May 24, 2016

The Catch of the Day

Luke 5:1-11

Jesus said to Simon, “Don’t be afraid; from now on you will fish for people.” So they . . . followed him.

—  Luke 5:10-11

Simon made his living by fishing. After a night of fishing, he pulled his boat to the shore and was washing his nets. Jesus was standing at the shore, and he claimed Simon’s boat to use as a pulpit for preaching. From this floating stage Jesus brought the word of God with authority and power.

Then Jesus told Simon to go into deep water and let down the nets. Simon protested that they had fished all night and caught nothing—but he would try it again. He likely didn’t think anything would happen, but he took a risk and obeyed Jesus, saying, “Because you say so, I will let down the nets.”

And before long, the nets were filled with fish. Simon had never seen anything like this before! Simon had heard Jesus’ words, but it was Jesus’ actions that “caught” him, despite his doubts.

Jesus knows we fail in the faith business all the time, and yet he doesn’t toss us out like yesterday’s fish. His words and actions come to assure and prove himself to all who have doubts.

Simon needed to hear the words of Jesus: “Don’t be afraid.”

We need to hear those words too. “Don’t be afraid”—because we often fail. “Don’t be afraid”—because our faith is not based on us, but on our Lord, who “catches” us. 

Dear Jesus, help me not to be afraid, even though my faith is riddled with doubts at times. Thank you for “catching” me, and for promising never to let me go. Amen.

About the author — Reginald Smith

Dr. Reginald Smith is senior pastor at Roosevelt Park Community Christian Reformed Church in Grand Rapids, Michigan, where he has served for seventeen years. He has also served as a pastor in Paterson, New Jersey. He and his wife, Sharon, have three daughters, Janelle, Katrina, and Mariah.

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