The men had fished all night without catching any fish when Jesus approached them and asked them to pull offshore to drop the empty nets. Peter knew Jesus, so he responded, “At Your word I will let down the net” (Luke 5:5). Though it was contrary to everything Peter had learned about fishing, suddenly, the net was so full of fish that he called for help lest his own ship sink!
They were all “astonished” at how Christ’s word brought immediate results. Who could this person be? Jesus said, “Stop being afraid.” Indeed, they would see greater miracles than this over the next three years. Fear kills our creativity, paralyzes our actions, and forces us to think too much about protecting ourselves. Fear should never enter into our thinking, because “all authority in heaven and on earth has been given to [Him]” (Matt 28:18); we can trust Him.
Peter was fearless when he responded to Christ’s invitation to join Him in walking on water (Matt 14:29), but when he took his eyes off Jesus, he saw the danger he was in and began to sink. As he cried out to the Lord, “immediately Jesus stretched out His hand and caught him, and said to him, ‘O you of little faith, why did you doubt?’” (14:31). Fear is the direct result of doubt about God’s ability to intervene and control the situation for His purpose.
Jesus told Simon, “From now on you will be continually catching men.” Their commitment, patience, and effort in professional fishing now would be applied to living persons.
Upon reaching shore, “they forsook all and followed Him” (Luke 5:11), and the world was never the same. They left their huge catch of fish to catch sinners, having been caught themselves by the greatest fisherman of all. They would not be perfect or always fearless, but their message was the “power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes”
(Rom 1:16). All they had to do was to go where people had not heard and announce the message, however feebly, and then God would take over in every heart. Be fearless today!
“Lord Jesus, many of Your children are very afraid of witnessing to others of Your salvation. Give us Your perspective of their great need so we may overcome that fear and share in the wonderful experience of leading a soul to You.”
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