Have you ever heard of Frank Buck? Very few of us would venture into the jungle to shoot wild animals, but this man went into the wilds of Africa to capture animals alive: to bring back elephants, tigers, and gorillas for our zoos and circuses. Could you imagine the thrill, the excitement, the danger of such a life?
I heard of a lady in Seattle…a tiny woman…who lives in the University district. As part of her Christian service, she walks the unsafe streets in the night hours and frequently has her purse stolen. In it, the thief finds a note saying, “You must be in great trouble if you needed to steal this purse. I am sorry for you and I love you. I believe God loves you and wants to help you. So do I. Here is my address and phone number. Please come and see me.”
A modern day Frank Buck…out there at night in a dangerous area after the biggest game of all.
Read Luke 5:1-11.
In these verses, we find Jesus proposing this kind of big game hunting, or to be more accurate, fishing…see verse 1. Imagine the sights and sounds: The SEA of Galilee, about twenty miles north of Jerusalem. CROWDS around eager to hear the good news…Jesus taught them. Their RESPONSE causes Jesus to get in a boat to better communicate with them. Note the FOCUS: Who’s boat did he get in? Peter’s (one individual).
WHY? It was practical for 1) teaching (sitting down…the custom); 2) back-and-forth dialogue, w/ questions; 3) pauses, a parable now and then…did you notice that shepherd and his flock of sheep? 4) Personal impact (who’s boat? But why him?) 5) It was showing God on two legs…fishing in the same clothes as he preaches in to Peter; 6) To test his faith (see 6:47 too); 7) did you notice Peter’s reaction to Jesus when he wanted to use his boat for fishing, and not just for preaching? Did you note Peter’s hard work (diligence)? And his obedience…see John 2:7.
Does Jesus know about stuff that isn’t spiritual, like fishing? or computers? or relationships?
Now the PROVISION. So MANY fish. V 12 says He healed the leper; v 17 says he healed the paralytic. They needed help to handle the miracle. They signaled others to come and help. You’ve heard many requests from missionaries. Have you ever responded to go and help?
Peter’s response to Jesus? Confessed sin. Humility. Unworthiness. Astonishment. Jesus’ words to Peter – He caught Peter’s attention through something important in his life and Peter was now convinced. Note Jesus’ response to Peter: First, is his encouragement of companionship (I will be with you: Isa 43:1) and strength (I will help your weakness: Isa 41:10). Second, come follow me and I will make you a fisher of men (trained by Jesus in a new calling).
What did Peter and his friends then do? Verse 11 says they left everything to follow Jesus.
Think theologically. Jesus was promising those early disciples that they would be taking people alive for the Kingdom, and that’s exciting business. What could be more exciting than working with Jesus to connect with those who don’t know Him? To help them discover who He is in order to escape boredom, immorality, addiction, and eternal damnation? Keep on fishing.
Love is a verb,
©2016 by Mike Olejarz