Luke 5:4 – 11 (NCV) When Jesus had finished speaking, he said to Simon, “Take the boat into deep water, and put your nets in the water to catch some fish.” Simon answered, “Master, we worked hard all night trying to catch fish, and we caught nothing. But you say to put the nets in the water, so I will.” When the fishermen did as Jesus told them, they caught so many fish that the nets began to break. They called to their partners in the other boat to come and help them. They came and filled both boats so full that they were almost sinking. When Simon Peter saw what had happened, he bowed down before Jesus and said, “Go away from me, Lord. I am a sinful man!” He and the other fishermen were amazed at the many fish they caught, as were James and John, the sons of Zebedee, Simon’s partners. Jesus said to Simon, “Don’t be afraid. From now on you will fish for people.” When the men brought their boats to the shore, they left everything and followed Jesus.
Each year I try to read through the gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John in a different translation of the Bible and as I read through, my eyes are fascinated by what I find there. I try to imagine myself at the scene… what do I see happening around me, how do I feel about what is going on, how do I react to the events taking place? These are just some of the questions that come to mind.
In the fifth chapter of Luke, the story is told of Jesus calling his first disciples. Ok are you ready? Let’s go to the scene. A mass of people are gathered around Jesus ready to listen to whatever he has to say. As he prepares to teach, Jesus noticed two boats on the shore of the lake of Galilee. These boats had been left by fishermen while they went off to clean their nets from their work the night before. Seeing the boats and the lake as an opportunity for voice projection, Jesus saw Peter and asked him to push him off from the land so he could continue his teaching.
After Jesus finished talking to the crowd, he returns to shore and has a second experience with Peter.
“Take the boat into the deep water, and put your nets into the water and catch some fish.”
Now I don’t know about you, but I know what I would probably be thinking here. if I were Peter. It would probably sound something like “Is this guy for real? He has got to be crazy. I’ve been at this all night long and I’m tired. Every bone in my body hurts and all I want to do is go home and go to bed.”
But what does Peter say?
What? Master? Peter recognized that there was something different about Jesus. Jesus had some type of authority. Peter continues “we’ve worked hard all night trying to catch fish, and we caught nothing. But if you say to put the nets in the water, so I will. (v. 5)” (Emphasis mine)
WOW! Did you catch that? Peter bumped into Jesus that morning on the shore yet there was something about him and again Peter did as he asked. In went the nets and out came the biggest catch of Peter’s life. Can you just imagine the look on Peter’s face? This was by far going to be a big pay day for him, perhaps his biggest ever. Yet, the story doesn’t end there. Jesus said to Peter “from now on you will fish for people. Come follow me. (v. 10)”
Peter dropped everything, even the biggest catch of his life, and followed Christ… without question and without hesitation.
Picture yourself on the shore that morning. Would you have been like Peter and left the most lucrative catch of your life to follow Jesus?
Let’s bring it back to present day…what will you leave to follow where Christ is leading?