Jesus Restores: Peter’s Calling (Part 1)
We often say, “Jesus restores.”
When we are broken, when life has beaten us up, when sin seems to have weaved its way into our story once again, we know we can find restoration in Jesus.
Or do we?
As a Pastor I see so many people in the church who are immersed in the guilt of their past.
People who often need to be reminded of just how amazing the grace of God is.
Over the next few posts I would like to show how the restorative power of Jesus was on display in the life of Peter.
My hope is that this will remind us that there is freedom from our guilt through Jesus.
Luke 5:1-3: One day as Jesus was standing by the Lake of Gennesaret, the people were crowding around him and listening to the word of God. He saw at the water’s edge two boats, left there by the fishermen, who were washing their nets. He got into one of the boats, the one belonging to Simon (Peter), and asked him to put out a little from shore. Then he sat down and taught the people from the boat.
Jesus is surrounded by a large amount of people as he shares a message.
He then realizes that if he pushes a boat out a little it would be a better set up for everyone gathered to hear him, kind of like an amphitheater.
Peter must have felt honored to have a Rabbi ask to use his boat. So Peter pushes the boat out and sits next to Jesus.
All the while Jesus is giving a message and Peter is listening. It leads us to wonder, what was Jesus saying?
Whatever Jesus said, it seemed to connect with Peter.
Luke 5:4-7: When he had finished speaking, he said to Simon, “Put out into deep water, and let down the nets for a catch.” Simon answered, “Master, we’ve worked hard all night and haven’t caught anything. But because you say so, I will let down the nets.” When they had done so, they caught such a large number of fish that their nets began to break. So they signaled their partners in the other boat to come and help them, and they came and filled both boats so full that they began to sink.
If the message wasn’t enough, now Jesus really gets the attention of Peter. This is nothing short of a miracle.
Peter and the others were professionals, they knew what it took to catch fish. All night they had fished and they knew that this moment was possibly the least likely moment to catch fish.
But Peter wasn’t going to ignore the Rabbi, so he did what he said, and it was such a large amount of fish.
Luke 5:8-11: When Simon Peter saw this, he fell at Jesus’ knees and said, “Go away from me, Lord; I am a sinful man!” For he and all his companions were astonished at the catch of fish they had taken, and so were James and John, the sons of Zebedee, Simon’s partners.
Then Jesus said to Simon, “Don’t be afraid; from now on you will fish for people.” So they pulled their boats up on shore, left everything and followed him.
It is at this point Peter realizes that Jesus is not just a Rabbi (teacher), but he is actually the Messiah they have been awaiting.
Peter felt unworthy of being in the presence of the Messiah. He knew he was sinful, he knew he wasn’t good enough, and he knew that following Jesus wasn’t an option for someone like him.
Peter must have believed that broken, sinful, and shame filled people do not belong this close to God.
Maybe this mewithoutYou lyric captures Peters disposition, “there’s mistakes I’ve made no rowing could outrun.”
But Jesus’ response to this guilt was, “Don’t be afraid.”
Peter was so moved by the calling of Jesus to fish for men that he left everything.
Peter, along with the other disciples (except for Judas of course), followed Jesus faithfully throughout his ministry.
Peter is often the first to speak up and ask a question. It would be fair to say that Peter operated as the mouthpiece of the disciples, which made him kind of the leader of the disciples.
In the next post we will see a sword, a courtyard, and a rooster, as things change quickly for Peter. Stay tuned.