But At Your Word
Luke 5:5 (ESV) -- And Simon answered, “Master, we toiled all night and took nothing! But at your word I will let down the nets.”
There are plenty of examples of me telling my children to do something and they don’t understand why. Every parent loves to give the answer, “Because I said so.” Children often lack the understanding and wisdom we have about a situation or circumstance, so they don’t comprehend our request. But when they do what we say obediently, they demonstrate a trust in us.
Our passage today gets into this territory. Many of the disciples were professional fishermen. They spent a lot of time on the water. They learned the trade. It is without a doubt that they understood times of day, depths to fish, places to cast their nets, and many other aspects of fishing. So after an entire evening of unsuccessful fishing, Jesus tells them to go out a little way from the shore and cast their net. They barely know Jesus at this point. But Simon (Peter) answered Him, “Master, we toiled all night and took nothing! But at your word I will let down the nets.”
We don’t know the tone of this remark. It could have been sarcastic. Jesus wasn’t a fisherman. These men were. But now He’s telling them how to fish. It could have been said in exhaustion or frustration. They’re tired from being out all night and not catching a thing. But Peter says, “at your word I will let down the nets.” Since Jesus is requesting it, they are respectfully entertaining Him. They do not have any expectation that fish are coming up with the net. But they cast it anyway.
They end up catching a haul of fish so large that the nets threaten to break. Peter is stunned, and fearful. He falls on his face before Jesus and declares himself a sinful man. Jesus tells Peter not to be afraid, from that point on, he would be fishing for men. This was Jesus’ call to these disciples to follow Him and the demonstration to them of His power.
An important lesson in this story that we should all pay attention to is Peter’s remark, “but at your word.” Peter doesn’t understand why Jesus wants them to throw the nets out again. By all standards and wisdom Peter has about fishing, this isn’t going to do anything. But he obeys anyway. Because Jesus says it, he does it. This should be our posture in obeying God. We don’t have to understand why God is commanding something in order to obey Him. Peter gives us a wonderful example to imitate in this story.
Luke 5:5 (ESV) -- And Simon answered, “Master, we toiled all night and took nothing! But at your word I will let down the nets.” This should be our posture as well. We don’t have to understand why God is commanding something in order to obey Him.
Reflection & Journal:
- Why would Peter and the disciples be skeptical about Jesus’ encouragement to cast the nets out?
- What is Peter’s response? Why do you think he responded that way?
- How does Peter’s response teach us about obedience today?
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