Wednesday 17 March 2021

All in the same boat


When Simon Peter saw this he fell at the knees of Jesus saying, ‘Leave me, Lord; I am a sinful man.’ For he and all his companions were completely overcome by the catch they had made; so also were James and John, sons of Zebedee, who were Simon’s partners. But Jesus said to Simon, ‘Do not be afraid; from now on it is men you will catch.’ Then, bringing their boats back to land, they left everything and followed him.

From JOHN 5: 1 – 16


“I’m as good as you lot who go to church.” You may have heard that said to you on a few occasions and, of course, such people are more often than not right. Christians who participate in the life of the church have no rights to claim to be better or more good than anyone else. Each of us is a sinner, aware of our own sinfulness, as we cling to the cross of Christ, trust in God’s saving love. We’re all in the same boat.

Meanwhile, back in Peter’s boat in the gospel reading, after he and the others witness the miraculous catch of fish, Peter recognises his own unworthiness. Yet, in asking Jesus to leave him because he is such a sinful man, Peter also clings to his feet, recognises his need for him. He both pushes Jesus away and clings to him – all at the same time.

There is a story told of St Barbara of Catalonia who was so concerned that people kept saying how good and holy she was, that she climbed to the tallest building in the town and started shouting out all the sins she had ever committed! To have a sense of our own sin is important. To acknowledge our unworthiness is important. But so, too, is recognising our need for Jesus, and to trust in his saving love. We’re all in the same boat.


Lord, I am not worthy to receive you but only say the word and I shall be healed.

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