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The Two Searchers
by [?]

Peter was tired of doing the same thing over and over and he wanted a change. Ever since he could remember he had fished and sold the fish he had caught. He had made nets and mended them. First he had done it for his father, and now he owned the boats and nets and fishing implements. But he stood on that bright summer day close by the beautiful Lake of Gennesaret in Galilee, wishing over and over that he could do something that was more worth while.

There was a reason why Peter was more discouraged than ever on this morning. He had fished all through the night before in the hope of getting a good catch so that he might skip a day’s work and go to hear the great teacher about whom men were talking and whom Andrew, his brother, had seen. But though he had worked hard, not a fish had he caught. So now he was mending the holes in the net with a very discontented look on his face. What was the use of it all, anyway? He twisted the rope this way and that, showing by the pulls that he made that his mind was full of trouble.

Suddenly he heard Andrew talking to him. “Peter,” he said. “Peter, see the crowd coming over the hilltop. Perhaps the teacher is coming. I do hope so, for I would hear more of the words he was telling us yesterday. Come, let’s go and meet him.”

“No,” said Peter, “I must finish this net. What will he care for us? We are only poor fishermen.”

But Andrew had not waited to hear his answer–he had already begun to ascend the hill. How eager he was to hear another story from the great story-teller!

Peter mended one hole after another, keeping his eye on the crowd that was coming closer and closer to the lakeside. Then he heard a kindly voice say, “Would you mind letting me take your boat, for the multitude press upon me and I have many things to say to them. If I can get away from the shore, they can all hear and understand.”

Silently Peter brought the fishing boat to shore. The Master wanted to use something that he had. After all, a fishing boat was useful sometimes, even if he were tired of it. Of course he would be glad to help him. So Jesus, the teacher, sat in the end of the boat and Peter rowed him out in front of the crowd. Then Peter sat and listened and looked.

What a wonderful face the teacher had! Peter had never seen the like. It was browned by the sun but in the eyes there was a kindly light that made Peter love to look at him. When he smiled, somehow Peter felt the smile go all through him. How gentle his voice was! What made it so? How eagerly the people were listening, yet he was only telling them a little story about the love of his father, God.

“I wish I had a face like that and a voice like that and could teach like that,” thought Peter. “But I am only a poor fisherman. Oh dear, I wish I could be worth something.”

But Jesus had finished teaching and had bidden the people go to their homes. Peter turned to row to the shore, but Jesus was not ready for that. He had been teaching the multitude and now he wanted a chance to talk with Peter and Andrew. So he said to Peter,

“Launch out into the deep and let us fish for a while.”

Peter thought of the long night of useless toil, but Jesus had asked him to go. This was a chance to stay longer with the teacher, so he said to him frankly,

“Master, we have toiled all night and caught nothing. Nevertheless, at your word, I will let down the net.”