• on February 5, 2018

Luke 5:1-11 Abundant Obedience

by Daniel Burton
by Daniel Burton

The boats had been pulled ashore, the nets were being cleaned, and the fisherman were begrudgingly recovering from a long, fruitless night of fishing.  Dragging their boats ashore, the teacher approached a tired and defeated Simon Peter.  The crowds had become too large to simply stand among them.  The sea would prove to be a great vantage point to teach the masses.  But Peter was a simple, disgruntled fisherman, having had a rough night of fruitless labor, wondering how he would be able to provide for his family.  Now, he had to cast out his boat one more time for this teacher.  Had this been the same person who had healed the sick?

Yet, as the famed teacher had finishing speaking, he looks directly at Peter and told him cast out his nets.  How could this be?  They had been fishing all night and caught nothing of any substance for their evenings work.  There were simply no fish.  While Peter protested he still remaining obedient to the words of Jesus Christ.  They made no sense to a fisherman, but to a God, the catch was merely an act of obedience.  While he acted in obedience, the results were beyond the expectation of Peter’s imagination.

“When he had finished speaking, he said to Simon, “Put out into deep water, and let down the nets for a catch.” 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.” 

Luke 5:4-5, NIV

There was nothing significantly special about Peter.  In fact, at the outset, he only barely believed that something would happen.  When faced with the decision as to whether or not to take Jesus out of the water, a tired Peter was obedient to God’s call.  Then, when faced with the decision to cast out the nets, a doubting and defeated Peter showed obedience.  Finally, once the miracle had occurred and the bounty had been reeled in, Peter acted in obedience to leave all he had to follow Jesus.  While he would have been comfortable in the supposed security of his fisherman skills, he opted to follow true abundance through being obedient to the call of Jesus Christ.  Peter ultimately understood that whatever he could accomplish on his could not compare with the richness of the miracles of God.  A life of purpose awaited Peter, instead of a life of temporary meaning. Peter realized the ongoing and sustained relationship with a Savior would be more fulfilling that simply existing for the day to day gain.

Leaving Supposed Security

Peter had hauled in a catch of fish much larger than anything he had seen.  The sheer amount had almost torn their nets and broke their boats.  The abundance of blessing would have been more than they could sustain on their own.  There was no doubt, this was a supernatural miracle committed by God. On their own, they could not sustain the type of blessing that tis brought.  Yet, Peter left all of it.  The security of an income that would have lasted him a full year, the stories of the legendary fisherman.  Instead, Peter left everything to the risk of following Jesus Christ

God desires to do miracles in this world to show that He alone is able to provide for the hope and security of mankind. This will mean stepping out and following Him! Click To Tweet

Those of us who know the story, though, know that this was no risk at all for Peter.  But for all our knowledge, we often times pause and hesitate when it comes to our own personal faith.  We hear the calling of God directing us out of the “security” of our personal lives and “well-being” of our finances towards a deeper, lasting relationship, but struggle to move.  Security, while not inherently bad, can quickly turn into an idol that we refuse to sacrifice on the altar.  God desires to do miracles in this world to show that He alone is able to provide for the hope and security of mankind.  This will mean stepping out and following Him! Whatever security we may have amassed for ourselves, when compare with the deepness and richness of what God has to offer will always come up short.  God is able to do immeasurably more than we are able.

Following True Abundance

As Simon Peter stood them with  the largest catch of fish he had ever brought in, there stood this famed teacher, the Savior.  This would have been enough for Simon Peter live off of comfortably while providing for his family.  Yet, there stood the Savior, not surprised or shocked at the supposed haul but rather impressed at a fact he knew would occur and had ordained this moment.  Jesus spoke to Simon Peter “Don’t be afraid; from now on you will fish for people.” (Luke 5:10, NIV) Jesus affirmed Peter as more than a fisher, but as someone with a greater purpose before them.  If the abundance that sprang forth from Peter’s obedience was shocking now, Peter would see even greater miracles than this.

True abundance comes, not from the promise of wealth, but from the promise of a life lived in Jesus Christ. Click To Tweet

Jesus never promised great riches or financial security, but he did promise a life of purpose and fulfillment. True abundance comes, not from the promise of wealth, but from the promise of a life lived in Jesus Christ.  Peter’s obedience to God put to death the personal preferences and stepped into the abundant live that Jesus had set before Him.  Sure, there would be trials and difficulties along the way and not everything would be happy, but there would be a deep longing that would be fulfilled.  When we are obedient to God, we step into the miracles that God has prepared for us in advance.  True abundance leads us deeper into our relationship with Jesus Christ as we bow before the High King, who saves and redeems His people.

For more in this series, check out A Walk Through Luke.

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