February 5 I Sunday
“When [Jesus] had finished speaking, He said to Simon, ‘Put out into deep water, and let down the nets for a catch.’” —Luke 5:4
Jesus got into Peter’s boat and started preaching to a crowd gathered at the Sea of Galilee. At the end of His teachings, He gave instructions to Peter on how he should go about fishing. While Jesus—up until about a year prior to this event—was just a carpenter in Nazareth, Peter was a fisherman by trade. He grew up in a fisherman’s household, lived by the Sea of Galilee and likely went fishing with his father growing up.
As a skilled fisherman, Peter worked hard all night fishing, but did not catch anything. Then Jesus told him, “Put out into deep water, and let down the nets for a catch” (Luke 5:4). The last thing Peter probably wanted to do was to get the nets dirty, because it would mean a whole lot of work for him. Yet, Peter’s next utterance transformed him for the rest of his life: “...but because You say so, I will let down the nets” (Luke 5:5). Peter was doing it with no other motivation except to be obedient to the Word of Christ spoken to him, and the result was astounding. When Peter casted the nets, he caught so much fish that the boat began to sink and Peter had to call James and John’s boat over to share the load until their boat started to sink as well. Peter was overwhelmed with the blessing caused by his obedience to Christ’s word.
But then, it dawned on Peter who was standing in his boat and he told Jesus, “Go away from me, Lord; I am a sinful man!” (Luke 5:8). Peter’s response reflects the condition of our humanity before God. We experience this holy and righteous God and it creates within us insecurity and fear. We think to ourselves, “Lord, away from me! I’m too messed up. I’ve got too many issues. I have got sins in my life.” Yet, upon Peter’s confession, Jesus said, “Don’t be afraid” (Luke 5:10).
Jesus came for people exactly like Peter, those who would acknowledge their sinfulness before a holy God. Jesus was not teaching Peter techniques for successful fishing. In fact, Jesus was not leading Peter to a series of principles that, if applied, would result in a more prosperous fishing career. Instead, what Jesus was doing was leading Peter to Himself.
Jesus came to set us free from our sin, something that we were powerless to do. He not only liberated us from our condition, He imparted to us His holiness and His righteousness. This is a beautiful exchange that only takes place when we come to Jesus with obedience to His Word and humbly surrender our sinful lives into His hands.
Prayer: Precious Jesus, You alone are holy and righteous. I humbly come before You confessing my sinfulness. Thank You that it is only by Your grace that I am forgiven.