This Fish Story of All Fish Stories: Jesus and Peter in Luke 5:1-11

Posted: November 29, 2014 in Uncategorized

Luke 5:1-11 — I caught a fish and it was thiiiis big! Ultimate fishing stories. We’ve all heard them. Maybe, we even have one of our own that we have told. I have an ultimate fishing story for you today. It involves Jesus calling his first disciples. These fish changed the world. The way that Peter becomes a disciple is symbolic of how each of us come to Christ.

The first thing we know about Peter and Jesus is that there is already an existing relationship there. Jesus apparently already knew Peter well enough for Peter to his home for the Sabbath meal. Remember, when we were young, Sunday dinner after church was a big deal. If you invited one of the neighbor kids to Sunday dinner, it meant that they were one of your inner circle. Sunday dinners were a big deal in the South back in the day – family time usually extended family. I imagine it was similar in first century Jewish society. To invite someone to your Sabbath meal meant that they were someone special in your life. Jesus and Peter had knowledge of each other already. Isn’t this true of many of us when begin our journey to Christ. We have someone who is a Christ follower who has befriended us and through God’s providence they become important people in our lives rather quickly. We admire them for their integrity. We admire them for the way everything they say makes sense. We admire them for their wisdom. That is the Holy Spirit working behind the scenes to draw us closer and closer to Christ. Jesus invested in Peter. Jesus saw something special in Peter. Just as those who have influenced us toward Christ saw something in us. They saw a lost heart. They saw someone who was really trying. They saw someone who could use a Savior. Today, we thank God for the fishers of men who came into our lives just at the moment when the moment was right.

The second thing we notice here is Jesus takes the ordinary and makes it extraordinary. Jesus took the ordinary day to day task of fishing and made it extraordinary. Everyone knows that night time is often the best time to go fishing, but Jesus uses the morning dead of fishing to demonstrate his authority and power. He creates a miracle of fish. There is no other explanation for this. By laws of physics and the nature of this particular lake, Peter knew that there was no logical way that they should cash anymore fish. But Jesus takes the ordinary and makes it extraordinary. In fact, it was so extraordinary that the amount of fish almost sunk two boats. Isn’t this always the way when we come to Christ? There are things that happen to us that make us face the question of where we stand before Christ. Jesus pursues us in this way. He takes ordinary events in life to force us to deal with Him. Sometimes, it is a job loss. Sometimes, it is a failing or failed marriage or long-term relationship. Sometimes, it’s medical diagnosis. Sometimes, it’s not negative. Sometimes, it is something good happening for which there is no other explanation than it was a God thing. Jesus finds ways to get our attention through the ordinary events of life combined with a heart that is searching for answers. Peter’s encounter of this sort was the fish stories of all fish stories. There was no other explanation here than a plain out miracle. Paul knew Jesus as a man, now he knew Him as something more, the living breathing Son of God. Is God trying to get your attention today? When He does finally get your attention, He will do extraordinary things in you, an ordinary man or woman!

The final thing that I noticed here is that when Jesus does get our attention in the ways that only He can. We realize who we are. Peter says, “Depart from me, for I am a sinful man, Oh Lord!” There is a realization that we all come to right before salvation is that when we stand before God, we are hopelessly sinners. We fall on our knees before our Savior and beg Him to forgive us for our many and myriad sins. This is the most precious moment of our lives is when we realize that we are in the presence of God and we see our sin-filled nature. We see that we deserve to be sent straight to hell. We realize that we are not the perfect person that we betray ourselves to be. We see that it is not about doing more good than bad. A single sin stains us in the presence of God. We will be consumed by that one simple sin. Our problem is that we don’t just commit one sin. We commit many, many sins. Daily. Every day. We are mired in sin. We are stuck with sin’s consequence. At the moment of salvation, we take our blinders off and take our masks off and we see ourselves for who we really are. Peter saw it immediately when his blinders were taken off. The miracle took his blinders off and He stood there a sin-stained man in the presence of God in the flesh. We all become conscience of our sins when we quit lying to ourselves. What does Jesus do? He does not reject Peter because he admitted his sins. He already knew that. He says do not be afraid. Come with me and from now on you will be catching men. It is that moment that we realize Jesus is Lord and all our pretenses are laid aside that Jesus welcomes us into His arms. It is then that He can begin to use for His purposes. What a glorious day that day is! When we realize that we are not our own god. When we realize that we are ugly, nasty sinners. When we see ourselves for who we really are. When we realize that we need intervention. When we realize that we deserve hell for eternity for each and every sin that we have committed. When we realize that there is only one answer. Jesus Christ. When we realize that it is not just some theological treatise but something real to me personally. Jesus died for me. Jesus’ death on the cross covers me. Jesus looks you square in the eye and for the first time you really see Him. He says to you, “Do not be afraid! Come to me and I will make you a fisher of men.” Jesus says to us that our past doesn’t matter. He says now that you really, really see me, it is time for your real life to begin. The one that I intended for you. He says now…go back to the first point in this devotional and repeat the process of the centuries. One saved soul investing in a lost soul and leading them to Christ. Amen.

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