Home > Uncategorized > Jesus: Shallow Teacher, Deep Reacher

Jesus: Shallow Teacher, Deep Reacher

I am a word person. More often than not, if you want me to engage in some concept, give it to me in words. I love words.

And so I love when in the New Testament I encounter Jesus using words to get his point across. He was a master story-teller and used words well.

But this morning I encountered a side of Jesus that reminded me how often I focus on one aspect of who he was and so think I have him figured out.

In Luke 5 when Jesus is calling his disciples, the story begins by mentioning that Jesus wanted to teach his disciples, so he got in a boat and floated out into the shallows in order to teach about…well, Luke doesn’t say. This is one of few times where we know Jesus taught but have no idea what he taught. While I know and believe that the Bible does not record everything Jesus taught, it is still interesting to me that Luke uses enough words to let the reader know Jesus taught something, but that is it.

Then Luke writes, “When Jesus had finished speaking, he said to Simon, ‘Put out into deep water, and let down the nets for a catch.'”

Jesus here moves from the shallow to the deep. And it is here in the deep water, in the process of actually fishing that Jesus really teaches his disciples. As the disciples pull up nets laden with hundreds of fish just a few hours after catching nothing all day, Jesus utters two words – “Follow me.” And they leave it all behind to follow Him.

Jesus taught in the shallow, but acted in the deep. The disciples heard Jesus teaching, but did not respond until they were actually doing something, engaged in an experience that moved them in ways Jesus’ earlier teaching was unable to do.

Sure, teaching is good. But it is often not until we do that we see who Christ is and who he is calling us to be.

Don’t just stay in the shallows – put out into deep water.



Categories: Uncategorized
  1. October 10, 2011 at 9:08 PM

    I think the “doing” is what I am all about. I sometimes stumble over words and spending time pondering/thinking/considering…I want ACTION. I want to be a part of action. I wonder how much time we “waste” writing/speaking when we could actually be out there being the hands and feet. All that being said, I’m also a person who finds comfort and energy in story, writing, reading, and dialogue. I’m glad following Christ is a call to listen and to act.

    • October 11, 2011 at 6:43 AM


      Certainly the work of a pastor is a lot of doing, and you are someone who does a lot of things, and you do them well. And I don’t think your actions would be as effective if they were not pulled out of the deepness of your heart. You are right, following Christ is part listening and acting – thank goodness it is both!

  2. October 10, 2011 at 10:29 PM

    thanks for the reflection and the challenge

    • October 11, 2011 at 6:44 AM

      David! Hello, friend. Thanks for your interaction and encouragement. I am encouraged by your writing and your work, too!!

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