Summary: Fishermen NEED to fish. They love to fish, and if it is a person’s livelihood, they HAVE to fish! Jesus was about to teach an old fisherman a new way to fish...and a new fish to target.
February 7th, 2010 – Fishing for a living
Jesus is born, Jesus grows up, Jesus is baptized, filled with the Holy Spirit and He is tempted by Satan for 40 days in the desert…what a beginning to Jesus’ ministry here on earth, preaching that people need to repent, as the kingdom of heaven is near.
Jesus goes home to Nazareth, to speak in the synagogue. While there He reads from the prophet Isaiah (wouldn’t you love to hear Jesus read scripture?). The people are amazed at his ‘gracious words’. Then he spoke against them, and their ignorance about the fact that the message of the Lord’s favour is for all people, not just the Jews, in fact, they would end up rejecting him…they didn’t like that message, it was not so ‘gracious’ they felt…read Luke 4 when you get home to see how they treated Jesus then!
Today, we are going to look at a section of scripture that really hits home with me. Why does it? Because it speaks of fishing…and I love fishing! Let’s turn to Luke 5, verses 1-11. I’m reading from the New International Version.
The Calling of the First Disciples
1One day as Jesus was standing by the Lake of Gennesaret,[a]with the people crowding around him and listening to the word of God, 2he saw at the water's edge two boats, left there by the fishermen, who were washing their nets. 3He 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.
4When he had finished speaking, he said to Simon, "Put out into deep water, and let down[b] the nets for a catch."
5Simon answered, "Master, we've worked hard all night and haven't caught anything. But because you say so, I will let down the nets."
6When they had done so, they caught such a large number of fish that their nets began to break. 7So 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.
8When Simon Peter saw this, he fell at Jesus' knees and said, "Go away from me, Lord; I am a sinful man!" 9For he and all his companions were astonished at the catch of fish they had taken, 10and 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 catch men." 11So they pulled their boats up on shore, left everything and followed him.
I think we’ve all seen the images of famous people, like Hollywood celebrities, being hounded by crowds of eager followers and the paparazzi; and it’s all they can do to try and get from their front door to their car sometimes. The crowd presses in closer and closer in order to get a glimpse or a picture of the person they’ve come to see (or harass, whatever the case may be??) I can picture Jesus, who has been working some amazing miracles of healing the sick and casting out evil spirits in the local towns…he’s probably got a pretty big following of the curious, the sceptics, the scoffers, the sinners, and the saints…and all these people want to get close to Jesus. ‘what is He saying, what is He doing? I need to get closer…’
Wouldn’t we want to get close to Jesus, if we knew HE was within our grasp? If we heard that the sick were being healed and the suffering were being set free, wouldn’t we want to be close to Jesus? I would!
At the Sea of Galilee (Gennesaret as it’s called here), Jesus drew people to hear him preach the Word of God, what did he do…he preached the word of God. What do we preach? Good life, easy living, that we have all the answers? No…it must be the WORD, God’s Word that we preach teach and live out every day of our lives! The Word is life, it is a shining light in a dark world, it is truth, it is unchanging, it is history and the future, it is exciting and challenging, it is God’s word to God’s creation for our benefit and His glory…why WOULDN’T we want to share it with everyone we can, wherever we are, in whatever circumstance?!
Years ago, a much higher % of people went to church, listened to the word, learned the word, and even memorized some of it; today, not so much. The bible has been banned from most public school distribution. Do you remember getting a new testament in grade 5 from the Gideon’s? ALL children in Canada used to…not anymore! The Word is being restricted and so we must know it, learn from it and share it! …I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes (Romans 1)