Simon Peter is a sinner (Lk 5:8-5:8)

“When Simon Peter

Saw this,

He fell down

At Jesus’ knees.

Saying.

‘Go away

From me!

I am a sinful man!

O Lord!’”

 

ἰδὼν δὲ Σίμων Πέτρος προσέπεσεν τοῖς γόνασιν Ἰησοῦ λέγων Ἔξελθε ἀπ’ ἐμοῦ, ὅτι ἀνὴρ ἁμαρτωλός εἰμι, Κύριε.

 

Luke was the only one to describe the reaction of Simon to this big catch of fish.  He admitted that he was a sinner.  When Simon Peter saw what had happened (ἰδὼν δὲ Σίμων Πέτρος), he fell down at Jesus’ knees (προσέπεσεν τοῖς γόνασιν Ἰησοῦ).  Notice that this is the first time that Simon was called Simon Peter.  Obviously, this took place after the boats were at shore.  Simon said that Jesus should go away from him (λέγων Ἔξελθε ἀπ’ ἐμοῦ) because he was a sinful man (ὅτι ἀνὴρ ἁμαρτωλός εἰμι).  He called Jesus not a master or a teacher, but the Lord (Κύριε).  This obviously is a theological statement, where Simon Peter confesses his sinfulness before the divine Lord.  He realized that Jesus was special.

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The fisherman washing their nets (Lk 5:2-5:2)

“Jesus saw two boats

Standing there

At the shore

Of the lake.

The fishermen

Had left them.

They were washing

Their fishing nets.”

 

καὶ εἶδεν πλοῖα δύο ἑστῶτα παρὰ τὴν λίμνην· οἱ δὲ ἁλεεῖς ἀπ’ αὐτῶν ἀποβάντες ἔπλυνον τὰ δίκτυα.

 

Luke uniquely said that Jesus saw two boats (καὶ εἶδεν πλοῖα δύο) standing at the shore of Lake Gennesaret, Tiberias or the Sea of Galilee (παρὰ τὴν λίμνην).  The fishermen had gotten out and left their boats (οἱ δὲ ἁλεεῖς ἀπ’ αὐτῶν ἀποβάντες).  They were washing their fishing nets (ἔπλυνον τὰ δίκτυα).  Although there are many stories about Jesus around the Sea of Galilee and Capernaum, it is hard to find an equivalent to this story in Luke.  Basically, Jesus saw some fishermen washing their nets beside their two empty boats.

The crowds follow Jesus (Mk 6:33-6:33)

“Now many saw them

Going.

They recognized them.

They hurried there

On foot

From all the towns.

They arrived

Ahead of them.”

 

καὶ εἶδον αὐτοὺς ὑπάγοντας καὶ ἐπέγνωσαν πολλοί, καὶ πεζῇ ἀπὸ πασῶν τῶν πόλεων συνέδραμον ἐκεῖ καὶ προῆλθον αὐτούς.

 

This opening to the multiplication of the loaves story can be found in all four gospels, Matthew, chapter 14:13, Luke, chapter 9:10, John, chapter 6:1-2, and here.  Jesus wanted to get away to a deserted place in a boat, but somehow the crowds followed him.  It is not clear if they were looking for his reaction to the death of John the Baptist, or just following him as an itinerant preacher and healer.  Mark said that many people saw and recognized Jesus and his disciples leaving in the boat (καὶ εἶδον αὐτοὺς ὑπάγοντας καὶ ἐπέγνωσαν πολλοί).  They ran together on foot there along the shore from all the various towns (καὶ πεζῇ ἀπὸ πασῶν τῶν πόλεων συνέδραμον ἐκεῖ).  The crowds, in fact, arrived ahead of them (καὶ προῆλθον αὐτούς). This crowd seemed to follow along the bank of the sea, so that Jesus and his apostles could not get away by themselves.

Jesus siting in a boat by the sea (Mt 13:1-13:2)

“That same day,

Jesus went out

Of the house.

He sat beside the sea.

Such great crowds

Gathered around him,

That he got into a boat.

He sat there.

Meanwhile,

The whole crowd stood

On the beach.”

 

Ἐν τῇ ἡμέρᾳ ἐκείνῃ ἐξελθὼν ὁ Ἰησοῦς τῆς οἰκίας ἐκάθητο παρὰ τὴν θάλασσαν

καὶ συνήχθησαν πρὸς αὐτὸν ὄχλοι πολλοί, ὥστε αὐτὸν εἰς πλοῖον ἐμβάντα καθῆσθαι, καὶ πᾶς ὁ ὄχλος ἐπὶ τὸν αἰγιαλὸν εἱστήκει.

 

A similar statement can be found in Mark, chapter 4:1.  This seems to be a transition statement.  It was the same day (Ἐν τῇ ἡμέρᾳ ἐκείνῃ), but Jesus left his house (ἐξελθὼν ὁ Ἰησοῦς τῆς οἰκίας) and sat beside the Sea of Galilee (ἐκάθητο παρὰ τὴν θάλασσαν).  Such great crowds gathered or assembled around him (καὶ συνήχθησαν πρὸς αὐτὸν ὄχλοι πολλοί), so that Jesus got into a boat (ὥστε αὐτὸν εἰς πλοῖον ἐμβάντα).  He then sat there in the boat (καθῆσθαι), while the whole crowd stood on the beach shore (καὶ πᾶς ὁ ὄχλος ἐπὶ τὸν αἰγιαλὸν εἱστήκει).  Jesus was no longer talking to just his apostles since this was a whole crowd of people.

The nothingness of humans (Sir 18:8-18:14)

“What are human beings?

What use are they?

What is good about them?

What is evil about them?

The number of days in their life is great,

If they reach one hundred years.

The death of each one

Is beyond the calculation of all.

Like a drop of water from the sea,

Like a grain of sand,

So are these few years

Among the days of eternity.

Therefore the Lord is patient with them.

He pours out his mercy upon them.

He sees them.

He recognizes

That their end is miserable.

Therefore he grants them forgiveness all the more.

The compassion of human beings

Is for their neighbors.

But the compassion of the Lord

Is for every living thing.

He rebukes them.

He trains them.

He teaches them.

He turns them back,

As a shepherd his flock.

He has compassion on those

Who accept his discipline.

He has compassion on those

Who are eager for his precepts.”

Sirach points out that human beings, in contrast to the greatness of God, are useless, like a later 20th century existential 1943 Jean Paul Sartre work, Being and Nothingness. They have a little good and little evil in them, but they have a short unpredictable life, at best 100 years long. Their lives are like a drop of water in the sea or a grain of sand on the shore compared to divine eternity. That is why the Lord is patient and merciful with them. He knows that they will come to a miserable end, so that he grants them forgiveness. While the compassion of humans is for their neighbors, the compassion of the Lord is for all living things. Like a theme later attributed to Jesus, Sirach sees the Lord as a shepherd who rebukes, trains, teaches, and takes his sheep back and forth. The Lord has compassion for those who accept his discipline and precepts.