Father, thank You for Jesus and the life I have in Him!
“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'” (v 5 NIV)
“… they caught such a large number of fish that their nets began to break … and filled both boats so full that they began to sink. When Simon Peter saw this, he fell at Jesus’ knees and said, ‘Go away from me, Lord; I am a sinful man!'” (v 6-8 NIV)
“Then Jesus said to Simon, ‘Don’t be afraid; from now on you will catch men.’ So they pulled their boats up on shore, left everything and followed Him.” (v 10-11 NIV)
No doubt, Simon and his partners had heard news of You, Jesus. They did get to hear Your authoritative teaching when You borrowed their boat that day to speak from out on the lake. SOMETHING must have been said that impressed Simon, since he so willingly took his boat out for the sermon and then followed Your fishing instructions after a worthlessly long day of no catches.
Whether Your words did it or not, the effect of Your presence in Simon’s boat sure did trigger something in him. When Simon saw the massive catch of fish, he knew that it had occurred by no act of his own, that the man Jesus was someone to be revered. Simon felt extremely unworthy to be in Your presence.
What You said next struck an even deeper chord in Simon and the others. You calmed them down and then called them out by giving them a vision and purpose for the rest of their lives: “from now on You will catch men.” They listened and chose to leave all they had known, had, and had been doing to follow You.
In one day’s personal encounter with You, Lord, the lives of a few guys were totally altered. Their first response to You was COOPERATION, as they met You and first heard Your teachings. Then, SUBMISSION to Your seemingly useless fishing idea was their next response. They’d obeyed You, then You blessed them beyond their imagination and their response was AMAZEMENT. By that time, their encounter with You had prepared their hearts for Your call, to which they responded with DEVOTION.
Father, may my heart be attentive to Your daily work in and around me. May my response to You always include cooperation, submission, amazement and devotion as You continue to make me just like Jesus.
“As often as possible Jesus withdrew to out-of-the-way places for prayer” (v 16 MSG)
“But Jesus often withdrew to lonely places and prayed” (v 16 NIV)
Father, I recognize that most of the activity in this passage revolves around Your Son’s acts of healing people. Yet, there’s one sentence that stands out to me each time I read through this. It’s the one quoted above.
No matter how much Jesus was involved in, He took time to get away and converse with You. One version says “as often as possible” He did this. He set an example for me.
How good and pleasant it is, Father, to step aside from my work, my play, my whatever and simply sit with You! You speak through Your Word and Your Spirit. You listen to my prayers. You meet me where I am, embrace me, and move me further along in this journey of becoming just like Jesus. Thank You for times of fellowship one-on-one with You … for times of renewal in Your presence … for times of basking in Your love for me! Amen.