Miracles Occur in Obedient Hands (Part 3)

We pick up the story of Simon Peters invitation to follow Jesus at the point where Jesus has met him in a desolate state and issued some, frankly, bizarre instructions.

When he had finished speaking, he said to Simon, “Now go out where it is deeper, and let down your nets to catch some fish.” “Master,” Simon replied, “we worked hard all last night and didn’t catch a thing. But if you say so, I’ll let the nets down again.”

Luke 5:4-5

Simon has a choice to make. He has NO faith that the method Jesus has just offered to Simon will yield any fish. Any fisherman worth his salt would know you do not fish in the day in deep water. So what is it he is responding to? Why does he obey?

I wonder if there is something stirring within Simon that he is unsure he wants to fully acknowledge – HOPE. Against all the evidence a flicker of hope splutters into life. Its not the instruction I think Simon is compelled to obey – it is the speaker himself. Later Simon will confess that the man stood before him as Lord and that he has ‘the words of eternal life’ (John 6:68) and I think it is at this moment and moments like it that Simon dares to believe this man Jesus may be more than just another religious teacher.

In our own lives, that ebb and flow with challenges and discouragements, we have a choice to make about who Jesus is to us. If you’ve been a Christian a number of years it is inevitable that the good news that Jesus died on the cross for us to lift us out of our wrongdoing and into relationship with a loving God who wishes to walk through life with us; this message can, over time, lose its potency.

Whatever compells Simon to act leads him to follow Jesus’ instructions to the letter.

When they had done so, they caught such a large number of fish that their nets began to break. So they signaled their partners in the other boat to come and help them, and they came and filled both boats so full that they began to sink.

Luke 5:6-7

In Simon’s cyncial, yet obedient hands a stunning miracle occurs! This should give us pause to examine the truth that God is not put off by our doubt, nor is He incapable of acting through us, even in our calloused state.

Jesus must have known the catch was out there. Or God could have materialised the fish, or maybe they were inextricably drawn to Jesus’ presence on the shore. We don’t know. But under the surface of things as Simon is internally wrestling, things in spiritual places are stirring, only breaking forth at the point of the obedient action. How often is this the case in our own lives? Are things being stirred and lined up in spiritual places, awaiting release on Earth, through our obedience?

Lord may it be so! Give us eyes to see and spirits to discern.

Join me in part for as I reflect on the cost of hauling in the miracle catch, the counteracting joy of the occassion and its parallels to revival.

Abi held a funeral for her design career after birthing two churches and three children. She now helps lead a local church alongside her husband John and a team of great people, as well as working for her larger network of churches as their Communications Manager. Life is full but fun.

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