Luke 5:10, ‘And Jesus said to Simon, “Do not be afraid. From now on you will catch men.”’
Simon Peter is one of my favorite characters because, though he was a man full of weaknesses, he was a different man when he responded to the calling of Jesus. God doesn’t look unto your weaknesses and act accordingly, but He sees how you respond to His calling. It is He who makes changes in us. We just need to respond to Him. Moses hesitated initially, when God promised that He would make him a leader. Mosses were not eloquent in speech. And a leader must speak fluently. See, how God chose a dumb man to lead 2.5 million people.
Elijah was the most timid fellow; he ran to save his life and at the end, he cried to take his life. Fear had influenced him to such an extent, but yet God used him to divide the river of Jordan and God took him away in a whirlwind. Jeremiah was a young boy. He didn’t even know how and what to speak. But when God touched his mouth, he was transformed to a crying prophet. David, a ruddy young boy, just knew how to feed the sheep, but God anointed him and put him in a place for which he was not trained before. Samuel, a lad who had never heard the voice of the Lord, and who had never seen a vision was called by God to judge his people. The Samaritan woman, who lived a wretched life, becomes a missionary when Jesus opened her eyes. She carried the gospel into the town of Samaria. God transformed the valiant Saul into humble Paul. All these characters confessed their weakness, so that the strength of God is made perfect in their weakness. Our weak points and our past experience pull us back from our calling. These two things had influenced my life very much. I was not an eloquent speaker and am a man full of weakness. I am weaker than anyone around, but the word of God and the power of Holy Spirit strengthened me. Besides, characters like Peter, Moses, Elijah and Abraham strengthened me a lot. All these men were not supermen. They were weak and timid, but the hand of God was upon them. Qualifications and good looks doesn’t matter. But if God’s hand is upon you, will be a changed person. Amen!
My life is a big testimony. Those who know me personally know my weaknesses, but God turn them around completely when His strength was perfected in me. I am not boasting that I have attained something here, but I have shared this to encourage you. If God can use this timid and dumb person, He is able to use you too…Just humble yourself, come to God, and respond to Him.
We all know that Peter toiled the whole night, but caught nothing. That’s the time when Jesus came to his boat, and his boat was filled….It was a miraculous catch. Yes! Our God is an awesome God. God can turn around your failures to success. Your Child, your business, your future may be a failure, but when you allow God to intervene your situations, He will turn them around. Peter put all his efforts but was in vain, till he allowed Jesus to intervene. Unless and until you give your boat of life into the hands of God, he cannot change you. God blocked those multitudes of fish to open the eyes of Peter. Yes! Sometimes God will close some doors and block some ways to open your eyes. Had Peter caught some fishes that night, we would never have seen him in the picture. Some people have known Christ better today, because of some blocks and shortages they had in their previous years. That’s why David said in Psalms 119:71, ‘it is good for me that I have been afflicted, that I may learn your statutes.’ With this miraculous catch, two important things happened in the life of Peter, which made him follow Christ.
• He came to know about Jesus Christ: Luke 5:5, ‘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.”’
• He came to know about himself – Luke 5:8, ‘When Simon Peter saw it; he fell down at Jesus’ knees, saying, and “Depart from me, for I am a sinful man, O Lord.”’
If anyone understands these two things, he is saved. Peter came to know about himself, because he came to know about Jesus. If you want to know about yourself, look unto Jesus. If you think you are perfect, you have not met Jesus- There is no darkness in Him ( 1 John 1:5). If you think that you are still the worst sinner, you have not met Jesus- ‘If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness’. (1 John 1:9)
What was that changed one of the robbers who were on the cross? One thief looked at himself and his pain, but the other one looked at Jesus. The latter realized that he was a sinner, and so he feared God. Peter realized that he was a sinner. He understood that his experience as a good fisherman is null, and his eyes were opened. He asked Jesus to depart from him. When you look unto Jesus, then only you realize how worthy and holy He is. When Prophet Isaiah, who spoke against the uncleanness of the people, saw the Lord, he realized that he himself was “a man with unclean lips”. Now, after Peter saw his own sinfulness, Jesus said, “I will make you fishers of men.” Unless and until you confess who you are, God cannot make you and mould you. The clay must submit itself completely into the hands of the potter, in order to be transformed to one of his master pieces. We know God as a giver but do you know that He is also a maker?? It doesn’t matter who you are today. He is able to make you a different man and a different woman…do you believe this? Jesus said to Peter “I will make you Fishers of Men”. It was not Peter who was going to make himself, but Jesus who was going to make him ‘fisher of Men’. God does not see your outer appearance. He seeks your inner appearance. He sees as to how sensitive your heart is towards him. He sees your inner thirst more than outer desires…Many have outer desires but doesn’t have inner thirst. If God has called you or given you any vision, do not make an attempt to fulfill it by yourself. Leave it in the hands of God- wait for it- expect it-it will come-surely it will come because God has said it.
Abraham tried all his attempts to fulfill God’s promise, and we know the outcome- God had not said that his maid would bear a child. He had said that his wife, Sarah would bear a child.
Note, Jesus said “From now on you will catch men”. The transformation started when Peter believed and accepted Jesus. The moment you receive the word of God, transformation begins. At the first step- Peter brought his boat to the land, forsook all and followed Jesus. What a great transformation this was. This is the true born again experience. This is true repentance. The man who toiled whole night for fishes now forsook everything. The man, who desired to have some fishes in the boat, forsook multitudes of them. What was most important was now least important….People might say that Peter was a fool. But he was not a fool in the sight of God. Indeed, God chooses the foolish ones to shame the wise. He had chosen the lowly ones to put down the proud. One of the things that deeply touched me is that initially, Peter denied Jesus thrice because of the fear of the Jews. But the same Peter, when filled by the Holy Spirit, he was a different man altogether. He stood up, raised his voice and boldly proclaimed “Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to mankind by which we must be saved”. The rulers and priests where astonished by seeing the courage of Peter and John who was unschooled and ordinary. The promise to Peter was fulfilled. Indeed God made him to catch men. The Holy Spirit gave him the words to speak and thousands were saved through his sermon. Your present qualification is enough for God to use you. Don’t look unto your weakness. Rather, look unto Him who will give strength to your weakness. The world chooses the strong ones, but God chooses the weak ones. The world chooses wise ones but God chooses foolish ones. God is not only a giver. He is a maker too. He makes the foolish ones wise and weak ones strong!
God bless you