Summary: The call to follow Jesus includes acceptance, obedience, and the willingness to become fishers of men and women.
A. Let’s begin today’s sermon with a story from the Reader’s Digest.
1. As you know, hospital regulations require a wheelchair for patients being discharged.
2. One student nurse tells the story of arriving at a hospital room to transport a discharged patient.
3. When she arrived, she found an elderly gentleman already dressed and sitting on the bed with a suitcase at his feet.
4. The elderly gentleman insisted he didn’t need the nurse’s help to leave the hospital.
5. But after a chat about rules being rules, and how everyone had to obey them, the elderly gentleman reluctantly let the nurse wheel him to the elevator.
6. In the elevator, on the way down, the student nurse asked if his wife was meeting him.
7. The elderly man replied, “I don’t know, she’s still upstairs in the bathroom changing out of her hospital gown.” (Reader’s Digest)
B. Let me ask you: “How willing are you to follow the orders of others?”
1. Obedience is often something that many of us struggle with.
2. But obedience is a key aspect of learning to follow Christ.
C. Last week, we began a new sermon series on the life of the apostle Peter that we are calling “The Touch of the Master’s Hand.”
1. Last week, we learned that just like the old violin, once dusted off and tuned by the master, was able to make beautiful music, and so our lives are able to be useful in the Master’s hand.
2. The man called Peter, was much like that battered old violin, but once he submitted himself into the hands of Jesus, he was transformed by God’s power.
3. Last week, we looked at Peter’s background and then looked at his first encounter with Jesus, and witnessed Jesus giving Peter a new name – his new name was Peter – “The Rock.”
4. We talked about how that God knows each of us and that God knows who we can become once He gives us a new name and we submit ourselves into His hands.
5. Truly, the touch of the Master’s hand brings amazing transformation.
D. In today’s sermon, we want to pick up the story of Peter and look at another personal encounter that Peter had with Jesus.
1. The story we will look at today occurred about 8 months after the first encounter.
2. A lot had transpired in those 8 months: Jesus had cleared the Temple, and He had been rejected at the synagogue of Nazareth, causing Him to move to Capernaum, where Peter now lived.
3. Jesus had preached the Sermon on the Mount on one of the local hillsides and Peter probably was there, or at least heard others talk about it.
4. All of this had caused Jesus’ popularity, or notoriety, to grow and spread so that thousands wanted to hear Him and follow Him, which leads us to today’s story.
I. The Story
A. Let’s turn our attention to Luke chapter 5.
1. The Bible says: 1 On one occasion, while the crowd was pressing in on him to hear the word of God, he was standing by the lake of Gennesaret (Sea of Galilee), 2 and he saw two boats by the lake, but the fishermen had gone out of them and were washing their nets. 3 Getting into one of the boats, which was Simon’s, he asked him to put out a little from the land. And he sat down and taught the people from the boat. (Luke 5:1-3)
2. Fishing is hard work!
a. It’s one thing to fish on the weekends for fun, and it’s something else to fish for a living.
b. Peter, Andrew, James and John had been friends from boyhood and fished together on the Sea of Galilee year round.
3. That morning when Jesus showed up on the seashore with the crowd of followers, Peter and his fishing partners were exhausted and likely in a foul mood.
a. Fisherman like to say: “Your worst day fishing is better than your best day in the office,” but I’m not sure Peter would have agreed at that moment.
b. As we will later learn, they had fished all night with nothing to show for it.
c. Peter and his partners were on the beach washing their nets, when Jesus approached.
4. Jesus moved directly to Peter’s boat, got into it, and asked Peter if he would launch the boat a little ways from the shore.
a. Peter immediately agreed to Jesus’ request – after all, he knew and greatly admired Jesus.
b. And so, Peter’s boat became the perfect platform for Jesus’ teaching.
c. The water along shoreline made a perfect barrier to put some space between Jesus and the audience, so that all could see and hear Him as He taught.