When He had stopped speaking, He said to Simon, “Launch out into the deep and let down your nets for a catch.”
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.” And when they had done this, they caught a great number of fish, and their net was breaking. 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. When Simon Peter saw it, he fell down at Jesus’ knees, saying, “Depart from me, for I am a sinful man, O Lord!” Luke 5:4-8
I listened to a sermon the other day from a pastor I really like. In fact, he is the pastor of my daughter’s church, and we have come to see him and that ministry as our adopted church. He spoke about this passage from Luke 5 and his message was great, but I have always had a different takeaway from it than many people.
This passage involves our friend Peter. Peter was a business man, a fisherman. He depended on fishing for his livelihood. It was not sport or recreation, it was catch fish and eat, or fail and not eat.
What I find so interesting in this passage is that it took this particular event to convince Peter about the majesty and authority of Jesus. It was not too long before this that Jesus had healed Peter’s mother-in-law from a fever. Jesus had done a flat-out healing of someone close to Peter- a healing he clearly was aware of. But it took Jesus to get Peter a great business success before he reacted in the profound way that he did to Jesus.
Peter was clearly awed by the power and authority of Jesus after the great haul of fish that day. So, that makes me think, Peter is just like me. Maybe all of us. We are of the “what have you done for me lately?” persuasion.
Yeah, I’m not really proud of that, but I also recognize the humanness of that. We all forget so easily what great things have happened in the past. Great answers to prayer, recovering from illness- whatever it may have been. We remember those things that hit close to home better than some other things. For Peter, that great catch of fish may have rescued him from financial disaster- who knows? It surely got his attention.
What I do know, is that Peter and I are probably pretty alike. Even after a long history of grace and answered prayers, I tend to say, “yes, but what about now? I need you now more than ever!”
I know that God recognizes this in his creation. I note that Jesus did not get upset with Peter in the least. In fact, Jesus told Peter that he would be, from that moment on, a powerful member of his team.
What a great fish story!
Prayer: Father, thank you for the great things you constantly do for us. Help us to remember them even in the lean times, Amen.