One day as Jesus was preaching on the shore of the Sea of Galilee,great crowds pressed in on him to listen to the word of God. 2 He noticed two empty boats at the water’s edge, for the fishermen had left them and were washing their nets. 3 Stepping into one of the boats, Jesus asked Simon, its owner, to push it out into the water. So he sat in the boat and taught the crowds from there. 4 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.” 5 “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.” 6 And this time their nets were so full of fish they began to tear! 7 A shout for help brought their partners in the other boat, and soon both boats were filled with fish and on the verge of sinking. 8 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.” 9 For he was awestruck by the number of fish they had caught, as were the others with him.10 His partners, James and John, the sons of Zebedee, were also amazed. Jesus replied to Simon, “Don’t be afraid! From now on you’ll be fishing for people!” 11 And as soon as they landed, they left everything and followed Jesus.
Not only were Peters nets overflowing with fish but Peter was:
- Overwhelmedwith Jesus
Why did Jesus call Simon to go fishing at the worst time of the day? Because He wanted Simon to see who had control over his circumstances. Jesus did the impossible and Simon was awestruck. It was the overflow that overwhelmed Simon and brought him to his knees before the Lord. It was this new revelation of the power and glory of Jesus that gave Peter an acute sense of his own sinfulness. In verse 8 when Simon said “Oh, Lord, please leave me—I’m such a sinful man” he was not really trying to get rid of Jesus; he was simply overcome with a sense of his own unworthiness. When he calls Jesus, “Lord” it is an entirely different word than master used previously in verse five, it was a word reserved by the Jews as a description of GOD. Simons reaction is what we often see in the Bible as man’s reaction to face-to-face confrontation with God. When the prophet Isaiah “… saw the Lord sitting on a throne, high and lifted up” he declared, “Woe is me, for I am undone!”(Isaiah 6:1, 5). Job had much the same experience; “I have heard of You by the hearing of the ear, But now my eye sees You. (6) Therefore I despise myself, And repent in dust and ashes.”(Job 42:5-6). And John would write of his experience in Revelation 1: 17, “And when I saw Him, I fell at His feet as dead….”
When we see the power and majesty of the Lord we are immensely aware of our own sin, and do not know what to do but try to escape from his presence. Simon asked Jesus to leave him, not because he does not want to be in his presence but because he feels unworthy of being there. The presence of God should reveal who we are and humble us. Repentance requires seeing our sin, Simon saw his doubt in the catch of fish. But repentance doesn’t just see sin it confesses sin. Being overwhelmed with the success of the Savior leads to overwhelmed with our sin. But this is not a one time thing. According to John 21 “after the Resurrection Peter, deeply anguished over his denials of Christ, ‘went back to Galilee and in the calm of his old haunts decided to go fishing, He fished the night away without success, early in the morning, Jesus stood on the shore, but the disciples did not realize that it was Jesus. He called to them, ‘Friends, haven’t you any fish?’ ‘No,’ they answered. He said, ‘Throw your net on the right side of the boat and you will find some.’ When they did, they were unable to haul the net in because of the large number of fish. Then the disciple whom Jesus loved said to Peter, ‘It is the Lord!’ As soon as Simon Peter heard him say, ‘It is the Lord,’ he wrapped his outer garment around him and jumped into the water. But Jesus doesn’t leave us sinking in our sin because true repentance always leads to redirection.
- New Occupation
Up until Jesus, Simon’s whole goal in life was to catch fish and with Jesus he met his goal of catching fish in a big way but now in the presence of Jesus that goal becomes trivial. Just as Jesus first command had two parts so does his new one “Fear not fish on” But now Jesus gives Simon a higher calling. Simon let Jesus have access to his boat, his time and his nets but Jesus was not interested in just having access to his livelihood but his life. So, Simon has to give up his boat, time and nets. Here is the real problem with a change in occupation, we are ok with loaning Jesus our lives but not with giving them up to Jesus. Just moments before, Simon was reluctant to launch out into the deep and cast his nets and now, he’s is willing to leave everything to follow Jesus and launch out into the UNKNOWN. Why did they leave their boats and nets and follow Jesus because their success didn’t come from their boats and nets those were just tools it came through their Savior. What are you leaning on and following the tools or the carpenter? How important is obedience, one cast of the nets changed Simons life forever. Just like Peter, your today is affecting the rest of your life! The question is do you want a Sunday Jesus or an everyday Jesus? Are you going to give Him your left overs or your life?