October 05, 2006

Simon, the Fisherman

Luke 5:1-11

"Master, we've worked hard all night ... But because you say so, I will let down the nets." Luke 5:5


Simon Peter was quite sure he knew more about fishing than Jesus did. But he was in for a surprise.

Andrew had introduced Simon to Jesus. And Simon had seen how Jesus healed his mother-in-law from a high fever (Luke 4:38-39). Yet Simon was not fully persuaded about Jesus, and he continued fishing.

One day Jesus used Simon's boat in order to speak to the crowd. Later Jesus told Simon to row into deep water and let down the nets for a catch. Simon likely thought, "That's a dumb thing to do. Night is the best time for fishing!" But after explaining they'd fished all night and caught nothing, he muttered, "Because you say so ..." and obeyed. The result was amazing. They caught so many fish that the nets began to break.

Simon's doubts were gone. The evidence was in the nets. Jesus had such amazing power that he had to be the Son of God! Simon's sense of unworthiness in Jesus' presence brought him to his knees: "Go away from me, Lord; I am a sinful man!" But Jesus said, "Don't be afraid; from now on you will catch men." So Simon left his boat and followed Jesus.

Simon's experience shows us four essential elements of discipleship: faith in Jesus, reverence before him, dependence on his wisdom and power, and obedience to his word.

Lord, forgive my meager faith, superficial worship, and shoddy obedience. Deepen my awareness of your greatness and my dependence. In your name, Amen.

About the author — Roger S. Greenway

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