Monday, April 29, 2013

Letting Down the Nets One More Time, Luke 5:6-11

 3 And he [Jesus] entered into one of the ships, which was Simon’s, and prayed him that he would thrust out a little from the land. And he sat down, and taught the people out of the ship.
4 Now when he had left speaking, he said unto Simon, Launch out into the deep, and let down your nets for a draught.
5 And Simon answering said unto him, Master, we have toiled all the night, and have taken nothing: nevertheless at thy word I will let down the net.  (Luke 5:3-5)
I wonder if Peter would have obeyed Jesus if he hadn’t heard Him teach first.  Perhaps the teaching softened his heart and built up great respect.  So when Jesus asked Peter to go launch out and let down his nets, Peter was willing to try, for the sake of this great teacher who was in his ship, long fruitless night notwithstanding.   I think it also says something about Peter’s humility and faith; even though he had already done his best with nothing to show for it, he was willing to try one more time. 
6 And when they had this done, they inclosed a great multitude of fishes: and their net brake.
7 And they beckoned unto their partners, which were in the other ship, that they should come and help them. And they came, and filled both the ships, so that they began to sink.
8 When Simon Peter saw it, he fell down at Jesus’ knees, saying, Depart from me; for I am a sinful man, O Lord.
9 For he was astonished, and all that were with him, at the draught of the fishes which they had taken:
10 And so was also James, and John, the sons of Zebedee, which were partners with Simon. And Jesus said unto Simon, Fear not; from henceforth thou shalt catch men.
11 And when they had brought their ships to land, they forsook all, and followed him. (Luke 5:6-11)
This miracle of a large catch after previously catching nothing has a great lesson in it about the Lord’s ability to instruct toward success.   As the Lord promises Peter that from now on he will be catching men for God, Peter gets a sense of the success that the Lord can make of Peter’s missionary efforts as well, if Peter will be open to instruction. 

I think this story also has a lesson for us as we struggle to share the gospel in an increasingly secular world.  Some of us may have shared our convictions with others for a long time and yet have nothing to show for it.  We may have given up.   Yet do we not hear an echo from those days telling us to push out into the deep (out of our comfort zone), and let down our gospel nets.. one more time?