A Voice in the Wilderness - Observations and Excursions of a Christian Zealot

Terry Walker's Weblog --- Occasional articles on the Christian Ethic

Monday, January 01, 2007

The Real Blessing

The Bible is filled with subtlety of message that when read carefully can change your entire understanding of what seemed like a simple passage.

Such was the case for me in Luke 5:3-11 in the King James Version.

Jesus is preaching from Simon’s empty fishing boat, it seams that Simon and his partners, James and John, had been fishing all night and had caught nothing. Not a single fish between the two boats that they had.

But in verse 4, Jesus instructs Simon to: “Launch out into the deep, and let down your nets for a draught.”

In response, Simon whines then reluctantly concedes: “Master we have toiled all the night, and have taken nothing: nevertheless at thy word I will let down the net.”

There are several interesting things to note here. First, while Simon was told to use his nets he chose to only use one. Second Simon called Jesus, Master. And lastly, Simon toiled uselessly all night; he was not sufficient in himself to get the job done.

However, Jesus still took Simon’s half-hearted effort and blessed it. If fact, in verse 6, Simon caught so many fish that the net started to break and both boats began to sink. Verse 9 states “For he was astonished, and all that were with him, at the draught of the fishes which they had taken”.

This catch represented a handsome monetary gain for Simon and his partners. Would we not all like to receive such a blessing? Such is preached from many pulpits today, that Christians have the right to expect as much.

But was this the “REAL” blessing? Was the divine purpose of this huge catch to be a finacial blessing for Simon and the others?

No! Not so! Because in verse 11 Simon, James and John abandon not only the catch, but their entire livelihood, boats, nets and all.

No, the “REAL” blessing had nothing to do with fish, but rather Jesus used this occasion to reveal Himself as Lord and Messiah to Simon and the others.

After Jesus revealed Himself through the sign: Simon fell to his knees and said, not master, but, “O Lord, depart from me, for I am a sinful man!” And the Lord Jesus comfortingly says, “Do not be afraid”.

Jesus continues and gives Simon a new command, “from now on you will catch men”. No more useless toiling. No more empty nets for Simon. Jesus had promised; “you WILL catch men”.

So what commands are you half-heartedly or reluctantly keeping? Is your boat sinking, or are your nets empty? Have you caught anything lately? Are you using all your nets or only one?

Make no mistake; Jesus has given you many commands and instructions to keep. In Matthew 28:19 Jesus instruct you to:
“Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:  Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world.”

If God, in His infinite mercy, has seen fit to save you and give you the gift of the Holy Spirit, then you as a Christian, have no option. At salvation, you were made a disciple, a minister of the Word. You are required and expected to preach and help spread the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

For years I have heard many say that they don’t possess the skills required to preach, or teach or even write about their witness for Christ. Hogwash my dear friend, Hogwash. God Himself says in 2 Corinthians 3:5:
“Not that we are sufficient of ourselves to think of anything as being from ourselves, but our sufficiency is from God, Who also made us sufficient as ministers of the new covenant.”

God has made you sufficient as a minister of the new covenant, the Gospel of Jesus Christ. There is no excuse for you not to keep His command.

So, what are you going to do? God says that as a saved Christian you are sufficient as you are. Isn’t that incredible! From now on we can catch men, if we use Jesus as our net, our boat, our bait and our anchor. Praise be to Jesus, Amen.

Brother Terry Walker
Providence Baptist Church
Greer, South Carolina