Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Leaving the Nets Behind

Luke 5:1-11

1 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. 2 He noticed two empty boats at the water's edge, for the fishermen had left them and were washing their nets. 3 Stepping into one of the boats, Jesus asked Simon, its owner, to push it out into the water. So he sat in the boat and taught the crowds from there. 4 When he had finished speaking, he said to Simon, "Now go out where it is deeper and let down your nets, and you will catch many fish."5 "Master," Simon replied, "we worked hard all last night and didn't catch a thing. But if you say so, we'll try again." 6 And this time their nets were so full they began to tear! 7 A shout for help brought their partners in the other boat, and soon both boats were filled with fish and on the verge of sinking. 8 When Simon Peter realized what had happened, he fell to his knees before Jesus and said, "Oh, Lord, please leave me -- I'm too much of a sinner to be around you." 9 For he was awestruck by the size of their catch, as were the others with him. 10 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!" 11 And as soon as they landed, they left everything and followed Jesus.  

Fisherman on the Sea of Galilee used nets, often bell-shaped ones with lead weights around the edges.  A net would be thrown flat onto the water, and the lead weights would cause it to sink around the fish.  Then the fisherman would pull on a cord, drawing the net around the fish. Nets had to be kept in good condition, so they would be washed to remove weeds and then mended.

God has a net around our soul.  Often this life weights it down, but through Jesus Christ he washes the net and removes the dirt and weeds from it. 

Simon Peter was awestruck at this miracle, and his first response was to realize his own insignificant in comparison to this man's greatness.  Peter knew that Jesus had heald the sick and driven out demons, but was amazed that Jesus cared about his day-to-day routine and understood his needs.  God is interested not only in saving us but also in helping us in our daily activities.

He will answers our needs, we have to ask!

God has two requirements for coming to him.  Like Peter we must recognize, and realize that we can't save ourselves and that we need help.  If we know that Jesus is the only one who can help us, we will be ready to leave everything and follow him.

This was the disciples' second call.  After the first call (Matthew 4:18-22; Mark 1:16-20).  Peter, Andrew, James, and John had gone back to fishing.  They continued to watch Jesus, however, as he established his authority in the synagogue, healed the sick, and drove out demons.  Here he also established his authority in their lives-He met them on their level and helped them in their work.  From this point on, they left their nets and remained with Jesus. 

For us, following Jesus means more than just acknowledging Him as Savior.  We must leave our past behind and commit our future to Him.

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