Today you should read: Luke 5:1-11
Today we read about Jesus calling his first disciples. Jesus was bringing in a crowd because of his teaching.
Picture it – Jesus is teaching along a shoreline and the people are getting closer and closer and closer until Jesus has to get into a boat and tells the owner (Simon Peter) to push it out into the water.
Then we see Simon Peter let out his nets at Jesus’s request after Simon had not caught any fish all night. This time the nets are tearing because they are so full. Jesus blessed Simon Peter after he was obedient.
I have sometimes seen this passage used by preachers to justify a “Prosperity Gospel.” It’s a message that if we are obedient to what Jesus commands, he will give us wealth, health, or whatever we need. However, this is wrong and contrary to the true Gospel of Jesus Christ. Those who push this belief are praising Jesus for what he gives them instead of praising him because he is God. It is substituting our worship of the Creator for creation.
God blesses us in different ways and at different times. Yes, I believe we receive some sort of blessing whenever we are obedient to the Lord, but often that blessing is intended to make us holy instead of happy. Sometimes God blesses obedience by bringing us out of a difficult time, and sometimes God blesses us by being our comfort in a difficult time.
Either way, the blessing of fish is not the primary point of this passage. The miracle that Jesus performed was intended to show Peter his sin and drive him to discipleship. Look at Peter’s reaction to Jesus’s mighty act and then Jesus’s response to Peter:
“When Simon Peter realized what had happened, he fell to his knees before Jesus and said, ‘Oh, Lord, please leave me—I’m such a sinful man.’ For he was awestruck by the number of fish they had caught, as were the others with him. His partners, James and John, the sons of Zebedee, were also amazed. Jesus replied to Simon, ‘Don’t be afraid! From now on you’ll be fishing for people!’ And as soon as they landed, they left everything and followed Jesus.” (V. 8-11)
When Simon Peter witnessed the mighty power of Jesus and trusted him in obedience, Simon saw the magnitude of his sin and followed him. The first disciples left everything to follow Jesus, including all the fish they had just caught. Wow! That is worshipping the Creator instead of the creation.
Jesus performed many miracles, but the greatest act of Jesus was his sacrificial death on the cross where he took the punishment for our sin and then after three days rose from the dead. This mighty act should drive us to repentance and worship, and give us a willingness to leave everything to follow Jesus.
Questions for today:
- How has God blessed you today?
- In what ways have you ever worshipped creation instead of the Creator? (Romans 1:18-25)
By: Lucas Taylor — Worship Ministries Apprentice
8 thoughts on “January 16, 2018”
“often that blessing is intended to make us holy instead of happy”
Profound truth in these words. If we’re really honest, all of us would prefer to be happy rather than sad. Some of God’s greatest “teachable moments” come in times when we are not happy about the circumstances in our lives. I think of John the Baptist who spent the last days of his life in prison for the sake of the Gospel. He was released from prison only to be martyred for his faith. Jesus said that John the Baptist was the greatest “among those born of women”. (Matthew 11:11). There is certainly no prosperity gospel to be found in the last days of his life yet he received high praise from his Lord & Savior. Whenever I’m going through difficult times, my prayer is that God will teach me and use me for His glory.
As Lucas says in today’s commentary, often God’s goal is to make us holy instead of happy. Sometimes our good God gives us both holiness & happiness!
I’m amazed at how Prosperity preachers can twist & distort any scripture into their false theology.
Good stuff this morning Lucas. I love this passage & I love His you pointed it to the Gospel at the end.
Thanks Lucas! Gods blessings in my life have been overwhelming. Life, salvation, family, education, health, material blessings. I don’t know where to start. You’re right – it’s so easy (even in subtle ways) to worship the blessings and the gifts more than the Giver. Thanks for the reminder today!
God truly has blessed me in so many ways. I often find myself loving those blessings more than God! I believe if we keep looking to the Cross, then we will worship the Creator rather than creation.
Good words today church. I am reminded of psalm 37:4 “ Delight yourself in the LORD,
and he will give you the desires of your heart.“. My constant prayer these days is that my heart would be transformed to love the things God loves and not the “blessings” of our very very privileged section of the world we live in.
“The blessing of fish is not the primary point.” Right on Lucas. Too often I find myself complaining to God for not doing an amazing miracle in my life while forgetting that I have a savior who is present.
They not only left the fish they had just (finally) caught, they left the catch of a lifetime! And – they were of like mind and heart – no Judas arguing to sell first, follow later. WOW! Many have “the catch of a lifetime” in a job, house, mate, lavish living, vehicles, etc…It’s so easy to become complacent in “lifetime blessings” instead of offering passionate compliance to Christ’s call on even the moments of the day. Oh to be so willing as these men were to ignore the catch of a lifetime to see what really matters.