Read Luke 5:1-11 (KJV)
Verse 1 - Available To All
1 And it came to pass, that, as the people pressed upon him to hear the word of God, he stood by the lake of Gennesaret,
Jesus was “standing by” the place where His next miracle would take place. Where Jesus is present, a miracle is soon to follow. Jesus makes things happen, but you have to give Him room! Room in your marriage! It is the presence of Jesus that brings revival, and even marriage revival. The crowd pressed, but he stood. NASB says he was standing by! Sometimes you have to just stand by, don’t take immediate action. See what your next step will be, get the mind of God. You see, the crowd was hungry for the Words Jesus was teaching, and they were pressing in to Him to the point He was almost in the water. As the people were doing one thing, he was doing another. Don’t just go with the crowd on everything. He was already looking ahead to those boats! He was multitasking.
Will you pursue Jesus to the point that it causes Him to take a different course of action? Not an unplanned course, be a course reserved for the genuinely hungry child of God who will not take NO for an answer. How bad do you really want things to be better in your marriage. Even if things are not bad now, they can still be better than right now! The real secret is: He’s not saying NO . . . he only wants you to succeed. Press in to Him and hear His Still Small Voice. Go to God with all you have! You are the one who determines whether your next step is mundane or miraculous!
Where Jesus is, there is an opportunity for you to make a decision.
Verse 2 - Christ Is Caring & Pays Attention To Detail
2 And saw two ships standing by the lake: but the fishermen were gone out of them, and were washing their nets.
Jesus saw their empty boats and their empty nets, which, at the time, represented their need! You may have a marriage need tonight, so I want you to pay close attention to what is about to happen. He knew that their hearts would be open during a time of need and saw an opportunity to minister to many people at the same time. He was prepared to Minister the Word to the crowd and to these few fishermen. He can meet the need of many or a few, or both, all at the same time! Jesus is always looking for ways to help people. He had three sets of people He wanted to minister to: the crowd, the fishermen, and to Simon individually. Now, watch how He does it.
He saw two boats; two empty boats. They were empty because the fishermen had “gone out of them.” He saw that the fishermen were washing their nets! This is net maintenance. We all need maintenance, and we all need marriage maintenance. You do not maintain your nets if you are not planning on using them again! So, He saw that these men, though frustrated and tired, had not given up completely! You know, God really cares about even our frustrations, not just our desperation’s! He really does care about what you are going through. He wants to help you. You must learn to look at where you are going, not just where you are! These men were preparing to go fishing again; they just didn’t realize they would soon be fishing for men. Jesus knew ahead of time that in verse 10 He would call them to be fishers of men.
They left their boats for the first time here at the beginning – empty. They would leave them again, later in verse 11 – full. Jesus never leaves your boat the way He found it. If you will let Him, He will always leave you full!
Jesus noticed something, a way out of his situation with the crowd. He was observant, and paid attention. There were two boats, but he chose a specific one to get into . . . Simons. Out of the whole crowd, and all the fishermen, He knew that Simon was the one who was individually ready to respond. He also knew that Simon was the catalyst in winning the rest of them too. Sometimes, one simply thing can open up big doors for your future. Are you looking for that “one thing?”
The two boats could easily represent the two people in a marriage.
Verse 3 - Jesus Is Humble
3 And he entered into one of the ships, which was Simon’s, and prayed him that he would thrust out a little from the land. And he sat down, and taught the people out of the ship.
Jesus sat down and taught. Now that seems simply enough, it makes sense. It is amazing what has happened while people were sitting. He found Matthew, the tax collector, sitting at the receipt of custom. At one point, they found Him in the temple, sitting in the midst of the doctors, teaching them. And even around the throne of God, there are twenty-four seats: and upon the seats are twenty-four elders sitting. Acts 2:2 says “And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting.” Jesus sits, elders sit, disciples sit, even angels sit. And if you do well enough, Revelation 3:21 says “He that overcomes, He will grant to sit with Him in my throne.” It’s a religious buster to see great things happening while the human posture is in a relaxed state. It symbolizes that it is not the product of human effort, but the power of a heavenly God. I want to point out that you are all sitting tonight!
I love the fact that He entered into the boat and then asked Simon if he would thrust out a little from the land. Jesus has a way of entering into your life and putting you in a position to say “Yes” to Him. It’s like He puts you on the spot knowing you will later appreciate Him doing so. He gives you a chance to partner with Him; to include you in what He wants to do. Jesus could have easily just walked out onto the water and taught the people, but He didn’t; He gave Simon the opportunity to partner with Him. He gave him every opportunity to say “Yes!” Is your boat available to Him? Is your marriage available to Him?
I also love the fact that “He sat down, and taught the people out of the ship.” Out of the empty ship! God can take your “nothing, empty, unproductive ship,” and do something amazing with it!
Verse 4 - A Visionary
4 Now when he had left speaking, he said unto Simon, Launch out into the deep, and let down your nets for a draught.
Jesus said let down the “nets,” but Simon only let down “a net”. He only partially obeyed God, but God still helped him. God is merciful and compassionate – full of grace. Jesus might have told Simon to launch out into the deep water for many reasons, not just one! It might have been to show him that it could be done right where he was before. (You can have everything and not have Jesus, and you still have nothing!) Maybe it was to escape the crowd that was now coming out into the water to touch Jesus after he “left speaking.”
One thing is for sure; Jesus gradually got to eventually. He got to Eventually, Gradually! What do I mean by that? I’m glad you asked - It’s step by step, a piece at a time. He was first walking on the shore, then He was standing by, then stepped into a boat, then He thrust out just a little, then sat down, then launched out into the deep. It’s a step by step process. You’ve got to give God time to work on your behalf!
One thing has to build upon another. Jesus knew how to minister to the crowd, and he knew how to minister to Simon. The crowd needed what he said when they were just pushed out a little, but Simon needed what He would do in the deep. The first thing Jesus said to Simon was to ask him to push out a little from the shore, but now he is not asking, but tells him plainly to launch out into the deep.
“And let down your nets for a draught” – It was specifically for a draught. He didn’t say “let down your nets for a few buckets of fish, or so we can have a little something to eat.” What God asks you or tells you to do, has an extended purpose. His purpose! He’s not just taking a shot in the dark!
Verse 5 - Jesus Brings Out The Best In You Personally
5 And Simon answering said unto him, Master, we have toiled all the night, and have taken nothing: nevertheless at thy word I will let down the net.
Simon said “we” have toiled all night (he and his company, co-workers, friends, etc.), but there came a time when he had to make a personal decision about what to do with Jesus’ words. He said, “I will” let down the net. Simon, being the leader of the whole bunch, made a decision that would later result in his whole crew becoming participants in a miracle.
Be a leader, step out and do what Jesus tells you to do. If you are having trouble, or need help, or healing, just do what Simon did. Add a “nevertheless” to your situation, and believe His Word over all the others! The doctor said this, but nevertheless, because of Your stripes, I am healed!
Verse 6 - A Compassionate Worker
6 And when they had this done, they inclosed a great multitude of fishes: and their net brake.
God can do it right where you are now; in the same lake you’ve been in the whole time; in the same marriage you are in right now! When “they” had done it! I believe there were only a few people in the boat at that time, Simon and Jesus, and maybe a few workers. (See V. 9, and all that were with him) Jesus did not stand back and wave His magic Jesus hands so that the waters suddenly were troubled and out of the water jumped a great catch of fish. I believe He actually helped Simon pick up the heavy net and throw it out into the water and bring in the catch. Remember that Simon let down “a net”, but Jesus still helped him. God will still help you even if you don’t get it completely right; even you still make dumb decisions. That’s the only reason some of us have even made it this far! I believe that when Jesus said to let down the “nets,” it shows us that He was willing and ready to do more for Simon than He actually got to do. It was Simon that put the limitations on Jesus, not Jesus! I believe this is just more proof that God’s desires and purposes for our lives are so much greater than we ever give Him credit for. If we could only see a bigger picture and have a bigger vision, then we would understand that God has been ready to do the “Big” things for us the whole time! We are the ones who put the brakes on, not God! As you spend more time with God; speaking and listening, I believe it enables you to see things more clearly as He sees them.
When the net broke, so did Simon! This is when Simon suddenly realized many things including the bigness of God.
Have you ever felt like your net was breaking – that you could not do any more?
Verse 7 - Always Looking For Partners
7 And they beckoned unto their partners, which were in the other ship, that they should come and help them. And they came, and filled both the ships, so that they began to sink.
Beckoned (KJV) or Signaled (NASB) to their partners in the other boat. What signal do you send out when you need help? They were in trouble! Here’s an astounding truth – Partners do a part – they don’t do it all for you – just a part. You do what you can, and then you need partners to help finish the job.
“Which were in the other ship” – Now, remember the two original, empty boats? They were empty, right? Jesus and Simon are in one of them, and here comes the other one, only now it’s not empty – It’s full of fishermen rowing as fast as they can to get out there. By the time they beckoned, they were already in the other ship, headed their way. Excited!
When you desperately need help and your net is breaking, you MUST follow the example of Jesus and begin to signal to your partners. You can’t do what needs to be done by yourself – you can only do a part. You must have others to help.
If you are going to accomplish the whole task, you need partners.
A Partner comes to you and helps you do what must be done.
The partners were in a different boat – not just on our staff or in our church, but elsewhere too! Beckoned to our partners in the other boat.
The partners’ nets were not breaking; they had nothing going on – we do! Our nets are bulging while others’ are not; they could choose to partner with us and come to us and help us catch these fish while the pressure is on. Can you come to us and help us accomplish this task? Will you partner with us? We have a staff that can accomplish part of the task, but we must have others.
Sometimes it takes the faith of one boat to get the other boat moving! Think about it. What kind of signal are you sending to your partner? How do you call? When do you call? What do you say? Do you ever call? Are you afraid to ever ask for help from your partner when you feel like your net is breaking?
When the partners stopped what they were doing to come and help, everyone’s need got met – both boats got filled to capacity. What’s in it for me? How about a swamped boat! Before the partners got the Beckon signal, nothing was going on for them – they were on the shore cleaning their nets after a very frustrating night of nothing. When they responded to the signal, they got their socks blessed off.
Imagine how many partners would not be blessed if the signal never came. No signal – no harvest. True partners are there all the time, but can only be revealed when the signal is given. They made the choice to respond.
Partners can do more together and in less time! Make sure you know who your partners are. Make sure you have partners for the right reasons. Jesus wanted partners for the express purpose of catching more fish! He is interested in souls more than anything else. The top ministry priority is souls.
A real partner is someone that will drop what they are doing to help you do what you are doing. They will work until the job is finished. Partners are willing to sow the seed of their time knowing they will reap it again someday.
Verse 8 - A Miracle Worker
8 When Simon Peter saw it, he fell down at Jesus’ knees, saying, Depart from me; for I am a sinful man, O Lord.
I personally believe that Simon was just overwhelmed by the fact that Jesus would take time to minister the Word to the crowd for who knows how long and then turn to him and start working on a miracle, and then hang in there and actually help these men completely fill two boats to the point of sinking with fish. This was no small task, this was hard work! In verse 5, Simon calls Him “Master” (a title or position), but in this verse, Simon calls Him “Lord.” The miraculous (signs and wonders) often brings conviction of sins, but it’s end purpose is always conversion.
Verse 9 - Brings Astonishment Wherever He Goes
9 For he was astonished, and all that were with him, at the draught of the fishes which they had taken:
Peter was amazed. It takes a lot to amaze a tough, hard-working, gruff, manly, fisherman. This is not the kind of guy that would just be amused or amazed by just anything. This miracle was something that actually happened right in front of him. No smoke, no mirrors, out in the middle of a lake, where no magical trickery could take place. I mean it was his boat and his net, his oars. Through one mans obedience, many people shared in the harvest. Not a bad days work.
Astonished at what? The draught of fishes (the provision and the demonstration) and “which they had taken” (the provider and the demonstrator). Astonishment means that Jesus can do that which you may not even expect Him to be able to do. He may catch you by surprise. He may want to do more for you than you are asking or expecting! He can excite and amaze one or many at the same time.
Verse 10 - Jesus Has A Compelling Voice
10 And so was also James, and John, the sons of Zebedee, which were partners with Simon. And Jesus said unto Simon, Fear not; from henceforth thou shalt catch men.
Jesus said to Simon (just to Simon), but in verse 11 it says that they (all of them) forsook all and followed Him. When you step out and obey God, it will spark others to do the same! Revival spreads! What kind of spark are you? If your fire goes out, you must be re-lit.
Verse 11 - A True Leader
11 And when they had brought their ships to land, they forsook all, and followed him.
When they followed Him, they forsook all. They were not washing their nets any more, they had brand new nets! They now had nets made of words.
The two boats eventually came back to shore full of fish and Jesus was able to meet the crowd’s physical need of food as well as their spiritual need of the Word of God. Jesus can meet the needs of a few or of many all at they same time.
It is now time to stop inviting people to know Jesus and start compelling them! It is time to stop asking and start persuading. Jesus met their immediate need with a miracle, but these men left the immediate provision and followed the provider. When you hear the Word of God and see miracles following, you too must make a choice between the Provision and the Provider! Will you leave the provision of the present for the promise of the future? It’s your choice!
Jesus Christ is available to all. He is a caring person and He pays attention to the details of your life. He is a humble visionary who wants to bring out the best in you personally. He is a compassionate worker who is always looking for partners, a miracle worker who brings amazement wherever He goes. Jesus has the compelling voice of a true leader.