Luke 5:10-11 Then Jesus said to Simon, “Don’t be afraid; from now on you will catch men.” So they pulled their boats up on shore, left everything and followed him.
I think it’s important to consider why Jesus dealt with fear here. Peter had just confessed his sinfulness in verse 8, but why did he do that? I think it was not only the amazing catch of fish they had just had, demonstrating that Jesus had supernatural power, it was also Jesus’ general attitude: He carried the presence of God with him. In the presence of divine power, Peter was convicted of his own sin. I have read of people being convicted of sin simply by being in the presence of such people as Smith Wigglesworth. If it happens with such people, certainly it could happen with the Son of God! When we are aware of our own sinfulness, fear is an entirely appropriate response. Without such an awareness we can have no real appreciation for the grace of God, because we have no grasp of how desperately we need it. However, when we are honest and humble before Him, that makes us available to be cleansed and used by Him in and for His kingdom. Peter, as well as James and John, indeed became a mighty “fisher of men,” drawing multiplied thousands into the kingdom by direct ministry, and by extension and by writing, incalculable multitudes. God doesn’t demand academic credentials, a pedigree, or remarkable abilities. Those aren’t bad in themselves, but sometimes they actually can get in the way of being fully available to God, because we tend to be proud of them and/or depend on them, rather than on God Himself. It is very significant that these three men, who became the inner circle of the 12 apostles, left everything to follow Jesus. That actually is a natural consequence of the conviction of sin that they had experienced, but so often we fall short, preferring the material things we have to intimacy with God. Nate Saint said it very well: “He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep, to gain what he cannot lose.” We need to follow Peter, James, John, and Nate’s example and release everything to God in order to fulfill His plans for us.
This is of course convicting to me, as it should be to every human being. Am I genuinely aware of my own sinfulness? Do I really hold everything loosely, so that God may do with it as He pleases? Do I fully appreciate the grace of God? These are questions I need to let the Holy Spirit ask me whenever and however He chooses. I have demonstrated a considerable ability to deceive myself, so I know better than to trust my own judgment and opinion of myself. I know I am a child of God by His grace, so I need to keep growing in grace, allowing Him to transform me into the likeness of Christ Jesus my Lord, for His glory. (2 Corinthians 3:18)
Father, thank You for this reminder. Thank You for Your grace! I do desire to be fully submitted to You, as a child pleasing his Father. Help me recognize the many traps and schemes of the devil to avoid and stand against them, so that I may be fully useful to You, drawing many into Your kingdom as they are liberated by Your truth through me, for their salvation and Your glory. Thank You. Hallelujah!