Summary: If we heed Christ’s call on our lives there will be a great catch.

Luke 5:1-11

“Fishing for People”

When I was a young boy, my dad and I would take off on a Saturday morning to a nearby lake.

It looked more like a brown stagnant swamp than a lake, but I suppose it was a lake.

We’d rent a small fishing boat, buy some crickets for bait and go out fishing for several hours.

We never caught a thing!

One time, just one time, my sister Lisa came along with us…

My prim and proper and seemingly perfect sister Lisa who couldn’t have cared less about catching a fish came along with us.

…and you know what?

You guessed it…she caught the only fish we would ever catch in that muddy little lake.

But even though I wasn’t the one who caught the fish I did learn something on that warm day so long ago…

I learned that that lake really did have fish in it!!!

In our Gospel Lesson for this morning we find Jesus calling His first disciples—Simon, James and John—ordinary men, at an ordinary place, doing ordinary things on an ordinary day.

But don’t get me wrong, Simon and James and John weren’t the kind of fishermen who, early on a Saturday morning, don their favorite beat-up old hat…

…the one with all the lures hanging from it…

…and power up their outboard motor for a trip to their favorite fishing spot.

No. Simon, James and John were what we would call today: “Commercial Fishermen.”

For them, fishing wasn’t recreation—it was serious business…

…i t was their livelihood…

…for them, it was a life or death enterprise…

…and they had just finished up an exhausting and extremely frustrating night at work…

…they hadn’t caught a single fish!

As the sun climbs over the horizon Peter, James and John are on the shore washing their nets, and their minds were probably focused on a hot meal, a soft bed….nothing more—until Jesus shows up.

And Jesus doesn’t come alone, a great big crowd is surging after Him.

Jesus is preaching the Word of God that transforms lives and the people who were starving for God’s Word couldn’t get enough…

…they were hard on His heals.

Jesus needed a pulpit in a major way, and Simon’s fishing boat does the trick.

Jesus got into the boat and asked Simon to put it a little way out from shore, and that is the first request of Jesus that Simon is asked to do…

…and he seems to do it willingly.

It’s neat when you know “the rest of the story,” isn’t it?

It’s neat when you know that this same man named Simon would eventually make his own profession faith in Jesus Christ as Lord…and would be so transformed that he would be called by a new name—Peter.

It’s neat to know that this man Peter would deny Jesus 3 times the night He was betrayed…but after Christ’s Resurrection…

…at Pentecost he would stand up before these very same folks who put Christ to death and preach the first Christian sermon.

It’s neat to know that thousands upon thousands of men, women and children would be saved through the preaching of Peter who would eventually be martyred for the faith.

It’s neat to know that this is the starting place for all that would come…

…Jesus using Peter’s boat as a pulpit from which to preach the Word of God…

It’s kind of metaphoric is it not?

For as Christians, we are all to be Christ’s pulpit from which God’s Word is preached through our words, actions, our transformed lives.

Anyhow, Jesus was teaching the people as He sat in Simon’s boat.

And “when he had finished speaking, he said to Simon, ‘Put into the deep water, and let down the nets for a catch.’”

Jesus’ words must have come as quite a shock to Simon.

The deep water?

Why even the greenest apprentice knows that it’s in the shallow water near the shore that the fish feed.

Besides, the sun is now high in the sky—it’s hardly the time of day for good fishing…

…and they had been fishing all night and couldn’t catch a thing!

But again Simon obeys Jesus: “Because you say so, I will let down the nets.”

…Because Jesus says so…

How many of us have the faith to do something that seems like it will be a fruitless affair simply because Jesus tells us to do it?

How many of us have tried and tried and tried to get folks to join us at church…only to get nothing but a “No thanks?”

And yet Jesus instructs us to keep trying.

Do we?

Jesus instructs these weary fishermen who haven’t caught a thing all night to keep trying…

…and look what finally happens when they follow Jesus’ instructions!!!

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Donald Cannon

commented on Apr 5, 2013

Very good message, one everyone needs to hear.

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