Master to Messiah Day 4
Week 1 >> Day 4
Jesus Calls His First Disciples
One day as Jesus was preaching on the shore of the Sea of Galilee, great crowds pressed in on him to listen to the word of God. He noticed two empty boats at the water’s edge, for the fishermen had left them and were washing their nets. Stepping into one of the boats, Jesus asked Simon, its owner, to push it out into the water. So he sat in the boat and taught the crowds from there.
When he had finished speaking, he said to Simon, “Now go out where it is deeper, and let down your nets to catch some fish.”
“Master,” Simon replied, “we worked hard all last night and didn’t catch a thing. But if you say so, I’ll let the nets down again.” And this time their nets were so full of fish they began to tear! A shout for help brought their partners in the other boat, and soon both boats were filled with fish and on the verge of sinking.
When Simon Peter realized what had happened, he fell to his knees before Jesus and said, “Oh, Lord, please leave me—I’m too much of a sinner to be around you.” For he was awestruck by the number of fish they had caught, as were the others with him. His partners, James and John, the sons of Zebedee, were also amazed. Jesus replied to Simon, “Don’t be afraid! From now on you’ll be fishing for people!” And as soon as they landed, they left everything and followed Jesus.
What a defining moment in the life of Peter! At this point, Peter has interacted, followed, and even lived with Jesus. The disciples have witnessed, first hand, Jesus during many of His most well-known Biblical encounters. Meeting Nicodemus the Pharisee by night and teaching him the meaning of being born again in John 3:1-15,the Samaritan woman in John 4:1-45, who was culturally unacceptable both as a woman and a Samaritan, saved by the Promised Messiah, and Christ has healed the son of a Capernaum Official in John 4:46-54. He has challenged the disciples thinking in every possible way as He interacted with those who were “less than” in the eyes of their Jewish peers and leaders.
In this story, we see once again the incredible intentionality of Jesus to reach His disciples. Jesus joins His disciples where they are, in their business of fishing.
Jesus asks Peter to go out into the deep water for a catch of fish. It is Peter’s response that we want you to see. Peter calls Jesus “Master” or “Lord.” And in context, it is almost a statement of unbelief. Peter is doing what Jesus asks out of sheer obedience. He is not responding from a place of faith and willingness.
We see Peter’s countenance drastically change once Jesus performs a miracle. Peter is immediately humbled and driven to his knees. This humble attitude says, “Who am I that you would even get in my boat?” Jesus and Peter come face to face with each other, and Peter begins to experience Jesus’ incredible grace. Jesus tells Peter two things that will impact him like nothing else in his whole life: “Don’t be afraid,” and “Follow Me, and I will make you fishers of men.”
So often, as humans, we struggle with God’s calling to serve in any capacity in His kingdom. Whether it is from a fear of failure, or a place of shame and guilt, Christians often keep themselves at arm’s distance from God and service within the kingdom. Yet, when we understand God’s grace, much like Peter did, it drives us to our knees. God’s grace wipes away fears and shame. When we accept this amazing grace, we, like Peter, experience our walk with Jesus in a whole new way.
Ask God to begin showing you ways you can serve people around you. Ask God to stretch your faith and help you better understand serving others.
- How did Peter’s perspective change following the great catch?
- Reflect on the areas of your life where you are so confident in your own abilities that you often forget to include Jesus.
- Where is God calling you to serve in His kingdom? What is keeping you from jumping right in?