Daily D – Luke 5:5
“Master,” Simon replied, “we’ve worked hard all night long and caught nothing. But if you say so, I’ll let down the nets.” LUKE 5:5 (CSB)
Dad is one of the best fishermen I have ever seen. We were fishing with one of my uncles many years ago on Pat Mayse Lake north of Paris, Texas. We were in my uncle’s pontoon boat. It was not the kind of boat we were accustomed to fishing in. He pulled it to a place where it was convenient to tie up the boat, but not the best place to catch fish.
My uncle proceeded to bang around in the boat and make lots of noise. When he finally got settled and ready to fish, Dad told him to cast to the right side of a particular tree. My uncle’s cast landed on the left side of the tree. I’m not sure if this was because he couldn’t cast well or because he thought he knew better.
Dad said, “No, on the other side,” and placed his cast precisely where he intended. Immediately, he caught a fish. That’s a pretty good fisherman right there.
Peter, James, and John, of PJJ’s Fishing Enterprises fame, had fished all night without anything to show for it. This had to be frustrating. Have you ever worked to exhaustion without anything good coming from it? You know how Pete, Jimmy, and Johnny felt. With their chores almost done, their nets in the process of being stored, and with a warm meal and a comfortable bed on their minds, Jesus said, “Put out into deep water and let down your nets for a catch,” (verse 4).
This required pulling everything out of storage they had moments before put away. It required getting the boat out and rigging it up for a day on the water. It meant rowing out to the deep water. It meant double the work and half the rest they had planned. Sometimes Jesus is flat out inconvenient.
Peter complied, but he also expressed his irritation. Jesus had already delayed their meal and their rest by teaching from their boats. He was a pretty good teacher. He spoke as one who had authority (4:32). PJ&J, however, were the professional fishermen. Jesus was good at what he did. They were much better than average at what they did, at least in their minds.
“Master,” can’t you hear the heavy sigh following that appellation? “We’ve worked hard all night long. We caught nothing. But, if you say so, we will do it all over again in broad daylight when no one catches fish with nets.”
As it turns out, Jesus is a better fisherman than the enterprising fellows who considered themselves masters of nets and fins. They caught so many fish that their nets tore. That had never happened before. It took two boats to contain all the fish. That was a record or something.
This meant more work mending nets, a later meal, and less rest. It was worth it, however. It also meant to Peter that this was no ordinary man. He spoke with authority. He healed sick people, including his mother-in-law (4:39). He caught more fish than everyone on the lake put together. He seemed to know everything and could do anything but fail.
That’s how Peter ended up on his knees bowed down before Jesus saying, “Go away from me, because I’m a sinful man, Lord!” When Peter saw Jesus for who he was, he saw himself for who he was.
What was Jesus’ response? Did he rub it in? Did he make Pete feel worse than he already did? Jesus said, “Don’t be afraid.”
When the shock of reality of who Jesus is and who you are in relation to him settles in, remember those words. “Don’t be afraid.” Someone counted and said the Bible contains 366 instances of God telling us something like these three little words. That’s one for every day of the year including Leap Year.
Whatever you are good at, Jesus is better. When someone says Tom Brady is the GOAT on Sunday, remember Jesus. He’s better than Tommy Boy.
I love the bottom line of this story. How do you respond properly to what happened to your fishing enterprise when Jesus overwhelms you with more than you ever imagined possible? Look at verse 11.
Then they brought the boats to land, left everything, and followed him.
I will follow Jesus who is the Greatest of All Time at whatever he does.
Our Father, you can do anything but fail. Where you lead there is adventure, amazement, awe, and awakening. I will follow you. Amen.
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Isaiah 30:18 Therefore the LORD is waiting to show you mercy, and is rising up to show you compassion, for the LORD is a just God. All who wait patiently for him are happy. (CSB)
Matthew 14:29 “Lord, if it’s you,” Peter answered him, “command me to come to you on the water.” He said, “Come.” And climbing out of the boat, Peter started walking on the water and came toward Jesus. (CSB)
Matthew 14:19, 20 Then he commanded the crowds to sit down on the grass. He took the five loaves and the two fish, looking up to heaven, he blessed them. He broke the loaves and gave them to the disciples, and the disciples gave them to the crowds. Everyone ate and was satisfied. They picked up twelve baskets full of leftover pieces. (CSB)