ISSUE: 2017, Volume 14, Issue 2
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Luke 5. 1-11
Have we ever been asked to do something again, that we have only just completed?
In this scenario the Lord had just taught the multitude from the boat and then He turns and asks Simon to launch out into the deep, let down the nets, for a draught of fish. Simon answered and said, ‘We have toiled all night and have taken nothing’. He had just spent the night fishing, and had achieved nothing, yet the Lord asked him to do it again! Simon didn’t argue with the Lord. As an experienced fisherman, Simon could well have questioned the Lord: after all, the Lord was a carpenter and he a fisherman. They had already toiled all night, and surely the opportunity to catch fish had passed, but he made no objections.
We might well be going through experiences that we are finding difficult and challenging.
We have toiled all night, as it were, and yet the Lord asks us again, to cast the nets. Perhaps we feel like asking why? or what’s the point?
I want us to notice the words Simon uses as he answers the Lord – ‘Nevertheless at thy word’!
Whatever we think of what He is asking us to do, no matter how small or large the task, we should simply bow in obedience and say, ‘Nevertheless at thy word’. If the instruction had been given by anyone else, it wouldn’t have carried the same weight, but it was the word of the Lord.
In verse 5 we are reminded that they had toiled all night. The thought of toiling here is to be wearisome, tired, or exhausted, but notice what happens when they are obedient, and take Him at His word.
They were blessed beyond measure; they landed a great multitude of fish, and their net broke, v. 6. The Lord supplied more than they could imagine, and provided far beyond their expectations, which reminds me of the words of Paul, ‘Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us, unto him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end. Amen', Eph. 3. 20.
We are living in such a materialistic world. There are many today who haven’t half of what we have as far as this world’s goods are concerned, but they have a real desire and thirst for the word of God. Some people have to travel for hours to hear the word of God taught, yet sometimes we make feeble excuses why we can’t go a short distance to the meeting.
In the abundance of fish, we see the blessing and the great provision that Christ made. There is the danger that we think that we are in control of our current circumstances, and unless we work all of those hours and strive to get to the top, then we won’t have enough to pay the bills. We lose sight of the fact that He is in control, and all that we have is from Him, and not because of our own efforts. He is able to meet our need. The words of Philippians chapter 4 verse 19 spring to mind, ‘But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus’.
When Simon Peter saw the amount of fish, and the nets breaking, and the ships starting to sink, we see his response. He fell down before the Lord in amazement and in worship.
Simon Peter realized that what had taken place could only be as a result of the Lord’s power.
As we consider our Saviour, and the many blessings that we have been brought into as believers, and the blessings that are ours on a daily basis, it should cause us to bow before Him in amazement, and with thankful hearts in worship.
In our final verse we read of Peter, who turned from what he knew best, and what he did best, and wholly followed the Lord. He followed the Lord when he had more in his possession than he had possibly had before, and he left it all. What a cost, to leave all that he had to follow the greatest of masters!
Surely this is a challenge to each one of us today! What are we prepared to leave or give up so that we might follow Him, and give the best of our time to Him? The ultimate price has been paid for us. He is the rich One, who, for us, became poor – ‘For ye know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that, though he was rich, yet for your sakes he became poor, that ye through his poverty might be rich’, 2 Cor. 8. 9.
He is the all-sufficient and faithful One who understands our needs, if only we will wholly rely upon Him. In our service for Him, may we respond with the words of Simon . . .
‘Nevertheless at thy word’.