Thursday, October 18, 2007

Thoughts on Luke 5:5

When Jesus had finished speaking, he said to Simon, “Put out into deep water, and let down the nets for a catch.” Simon answered, “Master, we’ve been working hard all night and haven’t caught anything. But because you say so, I will let down the nets.”
Luke 5:4-5

Although this is probably not the most famous exchange between Jesus and Simon Peter, this conversation is perhaps one of my very favorites because it is so human and yet so divine in nature. Simon Peter had a way of saying to Jesus what is very often in my own heart.

Imagine how Simon Peter must be feeling as this exchange begins. He has been up fishing all night long. The fishing has been monumentally unsuccessful. He was probably tired, hungry, discouraged, sore, and ready to call it a night. Here comes Jesus – a carpenter by trade mind you, not a fisherman! - instructing Simon Peter to go back out to deep water and try again.

Simon Peter captures my human response to this peculiar instruction beautifully! “Master, we’ve been working hard all night and haven’t caught anything.” That is exactly what I would have wanted to say. My dissertation would perhaps have been a bit longer – “I know what I am doing, I have done this every night for years and years, I did my very best and still came up short, thanks for the tip, but it is time to call it quits”. How often I hear myself recounting my efforts to God in the face of seeming defeat!

But the second part of Simon Peter’s response captures the essence of a heart truly surrendered to Jesus. “But because you say so, I will let down the nets.” What beautiful obedience! Simon Peter says what he knows as a fisherman, but acts with a heart that knows Jesus. It wasn’t any simple thing Jesus had asked Simon Peter to do – putting out into the deep water would take great physical effort after an already long, hard night. Imagine Simon Peter explaining to his hired help that they were turning around and trying again because a carpenter had instructed them to. But Simon Peter’s obedience is rewarded with such an amazing catch that the nets nearly break.

How often in my life I reply to God’s instruction with the first part of Peter’s statement (“This is what I have already done and I have had no success so let's call it quits”), but completely neglect to add the second part (“Yet because you say so, I will be obedient”)! When we begin to evaluate our own situations, we tend to dock our boats and call it a night. But our carpenter has kingdom eyes!

Is there a relationship in your life that you feel is no longer worth investing in? Is your patience with your children running out? Are you thinking of leaving a ministry because you just don’t see the fruit of your labor? Pray carefully – this may be the morning Jesus climbs in to your boat. There may be an overflowing net of fish on the other side of your obedience.

1 comment:

Ava's Mama said...

Yep...Mom is right. You do have a sweet heart for hearing the Holy Spirit on this one. I'll be watching more carefully for these opportunities.