FISHERS OF MEN (Pt. 2)

“When He had finished speaking, He said to Simon, “Put out into the deep water and let down your nets for a catch” (Luke 5:4 NASB).

Has Jesus ever commandeered your vessel? If you say “No” or “I don’t know”…you have never gone fishing with Jesus.

THE PRESS OF THE CROWD

Jesus’ popularity as a Jewish Rabbi attracted many people who were not accustom to such a ministry. His words were both pungent and interesting. The crowds gathered and increased because when he spoke…He had “something to say”; “He spoke with authority”. He did not need to quote from traditional rabbinic sources nor did he need to claim Moses as his authority. He in fact, was Moses’ authority–The Word made flesh, the pre-incarnate Word before Time (Read Hebrews 1:1-2).  So, when Jesus spoke, people stopped to listen as he “taught them” using stories about the reality of the Kingdom of heaven in their midst.

We each need a fresh contact with the reality of heaven in our midst. Let us understand that Jesus taught, “The kingdom does not come by observation”(See Luke 17:20-21). How does it come you may ask? The kingdom of God comes through the eyes of faith by observing HIS coming.  John received this revelation while on the Isle of Patmos. “”I am the Alpha and the Omega,” says the Lord God, “who IS and who WAS and who IS TO COME the Almighty [Caps. Mine]”(Revelation 1:8 NASB).

Some only look for His kingdom to appear one day in the future. And yet…John was caught up into a present reality (With more to come!) from heaven’s vantage point.   Jesus attracted the crowds because he had come to bring heaven near.

PUT OUT INTO THE DEEP

Seeing the crowds pressing around him, he got into Simon Peter’s boat and taught from there. When he finished, he asked Peter to push away from the shoreline and “Launch out into the deep”(Luke 5:4). No doubt, Peter was a little startled by this command. He had not planned on a little “further out”!

But we must understand that it takes a further “launching out” if we are to grow and attain our full stature in Christ. It will require leaving the “shoreline” of the familiar to explore new horizons of faith.

NEVERTHELESS

Nevertheless, we must heed a warning.  If you are going to launch out, it must not be from a human effort. It must come as a command of faith that is authorized by Jesus.  Too many well-meaning individuals have “shipwrecked” their faith by moving out of presumption or untempered religious zeal. Let those “leaps of faith” be conditioned by obedience to the Word. “Faith COMES by hearing a word FROM God[Caps. mine]”(Romans 10:17). This no doubt was Peter’s reasoning (In spite of fatigue, in spite of “thirsty nets”(Having caught nothing!)…Something about Jesus’ command caused him to pushed past the obvious to go into the uncharted waters of faith to “Let down your nets”.

NEED A LITTLE HELP!

 As the miracle of a net breaking, boat sinking, catch ensued, what started as consternation turned into a celebration!  Peter called out to friends in other boats who were witnesses to the great haul.  Suddenly! They were no longer bystanders but fully engaged in the great miracle of the catch. 

This miracle was primarily for Peter’s benefit.  He was about to be delivered,like a fish caught in a net, and be transferred into Jesus’ boat; for a greater task with more eternal consequences.  He recognized in this miracle Jesus’ otherness and his own sinfulness. “But when Simon Peter saw that, he fell down at Jesus’ feet, saying, “Go away from me Lord, for I am a sinful man!” (Luke 5:8 NASB)

Jesus’ intent was not only to deliver the sinner but to bring Peter (and friends)  “Out of the old life and into the new life”.  And they must realize as someone said, “Once caught No escape”!  “Jesus said to them, “Follow Me, and I will make you become fishers of men.” Immediately they left their nets and followed Him (Mark 1:17-18 NASB).  They understood in that moment…Life would never be the same.

 

(c) Copyright 2014, Walter Fletcher Jr. All rights reserved. This article may be copied and shared free of charge provided that it is not sold or altered in any way from its original content. Please address all correspondence to: Walterfletcherjr@gmail.com

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