Simon and Conventional Wisdom

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

Simon answered, “Master, we’ve worked hard all night and haven’t caught anything. But because you say so, I will let down the nets.”

When they had done so, they caught such a large number of fish that their nets began to break. So they signaled their partners in the other boat to come and help them, and they came and filled both boats so full that they began to sink. Luke 5:4-7 NIV

Conventional wisdom says that Simon, a fisherman by trade, should know more than Jesus, a carpenter and teacher, about how to fish.

Simon knows Jesus, calls him master. He’s probably thinking that this guy knows something about teaching, but not much about fishing. Simon and his fellow fishermen know how to fish. That’s what they do. They have been doing it all night. Conventional wisdom would say to go home and rest, and hope for a better catch the next day.

Yet, out of respect, Simon does as Jesus asks, although not without a bit of grumbling. And then has to call for help because the catch was so large.

When I read this I was struck by the thought that we often think we know how to do something. We know a lot about how things get done, and the circumstances that are needed to be successful. Conventional wisdom says we should do what we know.

If Jesus asked us to do something we just knew wouldn’t work, something that goes against conventional wisdom, would we do it?

Would you let down your nets?