When He had stopped speaking, He said to Simon, “Launch out into the deep and let down your nets for a catch.” But Simon answered and said to Him, “Master, we have toiled all night and caught nothing; nevertheless at Your word, I will let down the net.” And when they had done this, they caught a great number of fish, and their net was breaking. (Luke 5:4-6)
At Your Word
Peter, Andrew, James, and John were seasoned fishermen. They had grown up working with their fathers on the Sea of Galilee working in a hard and difficult life. Jesus had grown up in Nazareth and probably worked with Joseph as a carpenter’s apprentice. Nazareth was twenty miles from the Sea of Galilee and would have given few opportunities for Jesus to familiarize himself with the life of fishing. Almost all of the fishing in Israel came from the Sea of Galilee as the Jews never became a sea-faring people like the Phoenicians. Fish sold in Jerusalem would have been supplied through foreign trade with cities like Tyre.
Jesus was by the Lake of Gennesaret (Sea of Galilee or Sea of Tiberias) when a multitude of people came to hear Him teach. When the crowds began to gather around Jesus, the Lord got into one of the boats and taught the people. Finishing His teaching, Jesus told Peter to launch out into the deep and let down their nets. At first, Peter objected, telling the Lord they had toiled all night and caught nothing. Jesus was not as familiar with the wisdom of fishing as Peter. It may have seemed odd for Simon to follow the instructions of Jesus to go into the deep and let nets down. Frustrated by a night’s effortless attempt to catch any fish, Peter would have doubted any success. However, he told the Lord he would obey His word and do what was no doubt a futile exercise.
Faith comes in many forms and the fruit of obedient faith is manifest in trusting the word of God. Peter could have had a lot of reasons to tell the Lord He was mistaken in letting down nets in that part of the sea and to argue the time of day was wrong. There were many reasons Peter could have given but he obeyed the word of the Lord. His faith in the word of the Lord brought about a harvest of fish that was breaking the nets requiring others to come with boats to bring in the catch. Peter knew immediately a miracle had been performed by the hand of the Lord to know where this mass of fish would be found. Trusting in the word of God brought a great blessing to those who obeyed His word.
Obedience has always been a challenge to the heart of men. The reason that Satan was able to deceive the woman in Eden was to first challenge the word of God. Peter hesitated at the word of the Lord with a response from common knowledge but what Jesus was asking the men to do was beyond the realm of human wisdom. He obeyed and received the reward of his obedient faith. The Bible is the word of God and contained within its pages is the full mind of God to all the world. What the Lord demands man to do is to launch out into the deep and let down nets of faith. This requires complete trust in the word of the Lord. When men argue from the human standpoint they fail to obey the word of the Lord. Human wisdom can never compare with divine wisdom. What Jesus asked Peter to do was against all human reason. Peter obeyed because Jesus said so and that is obedient faith.
It is sad to read a passage from the Bible and have men refuse to believe. The Bible begins with the proclamation that God created everything and yet most reject the word of God. There is nothing man can explain in human wisdom how a world was created by the breath of God. Until they let down their nets of faith in the depths of God’s word, they will never find the truth. In the New Testament, the early church began when devout men asked what they had to do to be saved. Peter told them to repent and be baptized for the remission of their sins. They did not argue or debate the elements of immersion but three thousand souls were added to the church that day because they believed the word of the Lord. Like Peter, they trusted in the word of the Lord and obeyed. At the word of Christ, men obeyed and found salvation.
When the Bible is taken for what it is (the word of God) and men believe and obey the word of the Lord, joy is found in the gathering of the blessings of God. It would do well for people to argue less with God and His word and do what Peter did: go into the deep and let their nets down. Trust in the word of God and follow His will. You will not believe the blessings that await you. And this time their nets were so full of fish they began to tear!