Launch out into the deep and let down your nets for a catch. We saw last week that this is what Jesus told Peter to do after a long night of fishing. Peter didn’t yet know who Jesus was. He seemed to be just another rabbi passing through town, coming to teach God’s Word to the people. There was something different about Jesus though. His invitation for Peter to launch out into the deep (Luke 5:1 – 11) seemed to be a call to a deeper life with God, a deeper purpose.
For Peter to respond to Jesus’ call to launch out to the deep is very telling. Something must have been stirring in his heart because his natural inclination would have been to tell Jesus to go jump in a lake. Peter and the boys had been fishing all night long and caught absolutely nothing. In the Sea of Galilee, one would usually fish at night in the shallow waters. Jesus is asking Peter to go out into the deep water in the middle of the day. Jesus is basically asking Peter to do everything contrary to what he had been trained to do.
This wasn’t just a hobby for Peter. He wasn’t just a weekend fishermen whose idea of the perfect bridal registry was the Bass Pro Shop. This was his career. This was his life. He was a trained fishermen on these waters from his earliest years. Jesus was basically asking Peter to hand over the keys to his business. He was asking Peter to trust Him with his trade. Jesus wanted Peter to make this decision even though it seemed like the wrong advice. He wanted Peter to do what made no sense to his natural mind.
Simon (Peter) answered Jesus, “Master, we worked hard all night and haven’t caught anything. But because you say so, I will let down the nets” (Luke 5:5). We know Peter must have had some great respect for Jesus even though it was very early in their relationship, because Peter called him Master. The word can mean “leader, commander, and boss.” Basically, Peter is telling Jesus, “Jesus this doesn’t really make any sense at all. As a matter of fact, I think it is crazy. But I have so much respect for you that I will do it just because you say so. I will launch out to the deep and let down the nets for a catch.”
Was Peter disappointed for doing what Jesus said to do? If he had pulled up an empty net, I am sure he would have been frustrated. Imagine he had pulled up just a couple of fish, just enough for a fish nugget meal from Long John Silvers. Peter might have thanked Him for dinner, but he still would have been disappointed.
The story says “When they had done so, they caught such a large number of fish that their nets began to break.” This haul of fish was abundant and overflowing. It is a picture of supernatural fullness. Peter surrendered what was his, and put it into the hands of Jesus. Jesus blessed him in a supernatural way. After a futile night of fishing that turned up nothing but empty nets, Jesus filled the nets of the seasoned fishermen to the point of overflow and abundance. It is a real picture of what we can do on our own versus what Jesus can truly do when we surrender what it is ours and put it into His hands.
Does it always make sense to do what Jesus calls us to do? No. Does it sometimes seem contrary to what we think we should do? Yes. He is the Master though. We must come to a place where we do what He says just because He says so. “Because you say so…” That is reason enough to obey Jesus. He said so! And that’s the Word.
The Rev. David Yarborough
is pastor of St. Simons
Community Church. Contact
him at david@