Sooo — We’ve been given a free river cruise on a 90-passenger ship in Europe! Jeff and Gina, who started Teeming River Cruises two years ago, organize their cruises at about 1/3 of the cost of Viking cruises. Their website is here. Two years ago we had a great time with them on their inaugural voyage.
I have the privilege of conducting a Sunday service for the passengers and crew on August 25th. Would you pray for me as I prepare for that service? I’ll be going over the wonderful fish story in Luke 5. Let’s look at that text one more time:
I’m open to any sermon titles that come to your mind. But we’ve noticed so far that Simon Peter is —
I. Doing a Religious Teacher a Favor (vv. 1-3)
Allowing Jesus to use his boat as a floating pulpit, no doubt, made Peter just a tad proud. But then Jesus steps out of His role as spiritual teacher and challenges Peter and the others in —
II. Recognizing Who Jesus REALLY Is! (vv. 4-10)
Invading Peter’s area of expertise by telling him when and where to fish, Jesus promises “a catch” if Peter and the others will simply obey.
What happens when Peter acts on his statement, “but because you say so, I will let down the nets”? We read that the catch is so large that the nets they had been washing were in danger of breaking! They have to call in reinforcements and both boats are so loaded with fish that they began to sink!
That’s a nice problem to have if you are a fisherman, don’t you think? While his co-workers — with $ signs in their eyes — are taking care of the fish, Peter draws a profound conclusion. He doesn’t say, “Jesus, thank you for somehow providing these fish for us!” Or “Wow! I’ve never seen such a catch. How did you know, Jesus, that there would be fish there?” No! Peter launches into an incredible, yet succinct, theological declaration: “Go away from me, Lord; I am a sinful man!” (v. 8).
It seems reasonable to say that Peter was overwhelmed at his underestimating Jesus. He had Him pegged as simply another religious teacher. But the miraculous prediction and catch of fish overcame Peter with the truth of Jesus’ power (and, perhaps, divinity).
We know from other Scriptures that Jesus is the Creator of all things. We read in Colossians 1: 15 The Son is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. 16 For in him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things have been created through him and for him. 17 He is before all things, and in him all things hold together.
Aren’t you glad that Jesus didn’t take Peter’s advice and walk away? Instead the Lord does the opposite. Instead of abandoning Peter, Jesus appoints him to become a fisher of men!
I’m reminded of C.S. Lewis’ famous statement — and with it we will conclude the posts on this topic: