Many things in life are better experienced than explained. For instance, before my wife and I had our first child, many people told us how wonderful it would be. But when we met our daughter for the first time, no words could do justice to the moment itself. While the stories were great and built anticipation, experiencing it was another level of incredible!
Keep this thought in mind as we study Luke 5. In
this passage, Peter and his friends spend an entire night fishing without catching a single fish. As they cleaned their nets, Jesus pulled off from shore and taught from Peter’s boat. Upon hearing the Word spoken by Jesus: “Launch out into the deep and let down your nets for a catch,” Peter tosses his net into the water.
Put yourself in Peter’s shoes for a moment. How would you feel if someone used your boat to teach, watched you clean your nets (knowing you didn’t catch anything all night), and THEN asked you to try again— Would you do it? Under normal circumstances, I don’t think many of us would. But when Jesus speaks, Peter doesn’t hesitate. He simply obeys. Clearly, there was something special about this Man. The divine authority in His voice caused Peter to move resulting in a net-breaking catch that took multiple boats to haul in. This was the moment that everything in Peter’s life changed. In this moment, he realized how greatly he fell short of God’s goodness. He actually says to Jesus, “Depart from me, for I am a sinful man, Oh Lord.”
So... What brought about this incredible change? The answer is simple... Peter went from hearing Jesus and His wisdom, to taking the next step and EXPERIENCING His power and His goodness.
Jesus offers the invitation for Peter to walk into his destiny- to become a fisher of men instead. Scripture says that Peter “left everything”-- his identity as a fisherman, the boats, the fishing gear and his livelihood- to follow Jesus. By experiencing God, Peter discovered the truth that earthly things pale in comparison to a life with this Man, Jesus.
Peter’s life is proof that while we can easily be talked out of something someone tells us about, we can never forget an encounter with God.
Today, Jesus is offering the same invitation to us that He offered to Peter. Maybe you’ve heard about Jesus, but have stayed in a place of only head knowledge. Maybe you are still on the shore trying to clean up your stuff, instead of following after Jesus right where you are. Jesus is asking you to experience the presence of God and live the life He has for you; a life that overflows with fullness in every area.