Wednesday Word 9.27.2017
Luke 5:1-11 New International Version
5 One day as Jesus was standing by the Lake of Gennesaret, the people were crowding around him and listening to the word of God. 2 He saw at the water’s edge two boats, left there by the fishermen, who were washing their nets. 3 He got into one of the boats, the one belonging to Simon, and asked him to put out a little from shore. Then he sat down and taught the people from the boat. 4 When he had finished speaking, he said to Simon, “Put out into deep water, and let down the nets for a catch.” 5 Simon answered, “Master, we’ve worked hard all night and haven’t caught anything. But because you say so, I will let down the nets.” 6 When they had done so, they caught such a large number of fish that their nets began to break. 7 So they signaled their partners in the other boat to come and help them, and they came and filled both boats so full that they began to sink. 8 When Simon Peter saw this, he fell at Jesus’ knees and said, “Go away from me, Lord; I am a sinful man!” 9 For he and all his companions were astonished at the catch of fish they had taken, 10 and so were James and John, the sons of Zebedee, Simon’s partners. Then Jesus said to Simon, “Don’t be afraid; from now on you will fish for people.” 11 So they pulled their boats up on shore, left everything and followed him.
There are so many lessons for us in this one short story. The same theme seems to resonate throughout the Scriptures for me…autonomy vs. obedience. When Jesus finished speaking to the people and suggested to Simon that he row out a ways, I am sure that Simon was skeptical. After all, they had been casting their nets all night long to no avail. Simon and his partners knew all the best spots where the fish were apt to show up. He had fished these waters his whole life. But the Teacher who had commandeered his boat had really piqued his interest. “But because you say so, I will let down the nets,” he replied to Jesus’ instructions. What a fabulous surprise he got!
Well, we also believe that we know the best fishing spots. We usually think that we can chart our own course without input from anyone. Sadly, our nets can just as often come up empty. We rely on our own judgement and our own perspective to navigate this world, when there is someone just waiting to show us what direction we need to take. Instead, we flounder and fall. If we would just learn to listen and train ourselves in the ways of the Master, we would save so much time and travail blundering on our own. When the nets come up empty, as they will in every life, we would have a much better idea of how to make it through the lean times. If we are following the guidance of the Holy Spirit, we can never be lost. Following Jesus, we will never be alone…something to pray about.
Your sister in Christ, Vicki