Summary: You may have a million things going on in your life from sports, family, work and other various activities, but what happens when Jesus gets into your boat?
Ever had a long and hard day of work and all you can think of is getting home? You finally walk through the door of your house and all you can think about is getting into something comfortable, sitting in your favourite chair and relaxing. You grab a drink, a snack and you plop yourself down in the chair and enjoy the comfort that only your chair can give. Just as you close your eyes someone yells out at you to take out the garbage, start the BBQ, help with the kids, I think you get the picture. It sends shivers down your spine, why can’t they just leave you alone. How many of you know what this feels like? This morning I want to speak to you about when Jesus comes and asks you to follow him.
At this point Jesus is beginning his public ministry. His has overcome the temptation in the desert, he has been mobbed rejected in his home town of Nazareth and so he is travelling around the cities and towns sharing a very new message of Good News. The disciples weren’t the disciples yet, they were just fishermen and Jesus runs into the along the Sea of Galilee. They may have heard about him, but they hadn’t chosen to follow him. Peter refers to Christ as Master, which in this case is ‘epistates’, meaning overseer or supervisor. He recognized that Jesus has some authority, but he had no idea that on this particular day Jesus wanted to get into his boat.
1. Distracted (vs.1-5a)
You never know when Jesus is going to get into your boat. Jesus is teaching and a multitude of people had come to hear him. I’m sure they were pushing all around him, trying to get close and he decided that it would be better to be in the water so that he could teach without being crowded. He quickly looks around and sees 2 empty boats that just happen to belong to Peter and the boys who had just come back from a long night of fruitless fishing. I’m sure they were frustrated and they were off to the side just cleaning their nets, minding their own business. Probably thinking about how they wouldn’t make any money today and maybe they wouldn’t eat. In the midst of this Jesus, this teacher who was attracting big crowds calls on him. This was nothing too major, just to push him out in the boat so he can teach; fine, no problem. Jesus isn’t finished with him though, Jesus says, “let’s go fish!” It is interesting to note that Jesus doesn’t ask Peter whether or not he feels like casting the nets once more. Peter then feels compelled to explain to Jesus that they had been fishing all night and hadn’t caught a thing.
Isn’t that usually the way we respond when we feel tired… “Yeah but I had a long day,” or “You don’t understand how busy I’ve been with the kids.” Often times when Jesus comes to get into the boat of our lives we have excuses for him. Yes, you may very well be tired, but Jesus doesn’t want excuses; often times Jesus comes when you’re tired and worn out, unplugged. Jesus gives an order and he simply wants us to do it. Are we ready to be obedient no matter how we feel? I think Jesus does this so that in our weakness Jesus is found to be strong, this way Jesus gets all the credit for what happens next.
2. Determined (vs.5b-7)
It took about 2 seconds for Peter to come out with his next response though, “BUT if you say so we’ll try again.” I’m sure there was something inside of Peter that wanted to know how they were possibly going to catch fish in the middle of the day. He knew full well that if they hadn’t caught any at night then for sure they wouldn’t catch anything in the day. Maybe he wanted to prove Jesus wrong or maybe he wanted to believe that Jesus just might be this Messiah they had been waiting for all these years. He chooses to be obedient and see what happens when you follow directions from Christ. What Peter and the other fishermen would learn that day is a valuable truth for you and I. Doing what God asks doesn’t always make sense and it’s not always logical, it takes trust and faith. Obedience will always be the best course of action, regardless of whether you know what the outcome will be or not. These guys put their nets in the boat, go out to where Jesus instructs and throw the nets in. Low and behold the nets come up bursting so much that they had to call the other boat to come and help them.