Summary: Jesus was the master of fishing for men, and he wanted his disciples to do the same. Here are four qualities of discipleship that will help us to grow in this area.
Fishing For Men
I’m not known as a great fisherman - although I do like to fish. Just the casting and catching part. I admit to being a jinx. Nobody usually catches any fish when I’m fishing with them. And then there was the time I left half of Danny Dodd tackle box lures in the trees because I’m not a good caster.
There are many great fish stories in the Bible (including one prophet who took a three night stay in the whale motel!)
In our text Dr. Luke leads us further into the revelation of what it means to be a disciple of Jesus Christ. Peter, Andrew, James and John had spent the night fishing with dragnets. It was backbreaking work, casting and drawing in a 100 foot net over and over again. It was hard work that only strong men could perform. The group had sweat through the night without as much as a fish. So at dawn they beached their boats, ate breakfast, and under the warming sun engaged in the tedious and necessary process of washing, mending, and arranging their nets for drying. Once dry, they would be folded and placed back in the boats for the coming night. On this particular day, the monotony was broken by the presence of a large crowd pressing around Jesus. (Hughes)
That brings us to our text for today: Luke 5:1-11
1One day as Jesus was standing by the Lake of Gennesaret, the people were 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.
4 When he had finished speaking, he said to Simon, “Put out into deep water, and let down the nets for a catch.”
5 Simon answered, “Master, we’ve worked hard all night and haven’t caught anything. But because you say so, I will let down the nets.”
6 When they had done so, they caught such a large number of fish that their nets began to break.
7 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.
8 When Simon Peter saw this, he fell at Jesus’ knees and said, “Go away from me, Lord; I am a sinful man!”
9 For he and all his companions were astonished at the catch of fish they had taken,
10 and so were James and John, the sons of Zebedee, Simon’s partners.
Then Jesus said to Simon, “Don’t be afraid; from now on you will fish for people.”
11 So they pulled their boats up on shore, left everything and followed him.
Jesus was the master of fishing for men, and he wanted his disciples to do the same. Here are four qualities of discipleship that will help us to grow in this area.
1. Hunger for the Word of God (Luke 5:1-3)
Can you imagine the teaching of Jesus on this day? What a privilege to hear the Son of God teaching Word of God! As people crowded Jesus, he became all the more determined to speak to them. He conscripted a nearby boat. These people were hungry for more of what Jesus had to say and teach. God make us hungry for the Word!
We have the privilege of owning a copy of the Word of God - how do we honor that privilege?
John 6:35 “I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never go hungry, and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty."
Are we spiritually hungry or starving our souls to death? Disciples of Jesus want more and more of Him. Because When we believe in Jesus we are able to …
2. Believe Beyond Belief (Luke 5:4-5)
Jesus’ request to go back out to fishing in the deep is met with a little resistance by Peter. Peter speaks from the voice of experience, he knows there are no fish … he is exasperated … but he obeys.
When we decide to follow Jesus we are deciding to believe beyond belief. We believe Beyond our experience. We believe Beyond our knowledge. We believe Beyond our expertise. His teachings do not always make sense to us. Never take the position to decide that what Jesus demands of us is too much, ineffective, of no use.
God is at work right now in our hearts - in our lives - answering prayers - reaching out through us to others - sanctifying us through the Spirit - there is never a time when God is still or inactive.