The simplicity of Jesus’ calling and ministry can also be the most radical, earth-shattering force in our lives!
As the crowd presses in toward Jesus in Luke 5, he sees two boats on the lake and the fishermen mending their nets after an unsuccessful night of fishing. They are tired and frustrated and probably just want to go home and rest. But Jesus comes with His own timing, not their preferred timing, and asks if he can use Simon’s boat.
He created us for His work, so our plans should always come in second place to His plans and timing.
Simon agrees, which is a great example to us of how to respond when Jesus interrupts our plans. We did not create God, but rather, He created us for His work, so our plans should always come in second place to His plans and timing.
In the shallow water, using Simon’s resources, Jesus teaches the crowd from the better vantage point of the boat and is able to impact many people. But after engaging the crowds, he turns to engage the individual; in verse 4, Jesus asks Simon to “launch out into the deep.” Simon is reluctant, doubtful, and hesitant, but he agrees to go with Jesus to cast his net again.
But Simon answered and said to Him, “Master, we have toiled all night and caught nothing; nevertheless at Your word I will let down the net.” And when they had done this, they caught a great number of fish, and their net was breaking. So they signaled to their partners in the other boat to come and help them. And they came and filled both the boats, so that they began to sink. When Simon Peter saw it, he fell down at Jesus’ knees, saying, “Depart from me, for I am a sinful man, O Lord!” Luke 5:5-8
Even when we experience success in shallow waters, it can be scary to be called into the deep. Simon puts forth to Jesus his honest doubt that any fish will be found in deeper waters, but he follows Jesus anyway. We all have doubts and woes, and God is open to be with us and hear them, promising never to leave or forsake us. But then, by Simon’s example, we should be ready to obey, even if it’s been a tough road.
The double portion of blessing they find in the deep waters is an overwhelming goodness. It is a wonderful haul, but also threatens to destroy the fishermen’s very security, breaking their nets and sinking their boats. But in that, Jesus reveals His deity and power, and He is the only thing they need.
Ask yourself these questions:
1. How is Jesus sinking your securities?
Jesus’ approach is something we should all pay attention to:
1. He enters into the familiar space of the fishermen.
2. He tasks them in something they are familiar with.
3. He challenges them to simple obedience.
Jesus doesn’t want us to stay in the safety of the shallow water, even if there are good things happening there. He wants us to experience the overwhelming blessing of the deep.
2. How is Jesus ripping holes in your systems?
Pastor Mingo shared that for seven years he had experienced the joy and success of leading the young adult ministry, but last year God put a deep stirring in his heart that had to be answered. In fear, he could have played it safe and stayed where he was, but along came Jesus, asking him if he would be willing to put his nets out again in deeper waters.
By faith, Mingo answered by bringing God’s Good News to dark places in San Diego. By arranging a live-stream projection of Pastor Miles’ message in places such as the Rescue Mission downtown and a bar in Pacific Beach, he began the Rock’s first “MicroSites,” by which many are hearing the gospel and experiencing salvation. In times when it seems no one will show up and Mingo has doubted this work and calling, God has brought forth the multitudes with open and willing hearts to respond.
3. How is Jesus challenging the expectations you’ve put on yourself and your life?
Jesus’ actions left the fishermen seized by amazement. Be cautious to not miss the Savior in this moment. He is the craftsman behind amazement, but all too often we develop an appetite for the catch itself. If your world seems like it’s sinking and your securities are stretching beyond capacity, take heart, for an opportunity to follow is right around the corner.
Jesus was a boat-sinking, net-ripping, expectation-defying leader who brought His audiences to a place of astonishment, and in turn, they gave Him EVERYTHING.
Don’t fall into the habit of coming to church and miss the opportunity to carry the hope you have found to every corner available to you. Rather than becoming stuck in spiritual routine, you have the ability to “go to the deep” with Jesus and give your life for something greater than you can imagine.
If you’d like to see how the MicroSite movement is unfolding, follow @mingo2 on Instagram or search these key words: #evenheremovement.