, it wasn’t so.
Luke recorded that Simon answered, “Master, we toiled all night…” John reported that because of this, they had no food. What a state! Jesus said, “Launch into the deep — that is cast your net to the right side”. Simon replied, “…nevertheless at thy word”. They launched and they caught net-breaking fish.
The disciples had the right skill, they were in the right place at the right time but they did not have the WORD. The Word came, they acted on it and excelled. Being in the right place at the right time with the right tools and skills is good but not enough for what God is set to do. Wait on the word, act on the word. The Word makes all the difference.
“Kinneret — General” (in Hebrew). Israel Oceanographic & Limnological Research Ltd.
Data Summary: Lake Kinneret (Sea of Galilee) Archived 3 February 2014 at the Wayback Machine
NB: Images are from Wikipedia