Amazement … seized him and all his companions because of the catch of fish which they had taken.
—Luke 5:9

In Luke 5, Jesus was in the public phase of His ministry. The crowds were growing. People were excited by His miracles. Verse 1 sets the scene: “Now it happened that while the crowd was pressing around Him and listening to the word of God, He was standing by the lake of Gennesaret.” The lake of Gennesaret, also called the Sea of Galilee, is surrounded by hills, and the beaches are very narrow. Jesus couldn’t find a place on the shore to address the large crowd that had gathered to hear Him. So what did He do to solve the problem?

Luke 5:2 says, “He saw two boats lying at the edge of the lake; but the fishermen had gotten out of them and were washing their nets.” These fishermen had spent all night fishing, and now they were washing the nets and laying them out to dry. As soon as they finished, they would go home and sleep during the day so that they could fish all night again. Jesus saw the empty boats and got an idea. “He got into one of the boats, which was Simon’s, and asked him to put out a little way from the land. And He sat down and began teaching the people from the boat” (v. 3). Can you imagine Peter and the pride he must have felt as the crowd looked at the boat and saw him sitting next to Jesus? Little did Peter and Andrew, James, and John–his fishing partners–know that the real audience for Jesus’s message that day was them.

“When He had finished speaking, He said to Simon, ‘Put out into the deep water and let down your nets for a catch.’ Simon answered and said, ‘Master, we worked hard all night and caught nothing, but I will do as You say and let down the nets’” (vv. 4-5). Peter likely thought, “Lord, You don’t know anything about fishing. You don’t fish in the daytime; you fish at night. And you don’t fish in the deep waters; you fish in the shallow waters. You don’t know what You are talking about.” But he decided to go ahead and put the nets in the water.

“When they have done this, they enclosed a great quantity of fish, and their nets began to break; so they signaled to their partners in the other boat for them to come and help them. And they came and filled both of the boats, so that they began to sink” (vv. 6-7). Can you imagine what those experienced fishermen must have thought, filling two boats full of fish in the most unlikely circumstances? Notice Peter’s reaction: “When Simon Peter saw that, he fell down at Jesus’ feet, saying, ‘Go away from me Lord, for I am a sinful man!” (v. 8). Why did Peter fall down and worship Jesus? Peter had an aha moment. He suddenly realized who Jesus was.

Whenever you have a real experience of the presence of God, you have the same reaction Peter did. You fall down and worship as you realize how unworthy you are in the face of Someone who is so worthy. That’s what happens when you come to the presence of Jesus.

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Today’s devotion is excerpted from “A Fish Tale” by Dr. Robert Jeffress, 2016.

Scripture quotations are taken from the NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE®, Copyright © 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission.

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