Do not be afraid; from now on you will be a fisher of men. (Luke 5:10)
At this point, Jesus is famous all throughout Galilee, and people are crowding Him to hear His preaching. He decides to preach from a boat, which happens to belong to Peter! Good ‘ol Peter… So, after He’s done speaking to the crowds, He tells Peter to cast his net into the water for a catch, normal fishermen business. Peter tells Jesus that, although he had been fishing all night and got nothing, he would try again because He asked him to. The net was so full of fish it almost ripped the net, and sunk two boats (the other one was James and John’s)! Having witnessed the power and holiness of Jesus up close, Peter kneels before Him and says a sinful man like himself shouldn’t even be in His Presence, and Jesus’ response in incredible: He tells Peter not to be afraid, because that catch of fish is a picture of the many people he’s gonna “catch” for the Gospel!
There’s a glaring pattern in Jesus calling His first disciples, and it beautifully shows how the Lord deal with us in our callings. Peter had been trying all night to catch fish, and got nothing, which I’m sure had to be at least a little disheartening. Jesus shows up and tells him to try again, and despite his reluctance and doubt, Peter acts in faith and casts his net again, to amazing results. Then, Peter comes before Jesus in humility and shame, and says he’s too sinful to even be near Him, but Jesus tells him not to be afraid, that he’s going to be one of His foremost messengers! Peter again acts in faith and forsakes everything to follow Jesus, and ends up leading the squad that brings the Kingdom of God to the world!
Fear, doubt, and discouragement can be major hinderances when it comes to following Christ and living for Him. Often times, we see our faults, weaknesses, failures, and shortcomings, and think we could never live the radical life Yeshua calls us to. Do we want to live like the apostles, like Paul, like Jesus Himself? Heck yeah! How awesome would it be to go about, laying hands on the sick, telling people the Gospel for the first time, discipling people in the name of Christ? Pretty sweet, I’d imagine. But many of us have tried and gotten disappointing results, don’t know where to start, or are terrified at the thought. As real as those things are, though, the antidote is simple: faith. I didn’t say easy, I said simple. The Lord Jesus Christ is calling us to follow Him and sending us out as His ambassadors, and we, in our fears and weaknesses, must respond in faith.
The Lord has been speaking to me recently about the call He’s placed on my life to ministry, to be a fisher of men. I want more than anything to be like the apostle Paul, traveling the world, preaching the Kingdom, the Lord doing miracles and wonders through me to prove that it’s true, the whole lot! But like Peter, I’ve tried to start ministries or be a part of them before, and it didn’t turn out the way I expected. But today, the Holy Spirit spoke to my fears and discouragements, and told me not to be afraid, that he would make me a fisher of men. He isn’t going to give up on me or forsake me, He came to my rescue and encouraged me to trust Him!
- Guys, we have a high calling as the chosen, beloved children of God and followers of Christ. It can be intimidating and disheartening, and many of us feel the temptation to resign ourselves. But the One who saved us from our sin and redeemed us isn’t going to give up on us now; He’s called us, and He’s going to see us through! If your calling seems like it’s too much for you, that’s good! That means the Lord is going to reveal His power more greatly (grammar?) in you and through you. It’s up to us to trust Him, leave behind our comfort zones, take His hand, and have faith.
And the Lord said to Paul one night in a vision, “Do not be afraid, but go on speaking and do not be silent, for I am with you, and no one will attack you to harm you, for I have many in this city who are My people.” (Acts 18:9-10)