#862. The miraculous catch (25/7/23)
Welcome to this Come to Jesus Daily devotional. This week, we continue in our series, Luke - Exploring who Jesus is. This week, our devotionals are based on Luke 5:1-3. Today’s devotional is entitled, The miraculous catch.
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‘When he had finished speaking, he said to Simon, “Put out into deep water, and let down the nets for a catch.” Simon answered, “Master, we’ve worked hard all night and haven’t caught anything. But because you say so, I will let down the nets.” When they had done so, they caught such a large number of fish that their nets began to break. So they signalled 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 5:4-6)
Summary: Jesus is Lord of the catch (as He is the Lord of the harvest), so let’s be humbled and released in the truth that God is the Saviour.
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Having called His first disciples to follow Him, Jesus shows them what following Him will mean - catching people rather like they had caught fish.
However, whereas the catch of fish depended upon their skill and experience, this miraculous catch of people, like this miraculous catch of fish, is dependent upon the power of Jesus.
Jesus tells them, “Put out into deep water, and let down the nets for a catch.” And we read that Peter responds with, “Master, we’ve worked hard all night and haven’t caught anything. But because you say so, I will let down the nets.” Peter's response seems to carry a level of annoyance that Jesus, the carpenter, would tell these experienced fishermen how to do their job. Peter knows that fishing at night was the most effective time. Leon Morris writes of Peter’s response:
‘When experts, fishing at the right time, had caught nothing, it was useless to try at the request of a carpenter. If that is the way of it, Peter's willingness to act on Jesus' suggestion shows a realisation that His word was not to be ignored on any subject. Peter might not agree, but he could obey’ (Tyndale Commentary).
In a later study, we will see that added to the truth that only God’s power can give this miraculous catch of souls, we have a very important part to play. However, today, I simply want us to be humbled and released - we cannot save, and we are not the Saviour! Titus writes of the nature of and God’s role in our salvation:
‘But when the kindness and love of God our Saviour appeared, he saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit, whom he poured out on us generously through Jesus Christ our Saviour, so that, having been justified by his grace, we might become heirs having the hope of eternal life.’ (Titus 3:4-7).
According to Titus, what was the cause of our salvation? ‘The kindness and love of God our Saviour.’
Why did He save us? ’Not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy.’
What is the nature of salvation? ‘He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit.’ Salvation is deeper than believing things or living a moral life. A Christian is born again of the Spirit.
How are we put right with God? ‘Having been justified by his grace, we might become heirs having the hope of eternal life.’
This text from Titus seems a long way from catching fish, but we need to see that each of the fish that is caught by God’s power is a person who has experienced the good news of the gospel that we read about in Titus. It’s interesting to note that the word used for ‘catch’ (v.10) means to ‘catch alive’ or we could say, ‘catch for life.’
Jesus is Lord of the catch (as He is the Lord of the harvest), so let’s be humbled and released in the truth that God is the Saviour.
Is evangelism a burden to you? Sharing our faith is never easy, but it will be much easier if we truly understand that God, by the Spirit, is the one who ‘catches for life’. This also releases us from bringing pressure on people and maybe being harsh with them. Peter writes about how knowing that Jesus is the Lord (of salvation) frees us to be gentle:
‘But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord [the one who saves]. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect…’ (1 Peter 3:15)
We can share with gentleness and confidence because we know that it’s the irresistible power of God who imparts the new birth.
COMMUNITY GROUP NOTES AND STUDY
It might be good to begin with notices. Please share from this week’s Church News.
What has God been speaking to you about from His Word this week and how has this helped you / affected your life?
3. STUDY AND PRAY TOGETHER
Please read Luke 5:1-11
On Sunday we looked at Luke 5:1-11 and saw that we are to:
Look at Jesus so as to gain greater awe and follow Him wholeheartedly.
It’s so easy, if we’ve been a Christian for any time, to read a text like this without being awestruck by Jesus’ glory. We can allow our hearts to go astray and ‘follow’ others in life and on social media but fail to follow Jesus as worshippers.
This text is to inspire awe. What, from this text, most inspires you?
From memory, what events from Jesus’ life, or what truth about Jesus, do you Find awe-inspiring?
Jesus calls us to follow Him and this, in part, will involve, ‘fishing for people’ what does this mean?
What, from this text, gives us confidence that God’s power will be at work in our evangelism?
SIV - Our strategy for ‘fishing for people’ is summarised as SIV. We Serve, Invest and Invite. How and with whom are you currently doing this?
SIV - You have a net and we have nets - mission opportunities. What are the nets that you have and what are the nets that we have as a church that you could get involved with?
SIV - Lets pray for one another that, firstly, our awe and trust In Jesus would grow. Secondly, pray for one another in our call to fish for people - that we would Serve, Invest and Invite more faithfully.