Biblical Encounters with Christ – Simon Peter, A Fisherman
3-11-13 Brett Spore
(Adapted from EFC sermon series)
Vs. 1 One day as Jesus was standing by the Lake of Gennesaret, the people were crowding around him and listening to the word of God.Vs. 2 He saw at the water’s edge two boats, left there by the fishermen, who were washing their nets.
Vs. 3 He got into one of the boats, the one belonging to Simon (Peter), and asked him to put out a little from the shore. Then he sat down and taught the people from the boat.Vs. 4 When he had finished speaking, he said to Simon, “Put out into deep water, and let down the nets for a catch.”
At this point, if I was Simon Peter, I would be thinking “Man, I just finished fishing all night and caught nothing. I’d like to put my nets away and go home for the day. I’m tired. I’m depressed that we caught no fish, and honestly I’m not really thrilled about the idea of a teacher telling me how to fish.”Vs. 5 Simon (Peter) answered, “Master, we’ve worked hard all night and haven’t caught anything. But because you say so, I will let down the nets.”
Despite his distain at the thought of Jesus Christ telling him to put his nets out again, he does what Jesus tells him to do. Why? “Because you say so.” I sort of picture Simon Peter being like “Fine. Whatever. I’ll show you there are no fish right now.” Or maybe he thought, look this guy’s pretty wise, maybe by some miracle he actually knows something I don’t know after spending my whole life as a fisherman.Vs. 6 When they had done so, they caught such a large number of fish that their nets began to break.
What do you think God could do in your life if you would simply obey him?Vs. 7 So they signaled their partners in the other boat to come and help them, and they came and filled both boats so full that they began to sink.
Suggestions: Don’t ever underestimate the power of God, and don’t be surprised if he overwhelms you to the point of needing to call for reinforcements. Ask for help when you need it!Vs. 8 When Simon Peter saw this, he fell at Jesus’ knees and said, “Go away from me, Lord; I am a sinful man!”
Simon Peter just recognized God’s power in Jesus and Simon Peter’s own frailty.Vs. 9-10a For he and all his companions were astonished at the catch of fish they had taken, and so were James and John, the sons of Zebedee, Simon’s partners.
They were all blown away by the sheer volume of fish they had caught. I get the impression they had never in their entire lives seen that many fish caught at one time.Vs. 10b Then Jesus said to Simon, “Don’t be afraid; from now on you will fish for people.”
Why would Jesus tell Simon Peter not to be afraid unless Simon Peter was showing signs that he was afraid? In Vs. 8 the Bible says he fell to his knees, which is a sign of submission in every culture I know of to date. I am picturing a guy who thought, as many people say today, that Jesus Christ was a wise man, a moral man, and a good teacher. But after the fishing incident, Simon Peter realized that Jesus Christ is so much more than that. HE IS GOD! And Simon Peter is afraid. So, Jesus tells him not to be afraid and that from this day forward he will be a fisherman of people, catching men and women with the good news of salvation through Jesus Christ.Vs. 11 So they pulled their boats up on shore, left everything and followed him.
They left EVERYTHING! Their biggest catch of their lives. Their Olympic God. Their platinum record. Their CEO of Microsoft job. Their starting spot on the soccer team. Their full-ride scholarship to the college of their dreams. They left EVERYTHING and followed him.Challenge Question:
What are you willing to leave behind to fully and wholeheartedly follow Jesus Christ wherever he takes you to be a fisherman of men and women? Are you willing to go?