Day 22

Store bought fish

Okay- So far, we've seen Jesus "fishing for men" at a synagogue and Peter's house. Jesus and his disciples planned the first, and the other was spontaneous. What kind of "fishing trip" will be next? When we left Jesus yesterday, under the direction of the Father, Jesus went to Peter's house with His disciples (or at least some of them) for the surrounding villages to train His young Ministry Team. "Fishing" at the marketplace is where we will find the "master fisherman" today.

Read Luke 5:1-11

Where is Jesus fishing?

What are some of the various emotions Jesus' disciples were feeling?

Verse 8 says, "When Simon Peter saw this, he fell at Jesus' knees…" what was "this"?

Jesus begins to make His way around the Sea of Galilee, more of a large lake than an actual sea. He continues to provide His young team with on-the-job training for fishers of men. Jesus and His disciples arrive early on the shores of the port town of Gennesaret, on the western banks of the Sea of Galilee, just southwest of Capernaum. The people also begin to arrive to buy the fish for the day. Remember that there were no refrigerators then, and people bought their food fresh each day at the water's edge as the fishermen arrived from a whole night of fishing. Jesus takes advantage of the opportunity and begins the next training session, an "open air" outreach event. Notice Jesus' strategy- He doesn't try to assemble a massive number of people. Instead, Jesus goes where the people are. He knew a crowd would gather to buy fish in the morning. He uses an already existing event and turns it into an opportunity to do some of His fishing and training with His disciples.

As Jesus teaches the crowd, the people start to press in on Him to touch Him. As the people press in on Him, He continues to back up, knee-deep in water and still moving out. Jesus looks around for someone to help him as the water gets deeper. Who of all the people does He see? Peter! Now, wait a minute– you would've thought Peter was already with Jesus, but apparently not. Peter must have gone back to fishing for fish at some point. Maybe Peter never left with the group after Jesus shut down His outreach event in His hometown that he had planned. Perhaps Peter was struggling to abandon all he had to follow after Jesus. After all, Peter had a wife, maybe children, a mother-in-law, a house, and a business. Peter was older than the rest and had accumulated more things that he would have had to give up. We gain insight into this as the outreach unfolds.

After getting in Peter's boat, the two head a little way out as Jesus continues to teach the people. I imagine He was teaching something like,

"I am Jesus of Nazareth. I am fully human, yet I am the Messiah and God. If I wanted to, I could tell this fisherman to put down his nets, and he would pull in so many fish that his boat couldn't hold them all. In fact, I think I will do that. (What do you think, Father?)".

 Remember, the people had come to buy fish this morning, and it seems that there was not much to buy as we read Peter's response, "We've worked hard and been out here all night, but haven't caught anything!" Peter must have been thinking, "Hey, I'm the fisherman here, and you're a carpenter, Jesus. Therefore, if I fished all night and didn't catch anything, there is nothing to be caught!". However, Peter obeys and pushes a little further out and drops his nets– maybe to prove to Jesus that he, Peter, knows the ins and outs of fishing. Can you imagine the scene on the boat as everyone watches in amazement as Peter drops his nets in daylight and fish start jumping everywhere? People must have started screaming, "I can't believe it– Jesus must be the Messiah!".
Meanwhile, on the boat, Peter falls at Jesus' knees (Luke 5:8). Yes, His knees. Could it be because there were so many fish in the boat that they were "knee deep"? Peter cries out, "Go away from me, Lord; I am a sinful man!" (v.8. Jesus responds by telling Peter not to be afraid but to become a fisher of men from now on. Jesus gives Peter a second chance, and Peter takes it and leaves behind everything to follow Jesus. I wonder what happened to all the fish they caught and left behind (Luke 5:11)? Could it be that Jesus was showing Peter that He was competent to meet all his family's needs? Could this miracle be for Peter–That Jesus is genuinely Jehovah-Jireh (The Great Provider)?

What does it mean to leave everything to follow Jesus? Later, in John 21, after Jesus rises from the dead, we see Peter back to fishing. Jesus meets him again and repeats this same miracle to remind Peter that He is Lord. He can take care of providing for you and your family. Peter was struggling with believing that Jesus was the Lord of all. Jesus spoke to Him in terms Peter could understand, showing Peter that He could do what Peter could not. He could catch fish when Peter could not, and He could provide for him and anyone else if He would only step out in faith and believe. Peter took a step of faith on this day that changed his life.

 What keeps people from leaving everything to follow after Jesus?

Have you ever struggled to leave something for Jesus?

With your small group of friends, continue to pray and plan your "fishing trip" for people. Nail down a date and a place. Remember, you can go fishing for men in the grocery store, in a home, or even at a church. The key is not where but that you enter the harvest field and start working. A perfect time will never happen.... Don't wait for everything to be perfect. Just get busy!

You only need a little preparation time. This is not the "Big Event" but a small first step.


Amanda Welch - January 31st, 2023 at 6:29am

I think we all struggle daily with dropping everything or sometimes anything to follow him.

Larry - February 1st, 2023 at 3:02pm

Jesus mentions this throughout The Gospels, of leaving and following, for my life it has been denying myself things, times, people, family, reputation, to obey my Master to follow my Master as a life event, I still do things that i enjoy, people, things, reputation, family, but the difference is it is mostly centered around His desires for my life, than my own, only draw back is i should have been more productive with opportunities He provided, Thank you Jesus for what you've accomplished.