“Go away from me, Lord; I am a sinful man!” Luke 5:8
I am glad that Jesus didn’t answer Peter’s prayer. But why did Peter make such a strange request?
Peter had seen Jesus heal his mother-in-law, plus many others, but it was the miracle on the Sea of Galilee that made the impact. Jesus had told Peter, “Put out into deep water, and let down the nets for a catch.” Peter was a professional fisherman. He had fished all night. He knew there were no fish in that part of the lake. Nevertheless he obeyed Jesus’ instructions. When the nets began to break from the large number of fish, Peter suddenly realised he was in the Presence of God. Peter’s reaction was like Isaiah who found himself in the Presence of God and said, “Woe is me! for I am undone” (Isaiah 6:5 KJV).
When we become aware of the Presence of God we realise not only God’s holiness but also our sinfulness. It was this feeling that cause Peter to ask Jesus to leave. Peter felt “undone” which was a most uncomfortable feeling.
Sometimes we may feel afraid of worshipping God. We suspect that coming into the Presence of God will cause us to feel “undone”. But we need to remember that we have been given Jesus’ righteousness and His holiness. In Hebrews 4:16 we are encouraged to approach the throne of grace with confidence. Jesus’ words to Peter and to us are, “Don’t be afraid” (Luke 5:10).
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