They left everything and followed him Luke 5:1-11

This is how Mark’s Gospel records the beginning of Jesus’s ministry on Earth.

Mark 1:14 …. Jesus went into Galilee, proclaiming the good news of God. 15 “The time has come,” he said. “The kingdom of God is near. Repent and believe the good news!”

16 As Jesus walked beside the Sea of Galilee, he saw Simon and his brother Andrew casting a net into the lake, for they were fishermen.
17 “Come, follow me,” Jesus said, “and I will make you fishers of men.” 18 At once they left their nets and followed him.

Jesus began by calling people to believe in him, to put their trust in him and follow him. And he made them a promise. “I will make you fishers of men.”

The preacher William Barclay wrote, “It’s interesting to me how Jesus looks at men. He does not only see what a man is; he also sees what a man can become. He sees not only the actualities in a man, he also sees the possibilities. Jesus looked at Peter and saw in him not only a Galilaean fisherman but one who had it in him to become the rock on which his church would be built. Jesus sees us not only as we are, but as we can be; and he says: “Give your life to me, and I will make you what you have it in you to be.” ”

Jesus says the same to us today. He calls us to believe in him and to trust him and to follow him. And he says to us the same thing as he said to Simon Peter and to Andrew. I know what you are – and I know what I can make you into! God sees you and me just as we are. God knows every detail about us. But He also knows what we COULD BE, the very best we could be. And God offers to transform us just as he transformed Simon Peter into the leader of the Early Church.

Mark 1:17 “Come, follow me, and I will make you fishers of men.”

Jesus sees us as we are and he sees what we could become. He offers to change us. And we do need changing. Human beings were created to be perfect – but like every human who has ever lived we have all rebelled against God. We have this bias within us which means when we have the choice between doing right and doing wrong we choose to do wrong. Instead of living to please God we just please ourselves. The Bible calls this “sin.”

We are no better than Simon and Andrew. There isn’t one of us here whose life is as it should be. There isn’t one of us who is perfect. Every one of our lives needs changing.
Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, creator of Sherlock Holmes, one played a joke on a dozen influential people: businessmen, politicians, even clergymen. He sent them all identical telegrams, “Flee at once all is discovered!” The story goes that within 24 hours all of them had left the country!
There’s not one of us without a whole graveyard of skeletons in our closets! Jesus says to us all, “You need changing – I can change you.” I will make you fishers of men. Jesus says, I know what you are – I know the mess your life is in – and I know what I can make you!

We all need changing. We all need rescuing from ourselves! Not everybody realises it! Very many people are happily living their lives as if God didn’t exist. When they hear the good news about Jesus Christ, very many people today just ignore it and go on as before. Not Peter and his brother Andrew.

17 “Come, follow me,” Jesus said, “and I will make you fishers of men.” 18 At once they left their nets and followed him.

It may seem strange to us that Simon and Andrew abandoned their homes and left their nets so quickly. Most people did not. So how come Simon and his brother Andrew were different? Why did they respond and leave their nets and follow Jesus? In the passage which we just read, Luke’s Gospel fills in some very important details.

It was very early in his public ministry. Jesus was teaching the people beside the lake and so that people could hear him better he went out in Simon’s boat and taught them from there. When he had finished, Jesus made a very unexpected request.

4 … (Jesus) said to Simon, “Put out into deep water, and let down the nets for a catch.” 5 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.”

Are you an expert? What are you an expert at? What do people come and ask your advice about? Most people have something they are particularly interested in and particularly good at. What are you an expert at? Simon son of Jonah was an expert at fishing. He ran the family business, a fishing fleet on the Sea of Galilee. He knew more about fishing that huge lake than anybody else. Simon knew that if his boats had been out all night and not caught anything there were no fish to be caught! He knew that if the fish weren’t near to the surface in the cool of the night they would be even deeper in the heat of the day, even more out of reach of his nets. Simon was the expert! That’s why he answers as he does,

“Master, we’ve worked hard all night and haven’t caught anything.

But Simon knew there and then that there was something very special about this Jesus. He was indeed the Christ, the Messiah, the Son of God. So Simon obeyed Jesus’s command.

because you say so, I will let down the nets.”

And then comes the miracle!

When they had done so, they caught such a large number of fish that their nets began to break. So they signalled to 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.

In that instant Simon recognised that Jesus was different from any other man he had ever met. Whatever doubts or questions Simon may have had before, this miracle proved to Simon that Jesus was the real expert. Whatever we may think we know about. However clever or experienced we may be – Jesus knows better than we do! Simon realised that his own life was a mess, that he NEEDED changing. He needed saving!

8 When Simon Peter saw this, he fell at Jesus’ knees and said, “Go away from me, Lord; I am a sinful man!”

Jesus Christ the Son of God, God born as a human being to live among us is an expert at everything. And the good news for us all is that perhaps more than anything else Jesus is an expert at taking broken lives spoiled by sin and changing them into “something beautiful for God”.

All we need to do is to admit that we need to be changed!
8 Peter fell at Jesus’ knees and said, “Go away from me, Lord; I am a sinful man!”

Recognising that we are sinful. That our lives are spoiled by selfishness and pride and greed. Recognising that these sins cut us off from the God who made us and who loves us all so much. I know what you are – and I know what I can make you into – Jesus says. The starting point for US, as it was for Peter is simple, “I am a sinful man”. To use the words of a very old prayer of confession, we must “acknowledge and bewail our manifold sins and wickedness.” To recognise that our selfishness and pride have cut us off from God and that we need God to rescue us. This is exactly what Simon the fisherman was doing when He fell at Jesus’ knees and said, “Go away from me, Lord; I am a sinful man!”

Repent and believe the good news! Jesus said. That is exactly what is Peter did. And that was the start of the process of his transformation. In the years that followed Jesus changed Simon the fisherman into Peter, Rocky the Rock on which the Early Church would be built. God had great plans for Simon Peter’s life. To turn this big fisherman into a great preacher and pastor and leader. Plans to work through him to establish the Early Church. And God has plans for each of our lives too – to make us the very best people we could possibly be – if we will let Him.

There is a lovely story about the great sculptor Michaelangelo. Once someone found Michelangelo chipping away his chisel at a huge shapeless piece of rock. He asked the sculptor what he was doing. “I am releasing the angel imprisoned in this marble,” he answered. Jesus is the one who sees “the angel in the marble” inside each of us. Jesus says, I know who you are – and I know what I can make you into. “Give your life to me, and I will make you what you have it in you to be.”

Still today Jesus is calling men and women to believe in him and give their lives to him and follow him. Jesus is looking for disciples. Candy and Laura are being baptized as believers to show that they have put their trust in Jesus and they have started to follow him. Will you follow Him too?

About

You may also like...

Comments are closed.