Once upon a time, long ago there was a fresh water lake named Kinnor. The name Kinnor means harp and that’s how Kinnor got his name, because he was shaped like a harp people called her the Sea of Kinnor. Now Kinnor was not a real sea and he was not even a very large lake but he was an important lake because he contained a very large number of fish. Yes Kinnor was really good a growing fish and because of that he provided food and a livelihood for a lot of people who lived nearby. In fact it was common back then on any given day to count over 200 boats out fishing on Kinnor. You see Kinnor was located in a special place. He sat on the edge of some large continental plates so He got his water not only from a large river but also from some underground springs that brought warm nutrient rich water up from deep in the ground where it was heated by volcanic lava. This was similar to the volcanic vents that put nutrients into the oceans although much smaller but it did made Kinnor really good at growing fish. Yes Kinnor liked his fish and knew they were an important part of life for the whole region where he lived.
Now before I tell you about Kinnor, I need to explain to you what water is really like. You see water is like the most basic thing to life that there is. If anything knows about life, its water. For most of the earths life forms live in water, need water to live and are made of mostly water. In fact you and I are over 90% water. Now you also need to realize that each body of water has a personality and a job and that job is to manage life itself. Yes the bodies of water on this world are all involved in some aspect of managing life on this world. Some in local areas like lakes and rivers and others like oceans managing life across the major continents even the whole world. So basically water is really important and guess what – the bodies of water on this planet know it. Yes the oceans, seas, lakes, rivers, streams and even ponds all know how important they are and because they do, they are all pretty arrogant (you know – kind of proud and stuck up). Well Kinnor was no different since he was so good at growing fish. Well anyway, now that you understand how bodies of water think and what they do, let’s get back to our story about Kinnor.
As it happened, one spring morning Kinnor awoke from his sleep to a very strange feeling. Something in his waters was just not normal but he could not quite decide what it was. He checked the river the fed water into him and it was flowing normally. Then he checked the river flowing out of him and found it normal too so he then looked around on his surface for a storm. There he saw that there were about the normal number of boats on it fishing and there was no storm activity so he wondered, “what could it be?”. “Why did he feel so weird?”. Since he had no answer yet he began searching for anything different or abnormal not matter how small and as he did he noticed that his fish were starting to do something odd. They were starting to swim together in tight groups. In the ocean this is called “schooling” and normally lake fish do not swim like this. You see in lakes the tiny organisms that the fish eat are all spread out evenly in the water and the fish have to search for them so they swim around separately. It is only in the oceans where fish group togther to eat. Kinnor knew this and suddenly he realized what was happening , the nutrients in his water must be changing and that’s why he felt funny. Kinnor quickly checked the underground springs that fed him with nutrient rich water and found that they were sending out extremely warm water with 10 times the amounts of fish nutrients and micro organisms as normal. Kinnor felt a chill run through his currents as he remembered the last time this happened may years before. That time, when the deep springs ran hot, there was a volcanic eruption and Kinnor had been scalded with hot lava. He hoped that was not happening again but there was an earthquake a few days before nearby so maybe that an eruption was near.
As Kinnor was thinking about the possibly of an eruption, the schooling fish once again caught his eye. As he watched all his fish, type by type now grouped together into a tight schools which were following the currents of warm water from the deeper springs. Kinnor noticed that the warm water was not mixing well with his normal water so dancing ribbons of fish where forming as the schools of fish followed the currents eating from them like they were ice cream. Wow thought Kinnor, my deep springs are really giving the fish a feast. And me a show ! That made Kinnor happy but as he watched the dancing schools of fish he did not realize that the fisherman on the surface were becoming very unhappy.
Yes as the fish schooled most followed the warm currents down deeper into Kinnor, they left the surface of the lake where all the fisherman’s nets were. So all night the fisherman who where using nets were bringing up their nets empty and that was making them mad. What had happened to the fish ? , they thought. The more they threw their nets, the more frustrated then became because none of them were catching anything. The same was true for a small boat that was fishing near Kinnor’s southern shore with 8 men in it. They had been fishing all night but not caught one fish. They finally gave up as the sun came up and started back to the shore. As they approached a man walking on the shore called out to them and asked the one question you never ask an unlucky fisherman. Hey you guys caught any fish ? .. The men in the boat looked at each other , rolled their eyes as they were so frustrated and then yelled back “no – sorry we haven’t caught even one fish” . They were pretty embarrassed as after all they were professional fisherman. One of them was about to add “and none else has caught any either” but before he did the man on the shore yelled, “If you cast your net on the right side of your boat right now you will catch some” .. The fishermen when they heard this were pretty skeptical. After all they were nearly to the shore and that was not a good place to fish even on a normal day and of course today was not normal. But they decided to try one more cast and did as the man suggested. What happened next was nothing short of a miracle.
As the little boat neared the shore Kinnor had been watching one particular school of fish. These were all swimming in a group and appeared to be following a warm water current but for some reason they were not headed down towards the warm water springs like all the others but were headed toward the surface and toward Kinnors southern shore. Kinnor wondered why this particular group was going this way. It made no sense. The warm nutrient rich current would be greater at its source deep below. Near the surface it would be diluted and less interesting for the fish. As Kinnor watched the school was also getting tighter. It was as though the fish were squeezing themselves together into a very tight crowd. This also made no sense.
Soon this odd school of fish, came close to the shore and close to what Kinnor recognized as the hull of a fishing boat. As the school moved past the boat on one side of it, Kinnor recognized a fishing net fall into the water. As the net fell and spread out the bottom of the lake, the school of fish stopped right above it. They stopped following the current, they stopped swimming and as the net started to rise, every fish in that odd school became caught in the net.
Kinnor was amazed. He had never seen a fisherman so lucky as to drop a net in shallow water and catch hundreds and hundreds of fish at once. He figured the net would break as it had to be super heavy with so many fish in it, but as he watched the net slowly was pulled out of the water and into the boat and it did not break. Wow thought Kinnor , those fisherman caught hundreds of fish in one throw of their net when everyone else on the whole lake, over 200 boats had not caught one fish. Now that will make a fish story. He wondered if anyone would believe it.
Well as it turned out most people didn’t believe it. Latter that day the deep springs in Kinnor returned to normal. There was no eruption, the fish returned to the surface and stopped schooling and by the next day everything had returned to normal on Lake Kinnor. Everything except one key thing., a group of fishermen had changed what they were fishing for. You see these 8 men who used to spend their days fishing for fish, stopped fishing for fish that day and started fishing for men and women. For these fishermen were a group of Jesus disciples and the man who called from the shore and told them exactly when to cast their net was the resurrected Jesus. He had died on the cross a few days before but now was alive again. You see what Kinnor could not see was that after the catch, Jesus had breakfast with these men. There on Kinnors southern shore He taught them a key lesson . He taught them that with Jesus help they could be very successful even when everyone else was doing poorly. He also explained to them that he wanted them to care for other people who needed Jesus. The disciples listened to that lesson and left fishing on Kinnor that day. Oh they still fished there from time to time but they no longer make fishing for food their lifes job. They made their lifes work helping other people learn about Jesus. This is what they called “fishing for men” and he had used a small lake named Kinnor to teach them how to do it.
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Do you still go through your life trying to do well on your own or do you ask Jesus for help ? Are you still learning to doing things the same way everyone else does, or are your learning how to have Jesus power to help you. Well if you want his help, he does teach us how to get it. Keep coming to church, reading the Bible and listening to your teachers and above all keep praying and asking Jesus for his help in every little thing.