THE BOATS OF PETER
The first meeting of Peter with Jesus is found in John 1:40-42 wherein Andrew, the brother of Peter, brought him to Jesus. Two short, simple statements left Peter feeling totally exposed at the same time amazed.
You are . . . the truth of the fallen condition of Peter.
You will be . . . the future or promise
All of us are like Peter; we have that fallen condition before. Now we are already on our path to the future to reach our potential that God has intended for us to be.
What is interesting with our text is Jesus had five strategic indications or stages that involve the actions of Jesus about the BOATS of Peter and his companion that entirely changed their. The steps that we can learn from this can be a pattern for us to assess our relationship with God. This is how Jesus uses the BOATS of peter and his companion to accomplish His purpose in their life.
• (B) The Beginning of Jesus – The Behavior of Peter
In v.2, “he saw at the water edge two boats, left there by the fisherman, who were washing their nets.” Please take note that according to verse 5, they caught no fish for the whole night, but here they are cleaning their net, which indicates that tomorrow we will try it again. If there is tomorrow, there is hope. The overnight fishing indicates also that they are professionals in fishing and I presumed they used every tool that they know that is why they reach until morning (explain the use of different tools as to depth, as to moon night as to season etc in fishing.). They do not easily give up as long as there is tomorrow. Jesus noticed this behavior and this becomes the beginning of His approach to Peter. It is that behavior that is inside Peter that begun the process of his “You shall be.” In John 1:42, Peter went with Andrew to see Jesus who indicates that Peter’s behavior was on spiritual things also, and that add to the beginning of his process.
Ralph Mahoney says “God can never use a timid and a discourage servant.” Our behavior is also important if we want to start a ministry.
• (O) The Opportunity – The Obedience of Peter
In v.3, “He got into one of the boats, the one belonging to Simon, and asked him to put out a little from shore.” Jesus took the opportunity to be identified with the fishermen by involvement. Peter responded by obediently obeying the request of Jesus and patiently heard what Jesus was preaching. If Peter has been discouraged, he should have been resistant to Jesus at that moment and uttered; “who is this man talking about God! Can he not see that we catch nothing? Where is that God he is saying?” However, it is the other way around; Peter obediently heeded and listened to Jesus because of the involvement of Jesus in His boat.
If we want to be discipled, we should also be obedient as Peter did so that reaching our potential will be processed. If we want, also to disciple someone we should also look for that opportunity to be identified with the one being discipled, in their emotions in their work, etc.
• (A) The Activation of power – The Attempt of actualizing the Word in his life
From v.3-5, “Then he sat down and taught the people from the boat . . . Put out into deep water, and let down the net for a catch . . . But because you say so I will let down the nets.” Probably Jesus was saying while Peter was cleaning his net about God who heals, delivers, saves, prospers, and who can do the impossible. Moreover, here Jesus is commanding him already to attempt the impossible. At the start, he was hesitant to do it but maybe because Jesus was with him in the boat he must do the impossible. God will confirm his word through miracles as Charles Kraft says, “Signs and wonders are essential to the Gospel.”
If our behavior is right and we are obedient, We will expect miracles if we try to attempt as Peter did. If we begin the process to the one we are discipling because of his right behavior and was given the opportunity to identify with him and responded by hearing the message, I think we will also expect miracles.
• (T) The Touch of God – The Total exposé of Peter’s life to God.
In v.6-8, “When they have done so, they caught such a large number of fish . . . and they came and filled both boats so full that they began to sink . . . Go away from me , Lord: I am a sinful man!” Because of the touch of God or miracle that Peter experienced in his boat, his considered profession, he suddenly knew Jesus was more than a man – He was God. Peter could not stand it. His whole being was exposed. He wanted to hide, and so he asked God to leave.
In the book of Genesis, Adam and Eve hid from God in the Garden. Moreover, that is what every person does when he has not repented of his self-sufficiency. There is no way independent man can avoid wishing to hide when he becomes aware of who he is in the presence of God. Peter forgot about the value of fish in his boat. Instead, he was caught up in this strange and frightening awareness.
This brings us to the climax of out text.
• (S) The Subject of Jesus was Stated – The Surrender of Peter
In v. 10-11, “Don’t be afraid; from now on you will catch men. So they pulled their boats up on the shore, left everything and followed him.” Peter decided to be with the giver rather than stay on what was given. Hence, he left his profession and followed Jesus.
This strategy on the principle of Jesus in using the BOATS of Peter is applied in my life often times from my conversion up to where I am now in the ministry. If it works for Peter, It will also work for you.
• On my conversion TESTIMONY
• On starting the ministry of training center TESTIMONY
Remember God begins in our behavior, then
He opens for us to obey, then
He activate the power for us to attempt, then
He will touch us so that we will be totally exposed, then
He will state his subject so that we will surrender.
Assess yourself at this moment . . . on what stage are you now?