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Swollen nets and shattered hearts

They had been fishing all night and had nothing to show for it. That meant nothing to take to the market and no wages for their long night’s work. That’s the way it is with fishing sometimes, every fisherman knows that. He was a little disappointed and more than a little bit tired. They were washing their nets when the Teacher arrived,

Almost immediately a group of people gathered around Him and He began teaching. Soon there was such a crowd that people were having difficulty hearing and seeing Him. He stepped into Peter’s boat and asked him to pull out from shore a bit. Peter didn’t mind. He was tired but this was Jesus, and no one ever spoke like He did. He put out into the water a bit and Jesus sat down in His boat and began to teach. Everyone, including Peter, listened to Him.

Put out into the deep water, and let the nets down for a catch.

Peter blinked at the words. Did he hear Jesus correctly? Did He just ask them to go out into the deep water and let down their nets? “Master, we’ve worked hard all night and haven’t caught anything.” The words came off his lips automatically—almost unconsciously. As much as he admired Jesus, he wasn’t sure He was right about this. After all, He was a carpenter and they were the fishermen. They had poured everything into the night’s work and come up empty. Did He really have that kind of power and authority to know and do better than they had?

But this was Jesus. He wasn’t just another teacher or even another prophet. They had seen Him do some amazing things. Despite his considerable doubts Peter said, “But because You say so, I will let down the nets.”  And they did. And the most incredible thing happened—their nets were filled to capacity with fish! They had to call another boat over to help them out.

Peter was stung. He really hadn’t thought that Jesus knew what he was talking about, but now he could see that He clearly did. And Peter, like many others had embraced Jesus’ teaching, but he had resisted His authority when it called on him to do something difficult. He fell down before Him and said, “Go away from me, Lord; I am a sinful man!”

Then the second amazing thing happened. Jesus didn’t honor Peter’s request to go away. In fact, not only did He remain with Peter—He called him to be His disciple and apostle. “Don’t be afraid; from now on you will fish for people” (Luke 5:10). What kind of Lord calls people like Peter into His service? The kind who isn’t concern with yesterday or last year but with “from now on.”

When Christ calls us into deep waters, will we hear Him as the Teacher we all like or will we submit to His authority and do what is difficult?

“So they pulled their boats up on shore, left everything and followed Him” (v. 11).

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