Dear brothers and sisters,
This series has been all about God’s unrelenting pursuit of us to enter into his great story, while at the same time Satan’s never-ending scheming to break that relationship. The call of Peter from today’s Gospel is from Luke 5, where Jesus has already started his ministry of teaching and healing. He’s looking to fill all the spots in his own “small group.” We hear: While the crowd was pressing in on Jesus and listening to the word of God, he was standing by the Lake of Gennesaret. He saw two boats there alongside the lake; the fishermen had disembarked and were washing their nets. Getting into one of the boats, the one belonging to Simon, he asked him to put out a short distance from the shore. Then he sat down and taught the crowds from the boat (5:1-3). At this point Peter is not looking to enter into the story – he’s got a story of his own as a fisherman that he’s content to live in. Jesus has other plans for him, and hops into his boat. The story goes on: After he had finished speaking, he said to Simon, “Put out into deep water and lower your nets for a catch.” Simon said in reply, “Master, we have worked hard all night and have caught nothing, but at your command I will lower the nets” (5:4-5). Peter seems a little annoyed; he has probably been working all night and is tired. Nevertheless, he goes along with what Jesus wants him to do. Then this happens: When they had done this, they caught a great number of fish and their nets were tearing. They signaled to their partners in the other boat to come to help them.
They came and filled both boats so that the boats were in danger of sinking (5:6-7). So there is this amazing extravagance, the same kind of abundance that we saw at the Wedding Feast at Cana. This is Peter’s response: When Simon Peter saw this, he fell at the knees of Jesus and said, “Depart from me, Lord, for I am a sinful man” (5:8). This is the same response we hear from Isaiah and Jeremiah when they are called by the Lord. It’s probably also your response – you’re not ready, or you’re not worthy of this call. Jesus has a reply that encourages Peter: Jesus said to Simon, “Do not be afraid; from now on you will be catching men” (5:9). God calls us to let go of our fears. He knows the sins that we bring; he knows the small stories that we operate in. God wants to write an irresistible story in our lives, so that others are captivated by it, even by the sinful, shameful parts of it. He wants to use our stories to “catch” others. Questions for reflection:
What’s the part of your life story that God has started to rewrite?
What area of weakness are you allowing God to help you master?
What’s one decision you made this week to enter a big story instead of repeating your small story?
Who would be encouraged by hearing about God’s work in your life?