Once while Jesus was standing beside the lake of Gennesaret, and the crowd was pressing in on him to hear the word of God, he saw two boats there at the shore of the lake; the fishermen had gone out of them and were washing their nets. He got into one of the boats, the one belonging to Simon, and asked him to put out a little way from the shore. Then he sat down and taught the crowds from the boat. When he had finished speaking, he said to Simon, “Put out into the deep water and let down your nets for a catch.” Simon answered, “Master, we have worked all night long but have caught nothing. Yet if you say so, I will let down the nets.” When they had done this, they caught so many fish that their nets were beginning to break. So they signaled their partners in the other boat to come and help them. And they came and filled both boats, so that they began to sink. But when Simon Peter saw it, he fell down at Jesus’ knees, saying, “Go away from me, Lord, for I am a sinful man!”
As many times as I’ve read this story I’ve never before realized just how amazing these events truly are. I’ve always been blinded by the miracle of the net full of fish. It is such a large visual image of the net being so full that it was beginning to tear. But somehow I’ve missed the smaller, but more important miracle here.
Consider the story: Two boatloads of tired fisherman are coming in from a day of unsuccessful fishing. They are just beginning to mend their nets before heading home to get cleaned up and bed. And then an itinerant preacher, just beginning his ministry, who has been preaching along the lake shore, uninvited, climbs into one of the boats and asked to be put out a little way. There the they catch so many fish that tug the nets begin tho break Ang and the boosts nearly sink! Rug That’s A BIG mirical! Andrew, James, and John busy themselves with getting the fish ashore, like good fishermen would.
Peter, however, “fell down at Jesus’ knees, saying, “Go away from me, Lord, for I am a sinful man!” Peter did not yet know the depth and breadth of who je Jesus was. He did, however, recognize Jesus as a holy man sent from God. And in the presence of this holy man, the depths of his own sinfulness became painfully clear. In fear he falls to his knees and asks to be left alone.
But we know that Jesus had plans for this man and, rather than leave him alone, he calls him to follow.
In some degree, lesser or greater, every true Christian has come to the same realization of our sinfulness in the light of Christ. And yet Jesus calls all to follow, for he has plans for us also.
Lord and Master, we fall at your feet, not to beg you to leave us, but to beg you to lead us. We ask that you daily reveal to us your plan for or lives.
©2019 Thomas E Williams