Who IS that Man?

The day starts like most other days, except that it’s not particularly happy or successful… but it didn’t stay that way.  Peter meets That Man at the end of a long night-shift. He and his co-workers have fished all night… and caught nothing.  Not a single fish.  Peter is a self-employed fisherman.  Fish = money.  No fish means that the whole night has been a complete waste of time.  He and the other fishermen are washing the nets and closing up for the shift, while listening to That Man preach to a crowd of people on the beach.  When the preacher asks if he can use their boat as a platform, Peter agrees.  How tired is Peter at this point?  How much does that act of kindness delay his opportunity for getting some much-needed sleep?  What factor motivates him to say yes?

Peter hears more of the preacher’s message.  Then, when the preacher asks him for another time-consuming (and this time, ridiculous) request, Peter says okay. Just because the request was made; “Put out into deep water, and let down the nets for a catch,” Peter complies!

Why, oh why, did he even think about saying yes?  Peter is the expert in the specialty of fishing.   He knows that this plan is unlikely to yield many fish when a full night of fishing produced nothing.  But… he and the fishermen with him, follow the preacher’s instructions; and suddenly Peter’s boat and another boat are so full of fish that the boats are sinking and the nets are breaking.   

What happens next is confounding!  Peter falls to his knees before the preacher and says, “Go away from me, Lord; I am a sinful man!”  What emotion could cause such a passionate request asking the man to leave when he has just provided such a lucrative yield? Yet, when the preacher asks Peter to leave everything and follow him, Peter does.   How intense is the experience that a man would leave his career to follow someone he has just met?  What type of man could inspire such a visual display of surrender and repentance from a rough fisherman?  Who could trigger such a complete and abrupt change of life and direction? 

What is it like to personally encounter a man like that?  Would you want to know that man?  Would you want Him to know you?

Luke 5: 1-11

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