How Big Is Your God?

Faith Church February 19, 2005 Luke 5:1-11

  I.  What was Jesus doing? [Context of this Event]

- this event is NOT the same as the ones mentioned in Matthew 4:18-22 or Mark 1:16-20

>  in this event, Peter had been fishing all night and caught nothing

>  they are washing their nets and laying them out to dry (if not, nets would rot and break)

- Jesus has been teaching to the crowds (4:42-44) – people were ‘listening to the word of God’ (5:1) – He was preaching to them the kingdom of God – what he said in 4:42

- so He’s setting the stage to TEACH them the truth and to do a series of miracles in these verses and those that follow

Input: Why does Jesus do miracles?

>  to demonstrate His deity – that He is God, Creator, Sovereign over all, Omnipotent, etc.

- he sees Peter and the rest of crew washing their nets – and gets in one of the boats (Peter’s boat) lying at the edge of the lake (Peter joins Jesus in the boat)

II.  What did Jesus ask?

A.  Take a little step of faith – ‘put out a little way from the land’

- He asks Peter to ‘put out a little way from the land’ –so the crowd could see Him better and He could teach them (imagine that setting – Jesus just off shore, standing in a boat)

- it wasn’t a BIG thing Jesus asked – just ‘a little way from the land’

> Point: OK – no big deal – we can that!

- but when Jesus finished teaching – Jesus told Peter to do something else

B.  Take a bigger step of faith – “Put out into the deep water“

- no you’re going to have to really trust me, Peter – let’s go, out to the deep water, and ‘let down your nets for a catch’ (Jesus even told him WHY – ‘for a catch of fish!’

- here’s the Lord practicing full disclosure – I’m telling you what to do and WHY I want you to do it!

[Note:  It was common knowledge that in the Sea of Galilee, you caught the fish at night in the shallow water, not in the daytime in the deep water]

- but Isaiah 55 explains why we don’t always ‘get it’

[By the way:  It’s easy for us to fuss at Peter - -come on dude, what’s wrong with you?  Can’t you life by faith and to out to the deep with Jesus – He’s the Creator for crying out loud!]

  • [KJV] Isaiah 55:8 For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD. 9 For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.

* Point:  Many times God asks us to do the little things first (put out a little way from the land) before He asks us to do something bigger (‘put out into the deep water)

III. How did Peter respond? – v. 5

Note: Peter’s response to BOTH – he did what was asked of him!

- the first one didn’t take much faith, and that may explain why no thoughts were recorded by Luke (Peter just did it)

- but when the 2ndlevel of commitment was expected – Peter began to reveal what was in his heart

[READ Luke 5:5]

Master = speaks of authority, chief commander, magistrate, governor of a city

Point:  Peter was willing to submit to the authority of Christ even though he didn’t understand the reason(s) behind all that Christ was doing!

- his way surely hadn’t netted them any fish (they ‘caught NOTHING’!)

- but ‘I will do as you say and let down the nets’

Q:  Is that your heart this morning?

> you know that your way of evangelism and outreach =  “I’ve caught nothing”

> maybe it’s time you said, “I will do as you say” (according to the Word God – I’m going to follow the leadership of my pastors – we’re going out into the deep to let down the nets!)

IV.  What was the RESULT?

[READ 5:6 – ‘a great quantity of fish and their nets began to break’]

- it was so awesome that they had to ask for help – v. 7 – God’s grace/blessing!

- but it wasn’t about ‘the fish’ . . . the issue is:

Q:  What did the reveal about our Lord?

1) the glory of Christ – His power, His grace

2) the sinfulness/helplessness of man – v. 8 [John 15:5 ‘without me, you can do nothing]

V.  How did Peter respond? – v. 8-9

(1) Response:  A right view of the Master:

1) Deity

2) Sovereign

3) Lord over creation! (used the word twice in v. 8)

(2) Response:  A right view of himself (how’s this for a good self-image?)

“go away from me Lord, for I am a sinful man, O Lord”

Q: What prompted this response?

Reason:  He and his friends were amazed because of the catch of fish! – v. 9

  • Amazed = as an emotion in which awe and fear are mingled, astonishment
  • Seized = lit. encircle, surround; fig. of unexpected circumstances and emotions come on someone

Q:  Are you amazed at what God is doing here at FBC? Do we really get it? See it? Acknowledge it?  What does it take to get your attention?

[Mention March 6th– Sunday PM – Church Family Night – lots of testimonies/baptisms]

* Some people as practically dead in their outreach/evangelism because they do not see the greatness of God (glory of Christ) – they haven’t noticed God doing anything that would amaze them

> some are too preoccupied with the things of this world or the cares of this life

> amazed that somebody would listen to music a little different than they would – or amazed that somebody might dress a little different – or color their hair a little different

- or amazed that someone would be living is such sinful lifestyle

- but they don’t see God at work – WHY?

THEY ARE STILL STANDING ON THE BEACH CLEANING THEIR EMPTY NETS . . . UNWILLING TO GET IN THE BOAT WITH JESUS AND ‘PUT OUT A LITTLE WAY FROM THE LAND’ . . . AND THEY SURE AREN’T GOING TO ‘PUT OUT INTO THE DEEP AND LET DOWN THEIR NETS’ AND TRUST THE LORD EVEN THOUGH THEY HAVE BEEN CATCHING NOTHING!

* Peter was so embarrassed that he said to the Lord, ‘go away from me’

VI.  The Grace of the Lord – v. 10

Don’t be afraid – afraid of what?

- I think he’s referring to Peter’s response in v. 8 “go away from me Lord”

> Jesus was saying in essence, NO WAY – I’m not going anywhere, and you think this is something, I’m going to make you fishers of men

- I’m going to meet you guys where you are and I’m going to turn you into fishers of men

- We’re changing gear boys – it’s not about FISH (temporal) – it’s about MEN (people who are going to live somewhere forever!)

- Jesus kept this promise in two ways:

1) He did ‘go away’ (back to heaven) – but He sent another ‘Comforter’ – the Holy Spirit

2) Acts 2 – the Day of Pentecost – [if time, review the message]

Result:  3,000 people got saved – HOW ABOUT THAT CATCH! NOT BAD FOR ONE DAY!

VII. Change of Heart—Direction—Ministry  – v. 11

‘left everything, and followed Him’ 

- the text doesn’t say this, but these men, with the exception of John, they followed Him to their death (Peter for sure was a martyr [John 2:18-19] – James, historically, not in the biblical text, was also a martyr; John was exiled on the island of Patmos – history records that he was boiled in oil]

Q:  What are you ready to ‘leave’ in order to follow Christ? Are you Embracing the Adventure?


 

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