Epiphany 5 - Year C
Apparently Simon is a Class-A net washer. After a night of nothing caught it wouldn't take much to have washed his net. This explains (always a dangerous thing to do with scripture stories as it turns them into facts) how Simon was able to have a net in the boat already out on the water while others were still washing theirs on the shore. It may also have something to do with Simon's slow response - after a frustrating night of fishing and a fast wash-up he may not have been listening all that well, after all, he wasn't one of the crowd pressing to hear about G*D, he was just someone pressed into service - the chauffeur doesn't have to listen to speech, just drive to a good speaking spot.
Simon was a realistic enough small businessman to know that a glut of fish would decrease their value (good old supply and demand) and that broken nets were a whole different kettle of fish than dirty nets. Might as well leave the current situation behind and move on, follow on.
That is all fun playing with the story. Of equal import is a look at Simon's response of, "Go away, I am without stock in your company." [track hamartōlos back to hamartanō] Simon was not in on Jesus' original IPO. This event was too good to keep his current partnership sustainable. Sort of like small businesses when a Wal-Mart shows up in the community. Simon knows tides come and tides go; fish are caught and not caught; life goes on, follows on.
This "sinner" language, as it is usually translated, is more appropriate in John's similar post-resurectional scene. It is also a bit out of place since Jesus doesn't seem to pick up on the "sinner" language with his commissioning of Simon, et al. It is almost as if Jesus says, "Sinner, Schminner, whatever. Here's the deal . . . . Are you in or not?"
Well, are you?