We're Caught to Catch Pastor Gus Lohrum
We’re Caught to Catch
February 10, 2019
I see a three-step process from this story for how God works in our lives and how we can be a source of godly influence on others. The three movements are instruction, demonstration and invitation.
Watch for those three steps as we share together in this great story.
Read Luke 5:1-11
Instruction: vs. 1-5
Jesus is well into his ministry by this point in time in his three- and half-year ministry on earth. When the crowds were pressing in on him, Jesus steps into Peter’s boat and asked him to position just a little-ways off the shore. Former radio pastor, J. Vernon McGee once said about this moment, "Every pulpit is a fishing boat, a place to give out the Word of God and attempt to catch fish."
This is a moment of instruction. On one hand, it is obvious that Jesus is instructing the crowds. But Jesus is also about to take Peter to school. Jesus knows, Peter and his guys didn’t have a good night fishing. He no doubt saw empty nets being cleaned instead of nets filled with fish.
Jesus instructed Peter to go out once again and cast out the nets to catch fish.
Here is where the story can provide instruction to us.
Peter tells Jesus it is useless because they have fished all night and have caught nothing.
Peter responded with a bit of a protest. We gave it a try and it didn’t work.
Author, R.A. Torrey once said, “How many objections of our reason and commonsense ought the word of Jesus to outweigh?”
Meaning - why do we surrender easier and quicker to our frustrations than to the words of Jesus?
It’s understandable for Peter to respond this way. He had been fishing a long time. Jesus is the son of a carpenter – whose judgement should he trust?
Also, the lake they were on was known for its clear water. Fish had great visibility of what was in the water so fishermen fished at night when the fish couldn’t see as well. They had been fishing all night and then Jesus wanted them to give it one more try; especially during the day when the fish can see better? What’s the point?
Mattoon – One author said, “There may be times when we need to return to our place of failure in order to find blessing. Some people quit and run from their problems when they face difficulty and never work through them. In so doing, they rob themselves of the blessings that come from "sticking it out" and the lessons that diligence and determination teach.
The instruction of Jesus to Peter, reminds us we there are times we need to cast our efforts, often in the areas where we have failed before or where we struggled before.
When we have our moments like Peter and protest what God wants us to do; sometimes our protest can be covering characteristics in our heart like;
Pride – I’m good just as I am.
I’m not okay but everyone else is.
Need to be in control.
Need to be right.
Fear of facing our fears/giants.
This is a story to remind us God will bring instruction to our hearts, and sometimes it takes us to the places in life where we think there is nothing to gain, learn or accomplish.
I would imagine there can be some fear about where we are as a church moving forward, and like Peter, we’re fearfully thinking we have already tried.
Slides: Take a look two slides.
It’s understandable to question what will be different in us going forward when our congregation has shrunk, since the time period we see before us.
But if we have a shared collective sense to press on then God is telling us to – “cast out your nets again.”
Peter protested, questioned but ultimately obeyed. Peter is being a doer of the word and not a hearer only. God knows we won’t always have a song in our heart as we obey his leading. However, the reality and relevance of our faith is reflected in our obedience in action; not just our words.
According to the liturgical church calendar, we are in the season of Epiphany when we hear passages from the scripture of how Jesus was revealed as the Son of God in his earthly ministry.
Luke tells us Jesus revealed his power and identity through the huge catch of fish. Other boats had to come help haul in the fish. The fish nets were beginning to break.
Jesus demonstrated to Peter and the others, he was more than the son of a carpenter.
Instruction was followed by a demonstration of power.
Verse 9 states that Peter and the other men were all “amazed.” New Testament scholar, A.T. Robinson says, Peter was enshrouded with amazement.
Keep in mind, based on John 1:35-42 this experience happened about a year after Peter and the others first encountered Jesus.
Another lesson from this story is a demonstration of the power of Jesus will not always follow our most sincere prayers, but in the actual situation where he wants us to see him. (source Cole)
Also see this moment of demonstration was a moment of transformation. The power of Jesus is always transformational. If our lives both individually and shared are not experiencing transformation, then we are coasting too much and not experiencing the power of God.
Peter’s response to the miracle in one sense seems puzzling. Luke tells us Peter asked Jesus to go away. He confessed he was a “sinful man.” (v.8) What God reveals to us does not depend on our goodness.
Pastor Warren Wiersbe writes, What humbled Peter? His failure in the PM or his success in the AM?
If success humbles you, then failure will build you up!
If success puffs you up, then failure will destroy you! (Warren Wiersbe; Outlines in the NT.)
One preacher said, “Peter realized that if Jesus can see into the depth of the lake, he can see into the depth of Peter’s heart.” (source unknown) And isn’t this what shakes all of us up a bit? It can either draw us closer to God or it can be a part of the reason some avoid God, avoid worship, a Sunday school group, a small group or being a part of ministry – it’s not that they fear they won’t experience God; but they will.
Morgan Parks who will be preaching for me on the 24th said about this passage, “Don’t be surprised if the greatness of Jesus makes us see our weakness.”
But all that amazement led to transformation because consider how this moment changed the way Peter saw the identity of Jesus. Before the catch, he responded to the instruction of Jesus with the word “master.” (v.5) After the catch of fish, Peter fell on his knees and addressed Jesus with the word “Lord.”
? What situations do you need to see more of God’s greatness and less of your inadequacies?
How many of us after having that unique experience of God, also then have a greater sense he is Lord, he is who we have read about, sung about and heard about through sermons? A demonstration of power leads to transformation.
Verse 10 tells us Jesus adds to the moment of astonishment when he said to Peter and the other men, “Do not be afraid” “from now all you will be catching people.” v.10
Dr. Steven Cole states, the word catch means to catch alive. Fishermen caught live fish that would soon die, Jesus was calling them to catch spiritually dead people so they could find new life.
Isn’t it something – we see God’s greatness and we become fearful? We become uneasy, uncomfortable in some way for a variety of reasons and we say, “Depart, ask someone else, somebody more qualified than I am.”
Yet at a moment when someone is feeling the lowest, Jesus sees our frailty and says, I have a purpose for you. At this moment I don’t believe the reason Peter and the others followed was solely because they had enough faith in Jesus. I believe these men followed Jesus because Jesus had faith in them.
Our faith in God matters a great deal, God’s faith in us matters the most.
But what is also true is that God has faith in us.
Jesus had faith in these disciples.
Jesus had faith in a man like Zacchaeus that Zacchaeus could change from being greedy to generous.
Jesus believed a woman who had more husbands than Elizabeth Taylor could finally be fulfilled by the love of God and John 4 tells us she became the first female evangelist.
Jesus believes in us in our tough times and as we move into a new facility that our ministry can be revived because we’re called and caught to catch.
The story ends with Luke saying, “They pulled their boats up on the beach, left them, nets and all and followed him.” (V.11)
The Message Bible
The word followed means two things. It means in the Greek to literally “walk the same road.” It was also used of military personnel and students of a teacher and it means to “follow closely.”
God invites us to walk the same road of life as Jesus. Share the good news of God. Live to love others in both word and service.
He will demonstrate his presence.
Perhaps the main thing we need to decide today is what to leave behind so we follow him closely.