When We Say What We Don’t Mean

Peter had a lot to learn about Jesus. In the early days, when Peter first met Jesus, he learned a lesson he would never forget. From Luke chapter 5, we see Peter the fisherman surrounded by his fellow workers. Peter owns a boat, which he gladly loans to his new acquaintance, Jesus. After Jesus taught the people from the boat (due to the crowd size), He said to Peter, “Put out into deep water, and let down the nets for a catch” (Luke 5:4). Consider the irony here…. Peter is an experienced fisherman, probably for most of his life. Jesus, at this time, is considered a prophet and teacher…still a mystery to the people. So, Peter politely responds to Jesus’ instructions, while voicing his own “expert” opinion, “Master, we’ve worked hard all night and haven’t caught anything. But because you say so, I will let down the nets” (v. 5). Peter expects nothing more than what he already experienced. This half-hearted response from the tired fisherman is the best Peter can muster. He is in for the surprise of his life! The Bible says, “When they had done so, they caught such a large number of fish that their nets began to break” (v. 6). Instead of being overjoyed, Peter is embarrassed. “When Simon Peter saw this, he fell at Jesus’ knees and said, ‘Go away from me, Lord; I am a sinful man!’” (v. 8). Peter says what he feels here, not what he means exactly. He doesn’t really want Jesus to leave him, but Peter is ashamed of himself. Here are my major “takeaways” from this amazing event. First, Jesus is the expert—no matter the work or the field. He is not just Lord over “spiritual” things; He is Lord of all! Also, I see here that Jesus doesn’t spare us from hard labor and even lack of results. The world is still the world, and making a living will still have times of pain and feelings of futility. Last, I see in this story that we can always trust Jesus and what He says. If we simply obey His Word, good results will come in His time and in His way. Keep faithful! He has some surprises ahead for you!

Pastor Mark Boucher