Luke – Doors Wide Open!
God shows up in our lives at just the right time. He also comes into our lives in majesty when we least expect Him. Can I get an amen?!
We become comfortable, maybe even complacent as we go about our “normal”, thinking this is all we will do for the rest of our lives. And that’s okay. Life is okay. We are fine with how life is because we are not thinking past today’s work. We are told to take one day at a time, so we do.
We are surviving. We feel in control of our normal, everyday lives. We go to work, come home, get something to eat, go to bed so we can do the same thing tomorrow. We go to church, volunteer each Sunday and do our best to help others. We are trying to be obedient to God.
Because of our obedience, God shows up. He blesses us with a “new normal”, a new challenge to grow with Him. He does it in a way that amazes and scares us at the same time! We fall to our knees in awe of a God who works like this on our hearts, minds and souls while doing a new thing in our lives that we have never done before. And we praise Him. We are in awe of Him.
Is this what Peter is feeling as he and others pull in the biggest catch of his life as a fisherman?
Is this Jesus, who has just provided an income for his family and others, God in the flesh?
Is this why Peter is bowing, knee-deep in fish, praising Jesus, giving Him all the glory for the catch of a lifetime?
Is this why Peter, who is God-fearing, knows enough about God to be scared to be in His Presence as he remembers his sin and unworthiness?
Is this why Peter left the biggest catch of fish ever to follow Jesus with only an invitation of a few words? What does it mean to catch people? He doesn’t know…yet. But Peter knows that he must follow.
Is this what it feels like to follow Jesus today? (YES!)
We all, if you admit it out loud, feel unworthy, unclean, unfit, unskilled but yet we are in awe of a God who would ask us to join Him in HIS work to reconcile all people unto Him.
This is the beginning of the calling of the Apostles, The Twelve, who will walk with Jesus on a three year experiential journey where they will learn to help others find and follow Jesus. They will learn that through Jesus, all can finally be reconciled to God.
Luke 5, NLT
The First Disciples
One day as Jesus was preaching on the shore of the Sea of Galilee, great crowds pressed in on him to listen to the word of God. 2 He noticed two empty boats at the water’s edge, for the fishermen had left them and were washing their nets. 3 Stepping into one of the boats, Jesus asked Simon, its owner, to push it out into the water. So he sat in the boat and taught the crowds from there.
4 When he had finished speaking, he said to Simon, “Now go out where it is deeper, and let down your nets to catch some fish.”
5 “Master,” Simon replied, “we worked hard all last night and didn’t catch a thing. But if you say so, I’ll let the nets down again.” 6 And this time their nets were so full of fish they began to tear! 7 A shout for help brought their partners in the other boat, and soon both boats were filled with fish and on the verge of sinking.
8 When Simon Peter realized what had happened, he fell to his knees before Jesus and said, “Oh, Lord, please leave me—I’m such a sinful man.” 9 For he was awestruck by the number of fish they had caught, as were the others with him. 10 His partners, James and John, the sons of Zebedee, were also amazed.
Jesus replied to Simon, “Don’t be afraid! From now on you’ll be fishing for people!” 11 And as soon as they landed, they left everything and followed Jesus.
GOING DEEPER STILL…(knee deep!)
Jesus was concerned about individuals. He preached to great crowds, but His message was always to the individual, and He took time to help people personally. His purpose was to transform them and then send them out to share His message of forgiveness with others. Luke describes in this chapter our Lord’s meetings with four individuals and the changes they experienced because they trusted Him.
It is possible that at least seven of the disciples were fishermen (John 21:1–3). Consider the fact that fishermen generally have the qualities that make for success in serving the Lord. It takes courage and daring, patience and determination to work on the seas, and it also takes a great deal of faith. Fishermen must be willing to work together (they used nets, not hooks) and help one another. They must develop the skills necessary to get the job done quickly and efficiently.
If I had fished all night and caught nothing, I would probably be selling my nets, not washing them to get ready to go out again! But true fishermen don’t quit. Peter kept on working while Jesus used his ship as a platform from which to address the huge crowd on the shore.
But there was another side to this request: Peter was a “captive audience” as he sat in the ship listening to the Word of God. “So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God” (Rom. 10:17 nkjv). In a short time, Peter would have to exercise faith, and Jesus was preparing him. First He said, “Thrust out a little,” and then, when Peter was ready, He commanded, “Launch out into the deep.” If Peter had not obeyed the first seemingly insignificant command, he would never have participated in a miracle.
Peter must have been surprised when Jesus took command of the ship and its crew. After all, Jesus was a carpenter by trade (Mark 6:3), and what do carpenters know about fishing? It was a well-known fact that, in the Sea of Galilee, you caught fish at night in the shallow water, not in the daytime in the deep water. What Jesus asked Peter to do was contrary to all of his training and experience, but Peter obeyed.
Peter was willing to submit to the authority of Jesus, even though he did not understand all that the Lord was doing. And remember, a great crowd was watching from the shore. How people respond to success is one indication of their true character.
Peter’s obedience, although not enthusiastic at first, resulted in a miracle that he would never forget. Peter bowed before the Master of Creation, knee deep in fish. Fish were Peter’s normal way of life. With Jesus, He will experience a new normal, a new life in Christ, a new passion and a new joy unspeakable, though Peter will try to speak and behave abruptly at times because he is still Peter. Jesus will take this fisherman and his friends on the journey of a lifetime.
Later, Jesus will use Peter, “the rock” upon which God church will be built. “And I tell you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not overcome it.”
Are we “knee deep” in our faith, in awe of the Master?
Dear Heavenly Father, Lord and Savior,
Your Word drives us to our knees in awe of You as we remember all the times you have shown up in our lives to teach and lead us, to challenge and convict us, and to invite us to Your Work to help others know and follow you. You equip us at just the right time, with the right words, in the right Spirit if we obey your call. You amaze us with the results of our obedience. You amaze us…period. I may not be knee deep in fish, but I am knee deep in awe of You. Continue your work of salvation and reconciliation in all of us who believe and obey.
In Jesus Name, Amen
We will never out fish Jesus.
Jesus knows where the fish are to be caught.
Jesus invites the obedient to come alongside Him in His work.
Jesus is the One and Only who saves.
Jesus takes us into deep waters for the greatest results.