I love losing track of time while reading God's word. I am not a reader so I know it's the grace of the Holy Spirit when I find myself in his word. I love how you can reread the same passages over and over and still discover new treasure. I love that the Holy Spirit is there to actively speak to us when we read. In our reading today, Jesus is sitting in a fishing boat at the Sea of Galilee. He is just off the shore teaching the crowd that has gathered to hear the word of God. Simon Peter is there washing out his nets. He has just finished an all night fishing excursion, yet he caught nothing. When Jesus finishes teaching he tells Simon to go back out to fish again.
Luke 5:5 "Simon answered, "Master, we've worked hard all night and haven't caught anything. But because you say so, I will let down the nets."
Simon catches so many fish, they end up with 2 boats full.
Luke 5:8 "When Simon Peter saw this, he fell at Jesus' knees and said, "Go away from me, Lord; I am a sinful man!" For he and all his companions were astonished at the catch of fish they had taken."
Why does Simon Peter confess to be a sinful man? Did Simon do something wrong?
This is a turning point in Simon Peter's life. According to our 365 bibles, Simon has been introduced to Jesus eariler by his brother Andrew in the gospel of John. It's at this time that Jesus tells Simon, God is going to change his name to Peter. And although Simon Peter addresses Jesus as "Master" and "Lord", Simon is still an occupational fisherman. It is later this day that Jesus says to Simon, Follow me and I will make you fisher's of men.
To become a follower of Jesus, a disciple must abandon everything and follow Jesus. Although Simon Peter is calling Jesus "Master" and "Lord", he still has not abandoned all, to follow Jesus. Two thousand years later it's very common to call Jesus,"Savior" and "Lord". However it is far less common for anyone to abandon all for the sake of following Christ.
So why does Simon Peter tell Jesus to go away from him, that he is a sinful man? One thing that has stood out in our first few days of our New Testament reading is, the growing anticipation of the coming Messiah. Everyone believed that God was sending the Messiah to be the savior of the world. Even the woman at the well knows the Messiah is coming. No one seems to doubt whether or not the Messiah will come. The polarizing question was, "Is Jesus the Messiah?". Was he really who he was claiming to be?
While Simon Peter appears to be on board, addressing Jesus as "Master" and "Lord", and obeying the instructions of Jesus. In his heart, he is full of unbelief. He is not yet convinced that Jesus is the Messiah. When Simon Peter sees the miracle with so many fish, Peter is ashamed and feels unworthy to be received by Jesus. The greatest of sins is unbelief. Unbelief is the essence of all sin. Jesus describes it this way to Nicodemus,
John 3:18"Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because he has not believed in the name of God's one and only Son."
Everyone understood that God's one and only son was the Messiah. The significance of believing on the name is that the name reveals identity. Jesus is his name. Once Peter believes that Jesus is the Messiah, he leaves mere lip service behind and abandons all to follow Jesus.
Following Jesus is never easy. Answering the call requires a great price. It will cost you everything. However, if you can give it up, you can have it all. God bless.