Now we see Jesus begin to call people to Him. He says things such as:
“Come, follow me,” Jesus said, “and I will send you out to fish for people.”
As I was reading through the scriptures which recounts these events, I notice Luke and John give us some details we shouldn’t overlook.
In Luke’s account we see Jesus stretch Peter.
When he had finished speaking, he said to Simon, “Put out into deep water, and let down the nets for a catch.”
5 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.”
How many times has Jesus tried to stretch us? How many times have we shrugged it off and stayed where we are? What blessings, miracles, and success have we missed out on?
Sometime what Jesus asks us to do doesn’t make sense to us, nor those around us. Sometimes we are just so tired, we simply don’t want to put out the effort anymore.
Next time, stop for a moment, take a breath, and say, “Master, because you say so, I’ll do it,” and then just trust Him.
In being stretched, he was also humbled.
When Simon Peter saw this, he fell at Jesus’ knees and said, “Go away from me, Lord; I am a sinful man!”
I have to believe Jesus knew exactly who Peter was on the inside. He doesn’t call the perfect, He perfects the called. What does Jesus say?
“Don’t be afraid; from now on you will fish for people.”
The thought which came to my mind is how we would most likely respond, “No, no, you’re a good man, don’t speak like that.” “It’s okay, your forgiven.” But some how I don’t see anyone saying what Jesus said. First He says “Don’t be afraid.” On the outside, this doesn’t look like a fearful situation. On the inside, the fear in realizing who he was talking to had to be significant for Peter.
I also notice Jesus doesn’t dismiss Peter’s admittance of being sinful. Why do we dismiss truth so easily just to make ourselves feel better? It’s significant because Jesus knows Peter is a sinful man, but calls him despite that. He also let’s Peter know he can still be used, despite the sinful man he is.
John tells us about Nathanael, and what do we see Nathanael saying as he enters the recounting?
“Nazareth! Can anything good come from there?” Nathanael asked.
Oh Nathanael, how much like you we are. Judgmental, discriminatory, prejudice, negative … such great qualities – not! But how does Jesus see him?
Jesus saw Nathanael coming toward Him, and said of him, “Here is an Israelite indeed [a true descendant of Jacob], in whom there is no guile nor deceit nor duplicity!” (AMP)
Really? It seems Jesus appreciated his forthrightness, not hiding behind pretense. As we read on:
Jesus answered, “I saw you while you were still under the fig tree before Philip called you.”
We see Jesus saw Nathanael BEFORE he even made those comments. So He isn’t addressing what we’ve seen from the outside of Nathanael, but what He saw on the inside. And what is the response?
“Rabbi, you are the Son of God; you are the king of Israel.”
Boom, Nathanael is in!
Even though these men, Peter and Nathanael, had doubts, they moved. They didn’t just say, “nah, it can’t be,” and keep sitting where they were. They got up, they went, they saw, and they were rewarded. So what stops you?
Jesus met all of their challenges, He spoke directly to their doubt, and set it to rest quickly. He will do the same in us, IF we are willing to answer His call.