You WILL Fish. Trust Me!

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.””

‭‭Luke‬ ‭5:8‬ ‭NLT

Jesus had told Andrew, Peter, James, and John that He would make them fishers of people. The fishermen dropped their nets and followed Jesus. It’s not too long, though, before we find them back fishing.

What happened? Was it the pressures of providing for their families that drove them back to their boats? Was it the familiarity of fishing, something they were good at and likely loved, that lured them to pick back up their nets? Was it Peter’s influence? Perhaps Peter, with a wife and mother-in-law and maybe even a child, was caught between following and fishing?

When Jesus stepped into Peter’s boat that morning, the nets were empty. All the people on the shore listening to Jesus teach were likely there for the fresh catch at the fish market. If Peter was disappointed by his unsuccessful night of fishing, so were his eager customers.

When Jesus told Peter to push out into the deep and cast his net again, Peter obeyed. I’m sure he thought he knew better and was just going along to humor the Master. What Peter didn’t expect was an unprecedented catch, one so large it would break his nets and threaten to sink his boat. No one had ever seen so many fish. Other boats were called to the rescue. They too would share in the bounty.

I wonder. Was this Jesus’ way of showing Peter that He could meet his needs? Perhaps this catch was so large, the sale would provide months and months worth of income for his family? In Jesus’ economy, one day of fishing could provide for a year’s worth of needs.

When Peter fell at Jesus’ knees in that fish-filled boat, he cried out, “I’m a sinful man!”

What was the sin that Jesus exposed in that moment?

Was it Peter’s lack of faith? Was it Peter’s failure to follow? He’d been called to fish for people, and here he was back in his boat with empty nets, fishing for fish. What was Peter repenting of? By saying, “Leave me behind. I’m not worthy to be your worker. I’ve failed,.” Peter was acknowledging his struggle to trust Jesus.

I’ve always looked at Jesus’ response to Peter as a second call to fish for people.

“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!””

Luke 5:10 NLT

When I read those words again, they don’t sound to me like a second call, an invitation or command again to fish for people. When I read them, they sound like encouragement. They sound like affirmation.

“Peter, remember what I said? I will make you a fisher of people. The “making” is my responsibility. So don’t worry. I’m not finished making you into a fisher of people. This is part of the process. There’s a lesson to be learned here. And what’s that lesson? You can trust Me. I’ve got you. I will provide.”

When Jesus said, “From now on you will fish for people,” He was both affirming Peter’s call and expressing confidence that the “good work He had begun, He would see it through.” This wasn’t a command. He didn’t say, “From now on you SHOULD/MUST fish for people.” He said “you WILL fish for people.” Jesus was giving Peter a vote of confidence.

Jesus would MAKE Peter a fisher of people, a harvest worker, a movement leader, a world changer.

What does Jesus want to make of me? Of you?

NOTE: Today’s blogpost is based upon Sonlife’s study, Knowing Him / A 50 Day Study in the Life of Christ / Day  22