Monday, February 11, 2013

Luke 5:1-11

Now it happened that while the crowd was pressing around Him and listening to the word of God, He was standing by the lake of Gennesaret; and He saw two boats lying at the edge of the lake; but the fishermen had gotten out of them and were washing their nets. And He got into one of the boats, which was Simon’s, and asked him to put out a little way from the land. And He sat down and began teaching the people from the boat. When He had finished speaking, He said to Simon, “Put out into the deep water and let down your nets for a catch.” Simon answered and said, “Master, we worked hard all night and caught nothing, but I will do as You say and let down the nets.” When they had done this, they enclosed a great quantity of fish, and their nets began to break; so they signaled to their partners in the other boat for them to come and help them. And they came and filled both of the boats, so that they began to sink. But when Simon Peter saw that, he fell down at Jesus’ feet, saying, “Go away from me Lord, for I am a sinful man!” For amazement had seized him and all his companions because of the catch of fish which they had taken; and so also were James and John, sons of Zebedee, who were partners with Simon. And Jesus said to Simon, “Do not fear, from now on you will be catching men.” When they had brought their boats to land, they left everything and followed Him.

Jesus has become a popular speaker. Some were there to learn from his words, some were there for healing, some were probably there just to see what would happen. The crowd was pressing against him, jostling for a closer position. In order to be heard by all, and possibly to get a little elbow room and rest his legs, Jesus climbs into Simon's boat. (We know that Jesus knew Simon from the previous chapter when he went to Simon's house and healed his mother-in-law as well as when Simon's brother Andrew, a follower of John the Baptist, introduced him to Jesus.)

Simon gladly stopped his work to assist Jesus, even though he had worked through the night as most fishermen did. When Jesus finishes speaking, Simon must have been shocked at the command to try to fish again. This was not the best time of day to catch fish, and Simon was likely worn out and frustrated from a night with no catch. Nevertheless, he follows Jesus' words and lets down his nets. Imagine his surprise when he not only catches fish, but his nets begin to break from the weight. Even with the vessel of their partners they can barely hold the weight of the fish without sinking. The four well seasoned fishermen are shocked.

Simon is humbled and afraid, realizing how miraculous the events are that have just taken place. This has to be the biggest catch they have ever made and obviously the most money they have taken in from one fishing trip. Simon instantly realizes he is in the presence of the divine, falls to his knees, and confesses his sinfulness. And when Jesus calls Simon to be his disciple, all four men leave their boats, nets, and the fish behind to follow Jesus.

Why not at least sell the fish first to provide for their families or feed the poor? What was the point if they weren't going to do anything with the catch?

Because God values obedience more than success.

These four men did not become caught up in worldly values of money and accomplishment; they saw the Savior and followed his voice. "What is more pleasing to the LORD: your burnt offerings and sacrifices or your obedience to his voice? Listen! Obedience is better than sacrifice, and submission is better than offering the fat of rams" (1 Samuel 15:22). When the call of God is clear to you, be ready to drop everything and follow him.

We will abandon it all, for the sake of the call.
Wholly devoted, to live and to die, for the sake of the call.
Not for the sake of a creed or a cause
Not for a dream or a promise
Simply because it is Jesus who calls
And if we believe we'll obey

Steven Curtis Chapman - For The Sake of The Call from christsdem on GodTube.

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