Jesus Catches Simon Peter
Thank You, Lord, for Your great forgiveness, which enables me to come into Your presence.
Read LUKE 5:1-11
Scripture taken from the THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION, NIV Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
“The conditions on which Jesus can use us in his kingdom work are: a willingness to work (2,10); obedience to his commands (5); honesty about ourselves (8); and a willingness to make sacrifices (11)” (Donald G. Miller).
Although the NIV has the heading “The Calling of the First Disciples,” the occasion narrated here may not be the same as the calling of Simon Peter in Matthew 4:18. As we noted yesterday, Jesus and Simon seem to know each other already. In Capernaum, Simon has already noticed the authority of Jesus’ word and was astonished and amazed. Up until now it has only been the evil spirits who perceived who Jesus was, but now something of Jesus’ altogether-different person dawns on Simon. It is possible to be amazed at miracles and yet to remain detached. Now he experiences the power of an encounter with Jesus. He is not sure if he is ready for this. He calls him “Master” (5) and falls on his knees recognizing himself as a sinner (8). It’s not just the fish he sees, but a man with the words of God, a man of terrifying holiness, and, not surprisingly, he is afraid. Jesus replies, “Don’t be afraid. From now on you will be someone who catches people–alive” (English doesn’t have words to capture the pun, but there’s a contrast between the dead fish and living people). Simon leaves his boat–and all those fish!–to follow Jesus, together with his fishing partners, James and John.
When he left his boat that day, Peter could not have had the slightest idea of how Jesus would change his life. He was magnetically drawn to this man. Then there were three years of learning as he worked alongside Jesus. Three years of trying to follow, of making mistakes, of being patiently corrected. Three years of growing to love him more and more. The events leading up to the crucifixion, with Peter’s devastating denial (Matt. 26:69-75); Jesus’ forgiveness on the shore after the resurrection (John 21:4-19; notice the fish); and then Pentecost, when Peter “caught” three thousand people who put their faith in Jesus (Acts 2:41). Following Jesus can bring consequences we never dreamed of.
Reflect on your own journey with Jesus. Thank him for all the ways in which he has challenged and changed you.
Lord, You are the one who calls the shots. You lead and I follow; You teach and I learn. How great You are!