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