There’s an impressive array of miracles at the start of today’s reading – Simon’s mother-in-law, lots of sick people who all get healed and demonised people set free. After each ministry time, Jesus withdraws to recharge spiritually (4:23 and 5:16). Then Jesus starts to preach at the lakeside, but the crowd is large and they can’t hear. Sound carries well on water, so Jesus gets Simon to row Him out a little so He can speak, be heard by all, and can see all. Now it is time for Jesus to give Simon what my friend Maurice Nightingale calls a destiny dilemma. To do that Jesus performs a nature miracle, a miraculous catch of fish after the exhausted expert had caught nothing in his own strength. The miracle will expose Simon’s pride and sinfulness.
There are three encouragements we can get from the calling of Simon, now better known as Peter…
Jesus calls us in our weakness
Simon had done his human best and caught nothing. He was exhausted from a sleepless night. It was the best time for Jesus to call him to become an evangelist. He needed his pride, unbelief and weakness exposed. He needed to know Jesus is in charge of all the fish in the world and that without Jesus he could do nothing. Then he would be able to fish for people in faith.
It doesn’t take a lot of faith to drop the nets again
Even in Simon’s doubt and tiredness and questioning whether Jesus knew about fishing, he dropped the nets “But at your word…” It wasn’t bold faith, it wasn’t a lot of faith, it was reluctant faith, BUT most importantly it was faith to obey what Jesus told him to do. When we do what God says, He honours it.
Jesus provides from the fish
They dropped the nets and Jesus filled them. The fish came – we just need to be faithful and God provides the many or the few.
To further help us to know what God is calling us to, the next incident in v12-16 shows us the nature of the new covenant. As David Rawlings mentioned on Sunday, under the old covenant touching a leper made you unclean. Under the new covenant, touching a leper, makes them clean again.
We have a great gospel that is good news for the poor, freedom for captives, healing for the sick and makes people clean. Let’s get out there and take it to friends, colleagues, family, neighbours and onto the streets. Remember to come back and recharge with the Father too, v16.