If you use this refection please acknowledge hospice23, as well as the author, Rev Sue Martin.



Luke 5.1-9

‘Put out into the deep and let down your nets for a catch.’ (v. 4)

This reading from Luke begins with an empty boat; it ends with a miracle. Jesus, quietly authoritative, gets into Simon’s boat and only then asks him to put out a little way from the shore; Jesus doesn’t ask first and wait for Simon’s reply before climbing in the boat. The crowds are pressing on Jesus and he wants to preach to them. He sees the empty boat, knows it can help him in his ministry, and so wants to use it. It is after Jesus has finished preaching that he focuses on Simon the person, challenging him to put out into the deep.

Simon and the fisherman have worked hard all night and caught nothing, so they don’t see much point; nevertheless, they do as Jesus commands. The result is such an enormous catch of fish, that not only do the nets start breaking, but the boat begins to sink too. And it all started with an empty boat lying idle at the lakeside.

If we are living with a chronic illness it may seem as though our bodies are empty vessels now lying idle. If we have assumed they are no longer of any use, Jesus invites us to think again. How about taking a risk and daring to put your own boat out a little way? Then dare to put out into the deep, and trust that all will be well.

How many more people saw and heard Jesus that day because he was able to use Simon’s boat? How many more lives were touched and transformed because of the little boat carrying the Lord, than if Jesus had stayed on shore with the people crowding in on him? In the same way Jesus can use us. He focuses on the person we are, body, mind and spirit. Even when we feel empty, weak or useless we need to ‘Put out into the deep’: whatever ‘the deep’ is for us, whether it is our fears, our dreams or our longings. For it is in this “empty space” that Jesus can work his miracle and speak to others through us. We only have to risk “putting out into the deep”.

Lord of life and creation,

You touched Simon’s life
On the waters of the deep,
Using all that he was
And all that he had
To show the miracle of God;
Help me to trust and to let go to you; And use me to show others the touch of God. 

Webpage icon Bartimaeus
Webpage icon Humiliation
Webpage icon Isolation
Webpage icon Levi
Webpage icon Rejection