Watch: look at or observe attentively over a period of time.
On one occasion, while the crowd was pressing in on him to hear the word of God, he was standing by the lake of Gennesaret, 2 and he saw two boats by the lake, but the fishermen had gone out of them and were washing their nets. 3 Getting into one of the boats, which was Simon’s, he asked him to put out a little from the land. And he sat down and taught the people from the boat. 4 And when he had finished speaking, he said to Simon, “Put out into the deep and let down your nets for a catch.” 5 And Simon answered, “Master, we toiled all night and took nothing! But at your word I will let down the nets.” 6 And when they had done this, they enclosed a large number of fish, and their nets were breaking. 7 They signaled to their partners in the other boat to come and help them. And they came and filled both the boats, so that they began to sink. 8 But when Simon Peter saw it, he fell down at Jesus’ knees, saying, “Depart from me, for I am a sinful man, O Lord.” 9 For he and all who were with him were astonished at the catch of fish that they had taken, 10 and so also were James and John, sons of Zebedee, who were partners with Simon. And Jesus said to Simon, “Do not be afraid; from now on you will be catching men.” 11 And when they had brought their boats to land, they left everything and followed him. Luke 5:1-11 ESV
There is a qualifying phrase from my inspiration passage in Matthewa for the word watch:“Watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace.”
On one occasion,
while the crowd was pressing in on him
to hear the word of God,
by the lake of Gennesaret,
[Jesus] saw two boats by the lake
and he sat down and taught the people from the boat.
There’s a unique twist to this story that goes beyond a crowd of people that want to hear what Jesus has to say. They’ve come on this scene of tired fishermen wrapping up an unsuccessful day’s work. Jesus choosing to get into an empty boat seems like an intrusive move. The scripture indicates Simon and his crew end up in the boat with Jesus. I’m guessing they wanted to protect their property. I am an observer watching to see how the end result of this story will show me the “unforced rhythms of grace” for a few tired men.
I wish the story had told me what Jesus taught from the boat. What did those fishermen know about Jesus and his ministry? From their perspective they saw a crowd pressing in. They saw Jesus climb into their boat. For whatever reason, they came running and did what He asked and pushed out into the lake. They heard the words Jesus spoke. It was probably those words and the two boatloads of fish that got their attention. Jesus often seems to work using circumstances and the powerful words to accomplish the impossible. “Simon Peter saw it, he fell down at Jesus’ knees, saying, “Depart from me, for I am a sinful man, O Lord.” The unforced rhythms of grace happen when we watch what Jesus does. That’s what makes us aware of our sin so we begin to feel the fear of how it separates us from Him. We don’t need a boatload of blessings or the special words we may hear to turn our circumstances into a testimony. We need Jesus in our presence. Jesus says “Watch what I do.a”
aMatthew 11:28-30 MSG