This is another post in the thinking the unthinkable series.
According to Mark Jesus chose Peter, James and John to witness the raising of Jairus’ daughter. He would also chose on other occasions as well such as the transfiguration and in the garden of Gethsemane. No specific reason is for this is given in Scripture. I did not try to solve this problem but in trying to find the answer to another problem. While studying the three accounts I had a problem with the shortness of Matthew’s account. He missed out Jairus meeting Jesus by the lakeside and only has him asking Jesus just before the woman touched Jesus. It eventually occurred to me that the best explanation resolved around the possibility that Matthew was still trying to get off the boat and the crowd had swallowed up Jesus. You see Matthew was a landlubber and he and the other disciples who not fishermen naturally left to the ex-fishermen to jump out of the boat as it neared the shore and drag it into the shallows to beach the boat. So Jesus and the other disciples could step out onto virtually dry land. When the boat carrying Jesus and the disciples neared Capernaum those awaiting his return would have been uncertain as to the exact spot he would land so the people would have quite scattered, but as it became clear which spot they were heading for they would have concentrated at that point. So the density of the crowd would be such that someone standing on the shore would be unable to see Jesus within a short distance as he moved away from the shore as he was obscured by the crowd. As the crowd converged on Jesus it would have been left to those already on the shore to try and protect him, namely Peter, James and John. The fact that there clothing might have been rather wet and soggy might have deterred some of the crowd from pressing too close. So Matthew could have been quite unaware what was happening a relatively short distance away as he was still preoccupied with getting on shore. Because of Jairus’ desperation for Jesus to heal his daughter he was not going to let anyone get in his way. But once Jesus agreed to come Jairus would have been in no mood to dawdle so the pace that walked into Capernaum itself was probably faster than the rest of the disciples expected it to be and most of them would have been trailing in His wake and only caught up with Jesus when he stopped to call the woman who had been healed into the open. Hence Matthew’s account is less detailed than both Luke’s and Mark’s. But before I go on I can see one objection being raised to what I have said so far, namely that Peter, James, and John were not the only fishermen amongst the twelve disciples. True, Andrew, Peter’s brother was also a fisherman for certain and it is also possible that some of the others were as well. But I suspect that Andrew would have been needed to steer the boat and was thus positioned at the back of the boat. Also someone would also have been needed to make sure that everything was left in an orderly manner ready for the next time the boat was needed. So that could easily account for Andrew’s absence from the three. When Jesus chose the three fishermen it can hardly been because they were in some more super-spiritual than the rest of the twelve. After all with Peter’s ability to speak first and think later, and James and John being called the “sons of thunder,” they obviously had a lot still to learn in order to become more Christ-like. I put it to you that it was because they were willing to do the thankless task of jumping in and bringing the Jesus rewarded them with witnessing the miracle.
Today there are many Christians searching for God to reveal Himself to them in some spectacular Transfiguration-like experience. But are they prepared to do the humble thankless tasks that have to be done like putting out the chairs? Do they think that tasks like that belong to less spiritually gifted persons than themselves? Traditionally because fishermen stank of fish they were often looked down upon by their fellow citizens, and the non-fishermen among them might have thought that task of bringing the boat on to the shore as a task below their station. But, it has been said that you can only steer a moving car. So if you want your mountain top experience you have to prepared to leap out of the boat first.
David Rose, 2017.