Summary: From the call of the Peter to follow Jesus we can see three principles of answering his call to a new and higher calling.
A Study of the Book of Luke
Sermon # 8
“A NEW AND HIGHER CALLING”
This occasion on the Sea of Gennesaret, [ also called Tiberias and Galilee] was evidently the Lord’s second call to these disciples, Jesus had previously called the four fisherman (Andrew, Peter, James and John) to follow Him and they had traveled with Him in Capernaum and Galilee (Mark 1: 21-39), but then they had returned to their fishing business. The time for a deeper level of commitment and involvement had come.
“So it was, as the multitude pressed about Him to hear the word of God, that He stood by the Lake of Gennesaret, [Galilee] (2) and saw two boats standing by the lake; but the fishermen had gone from them and were washing their nets. (3) Then He got into one of the boats, which was Simon’s, and asked him to put out a little from the land. And He sat down and taught the multitudes from the boat.”
The preaching and teaching of Jesus has already attracted great crowds of people, and on this particular day the crowd had become so large that they were pressing Him against the shoreline. So Jesus decides to address them from a boat and use the shoreline as a natural amphitheater. He got into one of the boats and asked the owner to go out in the water a bit so that the people could see and hear him. After he finishes teaching the crowd he issues instructions to put out his nets for a catch of fish.
Notice with me three principles of a new and deeper call,
1. THE NEW CALL DEMANDED GREATER COMMITMENT (vv. 4-7)
“ When He had stopped speaking, He said to Simon, “Launch out into the deep and let down your nets for a catch.”
Simon had been washing and mending his nets, while keeping one ear listening to what Jesus was teaching. After all he had other responsibilities and duties to perform. He had to fish to make a living for his family. Jesus’ call for Simon to launch out into deeper water is an analogy of what He wants to do in Simon’s life. Jesus is going to take Simon Peter to deeper, more personal commitment to Himself.
But when we hear the call to launch out deeper we are tempted to compromise our obedience in several ways.
We are tempted to be guided by our friends instead of what God says. Undoubtedly the advice of his friends, the other veteran fishermen who overheard what Jesus said would be, “Peter don’t do it. You have you nets all cleaned and stored. If you go back out you will have to do it all over again, for nothing.” If you listen to some of your friends they would say, “Sure go to church if want to but don’t get fanatical about it?”
We are tempted to be guided by our experiences instead of what God says. The Lord asks Peter to do something contrary to his own expertise in fishing. According to everything that he knows about fishing, and he is a professional, he can’t see anyway at all that what Jesus asks is going to work. The best fishing on the Sea of Galilee was at night close to shore. But Jesus had asked him to launch out into the deep in the middle of the day. This was asking a great deal of Peter. He was asking him to trust His Word. He was in effect asking Simon to try again even though he had failed in the past. This of course would be an important lesson for Peter in the future, not to allow past failure to keep him from serving the Lord. God may ask you to try again even if you have failed in the past. Will you allow past failure to keep you from following the Lord?
We are tempted to be guided by our by our circumstances instead of what God says. Verse five reveals that Simon’s answer “Master, we have toiled all night and caught nothing; nevertheless at Your word I will let down the net.” By his reply he communicates that he and his partners are dog tired, the word translated “toiled” indicates very hard work, they had not slept all night and they had worked hard all night. The circumstances of the past evening have indicated that further fishing will be fruitless. But Jesus was asking them to take the freshly cleaned nets and row out to the deep water and go through strenuous process of letting out and taking in the nets all over again. But they needed to learn that obedience to Jesus should not hinge upon favorable circumstances. Will you allow circumstances to dictate your obedience?