Sunday, April 28, 2013

How Deep?

A friend posted the reference, Luke 5:4-6, without the actual verses. I couldn’t think of those verses (so few memorized!) so I looked it up:

Now when he had left speaking, he said unto Simon, Launch out into the deep, and let down your nets for a draught. (Luke 5:4)

Peter, Andrew, James and John were partners as fishermen. In the previous chapter, we’re told Jesus healed Peter’s mother-in-law, so they were familiar with Him and had heard him before.

In these verses, Jesus is on boat, a ways from shore, teaching a crowd that gathered to hear Him. If Peter wasn’t considered the captain, he certainly had leadership sufficient to be the one addressed in Jesus’ request. Peter had an answer that we’ve all used at one time or another – “Tried that. Didn’t work.”

And Simon answering said unto him, Master, we have toiled all the night, and have taken nothing:

After working all night without a catch, he must have been tired and somewhat frustrated. At least he answered respectfully, but wanted this landlubber to understand that when the nets came back empty, Peter knew from experience that would happen. Even though his mind was made up about the result, he followed our Lord’s request:

nevertheless at thy word I will let down the net. (Luke 5:5)

Was that out of respect? Or was it a dare? Which attitude do we have when we say, “Okay, Lord, if you say so.”

And when they had this done, they inclosed a great multitude of fishes: and their net brake. And they beckoned unto their partners, which were in the other ship, that they should come and help them. And they came, and filled both the ships, so that they began to sink. (Luke 5:6-7)

I have held back from going into the deep, even when it appeared it was God’s will that I do so. There were sufficient reasons, just as Peter, based on my experience and the advice of others. I’m not concerned about what I’ve missed – the past cannot be changed.

I am aware now, however, to listen to His word so that I am prepared to go out into the deep to see what shows up in those nets. Like Peter, I have confessions:

When Simon Peter saw it, he fell down at Jesus' knees, saying, Depart from me; for I am a sinful man, O Lord. (Luke 5:8)

Peter didn’t want Jesus to leave because of a net full of fish. Peter realized this man was so much more than expected, and he was so much less. Thank God that He sees our potential, not what we are in our present state. Like Peter, that astonishes us:

For he was astonished, and all that were with him, at the draught of the fishes which they had taken: And so was also James, and John, the sons of Zebedee, which were partners with Simon.

I like that Peter spoke up about his hesitation regarding the result of Jesus’ request. I like more that he went ahead and threw out the nets. I like most of all Jesus’ response to their astonishment:

And Jesus said unto Simon, Fear not; from henceforth thou shalt catch men. (Luke 5:9-10)

And, he did.

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