Summary: The disciples give us a great model for living -- Drop everything and follow Jesus.
© 2007, Sterling C. Franklin,
Though free for your use and encouragement so long as
you don’t say that you wrote the sermon.
Now that we’ve read through the text, let’s open with a word of Prayer…
- Prayer of thanksgiving for God's Word
- Prayer of fruitfulness through studying it
- Prayer for strength to drop everything in the way of us and Him.
Illustrations: Imagine with me…
A child is doing his homework inside, and it’s a bright and sunny day. The child’s father runs in and says, “Son, drop EVERYTHING! We’re going to the amusement park, and you’re going to play all afternoon!” The son gladly drops his pencil and paper and runs to follow his father!
What about a worker with a laborious project? The boss walks in and tells him, “Good worker, drop EVERYTHING! I’ll even pay for your time off, and I’ll cover this project. Come back next week and have a good break!”
In both instances, we would GLADLY drop everything.
1. In some ways, dropping everything seems foolish or uncomfortable – less desirable. In our lives, dropping what seems stable is hard.
2. As we will see in our text, as we encounter the Lord, we must drop everything in light of His calling on our lives. Truly, a proper response to an encounter with God is to drop everything and follow Him.
Challenge: Will we run enthusiastically toward God’s calling just as this eager son ran out with his father to the amusement park, or the worker away from the cubicle?
Read-through: Take another read-through of the text, and I want you to take note of three things:
1. Peter’s initial reaction to Jesus’ request.
2. The emotion felt by Peter, James and John immediately after the event.
3. The ultimate response of the disciples.
Text is Narrative – what surrounds it in Luke?
Context – This passage comes right in the middle of Jesus’ healing of a demoniac and Jesus’ healing of a man with leprosy. Regarding the previous chapters, Jesus self-reveals himself as Messiah. In Luke 4, he resists Satan’s temptation. He speaks with amazing authority. He casts out demons. He also heals the sick and raises the dead!
1. Geographic setting: Jesus is in Galilee, at Lake Gennesaret (see Fitzmyer 559, 5:1).
2. A huge crowd is following Jesus, and the lake is a great speaking place when someone is on a boat speaking toward those on the shore (as a pulpit). This boat was probably “twenty to thirty feet long,” as was the average ancient fishing boat (see Bock 154).
3. Many had seen the miracles of Jesus, though belief was individual.
a. Jesus sat in the boat teaching. He took the posture of a teacher, and many did not see that He was more than just a ‘good teacher.’
b. People had seen that Jesus was someone special, but not all had come to the realization that He was the Son of God!
Illustration: Blind Taste Test – Who do you think Jesus is?
Blindfolded: “Simply a good teacher”
Blindfold taken off: “The Son of God!”
Transition: That being said, I would like to walk through the text with you.
I. The Setting for the Calling
Read Luke 5:1-3
A. Gennesaret was a lush, fertile farming area in Galilee, and the sea was near. So by association, the place name Gennesaret is often used to refer to the Sea of Galilee.
B. The word ‘Gennesaret’ could be derived from a description of a harp, or the terms, ‘Prince of gardens’ or ‘garden of riches’ (see Barclay 56).
1. It was located below sea-level, which lent to a much more tropical climate.
2. It would be a good vacation spot in the area.
C. Notice from verse 1 that people were pressing or ‘squishing’ in to hear Jesus.
1. People flocked to Jesus.
2. Jesus had authority, unlike the scribes, and people really took note of that (cf. Matthew 7:29).
Authentic vs. Counterfeit – Who really had the authority?
D. Note also from verse 2 that the fishermen were washing their nets, for the purpose of preserving the nets.
1. In a similar passage, Mark 1:19 (at least a similar situation) states that some of the disciples were “repairing the nets.” These nets were strong and ready for a heavy day’s use!
Illustration: Fortifying a wall of defense. The fishermen were getting their nets ready for a future barrage of fish!
E. Jesus wasn’t just a mere passerby. He sits in Simon Peter’s boat and teaches from it.
Jesus was personal: was teaching an important lesson to Peter.
Transition: Little did Peter know at that time the surprise he would soon get!
II. The Encounter with God
Read Luke 5:4-7
A. Jesus gives Peter a command in verse 4, and Peter follows, though we see his reservation to expect anything.