Luke 5:4-11- "4 And when he had finished speaking, he said to Simon, “Put out into the deep and let down your nets for a catch.” 5 And Simon answered, “Master, we toiled all night and took nothing! But at your word I will let down the nets.” 6 And when they had done this, they enclosed a large number of fish, and their nets were breaking.
7 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. 8 But when Simon Peter saw it, he fell down at Jesus' knees, saying, “Depart from me, for I am a sinful man, O Lord.”
9 For he and all who were with him were astonished at the catch of fish that they had taken, 10 and so also were James and John, sons of Zebedee, who were partners with Simon. And Jesus said to Simon, “Do not be afraid; from now on you will be catching men.” 11 And when they had brought their boats to land, they left everything and followed him.
Jesus tells Simon to go out deep and let his net down for a catch. Simon tells Jesus they’ve been trying all day, but “if you say so Jesus”. They go out and let the nets down. Boom, tons of fish, the boat is about the capsize. They come back to shore. They’re amazed. They leave everything and follow Jesus.
The other day I heard these verses differently. I heard more than just a story of great provision.
I heard a story of sacrifice. I don't know about you, but whenever I have heard or read these scriptures, and it comes to the part where it talks about these men leaving everything and following Jesus, I only think about them leaving the things they already had, not the abundance the Lord had just provided them.
Let's think about that for a second. These men who are not the wealthiest, who work hard labor, and were probably living just "paycheck to paycheck" just make a catch that is bigger than their wildest dreams. Their boat is literally tipping over, their nets are breaking. I mean can you imagine being them??
Maybe they're thinking "Wow my family will never be hungry again!" "I can pay off all the debts I owe with all of this!" "I can by a new boat with all the money I'm going to make from this sale!"
They are overloaded with an abundance of this gift, this treasure. And yet when they get back to shore...
...they leave it all.
They didn't ONLY leave the things they came with that day.
A net. A knife. A meal. A small boat.
They left the abundance Jesus had just provided them... to follow Jesus.
What happened that was so prevalent, so huge, so life changing, that between the miraculous provision and their feet touching shore, these men decided to leave everything to follow Jesus? I'm not sure of all the details, but the only scripture between those two events is the one where Jesus says: “Do not be afraid; from now on you will be catching men.”
It was the call. The call changed them. The call from Jesus that they will now be fishers of men.
The gospel has charged us with making disciples of all nations. To preach the good news of Jesus Christ.
We have all received the same call as those men that day. To be fishers of men. There is a job to do. There is work to be done. Have we forgotten how important this call is? And how it really is worth so much more than we could ever sacrifice or leave behind?
These fishermen left everything behind, they left their gift of fishing, they left their abundant provision that was just given to them, they left it all at the shore.
Let us not become so engulfed in our giftings, our talents, the provisions we have been given and use thereof that we forget the call. Because then those things become the God we serve, when they should be the sacrifice we leave at the shore.