3 Getting into one of the boats, which was Simon’s, he asked him to put out a little from the land. And he sat down and taught the people from the boat. 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…And Jesus said to Simon, “Do not be afraid; from now on you will be catching men.”[a] 11 And when they had brought their boats to land, they left everything and followed him.
There once was a lowly man named Simon. Simon was a fisherman. Not a glorious job, by any means. But it provided. And he was good at it. Fishing is what he had always known. While the more privileged ones had the opportunity to grow up in the synagogues, learning the scriptures of old, following a teacher and maturing into a scholarly man,…Simon…caught fish. He loved working with his hands, and being outside in the fresh open air. But there was always a part of him that felt deep down inside that he was a fisherman because he could never amount to anything greater. This was his destiny. His past, present, and definitely his future was covered in funky fish smell. His insecurity was deep, and something he rarely let surface. But one thing this job did was teach him to rely upon the Lord for His provision. Every time he cast his net, he looked to the heavens and prayed for it to come back with a bountiful catch. most of the time, he made ends meet. And he continued on day by day, fish by fish, cast by cast. Over…and over…again.
Until the God of all Creation interrupted his mundane routine like a bolt of lighting over a darkened and desolate field!
Today was just one of those days. Simon cast that net all day. And nothing! The fish sure weren’t biting today. When he finally convinced himself that it was time to give up (something a man never does easily), his heart cried for God to provide for tomorrow. As he brought in his net, his heart tingled…Jesus. Jesus came into his boat. Imagine! The dirty smelly boat of a lowly fisherman. Oh no, He had heard of this Jesus. And as he stood in the radiance of His presence, Simon’s soul unmistakably knew this man was exceptional. “Cast down my net? I’ve been doing that all day and have gotten nothing.” As his mind questioned this intrusion – his heart knew he needed to obey. And with the toss of the net, and a dash of timid obedience, Simon pulled back into his boat the catch of his life! The nets were breaking and the boat was straining to keep the weight of this catch above water. Simon could not believe his eyes! Did he sell this fish in returns for a profit, securing himself the comfortable and privileged life he had always envied as the homely fisherman he was? No!
For Simon knew a great and powerful secret. That this man Jesus had brightened his past, transformed his present, and rewrote his future…with just a cast of a net.
Walk away with this in your heart today:
- Jesus did not cast that net out. He told Simon to cast his net, and Simon obeyed. Jesus calls us to walk to the precipice and put action to our faith. But it is there, in the moments where we reach the limits of ourselves, when we are on the brink of something glorious – that the Lord can do the mightiest of works in our lives.
- Simon had just reeled in the biggest catch of his life. AND HE WALKED AWAY FROM IT ALL. In our world view, this just does not make sense. He left security and comfort, for what? To be a nomad and “have no place to lay his head?” Simon was entrapped with the realization and conviction that the reward of following Jesus would be far far greater than any other earthly achievement. He dared to love Jesus for Himself, and not for the things that Jesus could do for him. For this catch was a sign of the Lord’s provision, to tangibly show him the truth of the words, “follow Me and I will meet your every need. You will never be in want again.”
- Simon obeyed. IMMEDIATELY. As each of the Gospels foretells this story, we see a general theme of PROMPT OBEDIENCE. Simon did not hesitate. Nobody had ever chosen him before, and here was Jesus, of all people, choosing him. He dropped every earthly comfort and he immediately left the boat.
19 And he said to them, “Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men.”[b] 20 Immediately they left their nets and followed him…22 Immediately they left the boat and their father and followed him.
17 And Jesus said to them, “Follow me, and I will make you become fishers of men.”[f] 18 And immediately they left their nets and followed him.
I DARE YOU TODAY TO PUT OUT INTO THE DEEP AND LET DOWN YOUR NETS. FOR IF YOU DARE TO BE BRAVE…YOU WILL BRING BACK INTO YOUR BOAT THE CATCH OF YOUR LIFE…A LIFE OF FREEDOM AS A DISCIPLE OF JESUS. HE IS CALLING. DO YOU HEAR HIM…”BELOVED, FOLLOW ME.”