One day as Jesus was standing by the Lake of Gennesaret, [a] the people were crowding around him and listening to the word of God. 2He saw at the water’s edge two boats, left there by the fishermen, who were washing their nets. 3He got into one of the boats, the one belonging to Simon, and asked him to put out a little from shore. Then he sat down and taught the people from the boat. 4When he had finished speaking, he said to Simon, “Put out into deep water, and let down the nets for a catch.” 5 Simon answered, “Master, we’ve worked hard all night and haven’t caught anything. But because you say so, I will let down the nets.” 6When they had done so, they caught such a large number of fish that their nets began to break. 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. 8When Simon Peter saw this, he fell at Jesus’ knees and said, “Go away from me, Lord; I am a sinful man!” 9 For he and all his companions were astonished at the catch of fish they had taken, 10 and so were James and John, the sons of Zebedee, Simon’s partners. Then Jesus said to Simon, “Don’t be afraid; from now on you will fish for people.” 11 So they pulled their boats up on shore, left everything and followed him.
“Put out into deep water and let down the nets for a catch.” Once this scripture caught my attention, my brain could not let it go. I kept asking myself “what are my “deep waters”?” I believe there is a deeper meaning for every one of us. This is a story about the calling of the first disciples that when contextualized applies to us as well why because for a lot of us our awareness of Christ and His divinity starts with experiencing a miracle and it is also a continuous theme in the life of a believer.
Scene 1: Jesus is being who is, is preaching the word then gets into one of the boats by the waters edge— GETS CLOSER PHYSICALLY… to Simon. He continues to preach the word so I would assume the soon to be disciples were listening in as the washed their nets.
Application: God gets physically closer to us in different ways; maybe through a friend at work, a gift of a bible, when you experience unexpected kindness, through a solution to a problem, maybe a message on your phone, maybe a preacher on the street or radio or TV … basically Christians are all around us sowing the seed. It begs the question whether you are fertile ground to receive it, are you?
Scene 2: Jesus instructs them to put out their nets into deep water. Simon is hesitant at first then yields. What really gets me is his response. “…But because you say so, I will let down the nets…” This is a big deal! A man you have probably never seen before comes to your place of work… where you are an expert and it failed you… and instructs you!? This probably explains Simon’s hesitation at first however going by the following verses he was fertile ground, he was humble, he was recognized that this was no ordinary man speaking to him.
Application: This is a common occurrence in our lives. I think a good number can attest to getting some of the best advice for their careers from people they list expected to know or understand and it is the humble of heart that heed and reap the benefits. Some people think a miracle is supposed to be this profound storm-like occurrence… yet it can just be the right words whispered to you at the time you need it. It is a solution that helps you pay the rent every month, that buys food for you and your family, it is what sees you through to the next day strong and full of hope. Miracles are happening all the time.
May be you need to open your eyes, your spiritual eyes to recognize them. To recognize who is saying what to you. It is probable that God will use someone to advise you … but can you discern them? Consider how many opportunities have passed you by or may be, maaaay be you received that ‘word’ for a few minutes then got on with your life, forgetting to say a simple thank you. Or are you like Simon whose heart knew to listen, recognized the Lord … it evokes another quote by Jesus that goes “I’m the good shepherd, I know my flock and they know me too.” How is it possible that we claim to be Christians bbbbbut can not recognize when it is the Lord speaking to us. Being Christian is a fulltime job. Even with my shortsightedness I can recognize a family because I am familiar (pun intended) in terms of features or even the sound of their footsteps… I bet it is the same for you too.
Today God is asking you and me why we do not recognize him? He is the most consistent, reliable, and faithful being. NO ORDINARY MAN! It is time to get rid of whatever is causing that obstruction. It is time to get out your bible and study His word. Fellowship with him. I love how one preacher put it. She said that the word of God is the sword of the Spirit… a double-edged sword that cuts through the confusion, the lies and the more you study it the more certainty and truth you learn and the easier it is for you to recognize Him because you became familiar with him too. Isn’t that just lovely when put like that? 😊 because his flock know him to.
It is also important to consider distractions. Could you have recognized the Lord’s voice but got distracted by something or someone in your environment? What is preventing you from properly/ clearly hearing the Lord… is it social media, friends or work or your inability to focus? Even then, what is the state of your heart, is it fertile ground or is it hardened by addictions, disobedience, laziness, greed, sloth, envy, or jealousy? Perform a self check and repent … none of those issues are too hard for God?
Scene 3: they caught fish, and more fish and too much fish!!! So much more that their nets tore, and they had to call for help. I do not know the details of Simon’s life before that day, but one thing is clear. The Lord is generous to His children and can pour abundance of blessings upon your life no matter who you are.
At our lowest moments, when we are feeling defeated, He extends near and whispers words of encouragement, empowerment, and good ideas that if we yield to things even our minds cannot fathom will happen.
WHAT’S NEXT? You got your miracle and you realize that the Son of God himself came to your workplace and bailed out! If you are like Simon, you are ready to split! Why? Maybe he felt unworthy, maybe he felt insignificant that he can’t hang around a Prophet, maybe he felt the weight of expectation, maybe he felt unclean to be next to someone so pure and amazing, maybe he realized that the Lord was near Him and he could not comprehend why Jesus chose to do this for him!? And maaaybe you have felt the same way each time something amazing happened to you.
Jesus’ Response to that: DO NOT BE AFRAID! (see also Mathew 11: 28-30) Jesus said so … our theme today. Let us say together … “If Jesus says so…then I will not be afraid because from now on I will catch men.” Do you hear that? That is the thunderous sound of your impending promotion 😊 Yes, Jesus is taking it up a notch. You are going to do something you never imagined you could do!
In other words, until the moment you yield to the Lord’s instruction it is highly probable that you will exceed expectations or a lot of what you do will be less than average and that is not good. Struggle is a way of life because you are functioning on your own strength and then you might flatline. Yes, we have seen the wicked succeed and get what they want by any means possible… but that is not us. It is one of demonstrations of God’s kindness and generosity. The word also says that their fate is like the grass, here today gone before you know it. King David at one time was challenged by this issue but once he entered the sanctuary of God then he understood their final destiny. (Psalms 73 it is a beautiful piece, please read the whole chapter.)
Now Jesus? He will teach you how to catch ‘men’. I am personally experiencing this every day, I have stepped up my game in so many areas of my life socially, physically, mentally, and financially. I find that the decisions I have made lately have brought me a lot of peace and joy. It is also easier handling the difficult choices I must make. I am a beautiful work in progress! 😊
So, I finally figured out that ‘Men’ stands for the greater purpose he has called you to. He will reveal your purpose to you step by step. Who has dominion over the earth? God, who knows all the mysteries of all we see and do not see? God, who is the beginning ana d the end? God, who knows you and even the tinny tiny hairs on your head? God, who can do more than you could ever dream? God. So, you and I are in very capable hands. Trust Him. You will not be disappointed.