19
Feb
14

The Fish Whisperer

All.  Night.  Long.  Peter and his fishing partners were out fishing all night long and they had not caught a single fish.  They were exhausted.  They were frustrated.  A hard night’s work for what?  Not a single fish.  The master teacher/miracle man shows up with a huge crowd of people and gets into one of Peter’s boats.  This huge crowd of people is listening to Him teach as Peter and his partners clean their empty nets.  They can hear Him, too.
As Jesus finished His message about God’s Kingdom, He tells Peter, “Let’s go fishing.”  Peter protests.  He just wants to go home and catch a few Z’s before he tries again tomorrow night.  But Peter relents and agrees to give it one more try for Jesus.  Couldn’t hurt, right?  His pride was already stung by the failure of the previous night’s expedition.  What’s a little more insult?
As the boat began to list to one side, Peter may have been filled with several emotions.  Shock!  Terror as his boat started to sink.  Joy over the fact that his nets were teeming with fish.  Fear that his nets weren’t going to hold the mass quantity of fish.  He signals for the other boat to come and help them and they did.  They let down their nets as well.  Same story.  Their boat started to sink from all of the fish!
They had heard about Jesus and His authoritative teachings.  They had no doubt heard about how He healed people.  In fact, they had seen it firsthand when Jesus healed Peter’s mother-in-law from a high fever (yes, Peter was married).  But a fish whisperer?  Could Jesus command literally tons of fish from a boat?  Apparently!  Peter’s reaction is not surprising.  He falls as Jesus’ feet and says:

“Go away from me, Lord; I am a sinful man!” ​- Luke 5:8 (NIV)​ 

In that moment, Peter knew.  Peter knew that Jesus was no ordinary man.  Jesus was no carnival act.  He knew that Jesus was God.  What does one do in the presence of God?  One realizes their own humanity and sinfulness and understands that they cannot be in His presence.  But Jesus, in His merciful compassion says to Peter, “Don’t be afraid” (Luke 5:10, NIV).
You and me, we don’t have to be afraid, either.  Jesus is calling us to leave everything behind and follow Him.  He won’t badger you.  He won’t berate you.  He won’t make outrageous demands of you.  He simply says, “Follow Me.”  If you will, He will lead you on the adventure of a lifetime.  With Jesus in your life, you will do amazing things.  All it takes is the willingness to leave everything behind and to follow Him.

Luke 5

New International Version (NIV)

Jesus Calls His First Disciples

5 One day as Jesus was standing by the Lake of Gennesaret, the people were crowding around him and listening to the word of God. 2 He saw at the water’s edge two boats, left there by the fishermen, who were washing their nets. 3 He got into one of the boats, the one belonging to Simon, and asked him to put out a little from shore. Then he sat down and taught the people from the boat.

4 When he had finished speaking, he said to Simon, “Put out into deep water, and let down the nets for a catch.”

5 Simon answered, “Master, we’ve worked hard all night and haven’t caught anything. But because you say so, I will let down the nets.”

6 When they had done so, they caught such a large number of fish that their nets began to break. 7 So they signaled their partners in the other boat to come and help them, and they came and filled both boats so full that they began to sink.

8 When Simon Peter saw this, he fell at Jesus’ knees and said, “Go away from me, Lord; I am a sinful man!” 9 For he and all his companions were astonished at the catch of fish they had taken, 10 and so were James and John, the sons of Zebedee, Simon’s partners.

Then Jesus said to Simon, “Don’t be afraid; from now on you will fish for people.” 11 So they pulled their boats up on shore, left everything and followed him.

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