“When He had finished speaking, He said to Simon, “Now go out where it is deeper, and let down your nets to catch some fish.” “Master,” Simon replied, “we worked hard all last night and didn’t catch a thing. But if You say so, I’ll let the nets down again.” (Luke 5:4-5)
There has never been one like Jesus! Regardless of the accolades, the accomplishments, the success … no one that has walked on this earth can even begin to compare with Jesus Christ! He is the One who created this earth and even now sustains it. (Colossians 1:13-17; Hebrews 1:1-3)
There are times in life when we find ourselves face to face with someone that is in some way famous or popular. I had the privilege of meeting and visiting with a few … Loren Green of the then-popular show Bonanza; the bluegrass entertainer Ricky Skaggs, quite a conversation and experience; the country music duo The Judds; and others along the way.
But none of these nor any other person of notoriety in this life can equal the occasion when we meet the Master … the Son of God … and come to know how to be forgiven of our sins and lay hold on the “peace that passes all understanding” … the hope of eternal life with Him!
Simon Peter met the Master …
“And when they had done this, they caught a great number of fish, and their net was breaking. So they signaled to their partners in the other boat to come and help them. And they came and filled both the boats so that they began to sink.” (Luke 5:6-7)
When we open God’s Book we can read of men like Daniel (Daniel 10:4-9), Isaiah (Isaiah 6:1-5), and like Saul who would later become the apostle Paul (Acts 9:3-5) who came to the realization that without God there was no good future ahead or better life that could be lived!
When we look especially at any one of the first four books of the New Testament known as the Gospels, we read of various individuals, as well as entire villages, who had a real encounter with God in the Person of Jesus Christ.
But to be even more specific … if a person looks through the Bible, it becomes apparent that when the Lord displays His glory, many of the responses were humble admission of unworthiness because of sin and selfish ways.
“When Simon Peter realized what had happened, he fell to his knees before Jesus and said, “Oh, Lord, please leave me, I’m such a sinful man.” “For he was awestruck by the number of fish they had caught, as were the others with him. … Jesus replied to Simon, “Do not be afraid! From now on you will catch men.” (Luke 5:8-10)
It would be at this moment, the moment when he actually saw the glory that only the Master could have … that Peter would recognize his own unworthy state and his need for the Savior and Master!
My friends, each of us needs the soul-saving message of the Gospel to bring us to that very same place … the place where we must face our sinful lives and bow before the One who died in our place … for our sins … to offer us the hope of life eternal!
Make no mistake, Jesus was not helping Peter become a better fisherman … but how to become a follower … a disciple of His. Peter learned that day that as we go through this life … when we choose to follow the Master, our walk is a “walk by faith, not by sight.”
From this point on in his life, Peter learned of his need to trust the Lord and be willing to do whatever the Lord would ask of Him. Peter had met the Master! I wonder sometimes if we have truly grasped the seriousness of our need to do the same thing.
Could it be the reason more of mankind have not given themselves in surrender and service to God completely is because they have never really faced themselves through the “mirror of God’s Book?”
Peter and the others on that day did …
“And as soon as they landed, they left everything and followed Jesus.” (Luke 5:11)
Peter would need to, later on, be reminded, even as the rest of the disciples needed to be reminded, to TRUST the Lord completely! And so do each one of us!
This entire account in Luke is not recorded to be viewed as a story about fish or fishing … but about the trustworthiness of Jesus Christ … The Master whose voice “even the winds and the waves obey.”
Later on, near the end of His earthly ministry, Jesus would declare in clear and simple yet profound words, “If you love Me, keep my commandments.” (John 14:15)
Have you truly met the Master … met Him in a way that brings you to your knees … grips you with such an awareness of your selfish and sinful life … and moves you to accept all of His conditions of pardon?
Would you choose to “Come, follow Him”?
Bill Fairchild, Jr.