Linda and I have been given a free river cruise on a 90-passenger ship in Europe! Our friends, Jeff and Gina, founded Teeming River Cruises two years ago and their cruises are about 1/3 of the cost of Viking cruises; their website is here. We had a great time with them two years ago on their inaugural voyage.
I will conduct a Sunday service for the passengers and crew on August 25th. Please pray for God to guide me as I prepare for that service. I’ll be going over the wonderful story in Luke 5. Let’s look at that text one more time:
I don’t really have a title for my message yet and am open to your ideas! But we have so far looked at verses 1-3 and suggested that Simon Peter was —
I. Doing a Religious Teacher a Favor (vv. 1-3)
Peter had to be a bit proud of his helping Jesus out of an acoustical dilemma. Peter’s boat provided Jesus some distance from those who wanted to hear Him, and maybe added to the ambiance of the meeting.
But Jesus, although He had concluded His lecture, isn’t done speaking. He gives Peter a command: “Put out into deep water, and let down the nets for a catch” (v. 4). Peter and his companions are now challenged with …
II. Recognizing Who Jesus REALLY Is! (vv. 4-10)
Jesus is invading Peter’s area of expertise by telling him when and where to fish! Simon Peter’s response is: “Master, we’ve worked hard all night and haven’t caught anything” (v. 5). Is there anything sadder than a fisherman who puts up his hands to describe his catch of fish and he has to make a big ZERO with his fingers? Zilch. Nada. Nothing. And now Jesus wants them to get their nets dirty again even though the fish aren’t biting.
Jesus has stepped out of His role as spiritual teacher and has entered Peter’s world of catching fish. And Jesus doesn’t say to him, “Let’s see if you can catch a few …” He says, “for a catch.” As if Jesus could guarantee success to these exhausted and frustrated fishermen!
Perhaps Peter doesn’t want to embarrass Jesus by refusing His request, and he agrees to do what Jesus told him to do. Don’t you just love Peter’s totally honest response: “But because you say so, I will let down the nets”? Against all reason, contrary to all sure evidence of a repeated failure, Peter obeys.
The Challenge: Where in your life is your “but because You say so”? What is Jesus asking you to do that can be done only by stepping out in faith and obedience? (to be continued)