Support and Resources For Pastors and
Christian Ministry Professionals
Thomas F. Fischer, M.Div., M.S.A., Editor
Fifth Sunday After
#1: "Fundamental Facts Fishermen Should Follow"
Rev. Wayne Dobratz, B.A., M.Div.
1) The Fish Creator knows where the fish are--vv4-7
Word Pictures in the New Testament: v5--Master (epistata). Used only by Luke in the NT and always in addresses to Christ (8:24, 45; 9:33, 49; 17:13). Common in the older writers for superintendent or overseer (one standing over another). This word recognizes Christs authority.
2) Viewing His power means feeling our failings--vv8-9
Barnes Notes on the New Testament: He fell down at Jesus knees--This was a common posture of "supplication." He had no doubt now of the power and knowledge of Jesus. In amazement, wonder, and gratitude, ...he prostrated himself to the earth, trembling and afraid. So should sinful people "always" throw themselves at the feet of Jesus at the proofs of his power; so should they humble themselves before him at the manifestations of his goodness. In his deep consciousness of sin, therefore, he requested that Jesus would depart from him and his little vessel. Peters feeling was not unnatural, though it was not proper to request Jesus to leave him. It was an involuntary, sudden request, and arose from ignorance of the character of Jesus. We "are" not worthy to be with him, to be reckoned among his friends, or to dwell in heaven with him; but he came to seek the lost and to save the impure. He graciously condescends to dwell with those who are humble and contrite, though they are conscious that they are not worthy of his presence; and we may therefore come boldly to him, and ask him to receive us to his home--to an eternal dwelling with him in the heavens.
3) Following Him makes one a fisher of men--vv10-11
Word Pictures in the New Testament, Volume 2: Luke
Luke 5:10: Thou shalt catch men (ese˘i zo˘gro˘n). Periphrastic future indicative, emphasizing the linear idea. The old verb Zo˘greo˘ means to catch alive, not to kill. So then Peter is to be a catcher of men, not of fish, and to catch them alive and for life, not dead and for death. The great Pentecost will one day prove that Christs prophecy will come true. Much must happen before that great day. But Jesus foresees the possibilities in Simon and he joyfully undertakes the task of making a fisher of men out of this poor fisher of fish.
Morning and Evening Devotions, Charles Haddon Spurgeon: "Launch out into the deep, and let down your nets for a catch." (Luke 5:4) We learn from this narrative the necessity of human agency. The draught of fishes was miraculous, yet neither the fisherman nor his boat nor his fishing tackle were ignored; but all were used to take the fishes. So in the saving of souls, God worketh by means; and while the present economy of grace shall stand, God will be pleased by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe. When God worketh without instruments, doubtless he is glorified; but he hath himself selected the plan of instrumentality as being that by which he is most magnified in the earth. Means of themselves are utterly unavailing. "Master, we have toiled all the night and have taken nothing." What was the reason of this? Were they not fishermen plying their special calling? Verily, they were no raw hands; they understood the work. Had they gone about the toil unskilfully? No. Had they lacked industry? No, they had toiled. Had they lacked perseverance? No, they had toiled all the night. Was there a deficiency of fish in the sea? Certainly not, for as soon as the Master came, they swam to the net in shoals. What, then, is the reason? Is it because there is no power in the means of themselves apart from the presence of Jesus? "Without him we can do nothing." But with Christ we can do all things. Christs presence confers success. Jesus sat in Peters boat, and his will, by a mysterious influence, drew the fish to the net. When Jesus is lifted up in his Church, his presence is the Churchs power--the shout of a king is in the midst of her. "I, if I be lifted up, will draw all men unto me." Let us go out on our work of soul fishing, looking up in faith. Let us toil till night comes, and we shall not labour in vain, for he who bids us let down the net will fill it with fish.
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In a few months it will be fishing season again. I used to live in Minnesota, the land of, not 10,000 lakes, but the land of more than 13,000 lakes. I lived in a small town the first year I was a pastor, and it had a beautiful lake. A member of my church took me fishing and said I could use his boat whenever he wasnt using it. I remember catching bullheads and how good they tasted from the cold waters of that spring-fed lake.
Maybe what we learn from our kind of fishing will help us to understand what Jesus called "a fisher of men." Many of Jesus disciples were fishermen. They fished with a net, not with a hook and line the way we do. No matter what you use, heres the first thing to remember: You have to go where the fish are. Well, I guess so! The fish wont come to you riding bicycles, now will they? If youre going to catch men for Jesus, youll find them among the people you know--your friends, your neighbors, maybe even someone in your family.
Heres the second thing: You have Gods power to help you. Jesus knew where the fish were and led them into the fishing nets that day. They caught so many they had to signal to their friends to come and help them; they couldnt carry all they had caught in their little boats. Just so, when we catch men for Jesus, Gods power is at work. You dont have to be really smart to catch men, and you dont really have to be a great talker; this kind of fishing happens when you love someone enough to bring them to Jesus. And you do that with the power of Gods Word. Its a miracle when someone comes to know Jesus, just as it was a miracle when Peter and his friends caught all those fish.
Heres the last thing this story tells us: When Peter saw the power of Jesus, he felt how sinful he was. He even told him to go away! But Jesus wont go away; he came here because he loves us. He loved us so much that he died on the cross for our sins. When you feel guilty because of sin, dont ask Jesus to go away; ask him to come in and stay with you. Hell take your sins away every day and hell help you to be the kind of fisherman that catches men!
And thats no fish story!
#2: "Growing Up"
1 Corinthians 14:12b-20
Rev. Kelly Bedard., B.A., M.Div.
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This page was revised on: Friday, January 20, 2006 12:10:34 PM