Fishers of Men
by Cindie York
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Luke 5:1-11 (NLT)
Luke 5:1- One day as Jesus was preaching on the shore of the Sea of Galilee, great crowds pressed in on Him to listen to the word of God.
Luke 5:2 – He noticed two empty boats at the water’s edge, for the fishermen had left them and were washing their nets.
Two empty boats at water’s edge - Two empty vessels that the Lord knew could be used for His purpose. He saw potential in these two vessels. The Lord also knew the potential of the fishermen and their nets.
For the fishermen had left them and were washing their nets- The fishermen had left the boats and were washing the nets. If they left the boat, they were probably at the edge of the sea, I am picturing about waist high. They were out just deep enough to clean the dirty nets. After all, how could the nets be utilized properly, if they were so filled with seaweed, etc. They needed to get rid of all the filth that would weigh the net down. They needed to get rid of the filth, to make room for the bounty. They were getting prepared for their next fishing excursion. They were probably frustrated and disappointed due to the fact the night before they were out all night and didn’t catch even one fish.
Luke 5:3 – Stepping into one of the boats, Jesus asked Simon, its owner, to push it out into the water. So He sat in the boat and taught the crowds from there.
On one of those two empty boats, not being used at the time, but being ready and waiting for the opportunity, Christ himself taught crowds of people from the water. This empty vessel now carried Christ inside of it. Think about this: This boat was just a boat, sitting idle, until Christ stepped in. Now, this boat is an instrument utilized for preaching the good news to multitudes.
Luke 5:4 - When He had finished speaking, He said to Simon, “Now go out where it is deeper and let down your nets, and you will catch many fish.”
Christ is asking Peter to go out deeper and let down his nets. Christ tells him that he’ll catch many fish.
First, You have to go deeper. You can’t catch as many fish standing on the banks waiting for the fish to come to you. You must go farther, dig deeper, and be willing to be placed in an area where the fish are dwelling, inhabiting. You need to put yourself in a position that makes the fish more available for the catching, so to speak.
Second, when the Lord Jesus tells you to go, you better believe you will be blessed for your obedience. Any time that you put trust in the Lord, you will not be disappointed. Christ will never lead you astray.
Luke 5:5 – “Master,” Simon replied, “we worked hard all last night and didn’t catch a thing. But if you say so, we’ll try again”
The previous night Christ wasn’t in the picture. They tried to do things on their own but were unsuccessful. Working hard is part of being a good fishermen but having Christ with you is essential to being a great fishermen. It takes both to accomplish the will of the Father. This journey Christ was with Simon Peter. This time Christ was guiding the fishermen. Without Christ our nets will be empty. Without Christ guiding us, we will not be able to catch any fish, no matter what our efforts are. But, with Christ in our lives, all things are possible.
We must learn to trust Christ to come through with His promises, especially when stepping out in faith. When the door of opportunity to work is opened, the Lord with honor our obedience, sacrifice, and willingness to work. Remember God will never fail us. God will never put us into a place/position that He will not be there with us.
We must learn to never give up. We must press forward. We must persevere. We must walk in faith and give God all we have.
Luke 5:6 - And this time their nets were so full they began to tear!
Peter listened to the Lord. Simple as that. Peter didn’t understand everything. He didn’t know for sure what the outcome would be, but what did Peter do? He did it anyway despite that fact. That is trust. He was willing to at least try. As Christians, we need to learn to lean on the Lord, and put our trust in Him, even when we don’t have all the answers.
Luke 5:7 - A shout for help brought their partners in the other boat, and soon both boats were filled with fish and on the verge of sinking.
Simon was obedient to the instruction of Christ. This time their nets were full and overflowing. Simon was so overwhelmed by the abundant blessings, this amazing catch.
Simon called for his partners to come and help bring in the bountiful supply of fish. The Lord intended for us to help one another, encourage, assist, and work together for His glory. Also it is an opportunity to share in the blessings of our wonderful Savior. The more fishermen you have, the more fish. God intended for us to have help-mates. Throughout history, God used pairs, teams, groups, armies to accomplish his work to fulfill greater things than what one would be able to accomplish. There is far more strength in numbers. There is far more ground you can cover with a group than just one person.
These blessings were a product of obedience. They listened to the Lord. They moved away from the shore and moved deeper into the water: a place where true blessings flow and a place where you can be more effective.
Luke 5:8 – When Simon Peter realized what had happened, he fell to his knees before Jesus and said, “Oh, Lord, please leave me-I’m too much of a sinner to be around you.”
Luke 5:9 – For he was awestruck by the size of their catch, as were the others with him.
Luke 5:10 – His partners, James and John, the sons of Zebedee, were also amazed.
Peter realized that the blessings of the wonderful catch, was because Jesus was the guide. Christ was the reason. Christ was the needed ingredient.
Simon Peter realized he was a sinner. He fell on his knees, humbled before the Lord, feeling unworthy of the blessings of Christ. Peter felt inadequate to even be in the Lord’s presence. Simon was amazed at what the Lord had given to him for his obedience and faith. He not only listened to the Lord, but followed the Lord’s command.
Not only was Peter’s life now changed but those who were with him. James and John were also amazed at what the Lord had done. They couldn’t believe their eyes. It was a miracle. A sign of what the Lord could do through them, in them, and how he could use them for His purpose.
Continuing Luke 5:10 – Jesus replied to Simon, “Don’t be afraid! From now on you’ll be fishing for people!”
Luke 5:11 – And as soon as they landed, they left everything and followed Jesus.
Wow, what a commission! They were chosen by the Lord Jesus Christ to be disciples. The Lord seen their obedience in small matters and now has called them for a higher purpose. Christ told them not to be afraid. As Christians, we are to not be afraid. We may feel inadequate. We may feel unworthy. We are inadequate without Christ. We are unworthy without Christ. We are nothing more than sinners saved by grace. Christ chose these men to be disciples because He knew they would be willing to go deeper, be obedient, be sensitive to His voice, to go unto the world preaching the good news. We must remember that we are not just Christians, we too are Christ’s chosen disciples. We must be willing to follow the guidance of our Lord and Savior.
These are the last days. We need to be about the Father’s business. The Lord is saying, “Do not be afraid.” Now is the time to “dive” into ministry. Christ is saying, “Go out where it is deeper and let down your nets, and you will catch many fish.”
It only takes one spark to start a flame. It may take just one person to step out by faith to spark a revival, an anointed outpouring of God’s blessings. You could be that one!! Think about it…
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