Today’s Scripture: Luke 5
Our natural human tendency is to compare ourselves to people around us. This can be seen going all the way back to our days in elementary school, when we wanted to be just like everyone else. Looking and behaving like our friends at that time was a childish goal.
Luke 5 tells the story of Jesus calling the first disciples. This is not Simon’s first encounter with Jesus. Jesus had already been to Simon’s home in Capernaum and healed his mother-in-law ( Luke 4:38-39).
God calls ordinary people to discipleship and mission. After all, there was nothing special about Simon Peter and his fishing partners. They were simple fishermen, simply doing their daily tasks. They were minding their own business, cleaning their nets after a long, discouraging night of work when Jesus entered their lives and changed everything.
Surrounded by people, Jesus got into Simon’s boat and asked him to put out a little way from the shore so he could teach the people. Simon did what Jesus asked, (Verses 1-3), then Jesus tells Simon to let down his nets for a catch.
Simon, tired after fishing all night, believes this will be a futile effort. You can almost hear the tone in his voice when he responds, “Master, we have worked all night but have caught nothing.” But then he continues; “Yet if you say so, I will let down the nets” (verses 4-5).
The nets become so full of fish that they begin to break and the boat is so full of fish that it begins to sink. Seeing what is happening, Simon is overwhelmed with fear and wonder. He realizes that he is in the presence of divine power. Simon falls down at Jesus’ knees and begging him, “Go away from me, Lord, for I am a sinful man!” (Verses 6-8) Jesus responds to Simon by saying, “Do not be afraid; from now on you will be catching people” (Verse 10).
Jesus calls Simon and his partners as they are. Simon is aware of his unworthiness, but Jesus is not put off by this in the slightest. Jesus does not ask Simon to get his act together, his resume prepared, and then come back for an interview. Rather, Jesus encounters him as he is, tells him not to be afraid, and calls him to a new mission of catching people.
How often do we resist Jesus’ claim on our lives because what he is calling us to do seems crazy, impractical, or we already tried it on our own? What might it mean for us to go deep-sea fishing with Jesus? To trust and follow him outside our comfort zones and to have our lives changed ?
Ask God to help you see the areas in your life where you might still be holding back.
Lord, give me the courage to trust you, and make me obedient to your commands. Give us faith to trust you, to step out in boldness and obedience, to share your truth, and to watch you work. Amen.
This post was written by Gary Schnabel, a regular contributor to the LivingItOut Bible Study.
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