Monday, June 4, 2007

The ultimate fish story

I love the story of four fisherman that were called to be Disciples of Jesus. It reminds me that Jesus is in control of all things. After all He is master of everything, the waves, the wind, the world and everything in it obeys Jesus when He commands it. Even the fish are under His control as we'll see in this passage of scripture. Lets take a look at Luke 5:1-11 and see how Jesus gets the attention of these fishermen.

Luk 5:1
SO it was, as the multitude pressed about Him to hear the word of God, that He stood by the Lake of Gennesaret,
Luk 5:2
and saw two boats standing by the lake; but the fishermen had gone from them and were washing their nets.
Luk 5:3
Then He got into one of the boats, which was Simon's, and asked him to put out a little from the land. And He sat down and taught the multitudes from the boat.
Luk 5:4
When He had stopped speaking, He said to Simon, "Launch out into the deep and let down your nets for a catch."
Luk 5:5
But Simon answered and said to Him, "Master, we have toiled all night and caught nothing; nevertheless at Your word I will let down the net."
Luk 5:6
And when they had done this, they caught a great number of fish, and their net was breaking.
Luk 5:7
So they signaled to their partners in the other boat to come and help them. And they came and filled both the boats, so that they began to sink.
Luk 5:8
When Simon Peter saw it, he fell down at Jesus' knees, saying, "Depart from me, for I am a sinful man, O Lord!"
Luk 5:9
For he and all who were with him were astonished at the catch of fish which they had taken;
Luk 5:10
and so also were James and John, the sons of Zebedee, who were partners with Simon. And Jesus said to Simon, "Do not be afraid. From now on you will catch men."
Luk 5:11
So when they had brought their boats to land, they forsook all and followed Him.

Can you imagine this scene, here Jesus is standing by the Lakes edge with tons of people pressing in closer and closer to him just waiting to hear the word of God. I mean people everywhere! The bible says, "multitudes pressed about him." But where were the fisherman? We read that most of the fisherman had left, however Simon was still with the boat. The other fishermen were washing their nets after a long night of fishing. Jesus goes up there gets in one of the two fishing boats and asked Simon to put the boat out a little ways from the shore so he can speak to the crowds. So here's Simon and Jesus in the boat, and Jesus begins to teach the word of God to the people gathered on the shore.

I find it very interesting that of all the people gathering around to hear the word of God from Jesus, Simon and the other fisherman were not even interested, they we're more concerned about getting their work done. I can imagine they just wanted to get the nets cleaned up and prepared for the next nights fishing trip. These men were not there to hear from God, they were there doing their work. But Jesus jumps right in the middle of their work.

As Jesus is preaching to the people He stops preaching and tells Simon to "Launch out into the deep and let down your nets for a catch." This is where Simon chuckled to himself as he rolled his eyes and said, "Jesus your crazy, I'm the fisherman here, yes you are a fantastic preacher and even a great healer, I mean look at these crowds that follow you because of your healing power, but Jesus you need to leave the fishing to me. That's my specialty man. I've been out all night long and there's just nothing out there, especially this time of day, I mean who in their right mind fishes during the middle of the day anyway? It just makes no sense, let me take you back to shore."

Well I guess that might be what Jesus would hear if he'd asked me to let down the nets, I mean this makes no sense does it? But what does Simon really say? He says... "Master, we have toiled all night and caught nothing: nevertheless at Your word I will let down the net."

Why does Simon go? Well for one he addresses Jesus as Master! This statement in itself allows us to catch a glimpse of how Simon feels about Jesus. He understands that Jesus is powerful and far greater than he is and he concedes that Jesus is Master. Jesus also speaks with authority. He gets in the boat and even though he ask Simon to put out a little from the shore, it's not like Simon really has an option here. And now here Jesus is telling him to go out deep and drop the nets for fish! Simon can't help but make a comment here about the lack of results they've already had, but since the "Master" wants me to I will do it. Do you sense that Simon thinks he's going to catch anything? No we don't do we? Simon's pretty sure nothings going to happen, that why he's warning Jesus, "hey look, don't expect much here."

What happens next is simply amazing! They caught so much fish that the nets were breaking! Simon signals to the other partners in the other boat to come and help.

Can you picture the others in the boat near the shore, they got to be wondering what in the world Simon is doing out there fishing with Jesus in the middle of the day? Now they're being signaled to come and help? Help with what? Are they catching Fish? So they go and of course we see that their boat was filled full like the first boat, so much so that they both begin to sink!

What happen next can only happen when you realize that you are in the presence of almighty God in the flesh! WHEN SIMON PETER SAW IT, he fell down at Jesus knees saying, "Depart from me, for I am a sinful man, O Lord!" Simon saw it with his own eyes, he experienced a miracle that could not have happened any other way than for Jesus to command it to happen. Even the fish obey this man named Jesus! Now Jesus the name of Jesus has changed in the mind of Simon. Jesus went from "Master" to LORD! As Simon's Master, he did what he was told, but now Jesus is Lord of his life! Simon has seen firsthand what this man Jesus is... He is LORD. This has such an impact on ones life when we realize that Jesus is LORD doesn't it? Everyone there was astonished and amazed and Jesus must have even sensed their fear during this amazing experience... Jesus says... "Do not be afraid, From now on you will catch men."

Notice, no talking back now is there? But Jesus you have the wrong man, But Jesus I'm not a good speaker, But Jesus I know nothing about catching men, apparently I don't know much about catching fish anymore either, but Lord you don't want me. No. The only proper response when Jesus calls us is one of immediate obedience. What's the bible say? "So when they brought their boats to land, they forsook all and followed him." They left their homes, they left their lively hood (their fishing boats) they left everything they had and followed Christ.

WOW! Do you know this Jesus? Did Jesus call you? We're you as obedient as Simon and the others? I believe you were. But what has happened to us today? Are we still as obedient today as the day he called us? Maybe it's time we get back in the boat with Jesus. Maybe it's time we renew our faith and trust in Him and quit leaning on our own understanding and logic. After all, we see that Jesus can do far more than what we can imagine or even understand possible. So lets not limit God working through us, lets go in faith and leave everything else behind. TOTALLY selling out for Christ. Amen

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