Sermons

Summary: Apostles, Pt. 3

NO BUSINESS IS LIKE SOUL BUSINESS (LUKE 5:1-11)

When Apple computer went public in 1983 and two years later made its debut in the Fortune 500 list of America’s top companies, Steve Jobs, Apple’s young and legendary founder, needed a CEO and mentor for his company. His first recruit was John Sculley, who was then president of Pepsico Corporation. Jobs set up a meeting with Sculley to persuade him to leave Pepsi for Apple, to direct the new company and to lend his corporate experience.

Sculley, though he had no reason to doubt the impact of Apple, was unwilling to give up a good, cushy and dream job at Pepsi, which was already a brand name, a powerhouse corporation and a darling stock. The idea of building Apple from its foundation and steering Apple into the future did not interest him. He was not particularly enamored with his job at Pepsico, but moving West did not appeal to him either.

Pepsi’s CEO turned Jobs down, but Jobs would not take no for an answer and posed to him a question to him that changed his mind, the direction of Apple, and the course of computer history. Sculley remembers that day with Jobs: “He looked up at me and just stared at me with the stare that only Steve Jobs has and he said, ‘Do you want to sell sugar water for the rest of your life or do you want to come with me and change the world?” And I just gulped because I knew I would wonder for the rest of my life what I would have missed.” http://www.pbs.org/nerds/part3.html

At Jesus’ first recorded lake appearance in Luke, people crowded round him to listen to the word of God. Jesus saw two boats lying there at the edge of the lake, but He chose Simon’s boat. The catch of the day was not Peter’s haul at the Lake of Gennesaret; the biggest catch that day was Peter and the fishermen, who were captivated and challenged by Jesus to join Him in the foremost business of all – soul business.

What kind of mission is awaiting God’s people? What kind of people is He heavily recruiting? Why is it intended for serious people only?

No Listening is More Productive

5:1 One day as Jesus was standing by the Lake of Gennesaret, with the people 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.” (Luke 5:1-5)

A college student taking a year-end economics exam was ill-prepared for the task, critical of the timing, and leery of his fate. Worse, Christmas was around the corner, cramming was not his style and vacation occupied his dreamy thoughts. He could not concentrate on the exam and gave up on it without trying. Holiday was written on his face and all he could think of. In exasperation, defiance and cheek he wrote on the paper he handed in: “Only God knows the answers to these questions. Merry Christmas.”

When the student returned to school after the holidays, he found his paper returned to him in his box with a note attached to it that read: “God gets 100, you get 0. Happy New Year!” (Adapted, 7,700 Illustrations # 1992)

Epictetus said, “It is impossible for a man to learn that which he thinks he already knows.” (Quotable Quotations p. 212)

A lot of people think they know everything. Simon faced a fisherman’s dilemma: “What does a carpenter’s son from the inland know about lake fishing, weather forecast and wind conditions?” After all, Simon and his professional partners had failed to catch fish after laboring all night; they were already washing their nets (v 2). That many local fishermen can’t be wrong! They were experts on the place to anchor, the time to fish, and the bait to use.

Jesus, however, told Simon to row his boat to the far side and to let down the nets for a catch. Not just to push out a little from shore anymore (v 3), which was for teaching purposes, but to launch out to the deepest waters. Worse, the inlander had no bait, gear or experience for the expedition. Further, fishing is best done at night. People fish for fun in the day, but fish for a living at night. Yet Simon surrendered his knowledge, opinion and control to Jesus when he let the net down. After all, Jesus had healed his mother-in-law from a high fever (Lk 4:38-39). Peter, who had just finished washing the nets (v 2), however, did not surrender without a word or a mouthful, saying as much: “Master, we’ve been there and done that and did not find even as much as an anchovy. All we caught was hot air in the chilly waters! Do you mean we will have to rewash our nets, unpack our equipment and row that far?” Washing nets was time consuming, with its sprawling size, small holes and coarse material. It was a day job by itself and a group effort (v 2), not the work of one.

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