Day 18: Luke 5:1-11
One day as Jesus was standing by the Lake of Gennesaret, the people were crowding around him and listening to the word of God. He saw at the water’s edge two boats, left there by the fishermen, who were washing their nets. He got into one of the boats, the one belonging to Simon, and asked him to put out a little from shore. Then he sat down and taught the people from the boat.
When he had finished speaking, he said to Simon, “Put out into deep water, and let down the nets for a catch.” Simon answered, “Master, we’ve worked hard all night and haven’t caught anything. But because you say so, I will let down the nets.” When they had done so, they caught such a large number of fish that their nets began to break. So they signaled their partners in the other boat to come and help them, and they came and filled both boats so full that they began to sink.
When Simon Peter saw this, he fell at Jesus’ knees and said, “Go away from me, Lord; I am a sinful man!” For he and all his companions were astonished at the catch of fish they had taken, and so were James and John, the sons of Zebedee, Simon’s partners. Then Jesus said to Simon, “Don’t be afraid; from now on you will fish for people.” So they pulled their boats up on shore, left everything and followed him.
To gain a little perspective on this story in Luke, let’s take a look at Luke’s second volume in scripture – what we know as the book of Acts. Early in Acts, we get a glimpse at what was happening in the earliest days of the church, and the growth is remarkable. I imagine the impact the resurrection had on the disciples was hard for them to contain as they shared the miraculous story with the world around them. In passages like Acts 2:41, 2:47, and 9:31, we see the growth that was taking place in these early days of the church. Peter, of course, was instrumental in that growth.
Now rewind to this story in Luke’s Gospel. Peter and the other fishermen had just finished their hard night of fishing and were cleaning up for the day when Jesus asked them to take him out in one of the boats. After doing some teaching, Jesus encouraged Peter to put the nets out and try for another catch.
I can imagine Peter’s exasperation. He was tired. They’d already been fishing all night and didn’t have anything to show for it. Must they go through this tedious exercise? But, to Peter’s credit, he did what Jesus asked him to do. The results are astounding.
Back in the book of Acts, we see evidence in chapter six that the church’s growth had become difficult to manage. Almost like having so many fish that the nets were breaking and the boats were sinking.
This was a moment Jesus prophesied when he said, “From now on you will fish for people.”
Brad Taylor | Executive Pastor