A few thoughts on Luke 5:1-11, a text in which Jesus Christ illustrates to us what is of great importance to Him. Rescuing men! Redeeming men! Jesus came to earth to die for man! And he has appointed all of His redeemed people to be "fishers of men".
Simon Peter, a fisherman by trade, and one who had his Master's Degree(MDiv)in fishing, put all of his knowledge, all of his skill, all of his experienced energy, into catching fish, but came up with empty nets. And he wasn't alone. The rest of the fishermen came up with nothing that night as well.
What happens next? Jesus comes along, steps into the fishing boat parked at the shore, and after teaching the people, orders the fishermen to head out into deep waters, and to let their nets down "for a catch", not a try, but "a catch". Simon gives his prideful response of "Hey, we busted our backs, toiling all night long and caught nothing", but then obeys the word of Christ and lets down the nets.
Jesus fills the nets up with so many fish that all of the fishermen available are necessary to work together to bring the catch into the boat!
All of the fishermen are "astonished" at the catch of fish! Peter then realizes in some measure Who it is that he is with, and falls on his knees in worship.
Then Jesus, whom Peter was worshiping, the Almighty Who filled the nets to the breaking point, says "Do not be afraid; from now on you will be catching men." He does not say merely trying, fishing for men, but "catching men".
A couple of things to notice here: our Savior ordered a LARGE catch, a ridiculous amount of fish such that both boats began to sink, requiring a lot of help from other fishermen! Most notably, it was not Peter's skill that brought in the fish, but Jesus Christ who brought the fish into the net, Who rules over the will of fish and men.
One word of God and the fish are drawn into the net...
So then, what about us, God's fishermen? One word of God and Manfish will be drawn into the net of salvation. Let us humble ourselves, for we do not have the knowledge, nor the power to be effective fishers of men. What must we do?
First, let us ask God for a catch. Secondly, we let down the nets.
And Jesus wants us to be confident that a great catch is on the way...
Coming soon... "What does it look like to let down the nets for a catch?"