Peter was struggling, catching nothing and Jesus said. “Cast your net on the other side.”
Simple words that changed everything.
Peter listened, and was blessed beyond measure.
But the more we look at this story the more we begin to understand that the real blessing had little to do with a few boats overflowing with fish.
Though its easy to stop as we read this story when we get to the big fish catch and fall to our knees and pray that God would tell us what side of the boat to cast our nets onto. We need to look further.
“Go away from me, for I am a sinful man!” He replies as he looks upon the fortune of fish.
He did not see the blessing, push his shoulders back and reply “Jesus, you must have seen the goodness in my actions and are finally giving me the reward I so deserve”
Not at all!
He falls to his feet crying. Lord I do not deserve this.
Only after Jesus sees his heart, that is when the real blessing comes out. A reward he was holding back until he saw evidence of a broken and humble man. A reward 100 times more valuable than all the riches and boat loads of fish in this world.
“Do not be afraid” Jesus says, and I can almost see the gleam in his eye as he finally sees in this man what he has been looking for.
“From now on you will be a fisher of men.”
And there it is! With all it’s beautiful simplicity. The words that each of us should yearn to have spoken into our ears.
Not given to Peter because of his good works, his worth-on-this-earth-resume, but rather offered through of the grace of God for a sinner who realized his inability and Jesus’ ability.
Peter never even took the fish to the market to sell them, he did not work on getting his financial house in order before he took Jesus up on this offer, he dropped everything at that very moment and followed.
He became a fisher of men.
He struggled all along the way.
He screwed things up.
He even denied Jesus.
And the most amazing part is that Jesus knew all along that he would struggle, yet on that day when he saw into the heart of this humble man he knew that this was a guy who knows his own wretchedness, exactly kind of person Jesus uses to do great things.
Today I pray that we can see past the boat load of fish, and onto the greater calling that Jesus has for us. That we would be able to be humble enough to understand that the blessings he gives are more than we deserve, and I pray that He might in turn see our humble hearts and offer for us to fish for men.