Summary: Called into Deeper Waters Series: Encountering Jesus (through the Gospel of Luke) Brad Bailey – February 10, 2019
Called into Deeper Waters
Series: Encountering Jesus (through the Gospel of Luke)
Brad Bailey – February 10, 2019
Do you know what Jesus seemed to confront more than any other aspect of human nature?
Religion. Religion can be the greatest barrier to actual relationship with God.
Now the word “religion” can speak of something which is truly divine…good and true…but it can also speak of something of the merely human means of relating to the divine… means which are contrived in self-serving ways. [1a]
Jesus comes to a world in in which men have tried to contain God as the mere object of their own understanding… in which we speak of God as an object bound within our own comfort and control.
We can create a form of acknowledging God in which we are actually still the center…in which we are hiding behind the appearance… and never facing the reality.
We speak today of not being into organized religion… but so often what is then believed is that which is simply one’s own version … a god of our own making.
We speak of religion having “it’s place”… as long as it is kept in that place… as if God is bound to the religious compartment of life.
Such religion will keep us from the true life with God.
Such religion is not only shallow and safe… it will never be life giving.
Such religion is what Jesus comes to call us out of.
That is what Jesus does…when he calls us… he pierces the human centered forms of being religious.
Today we encounter that call….as we continue in our series this morning. Encountering Jesus through the Gospel of Luke.
Luke who was a doctor...and became a traveling companion to the apostle Paul… has gathered a living testimony of Christ. As we journey together …past couple weeks we encountered that start of Christ’s public ministry… and today we continue in what is referenced as the fifth chapter. [1b]
One day as Jesus was standing by the Lake of Gennesaret, with the people 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.
The setting is the Sea of Gennesaret …more commonly referred to as the Sea of Galilee. (Second largest body of water in Israel… 64 square miles.)
It’s early in the morning. The fishermen have returned from the pre-dawn fishing…and are mending their nets.
Crowds are following Jesus…and want to hear him so much they are pressing in along the shoreline.
It may be hard today to imagine people pressing in because they wanted to hear God’s Word. Today our lives are so full of words…words in every form and format… that we lose a sense of having any sense of what actually matters….what is meaningful.
You may recall that he is not sharing religious ideas… opinions…he is speaking with a level of truth…and grace… unknown in this world.
The crowd pressed in so tight… that it probably became hard to hear him. So he sees a couple boats and decides to use one to gain a better position to keep sharing with the people. If he can get a little distance from them and speak up, more of them will be able to hear Him plainly.
So he gets into the boat belongs to Simon. Now, that may seem a bit presumptuous – but Simon was no stranger. Simon’s brother, Andrew had already connected Simon and Jesus… and Jesus spoken prophetically over his life. [1c]
So, Simon knew Jesus. He’d already been stirred by Jesus… and become a local host and helper.
In fact, just prior to this, as we read last week, Jesus had healed Simon’s mother-in-law the previous day (Luke 4:38-39).
But at this point… we could identify Simon as…
• A fan…but not a follower.
• An enthusiast but not an enlisted.
• A patron but not a partner.
As for his religious life… Jesus was unlike anything he had known…but it was still confined to his religious life.
After all… Peter was a fishermen. Religion had an important place…but his identity was in the work of fishing. Now Jesus had begun to mess with Simon. Simon thought only the religious priesthood and teachers were included in God’s priority…but Jesus seemed interested in a man like him… a fishermen. Jesus wasn’t only not being confined to the most religious circles…he seemed to be confronting them. Jesus had been revealing the reality of God to people like Simon.
SO as he sat there with mending his nets while Jesus taught from his boat …he likely was again inspired by what Jesus spoke from his boat that day.