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Going Deep

Weekly Devotionals

Going Deep

Luke 5:1-11

One day as Jesus was standing by the Lake of Gennesaret, the people were crowding around him and listening to the word of God. 2 He saw at the water’s edge two boats, left there by the fishermen, who were washing their nets. 3 He got into one of the boats, the one belonging to Simon, and asked him to put out a little from shore. Then he sat down and taught the people from the boat. 4 When he had finished speaking, he said to Simon, “Put out into deep water, and let down the nets for a catch.” 5 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.” 6 When they had done so, they caught such a large number of fish that their nets began to break. 7 So they signaled 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. 8 When Simon Peter saw this, he fell at Jesus’ knees and said, “Go away from me, Lord; I am a sinful man!” 9 For he and all his companions were astonished at the catch of fish they had taken, 10 and so were James and John, the sons of Zebedee, Simon’s partners. Then Jesus said to Simon, “Don’t be afraid; from now on you will fish for people.” 11 So they pulled their boats up on shore, left everything and followed him.

This passage comes to us at the beginning of Jesus’ ministry.  He gives a public teaching to the crowd who had gathered.  But in order to do so, he decided to get into one of two “random” boats sitting on the shore…the one belonging to Simon Peter, the fisherman who was just about to become one of Jesus’ 12 disciples.

Up till now Jesus’ main interaction is with the crowd.  But the scene shifts to Jesus and Peter (along with a likely small crew in his boat).  Jesus says to him, “Put out into deep water, and let down the nets for a catch.”  I love how Jesus moves away from the crowds to focus on Peter…pretty much one on one.  In order for Jesus to address the crowd from the boat, they had to remain in shallow water.  But Jesus wants to go deep with Peter, for it is the place of the deep where there is isolation, where one on one can happen…away from the distractions of the crowds and the busyness of the port area.

In the deep, this is where Peter not only experienced a miraculous catch of fish…more importantly the course of his entire life changed.  This is where Jesus calls him to become “fishers of men.”  In the end, Peter, along with James and John, drop everything (their vocation, their primary connection with their family and way of life) to follow Jesus.  This is the beginning of Peter’s real life, the life of a disciple and, subsequently, an apostle who goes on to change the world.

As we enter 2016, let’s go deep with Jesus.  This is an invitation for all of us not to remain a mere spectator/listener in the crowds.  You could continue to do that, but that would simply keep things shallow.  Rather, Jesus calls us to go deep and to encounter Him one on one, in isolation…in order that our lives may be changed.  Go deep.