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. “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.” “Don’t be afraid! From now on you’ll be fishing for people!” (NLT)
There was so much power in the encounter with Jesus that Peter, James and John staked the rest of their lives on following him – no matter the cost! Today Jesus is looking for disciples like that just as much as he was two thousand years ago.
The question of discipleship, however, depends on the answer to some questions:
Can You Give Him Your Boat?
Jesus asked Peter to lend him his boat and a little bit of time. Most of us are willing for that; most of us already do that. We come to church, put something in the offering plate and try to live a decent life.
It was a small thing for Peter to let Jesus use his boat to speak to the crowd; it actually felt good, something Peter could do for Jesus. He gave him the boat; he even rowed it out a little bit and stood by to watch the sermon; that wasn’t hard.
Joining a church is a little like giving Jesus the boat…we are told to tithe, give our singing voice or teaching ability, sit in the nursery or sweep the floor while cooking a casserole.
But, there is another question.
Can You Give Him Your Pride?
When Jesus asked Peter to go a little deeper and let down the nets again (after they’d been up all night during prime fishing time) Peter, the experienced, professional fisherman didn’t see why.
In the normal scheme of things he would look kind of dorky to his colleagues fishing at this time of day in a fished-out hole; let’s face it – nobody wants to be laughed-at. But Peter loved Jesus, so he decided to go along with the goofy request.
My Uncle Marlen must have felt that way about taking me fishing; I didn’t have a clue! With a boatful of onlookers my uncle even had to bait the hook for me. I was 10 and it was my first time ever, and I was so eager. I didn’t know what I was doing – but it was my hook that the fish bit first! It felt like Jaws bending that pole! I recall struggling for a few seconds and then yelling over my shoulder, Uncle Marlen, I got one….now what do I do? Peter must’ve felt like Jesus the novice was going to make it a long day!
We have feelings like that; we question why the Lord allows some pretty hurtful and challenging circumstances to come into our lives…stuff that doesn’t seem to make sense.
Yet, mostly I’ve found at those confusing times that Christ is asking me to go a little deeper…invest a little more of myself. He wants my pride turned over to him.
Is there anything God seems to want you to turn over to Him, and you’re having trouble making sense of it; or you’re having trouble letting go?
There could be a whole lot of fish on the other side of your boat…