Jesus grew up in a place called Galilee, where there was a large and beautiful lake. It was there that he began the work God gave him to do. “God is like a king,” he told the people, “and he wants all of you to be part of his kingdom – to love him and to love each other.”
People liked to hear Jesus talk. One morning, the crowd was so huge that Jesus was nearly pushed into the sea.
“Excuse me,” Jesus asked a fisherman, “could I borrow your boat for a while?”
The fisherman’s name was Peter.
“Of course,” he said, “it’s doing me no good. I was out all night and didn’t catch anything.”
Jesus climbed into the boat. Peter rowed it a little way from shore. From there, Jesus talked to the crowd. When he had finished, Jesus sent the people home. Then he turned to Peter and whispered “Let’s go a little further out. I’d like to catch some fish.”
Peter tossed back his head and laughed.
“I told you. My men and I were out all night. We caught nothing!”
Jesus didn’t say a word. He just smiled and looked across the lake.
“All right,” Peter sighed, “if that’s what you want.”
So Peter sailed to the deepest part of the lake and dropped his fishing nets over the side. Soon the nets started pulling and jerking and stretching. All Peter could do was keep the boat from tipping over.
“Help!” Peter called to some friends nearby, “Help me, please!”
They rowed to him as fast as they could and all together, the men pulled on the nets. The fish came tumbling and slapping onto the decks of the boats. Red fish, blue fish, not just one or two fish. So many fish that the boats would have sunk had the fishermen not rowed quickly back to shore.
“Only God, or somebody filled with His power could do that,” Peter said. “Why would someone like that want to go fishing with me?”
Jesus shook his head and smiled. “Don’t be scared,” he said. “God has given me a lot of work to do, and I need helpers. Helpers like you and your friends.”
Jesus stepped out of the boat and walked away across the shore. “Come with me,” he called.
Peter and his friends watched him go. They looked at the fish. They looked at each other. They dropped their nets, left their boats behind, and
raced off to follow Jesus.
This telling of the Bible story was by Bob Hartman for The Lion Storyteller Bible, and then adapted for Beach Club.