5 So it was, as the multitude pressed about Him to hear the word of God, that He stood by the Lake of Gennesaret, 2 and saw two boats standing by the lake; but the fishermen had gone from them and were washing their nets. 3 Then He got into one of the boats, which was Simon’s, and asked him to put out a little from the land. And He sat down and taught the multitudes from the boat.
1. Let Jesus use your stuff
So, our Hero is standing by a lake. WE know this lake as the Sea of Galilee.
So, he’s standing by a lake named Gennesaret. Did you know that the name of this lake translates to “Harp”? Very interesting? A harp- we associate with what? Angels. The living word of God is called the “Logos”. Logos means Word of God. Jesus is named as the Word became flesh or the Logos. So, The Word goes out on the lake named Harp to speak to the crowd. The crowd wanted to hear the Word of God. I bet it sounded like a sweet symphony when Jesus spoke.
People wanted to hear Him speak.
The people pressed in.
So, if you guys don’t know this. A lake has natural acoustics that makes sound travel on top of it so people can hear. You should try it next time you go to a lake. See how your voice travels when you’re on a boat. It’s really fascinating and it works.
So, Jesus surveys the scene, sees the boat, note that the fisherman were not in the boats. They were washing the salt water off their nets.
So, the Word of God is going to be shared.
This is something that we will honor. The simple sharing of the Word of God, line-upon-line and verse-and-upon-verse. The Word of God is what changes people. The Word is what changes the culture. I believe that there are many good stories to be told and analogies to be had, but the Word of God is what we need.
So, have you ever thought like me, why the fisherman would wash the nets?
I came across and it was too good not share with y’all.
Washing the Nets - Why would these fishermen be washing their nets? Good question, right? Any good net is going to pick up debris. If you do not wash the net this is what will happen. 1. The Fumes of Decay: The net will stink up the boat. Nets catch dead fish, mud, and seaweed from off the bottom of the lake or sea. This debris is pulled into the boat when the net is retrieved and will rot and stink if the net is not cleaned. If the fish and mollusks were not cleared from the nets, rats would feed on the dead debris and chew on the nets, making big holes in them. 2. The Flimsiness of the Cord: If the net is not washed, the cord of the net will eventually rot and weaken the net, making it unreliable, ineffective, and useless. 3. Frustration for the Fishermen: If the net is not cleaned, it will make the work of the fishermen much more difficult. Why? The net is meant to be almost invisible and to easily slide through the waters of the sea. Debris will hinder the ease of the movement of the net. 4. The Fish will be Frightened: The net will frighten the fish if it is not clean. Fish can see a dirty net, even from a long distance. Because of its low location, the Sea of Galilee did not have a lot of movement and tidal flow to stir up the water. There was not a large amount of silt in this sea. This was a problem for net fishermen. The water was usually very clear, making it easier for the fish to see the nets and the boats. This is why most of the fishing was done at night in this region. Does this make sense.
So now let’s get back to the point. Jesus uses the fisherman’s boat. So, Peter is probably working in the background while the crowd again is pressing in. HE’s doing something. It could be that Peter was busy working, but he listens to Jesus and humbles himself.
Peter probably himself knew the sound traveling over the water. So, he sees the scene and stops what he’s doing and puts out the boat.
So, my question to all of us today, even when we are busy or doing something, have you ever had Jesus ask you to do something and you did it, or begrudgingly did it? I can say I have, sadly.
As this unfolds, listen to the first step, if Jesus asks you to use something of yours, do you let him?
This boat was Peter’s livelihood. This boat represented the means to which Peter made money and took care of his family. Obviously Peter doesn’t think the Lord is going to ruin the boat, but as the story unfolds, it might have appeared to Peter as a bit of a hassle. Maybe or maybe not, but Peter puts Jesus on the boat and our scene now develops.
My friends, if Jesus wants your business, your car, your house, your farm, your land or your boat, let him use it and use you in it. Be prepared when you walk in the Spirit to see Jesus ask you to use your stuff.
4 When He had stopped speaking, He said to Simon, “Launch out into the deep and let down your nets for a catch.”
2. Do you do what Jesus ask of you?
So, don’t forget that Simon is busy washing nets. He stopped what he was doing to help Jesus get in the water with his boat. Now Jesus wants him to launch and re-use the nets that you just mended and washed from last night. I would be in my head thinking, “what’s going on”.
We are going to develop the rest of the story, but let’s stop here without knowing the rest. This is the dialogue. Sometimes in our lives we ask questions to get responses.
I have been in sales all my life; I am trained to do this and I know what the potential answer is before it’s expelled from the mouth of the person I am conversing with.
But lets’ stop here, now.
If Jesus was to stop and tell you now, hey Donnie launch out into the deep without knowing anything.
Are you ready? This is church planting 101?
The deep of church planting is real. We have only met 10 times as a community in person.
This in our 9th service online. Granted it’s online. This is the deep my friends. What an amazing opportunity to launch into something that we really don’t know the outcome to.
That’s a personal application for me. What about you? Are you launching out into the deep with a new career or new mindset on Jesus and following him? This is a great season to reset and ask Jesus to lead us and be obedient to do what he asks of you. He wants us all to dive deeper into the ocean of his love. Believe it my friends.
5 But Simon answered and said to Him, “Master, we have toiled all night and caught nothing; nevertheless, at Your word I will let down the net.”
3. Letting God know what He already knows?
This is so like us today. Don’t we, at some time or other come to the point of explaining to God the problem.
It’s like the story and account I heard the other day about Moses telling God about his speech problem.
God was like “Oh no Moses, all my plans are thwarted because of your in ability to communicate and now I have to use Aaron”. Think with me.
God allowed Moses to have that speech impediment. God knows the whole story.
He’s not a little god. He’s so big that he doesn’t need to improve Moses’s speech problem, He will use it for His glory. Our limitations don’t hinder God. Sometimes all of us are just so narcissistic in everything we are doing. I see the same kind of thing going on here.
Peter could have given the Lord 5 reasons not to do as he asked...
1. I am a fisherman
2. I fished all night
3. I stopped what I was doing to launch you to talk to these people that we don’t even know.
4. I have been up all night and we just got done washing and mending the nets, we are tired.
5. Lastly, listen Jesus, I know you’re a great guy and a miracle maker, but leave this fishing stuff up to us. We fished all night and we caught zero and don’t forget I am the fishing hero.
That’s what’s going on. Peter is Telling the creator of the fish that there is no fish.
Peter is sort of feed up.
When we are tired also we get a bit fed up. Don’t you?
Not just physically tired either, but tired of a situation not changing.
Tired of a person who grinds your gears or tired of Covid. Do you get my point?
We see all these issues, from Peter to us- It’s real my friends.
So at least Peter does what the Lord asks him. He vents, gets it off his chest and casts the nets.
Let’s see what happens next.
6 And when they had done this, they caught a great number of fish, and their net was breaking. 7 So they signaled to their partners in the other boat to come and help them. And they came and filled both the boats, so that they began to sink.
4. Jesus is a blessings broker
Wow. Oh, my goodness
They caught so much fish that a boat that was out in the lake had to be hailed to come over because there was no more room in their nets.
Jesus is blessing broker.
In rebellion, and I am not proud of this, I received one of my biggest business accounts during a fight with my wife who is heaven. It was awful and not Godly at all.
I look back and this see that Jesus is the same.
We both vented on each other and sadly said things that did not build one another up in our faith.
I went in begrudgingly to the account and gave my saddest and lamest pitch ever to get the account.
I came out and get the account and this account to this day helps to sustain my family.
It’s been an account that has led to other accounts.
If you will, it led to business to grow or break my net.
Isn’t it awesome that Jesus is not affected by our lack of faith?
Jesus is interested in our obedience. Let me say that again
Jesus is interested in our obedience.
Obedience leads to discipline.
Discipline in the Word and the following in the Holy Spirit leads to a powerful combination working in all of our lives.
8 When Simon Peter saw it, he fell down at Jesus’ knees, saying, “Depart from me, for I am a sinful man, O Lord!”
5. Peter’s Revelation
Just like when I got that account, I get it
I get the truth washing over me like a warm shower on a cold day.
The first thing we see is ourselves when we realize how good God is and how much He provides for us.
That catch sustained a pretty large windfall for him and his family.
You know, those things, all the things that we get are a blessing from Jesus.
We need to work and we need to press in to the grind and keep on keeping on.
It’s important that we all do this.
This is like the song “sweetly broken, holy surrendered”
You know, it’s okay to fall down at the face of Jesus and see His blessings. I have heard countless stories of this.
I don’t’ know of any man who can be used effectively by Jesus without being broken completely.
Are you broken? Or how about this, have you surrendered? Right now, if that’s you; you’re undone by you and your attitude and your choices, fall on the ground, get on your knees, we are going to stop right now for a minute. Let’s get real.
9 For he and all who were with him were astonished at the catch of fish which they had taken; 10 and so also were James and John, the sons of Zebedee, who were partners with Simon. And Jesus said to Simon, “Do not be afraid. From now on you will catch men.”
11 So when they had brought their boats to land, they [a]forsook all and followed Him.
6. Committed responses to the plan
So, when you see that the fishermen are astonished,
You know that this is a big deal. This is no fish story.
This is no tale of the fish that was this big…
So, the boys are named here, the sons of thunder, business partners and friends of Simon.
Isn’t it interesting that those people who are your real friends are in the business of catching fish for Jesus with you?
What do I mean? Friends are important and it’s important we have them, but as Christians I believe our friends should be like-minded in vision and heart.
What is your vision for you and your friends?
Have you ever thought about this?
Hey comfort and friendship are so important.
We are wired to be together, but maybe as we come out of this season we should pray and think about the purpose. What is the purpose? Is it to build a club of Christians or to see people saved and grow in their most holy faith? You know most Christians don’t generally want to deal with this.
They want to have the building, go to the building, fellowship, and go home.
Then if we don’t have friends, we have our friends come over and we hang out. Hey that’s awesome and sweet. But is that our purpose?
Look at the purpose of the boys from the sweet account above
They forsook- that means they gave up their rights and followed Him.
You know for me, this is real. I played sports all through high school, jock, captain, dated a cheerleader and blah blah blah…. Sometimes that creature of habit still invades my Christianity. I want to have fun.
I love now that I get to have fun with my brothers and sisters. This is the real fun. But fun with a purpose. Our purpose is to build each other up. We have a Sunday night Refresh Group for having fun but also for growing in our purpose and relationships.
When we follow Jesus my friends, we are all called to follow Him. We are all called to forsake those things which hold us back
Let’s pray as we close
What have we not given up?
Let’s do it and not do it begrudgingly.
So, our 6 truths we gained from the scriptures
Let Jesus use your stuff Let’s let Jesus not only use but HAVE our stuff of this world
Your house, your car your business
Do you do what Jesus ask of you? When Jesus asks you to do something, let’s do it by faith.
Letting God know what He already knows? Don’t be telling God things He already knows. He loves you and He knows. Pray that we remember that he’s all-knowing and loves us.
Jesus is a blessings broker Be like Jesus and bless someone this week. Bless someone who needs a blessing even if they don’t know they need it
Peter’s Revelation we will be like Pete who knows that every good and perfect gift comes from the Father of lights
Committed responses to the plan Remember the plan and respond. God has a purpose, plan and playbook for you already done.
Are you willing to walk in it?
Do you know Jesus? If you want to know how you can live a life for Christ, please reach out to us here at Refresh. Pastors are here to talk and pray with you. Refreshaz.church