Thursday, March 04, 2010



In chapter 5 of Luke we are immediately set into a sharp contrast from chapter 4. Jesus was having some difficulty in Nazareth, but here in Capernaum He is finding a mass acceptance. Let's look at it: One day as Jesus was standing by the Lake of Gennesaret, the people were crowding around him and listening to the word of God. He saw at the water's edge two boats, left there by the fishermen, who were washing their nets. 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.

This all seems pretty presumptuous on the part of Jesus to simply get into a boat that didn't belong to Him. But if you investigate the context of this story in the Gospels, you will soon see that Jesus had already had an encounter with Peter and his friends in the 1st chapter of John.

The first time Jesus met Peter He challenged him to follow Him. It must have been a positive encounter and impression on Peter, but they really didn't start following Jesus fully at that time. They were still in the fishing business, yet were probably following Jesus from afar. This time Jesus is going to sink the hook a little deeper and He does it by advising these professional fishermen on how to fish. NOTE what happens:

When he had finished speaking, he said to Simon, "Put out into deep water, and let down the nets for a catch." Simon answered, "Master, we've worked hard all night and haven't caught anything. Peter is really saying, "Jesus, we know the fishing business and there aren't any out there in that area. We've been fishing there all night." Then Peter relents and says, "But because you say so, I will let down the nets."

When they had done so, they caught such a large number of fish that their nets began to break. 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. When Simon Peter saw this, he fell at Jesus' knees and said, "Go away from me, Lord; I am a sinful man!" For he and all his companions were astonished at the catch of fish they had taken, and so were James and John, the sons of Zebedee, Simon's partners.

Simon Peter and his partners were very impressed with Jesus' fishing knowledge. Even though they were experienced professionals at fishing and Jesus wasn't, Jesus really showed them up. Now listen to what is said next: Then Jesus said to Simon, "Don't be afraid; from now on you will fish for people." So they pulled their boats up on shore, left everything and followed him.

There are 3 very important principles here: 1. There are various levels of commitment in following Jesus and both are acceptable. Yet, it's important to note that Jesus seems to have changed the level. This time Jesus wants these fishermen to be released from their vocations and begin fishing for people.

2. No matter your profession, Jesus knows how to work it best, so let Him. Listen to Him and follow His lead. You don't know better than He does how to run your business.

3. When you see Jesus at work with His miraculous touch, you will drop to your knees in submission. As you see His purity and power, you come to realize how vulnerable and weak you really are. Therefore, you are drawn to Jesus as the only solution to your need.

What strikes me about this episode in the life of Jesus is that here we have a clear as to the heart of Jesus. He isn't concerned to start an organization or club or to build a membership list. Jesus is most concerned about people and He will continually come back to you, until He gets you headed in that same direction with the same heart He has. If you are in real estate, you are not just selling property. It isn't the property, but the people that matter most. If you are in the high tech business, you are not just building a competence in high tech. You must be concerned about developing a high touch with the people around you.

The focus for revolutionaries today is reaching and touching people in the name of Jesus. He calls you to be a fisher of men and then gives you the opportunities and the power to fish most effectively. So, if you are hearing Jesus' revolutionary call, "Follow Me!", then do whatever you have to do to follow Him. Have you ever heard those words from Jesus, "Follow Me"? Listen carefully, because you are just the kind of person He is looking for.