Lent 2016

Luke 5

Jesus was tested in the wilderness. He was persecuted in Nazareth. He drove out spirits in Capernaum and healed many. He kept going- on to preach at synagogues in Judea. (Luke 4 summary).

One day as Jesus was standing by the Lake of Gennesaret, the people were crowding around him and listening to the word of God.  He saw at the water’s edge two boats, left there by the fishermen, who were washing their nets.  He got into one of the boats, the one belonging to Simon, and asked him to put out a little from shore. Then he sat down and taught the people from the boat. (Luke 5:1-3)

Jesus moves to better reach His audience. He meets them right where they are- just as He does for us every day! In order that those standing on the area around the lake would hear Him better, Jesus rows one of the boats out and stands in it to speak.

Matthew 4:18 tells us that Simon and Andrew were fishing when Jesus began preaching. When Simon returns from casting his nets Jesus asks to use his boat as a pulpit. Andrew, Simon’s brother, had been with Jesus when John was baptized (John 1:40), they were with Jesus at the wedding in Cana (John 2:2), and in Judea (John 4:1). [Adapted from Matthew Henry commentary]

When he had finished speaking, he said to Simon, “Put out into deep water, and let down the nets for a catch.”  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.” (Luke 5:4-5)

Have you ever worked at something tirelessly, in the case of Simon and Andrew “all night”, and not had the result or blessing you wanted? Have you labored in vain? We all have. And Simon and Andrew are the example of the blessing that comes after inviting Jesus into your tasks, projects, or business and following His direction. This is the illustration of what happens when you don’t give up, when you follow Jesus’ plan, and when you cast your net deeper even though you haven’t caught anything yet. Just keep going.

 When they had done so, they caught such a large number of fish that their nets began to break. So they signaled their partners in the other boat to come and help them, and they came and filled both boats so full that they began to sink. (Luke 5:6-7)

Following Jesus’ direction, Simon and Andrew cast their nets and catch so many fish that the nets begin to break. But notice that they don’t lose the fish, even though the nets begin to break. Jesus doesn’t need nets, or baskets, or any limitation to bless us. The boats filled with so many fish that they began to sink. Even the fish in the sea follow His direction.

Proverbs 24:10 Don’t give up and be helpless in times of trouble.”

He holds the stars and He holds my heart
With healing hands that bear the scars
The rugged cross where He died for me
My only hope, my everything. -(Jesus Loves Me, Chris Tomlin)

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