Tuesday, October 9, 2012

One Simple Act of Obedience

In Luke 5:1-11 we read of an account where Jesus was ministering by the lake of Gennesaret. and because of the multitude of people pressing in to hear what he was saying, Jesus needed a boat to use to continuing ministering. The use of this boat would allow him to stand at a distance from the people without being overwhelmed by them. He turned to Simon and asked for the use of his boat. Simon who had a business of fishing, had just come into shore after fishing all night long. Simon and his partners used nets to catch the fish, so they would work at night so the fish would not see their nets. This was a common practice of fishing at the time. He had just come to shore and was cleaning his nets, his boat, and was packing up for the day. Even though he was trying to accomplish these tasks, he agreed to give Jesus the use of his boat. After Jesus finished his preaching, he then turned to Simon and told him to launch his nets in for a catch. Now this did not make sense to Simon, because you did not do this during the day. We can see Simons hesitation by the way he responded to Jesus in Luke 5:5 (KJV) “And Simon answering said unto him Master, we have toiled all the night, and have taken nothing…” Simon was tired and frustrated. He had just finished cleaning these nets, he did not want to go back out during the day mind you, and dirty up these nets again. But to appease Jesus he said; “…nevertheless at thy word I will let down the net.” Now Jesus told him to let down all of his nets, but Simon said he would let down one net. It most likely was an old net that he didn’t clean because it was considered a useless net, not able to hold much. But even with his lack of faith he still acted partially on Jesus word. As a result, when they threw the net in, they caught a great multitude of fishes, and that old net began to break. Simon called for help to his partners, who were probably still just sitting in their other ship watching to see if anything would happen,, to come and help him. They came and the scripture says they filled both ships with fish. In Luke 5:8 we read “When Simon Peter saw it, he fell down at Jesus’ knees saying, Depart from me: for I am a sinful man O Lord.” Peter knew what he believed in his heart, and the miracle that he witnessed convicted him of his unbelief. I love how Jesus responded. It clearly portrays the heart of our Father. Jesus did not condemn him, or judge him, he simply encouraged him by saying in Luke 5:10 (KJV) “Fear not; from henceforth thou shalt catch men.” He declared to him his calling, and purpose. He told him his value and said that he is still a man that God has chosen to work with in reaching the lost. The central truth or message that we see in this story, is when we are willing to give to the Lord for the purpose of ministering the Gospel, we will have a harvest of good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over come into our bosom. When we simply give and then hear what the Lord will say to us personally, that’s when we will receive an abundant harvest. Jesus was clearly demonstrating to us a principle in receiving the resources we need to reach the lost. He also was revealing to us the way he is able to catch peoples attention. Through the operation of signs, miracles and wonders. If we are at least willing to give to Jesus our life, hear his commands, and at least obey them, not only will the blessing of God manifest in our lives for us personally, but he will work through us to bless the world.