by Christina Farris
1 And it came to pass, that, as the people pressed upon him to hear the word of God, he stood by the lake of Gennesaret,
2 And saw two ships standing by the lake: but the fishermen were gone out of them, and were washing their nets.
3 And he entered into one of the ships, which was Simon's, and prayed him that he would thrust out a little from the land. And he sat down, and taught the people out of the ship.
4 Now when he had left speaking, he said unto Simon, Launch out into the deep, and let down your nets for a draught.
5 And Simon answering said unto him, Master, we have toiled all the night, and have taken nothing: nevertheless at thy word I will let down the net.
6 And when they had this done, they inclosed a great multitude of fishes: and their net brake.
7 And they beckoned unto their partners, which were in the other ship, that they should come and help them. And they came, and filled both the ships, so that they began to sink.
8 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 was astonished, and all that were with him, at the draught of the fishes which they had taken:
10 And so was also James, and John, the sons of Zebedee, which were partners with Simon. And Jesus said unto Simon, Fear not; from henceforth thou shalt catch men.
11 And when they had brought their ships to land, they forsook all, and followed him.Yesterday I talked about catching fish, but this passage is more about conviction then the fish, which proves part of my point yesterday. First Jesus went about preaching and teaching the word of God. Our primary focus is what did Jesus teach, he gather people around him and taught them everywhere he went, as the crowd got larger he would enter a ship and have them move away a little from the shore and teach while sitting in the boat. Jesus put distance between himself and the people at times. Simeon and the other fishermen had been mending their nets as Jesus talk, They had been unsuccessful at catching any fish. Jesus was fixing to pay for his time in their boat. He told Peter to go a little further from shore and both ships rowed out to sea. As He rode the ship out he told Peter to cast his net on the other side. and his response was I been fishing all night and caught nothing, but once you said to I will. At that point is when Peter began to have faith in Jesus, for the nets he pulled up where full and not just a little full. They were full enough that he had to beckon the other fishermen to help him with the net load. After they got both ships filled with fish, they began to sink a little, and so they rowed to shore. Peter and the others left everything to follow Jesus. Can you imagine the bounty they were leaving behind to follow after Jesus. How many people on shore ate that day because of a mess of fish left behind. Scripture does not say. There is a point, without the miracle of fish at the exact moment Jesus requested them to throw their nets on the other side, would anyone thought any thing was different about this catch. Probably not, but something changed with the amount of fish caught. Jesus did not call them to follow, but they chose to follow because of the miracle. Peter recognized Jesus at that point as Lord, Peter saw himself as a sinful man.
Peter recognition of who Jesus was, perhaps from stories of old, of visitations from prophets or angels in Jewish history, he knew this was not an ordinary man that God had visited him. Jesus did not rebuke him for calling him Lord. We have to step back and realize the reality of Christ Lordship was real in Peter life, that Jesus was more then ordinary man and prophet. Jesus could of correct him right then if he was less then the title Peter gave but he did not. In fact Jesus was more then ordinary man. This is one of the first miracles of the early days of Christ ministry, performed to bring the first call of disciples to lay aside their work. It one thing to just simply follow someone that beckons to you another, to choose to follow because of what you personally experienced.
How did you first become acquainted with the knowledge of Jesus? Some are raised in church learning about Jesus from day one in Sunday school, others in their homes, and others by accident in the since of picking up a Bible or simply hearing from a friend how Jesus changed their life. Somewhere the knowledge of who Jesus is comes from studying God's word or hearing Bible stories through some means of communication. Jesus taught about God and the Holy Spirit. God spoke of His Son that would come into the world and about the Holy Spirit. Without the knowledge of Jesus one has a starting point to learn something about this miracle man. Yes you can read an encyclopedia on Jesus, but you will not know, his ministry without reading about it first hand in scripture. Then when God moves in your life you will know the reality of Jesus is not just a character in a book. He is alive today. His reality revealed by the Spirit of God, through ministers, angels, and others.
The question is do you chose to believe based on your experience of learning, and realising who Jesus is yourself, do you follow based on this experience, or do you follow based on the fact Jesus is a good teacher. Do you enjoy the stories about Jesus and wonder is this a reality. Until you experience the power of God in your life, the reality of Jesus truly is might not be fully realized. I encourage you to keep reading and searching for truth about Jesus. These stories for myself is as real as they were when I was four. If you ask me why because I know the power of Jesus name, I know the power of his love for me. However I am not you and so let us continue daily about who Jesus is and this relationship Jesus wants to have with you. He is not just for me, he is for the world to receive Jesus as Lord. Jesus wants you to recognize him as Lord as Peter did. But some it take more then a bunch of fish, and it okay it takes more then a net of fish to convince you who Jesus is. He is willing to change your heart toward him if you will let him.
One can not go around saying Lord give me a million dollars and expect him to do so. Jesus is not a magician that you can order at whim to fulfill your desires. Jesus is still a miracle worker, but not magician. What I mean by miracle worker, The Father above knows our needs before we ask. He knows of our unbelief. He most of all he sees the inner heart that know one else can see, so you can not hide your motives from God. What is your motivation to be healed, to see deliverance of some kind, what is your hope and desire by receiving Christ as Lord. To receive Christ has Lord it must first come with your own understanding of your sinfulness as Peter did. Peter did not request a sign, but Jesus gave him one with a load of fish. Peter need to only know his own wretchness to know He needed a Savior.
Jesus told Peter "fear not" you can catch men instead of fish. Fear not is key here, for Peter and the others were afraid and fell to their knees. Yet they seen their need of God and seen their own wickedness. Peter had listen to what Jesus taught and preached while in the boat to the crowd gathering, we do not know what exactly was taught on that occasion but the conviction came with the fish that Peter was sinful and in need of Savior. Where are you? Are you in need of a Savior before the miracle or would the miracle be what might quickly convince you to receive Christ? Each of us is different in our thoughts, but all that receive Christ do so because they recognize their own sinfulness. The miracles signs and wonders are only a convictor, it not what going to hold you to faith. Faith must come deeper then the water the fishermen were casting their nets in. It must come from conviction of the reality of who Christ is for each and every person. It comes with believing God's word.
Dear Heavenly Father convictor our heart and soul of our own sinfulness, and a need of a Savior. Let the miracle or sign only be the plus in the conviction that we need Jesus as Lord of our lives. In Jesus precious name, Amen.
Continual Scripture Study for Devotion:1 Corinthians 14:25 KJV And thus are the secrets of his heart made manifest; and so falling down on his face he will worship God, and report that God is in you of a truth.