does God prepare men and women for ministry? What transformation is required so
that we become co- laborers with Him? To
those whom he calls to become fishers of men Christ demonstrates his power, and
glory. That miraculous vision changes their life’s goal.
miracle demonstrates the authority of Christ in sovereignly calling men to
Himself. This call claims the Lord’s right to direct,
it came to pass, that, as the people pressed upon him to hear the word of God,
he stood by the lake of Gennesaret, 2And saw two ships standing by
the lake: but the fishermen were gone out of them, and were washing their nets. 3And
he entered into one of the ships, which was Simon’s, and prayed him that he
would thrust out a little from the land. And he sat down, and taught the people
out of the ship. 4Now when he had left speaking, he said unto Simon, Launch
out into the deep, and let down your nets for a draught. 5And
Simon answering said unto him, Master, we have toiled all the night, and have
taken nothing: nevertheless at thy word I will let down the net. 6And
when they had this done, they enclosed a great multitude of fishes: and their
net brake. 7And 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. 8When Simon Peter saw it, he
fell down at Jesus’ knees, saying, Depart from me; for I am a sinful man, O
Lord. 9For he was astonished, and all that were with him, at the
draught of the fishes which they had taken: 10And so was also James,
and John, the sons of Zebedee, which were partners with Simon. And Jesus said
unto Simon, Fear not; from henceforth thou shalt catch
men. 11And when they had brought their ships to land, they
forsook all, and followed him.”
is biographical because it centers on the person of Peter who needs a lesson on
fishing. This is ironic, because
his profession was fishing. It is
his boat, the conversation is with him. He
is the central figure.
basic idea of the miracle is “The Faith Needed for Fishing.”
relationship that Jesus has been developing with the disciples.
There are five callings or challenges to the disciples:
· John 1:35-42 - the initial calling of some of the disciples.
· Mark 1: and Matt 4: - the invitation to committed discipleship
· Luke 5:1-11 - our passage
· Mark 3, Matt: 10 - The commission to ministry. He sends them out to the lost sheep of Israel
· Matt 28: - Great commission
· So the backdrop is the authority of Jesus.
· Isa 9:1-2 says Galilee would be where Christ would demonstrate His Messianic authority.
the dimness shall not be such as was in her vexation, when
at the first he lightly afflicted the land of Zebulun and the land of Naphtali,
and afterward did more grievously afflict her by the way of the sea,
beyond Jordan, in Galilee of the nations. 2The people that walked in
darkness have seen a great light: they that dwell in the land of the shadow of
death, upon them hath the light shined.
crowds are pressing in, so they move out to the water for some space. After He
had finished teaching, He tells Peter to take the boat out into deeper water
because he wants to teach Peter a lesson.
Peter catches himself in the middle of a bad response and changes to the
right response. What does Peter respond to?
The word of Jesus. “Because
you say so...”
A man got saved who was a drunk and a complete waste.
His life was completely changed. He
was faithful to God’s house and telling others about Christ.
But he had one secret that only the preacher knew about: He could not
read and write. He did not tell
others because he was ashamed. He noticed that alot of people had T-shirts with
sayings on them. He wanted one that
would bring honor to Christ. Because
he could not read or write, he did not know what to get. He prayed about this.
One day he was walking down town and noticed a store that was closed with
a big sign on it. The Lord
impressed to write down what the sign said.
He wrote the letters down. He
took the piece of paper to the T-shirt shop and had it placed on one to wear.
When he wore the tee shirt, it was a big success in witnessing to folks. The
shirt read: UNDER NEW MANAGEMENT.
One application for us is what will we do because He says so?
Trench says that the best fishing in Galilee was before dawn. Also, Peter
was a professional fisherman and Jesus was the son of a carpenter, so the
initial response is understandable.
There is a fearful
astonishment on the part of Peter. He gets a glimpse of whom Jesus is and the
result is recognition of his own sinfulness. This is the proper response to the
revelation of God. Cf. Isa 6:1-5 “Woe is me…”
There are many passages,
which show the response of fear to the revelation of God.
Gen 15:1, Ex 20:20, Josh 8:1, Isa 41:10.
Matt 1:20, Luk 1:13, 30, 2:10, 5:10, 12:32, John 6:23, ... Here we see
that when Jesus say “Fear not...” in verse 10, there is more to it than what
we would first think. The claim inherent in Jesus’ statement is that He is
“You will be catchers of men.” It literally means, “to take alive.” The irony is that they have been catching live fish to put
them to death. Now they will be
catching dead men to give them life.
In that context, speaking to fishermen, Jesus said that they would be
fishers of men. Today, talking to a
computer programmer, He might have said they would be programmers of men.
If they had been construction workers, He might have said they would be
builders of men.
There is a guarantee of results in the passage.
He did not say that they would try to catch men.
He left everything and followed Jesus.
Late one evening a professor sat at his desk working on the next day's
lectures. He shuffled through the
papers and mail placed there by his housekeeper.
He began to throw them in the wastebasket when one magazine--not even
addressed to him but delivered to his office by mistake--caught his attention.
It fell open to an article titled "The Needs of the Congo
Mission." The professor began reading it idly, but then he was consumed by
these words: "The need is great here.
We have no one to work the northern province of Gabon in the central
Congo. And it is my prayer as I
write this article that God will lay His hand on one--one on whom, already, the
Master's eyes have been cast--that he or she shall be called to this place to
help us." The professor closed
the magazine and wrote in his diary: "My search is over."
He gave himself to go to the Congo.
The professor's name was Albert Schweitzer.
That little article, hidden in a periodical intended for someone else,
was placed by accident in Schweitzer's mailbox.
By chance his housekeeper put the magazine on the professor's desk. By chance he noticed the title, which seemed to leap out at
him. Dr. Schweitzer became one of
the great figures this century in a humanitarian work nearly unmatched in human
· Jesus illustrates his authority over people in calling them to ministry.
Because of the privacy of the miracle (they had moved from the
shore to deep water), we need to understand that this miracle has nothing to do
with the multitudes. This
is a discipleship miracle and the discipleship miracles deal with the
development of the ministry skills or character of the disciples.
· Ps 8:6-8 says that God has authority over the sea creatures.
· Christ ordains the results of evangelism. Only by following Christ and having faith in his direction could the disciples become catchers of men.
· Does business failure disqualify you for ministry? Who do we usually put on our board of elders? Successful businessmen? The disciples had fished all night and caught nothing. That was a business failure. Christ used it to teach them a lesson. So, don’t be discouraged by failure. Learn from it. And don’t disqualify others because of business failure (unless of course it was because of dishonesty or something.)
· Don’t let human misunderstanding prevent obedience. Peter “knew” that it would be useless to throw the net over at that time.
· Allow God to determine the course as well as the result of my life. I think our job is to obey God and do our best, but we need to leave the results up to Him. If we try to take responsibility for the results, it will result in pride if there are good results or guilt if there are bad results.
· Beware that the pride of my ability may cloud my dependence on Christ. Peter was a professional fisherman. His initial reaction was that he knew more about fishing than Jesus.
· The clearer the revelation of God, the better the realization of my sinfulness. Ex 34, Isa 6, Jer 1, Dan 9
· Revelation precedes service. It is one type of motivation.
· Don’t ever lose the thrill at the grace of God who uses sinful men to accomplish His purposes.
· Obedience to the word of God brings blessing to the worker of God.
· 2Co 12:9 - In our weakness, His strength is manifested.
· Evangelism must be done where lost people are. And old farmer fishing in a tub of water in his back yard was chided by his neighbor: "Man, there ain't no fish in that tub. Why are you wastin' your time like that?" "Yeah," came the reply. "I know there ain't no fish in here, but it's just so powerful convenient." Many churches are engaged in "convenience evangelism," which is really very little evangelism at all