The 1970’s and 80’s was the era of the waterbed – a fad which many people enthusiastically embraced. It was said that a waterbed could provide a better night’s sleep than a traditional mattress, but it wasn’t mentioned that a tiny pinprick would make it leak. The beds needed heaters, and even special sheets. They also needed internal baffles to stop the inevitable waves, as without them, you would feel like you were in a rowboat during a typhoon. Nevertheless, my husband, Jim, and I decided to buy one.
It took time to get used to the movement of the water, but once we did, we slept well – that is until Jim’s loud snoring kept me awake. One night, his snoring induced me to climb out of bed and go to the downstairs bedroom that was just below our master suite. I closed my eyes and settled in to sleep, however I could still hear Jim snoring as loudly as though I were still in the room with him. How can that be, I wondered as I lay awake. All at once, it dawned on me that water was a carrier of sound. Soundwaves become amplified when they travel over water. There would be no escaping the snoring that night.
The next day, as I mulled over the snoring-sound problem, I thought about JESUS as He preached to the people by Lake Gennesaret. The Apostle Luke recorded this story in chapter 5:1-11. (NKJV) “So it was, as the multitude pressed about Him to hear the word of God, that He stood by the Lake of Gennesaret, and saw two boats standing by the lake; but the fishermen had gone from them and were washing their nets. Then He got into one of the boats, which was Simon’s, and asked him to put out a little from the land. And He sat down and taught the multitudes from the boat.”
It is well-known that when speaking to a crowd of people, only those individuals nearest the speaker can hear what is being said. JESUS was, of course, well aware of sound principles, and therefore He requested that the fishing boat be pushed away from the land, so His voice would amplify as it traveled along the water.
When JESUS finished teaching the multitudes of people, He asked Simon Peter to move the boat into the deeper water of the lake, and let down the fishing nets again. Simon Peter was tired from fishing all night. He and his men had spent hours casting their nets into the lake, but that night they had caught no fish. Not only were they tired, but they must have been discouraged as well. It was only a few hours earlier that the fishermen had removed the debris that had got tangled in their nets, rinsed them out, and put them away to dry.
Simon Peter was a net-fisherman and knew his job well. He knew that trying to fish during the daytime in the clear water of Gennesaret was futile. The fish could see the net being dragged through the water and would avoid it. To Simon Peter, the request JESUS made must have seemed quite odd, yet he told the men to get their nets out again, and let them down into the deep part of the lake. Their obedience was rewarded with so great a number of fishes that their rope-net broke, and they had to ask for help from the men in the other ship. The two ships became so heavy with fish that they began to sink!
This astonishing miracle of fishes was JESUS’ analogy; a natural lesson that He knew the fishermen would understand. As they learned to trust the Master’s requests, and follow His teachings, their lives would be transformed and abundantly blessed. They would become changed into “fishers of men,” teaching others of MESSIAH’S never-ending blessings in the deep waters of faith.
I am still filled with awe that a simple waterbed, (and my snoring husband), highlighted the proof of the design of sound, as made by the creator and sustainer of the universe. The miracle, that followed JESUS’ teaching, gave ordinary fishermen a profound lesson in trust, and awakened their understanding of the depth of GOD’S love.