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Luke 5:1-11

One day as Jesus was preaching on the shore of the Sea of Galilee, great crowds pressed in on him to listen to the word of God. 2 He noticed two empty boats at the water’s edge, for the fishermen had left them and were washing their nets. 3 Stepping into one of the boats, Jesus asked Simon, its owner, to push it out into the water. So he sat in the boat and taught the crowds from there.

4 When he had finished speaking, he said to Simon, “Now go out where it is deeper, and let down your nets to catch some fish.”

5 “Master,” Simon replied, “we worked hard all last night and didn’t catch a thing. But if you say so, I’ll let the nets down again.” 6 And this time their nets were so full of fish they began to tear! 7 A shout for help brought their partners in the other boat, and soon both boats were filled with fish and on the verge of sinking. 8 When Simon Peter realized what had happened, he fell to his knees before Jesus and said, “Oh, Lord, please leave me—I’m too much of a sinner to be around you.” 9 For he was awestruck by the number of fish they had caught, as were the others with him. 10 His partners, James and John, the sons of Zebedee, were also amazed.Jesus replied to Simon, “Don’t be afraid! From now on you’ll be fishing for people!” 11 And as soon as they landed, they left everything and followed Jesus. NLT

By then end of this short passage, life had completely changed for these fishermen.

They had already fished all night, cleaned their nets and were relaxing and listening to Jesus teaching. Suddenly, he asked them to go out fishing again. Peter said (v5) ‘we have fished all night and caught nothing’…isn’t our ministry like that sometimes? We labour long and hard with seemingly no results. But Peter said ‘But if you say so…we will’. God sometimes asks us to do stuff that doesn’t immediately make sense.

KEY VERSE v4 “Now go out where it is deeper, and let down your nets to catch some fish.”

  1. Go out where it is deeper (into deep waters) – get out of the shallows (no fish there!) where if something goes wrong, it’s easy to fix. It’s our comfort zone. It maybe that we have to go back as the disciples did to a place where there was disappointment, hard work but no results. It maybe that we have to go into unchartered territory, into the unknown as that is where the wild fish are. We are so used to looking after the fish in the pond that we don’t go out into the deep anymore.
  2. Let down your nets to catch some fish – don’t say that you’ve tried it before and it didn’t work, be obedient to God. We have to let down the nets. Anyone can do social work such as foodbanks, debt counselling etc (good that there are) BUT ONLY the church, the people of God, can introduce people to Jesus. We can be out there in the deep doing this stuff, but never let the nets down. Make opportunity for people to respond to the invitation of knowing Jesus. Be passionate and bold. Give people a chance.

Find the deep water and fish there. Don’t leave the net in the boat or on the shore!

In v10 the fishermen were called to a new task of fishing for men and in v11 they obeyed and left EVERYTHING to follow Jesus.

Obey Gods direction and the prompting of the Holy Spirit. If we are faithful, God makes us fruitful.

Based on a talk by Steve Clifford (Evangelical Alliance) http://www.eauk.org

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