When He had stopped speaking, He said to Simon (Peter), Put out into the deep [water], and lower your nets for a haul.
And Simon (Peter) answered, Master, we toiled all night [exhaustingly] and caught nothing [in our nets]. Buton the ground of Your word, I will lower the nets [again].
And when they had done this, they caught a great number of fish; and as their nets were [at the point of] breaking,
They signaled to their partners in the other boat to come and take hold with them. And they came and filled both the boats, so that they began to sink.
But when Simon Peter saw this, he fell down at Jesus’ knees, saying, Depart from me, for I am a sinful man, O Lord. Luke 5:4-8 [AMP]
So thankful to have a bit of time before my first meeting this morning and rather than choose to do busy-work (email, document writing, and other things I need to do outside of meetings) I am going to spend this time with the Lord and ask that He help me be productive as possible through the rest of the day. Starting off my day with Him ‘always’ results in a day where my mind stays nestled in His care, grace, and presence.
I pulled up the calling of the disciples in Matthew, Mark, and John and this (Luke) is the only place where the ‘haul of fish’ is recorded as a part of that initial calling. In the other recordings, Jesus asks them to follow Him, and they drop their nets and leave their boats, but the miracle is left out.
The main takeaway from today is the identification I take with Peter (as I often do) with his questioning of Jesus in regard to going out and fishing again after an entire catch-less night of work. Remember, Peter just got done seeing Jesus miraculously heal his mother-in-law from the fever and all of the rest of the people that came that night where Jesus healed every single person who came…yet, here Peter questions Jesus’ request. Let’s be clear, fishing for these guys, was tough work. The boats were about 26′ long and 8 feet wide. They had to row the boats out to where they would fish before prepping and dropping their nets. No small feat with the close recollection of the fruitless night and exhaustion that had probably set in.
But then look at Peter’s response after the big haul of fish – “I am not worthy to have You in my presence Lord Jesus, please leave as I am a man full of sin!” He was not only broken about his doubt in Jesus, but he was also in awe of the realization that Jesus was indeed the Messiah and he (Peter) should not have questioned Him. Finally, they left everything (including they huge load of fish in the boats) and followed Jesus. There was no earthly possession or enterprise that got in the way of their service to the Messiah…they had an change in perspective that made earthly things meaningless.
I have seen the hand of God move uncoincidentally in my life and those around me. Yet, I like Peter, question God’s ability to have impact or move in another circumstance or situation. When He does show His presence and power, I am ashamed of my lack of unbelief and come like Peter did in repentance and guilt. In my sanctification, I only find that I am more and more guilty of giving into the flesh in terms of self-sufficiency or pride. Things that I have been doing out of habit are revealed as ‘Respectable Sins’ that I must address. The big question I have to ask myself is – “Am I willing to walk away from my nets, boats, and livelihood to follow Jesus?” Honestly, I have to ask myself this question and answer it every day. I do think that one day is coming where I may lose my job for what I believe and my worldview that is centered on the Word of Truth alone. I live each day in the freedom that where God has me right now is my mission field. I must keep close to Jesus in my heart every day to be sure that I am exactly where He wants in regard to His will and purposes for my life.