Through the Bible in One Year

Day 80

Luke 5:1-11

Now it happened that while the crowd was pressing around Him and listening to the word of God, He was standing by the lake of Gennesaret;2 and He saw two boats lying at the edge of the lake; but the fishermen had gotten out of them and were washing their nets.3 And He got into one of the boats, which was Simon’s, and asked him to put out a little distance from the land. And He sat down and continued teaching the crowds from the boat.4 Now when He had finished speaking, He said to Simon, “Put out into the deep water and let down your nets for a catch.”5 Simon responded and said, “Master, we worked hard all night and caught nothing, but a I will do as You say and let down the nets.”6 And when they had done this, they caught a great quantity of fish, and their nets began to tear;7 so they signaled to their partners in the other boat to come and help them. And they came and filled both of the boats, to the point that they were sinking.8 But when Simon Peter saw this, he fell down at Jesus’ knees, saying, “Go away from me, Lord, for I am a sinful man!”9 For amazement had seized him and all his companions because of the catch of fish which they had taken;10 and likewise also were  James and John, sons of Zebedee, who were partners with Simon. And Jesus said to Simon, “Do not fear; from now on you will be catching people.”11 When they had brought their boats to land, they left everything and followed Him.

In these elven verse we see Jesus call the three men who would become his inner circle or in other words his most trusted companions and disciples.  It is important to note that these three men were not well educated scholars, but were instead humble fishermen.  And over the next few minutes we are going to break this important passage down section by section.  We are going to break it down into three sections: verses 1-3, verses 4-7 and verses 8-11.

Now it happened that while the crowd was pressing around Him and listening to the word of God, He was standing by the lake of Gennesaret;2 and He saw two boats lying at the edge of the lake; but the fishermen had gotten out of them and were washing their nets.3 And He got into one of the boats, which was Simon’s, and asked him to put out a little distance from the land. And He sat down and continued teaching the crowds from the boat.—Luke 5:1-3 (NASB)

In this first section Luke sets the scene for this pivotal event.  He tells us it takes place on Lake Gennesaret.  This in land lake is also known as the Sea of Galilee and is also called the Sea of Tiberius.  And the boat that Jesus chose to do his teaching from belonged to Simon Peter, the man whose mother-in-law Jesus had just healed in Luke 4:38-39.  Jesus gets into the this boat sits down, which is the normal posture for a teacher at this time, and teaches.  But it is what happens after Jesus finishes teaching that is important to us, which leads us into the next section of today’s passage.

4 Now when He had finished speaking, He said to Simon, “Put out into the deep water and let down your nets for a catch.”5 Simon responded and said, “Master, we worked hard all night and caught nothing, but a I will do as You say and let down the nets.”6 And when they had done this, they caught a great quantity of fish, and their nets began to tear;7 so they signaled to their partners in the other boat to come and help them. And they came and filled both of the boats, to the point that they were sinking.—Luke 5:4-7 (NASB)

After Jesus had finished teaching he tells Peter to go back out onto the lake and cast out his nets again.  And Peter in spite of having been fishing all night long with no success, responded to Jesus’ command in faith.  And a most amazing thing happened when Peter responded to this command from Jesus in faith: Peter was rewarded with a catch so big his nets began to tear and his and partners boats began to sink, because this catch was so big it required two boats to haul it in.  And this leads us into the last section of today’s passage.

8 But when Simon Peter saw this, he fell down at Jesus’ knees, saying, “Go away from me, Lord, for I am a sinful man!”9 For amazement had seized him and all his companions because of the catch of fish which they had taken;10 and likewise also were  James and John, sons of Zebedee, who were partners with Simon. And Jesus said to Simon, “Do not fear; from now on you will be catching people.”11 When they had brought their boats to land, they left everything and followed Him.—Luke 5:8-11 (NASB)

It was this miraculous catch that caused Peter to realize Jesus’ divine power and holiness and to react in the way that he did.  And Peter’s realization and reaction were the same realization and reaction that Job (Job 42:6) and Isaiah (Isaiah 6:5) came to and had after their very personal encounters with God.  And it was because of this realization and more importantly the first hand experiences that Peter, James and John had with Jesus that would lead to them to become Jesus’ first disciples, and then later on become Jesus’ inner circle.  In fact Jesus used this huge catch to illustrate the kind of evangelistic impact Peter, James and John would have.  And lastly this very personal encounter with Jesus led Peter, James and John to leave everything behind and follow Jesus.  And it is this total commitment to Jesus that is the essence of true discipleship, which is what we as believers should be striving for each and every day.

Tomorrow’s Bible Readings:

Numbers 33:40-35:34, Luke 5:12-28, Psalm 65:1-13 and Proverbs 11:23

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