Luke 5:1-11 ESV 4/3/11
On one occasion, while the crowd was pressing in on him to hear the word of God, he was standing by the lake of Gennesaret, and he saw two boats by the lake, but the fishermen had gone out of them and were washing their nets. Getting into one of the boats, which was Simon’s, he asked him to put out a little from the land. And he sat down and taught the people from the boat. And when he had finished speaking, he said to Simon, “Put out into the deep and let down your nets for a catch.” And Simon answered, “Master, we toiled all night and took nothing! But at your word I will let down the nets.” And when they had done this, they enclosed a large number of fish, and their nets were breaking. 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. But when Simon Peter saw it, he fell down at Jesus’ knees, saying, “Depart from me, for I am a sinful man, O Lord.” For he and all who were with him were astonished at the catch of fish that they had taken, and so also were James and John, sons of Zebedee, who were partners with Simon. And Jesus said to Simon, “Do not be afraid; from now on you will be catching men.” And when they had brought their boats to land, they left everything and followed him.
Jesus, I am intrigued, captivated, by the power in Your words – the very breath of life seems to be released as You open Your mouth and release speech. You are LIFE, You are the power to be, You provide direction, You provide the means for supply and ordinary daily living, You are Provision itself! You call Your creation to You, and then You reveal Your deep love and desire for them to step outside of their very small view of life. There’s more, so much more, and You offer us the more with such great love and care.
Even when the crowd threatened to suffocate You with their demands, You did not run away, You stayed present with them and found a way to give them what they truly needed – Your words, Your breath of life. *Be that Presence in me, Lord! Show me how to not hide, not run away and escape, but to let You BE all that I need, and through me, draw others to Yourself!
You entered these men’s lives through the most ordinary means possible – their livelihood. You demonstrated to them that You could take their dirty, smelly, exhausting, laborious jobs and make them holy and abounding with life and provision. You opened their eyes to see differently, to want more, to seek Your glory, and yet to see themselves in the brokenness of their own humanity. And then, You invited them in through all that they knew to be sacred, filled with power and glory, “Do not be afraid!” Four words that every good Jew knew full well to be the constant instruction of Yahweh to those He called into His service. *Remind me of Your Presence and call in the ordinary in my life: mothering, my children, my home, my schooling, my ministry, my brothers, my mother, my friends, all the ordinary, every dayness of my being and my doing.
Demonstration through the doing and through effectively communicating how You are teaching and guiding me.
Speaking my gratitude over the little changes, the overlooked miracles, the ordinary ways of life in You, giving You the praise that is due to You alone, naming Your miracles big and small, honoring Your Presence and Your work all around me.
Inviting others to experience You! Finding specific ways to help them see the dichotomy of both good and evil in their own hearts and in others. Helping to see value in repentance for the evil, falling at Your knees; and embracing the “GOoD” within, leaving it all and following You.
Be a “catcher of men!”
Imaginatively participate in the story. Who are you most like? With whom do you identify in the story?
Of the options, I would have to choose Simon Peter. (Wish I could say I am most like Jesus – but that is yet to come.) My life has been filled with my occupations – daughter, student, friend, wife, mother, student again. I have done what I was trained to do. At times with what seemed to be futility, “we toiled all night and took nothing” I can definitely relate! And yet, there have also been the times when Jesus revealed Himself and directed me to repeat my efforts in specific places, specific ways, and the catch has been astounding, moving me to tears to see Him show up through me on behalf of another. I have chosen to follow Him, but the leaving behind of everything, that is taking time. And just when I think I have left everything, I discover yet another idol, another priority, another way of thinking that excludes His miraculous Presence. Process. I am in process. Thankful that the process continues!