Judges 7-8 Luke 5:1-16
“When Simon Peter saw what had happened, he bowed down before Jesus and said, ‘Go away from me, Lord. I am a sinful man!’” (Luke 5:8 NCV)
When Jesus taught, people listened. And they flocked to Him. The crowds were pressing in so strongly while Jesus was teaching on the shore of the Sea of Galilee that Jesus stepped into Peter’s boat and asked Peter to uber Him out a bit into the water. Jesus was able to teach without the crowds pressing in on Him. Peter might have been a bit miffed that this strange teacher walked into his boat without asking permission to come aboard. He had nets to wash. He’d been working all night. He was tired. Then, when Jesus was finished teaching, He told Peter to row out into the deep water and throw his nets on the other side to catch some fish. I’ve always wondered if his reply was sincere, because the teaching moved him or if it was sarcasm because he didn’t know Jesus. I tend to think it was sarcastic. “Sure, Master. I’ve been working at my profession all night long – the one I make a living at, while You’re just some religious teacher, but if You say so, I’ll take my just-cleaned nets and get them all dirty again by throwing them back in.”
I don’t think Peter believed when I see his reaction to the haul of fish he got by following Jesus’s command. After a night of going to their favorite fishing spots, these professional fishermen had caught nothing, and now, five minutes after following Jesus’s command, they’d caught two boatloads of fish, and more. Peter bowed and said, “Go away from me. I’m sinful.” It’s as if he recognized the holiness of Jesus and, having only the Pharisees to compare Him to, he didn’t want to infect Jesus with his sinfulness. He knew he didn’t deserve that blessing, but he got it. Then Jesus gave them a more important mission: to become fishers of men. Note that Peter, James, and John followed Jesus immediately. They didn’t wait to cash in on their financial blessing because they knew that following God was more important. I love to tell people about Jesus. Sometimes I get discouraged when I tell people and tell people but get no response. It’s easy to want to give up then. When I’m listening for God to speak to me, instead of moaning about the lack of response, God shows me other ways to share the good news of Jesus. In short, sometimes I need to throw the net on the other side of the boat. As a fisher of men, I love to tell people about God’s love and grace. In the long run, I need to be sure that I’m obedient in following God’s way to tell them.
Lord, when I’m discouraged because of people not accepting Your love, show me other ways to approach them so that they’ll understand how much You love them.
Scripture taken from the New Century Version®. Copyright © 2005 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.