June 27, 2022
42 And when it was day, he departed and went into a desert place: and the people sought him, and came unto him, and stayed him, that he should not depart from them.
43 And he said unto them, I must preach the kingdom of God to other cities also: for therefore am I sent.
44 And he preached in the synagogues of Galilee.
And it came to pass, that, as the people pressed upon him to hear the word of God, he stood by the lake of Gennesaret,
2 And saw two ships standing by the lake: but the fishermen were gone out of them, and were washing their nets.
3 And he entered into one of the ships, which was Simon’s, and prayed him that he would thrust out a little from the land. And he sat down, and taught the people out of the ship.
4 Now when he had left speaking, he said unto Simon, Launch out into the deep, and let down your nets for a draught.
5 And Simon answering said unto him, Master, we have toiled all the night, and have taken nothing: nevertheless at thy word I will let down the net.
6 And when they had this done, they inclosed a great multitude of fishes: and their net brake.
7 And they beckoned unto their partners, which were in the other ship, that they should come and help them. And they came, and filled both the ships, so that they began to sink.
8 When Simon Peter saw it, he fell down at Jesus’ knees, saying, Depart from me; for I am a sinful man, O Lord.
9 For he was astonished, and all that were with him, at the draught of the fishes which they had taken:
10 And so was also James, and John, the sons of Zebedee, which were partners with Simon. And Jesus said unto Simon, Fear not; from henceforth thou shalt catch men.
11 And when they had brought their ships to land, they forsook all, and followed him.
This is a much-loved story. Can you imagine the abundance? Easy to think of the excitement and joyful disbelief at the amount of fish in the net.
But it’s verse 8 that catches my heart; 8 When Simon Peter saw it, he fell down at Jesus’ knees, saying, Depart from me; for I am a sinful man, O Lord. Peter is so ‘us’, both in his merits and in his failings. How many times have we thought, at special moments in our lives, that we are so astoundingly unworthy of the love and sacrifice displayed on that Cross. All the promises fulfilled. I don’t think we have ever thought ‘depart from me’ – who could say such a thing? – but at times our sins and or the memory of them weighs us down and we are ashamed to come before Him in prayer.
Yet, He wouldn’t have it any other way – the weaker we are, the stronger He is. He knew your sin before you even committed it and yet, “But thou art the same Lord, whose property is always to have mercy; …” ‘Always’ is a big word, a huge concept. Always equals for ever and ever. Eternity. It’s difficult for the human mind to conceive of eternal anything but especially mercy.
And again, we awed and humbled.