By Toni Ford
In Luke Chapter 5, we have a beautiful picture of the difference Jesus makes in the lives of four individuals. We have numerous stories in the gospels of Jesus teaching and preaching to the crowds of people. The crowds were always drawn to Jesus; however, His message was always to the individual. In this chapter, we see Jesus taking time to help people personally understand the message He had for each one of them as an individual. Jesus’ purpose was to transform them and then send them out to share His message of forgiveness with others.
Although this chapter shares the stories of at least four individuals whose lives were changed because they chose to trust and follow Jesus, we only will have the time to look at one of those today. I encourage you, however, to take the time to read the entire chapter of Luke 5 to see how Jesus impacted each person’s life in a personal way.
Peter, from failure to success
Along with some others, Peter, had been fishing all night and caught nothing, so they were coming in for the day and had stepped away from their boats at the shore to wash their nets (if nets are not washed and stretched out to dry, they rot and break). It takes courage and daring patience and determination to work on the seas, along with a great deal of faith. True fishermen do not quit, which is why, although they caught nothing, Peter and his friends fished all night long and never quit.
While they were cleaning their nets, Jesus came walking along the shore with a crowd of people following Him. He stepped into one of the empty boats and pushed it out into the water so He could speak to the crowd that was following Him. Peter and the other fishermen kept on working while Jesus used his boat as a platform from which to address the huge crowd on the shore. When Jesus finished speaking, He said to Peter (also known as Simon), “Now go out where it is deeper, and let down your nets to catch some fish.”
“Master,” Simon replied, “we have worked hard all last night and didn’t catch a thing. Nevertheless, if you say so, I’ll let the nets down again.”
I am amazed at Peter’s willingness to obey. I am sure that if it were me, I would have argued and complained and told Jesus all the reasons why I could not do that or why it would not work.
Also, it was a well-known fact that in the Sea of Galilee, fish were caught fish at night in the shallow water, not in the daytime in the deep water. What Jesus asked Peter to do was contrary to all of Peter’s training and experience, but Peter still obeyed. The key was Peter’s faith in the Word of God, which we find in two words Peter said in Luke 5:5: “Master” and “nevertheless.”
The word “Master” has a variety of meanings, all of which speak of authority – chief commander, magistrate, governor of a city or president of a college. Peter was willing to submit to the authority of Jesus, even though he did not understand all that the Lord was doing. And remember that a great crowd was watching from the shore. Peter went from failure to success that morning, all because he was willing to submit to what the Lord was telling him to do. Peter trusted not only the words of his Savior; he also trusted and knew that the Savior’s heart for him was good.
Dear Jesus, thank you for caring about not only the crowds but for me as an individual. Thank you that your heart for me is always good. Help me be more willing to submit and surrender to you, even when it does not make sense with my natural eyes. Thank you for being so patient with me as You teach me more about You and others. I love you and choose to submit to You today, and I ask you to use me to glorify Your name!
If you would like me to join you in prayer please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I would love to pray for you!