On one occasion, while the crowd was pressing in on him to hear the word of God, he was standing by the lake of Gennesaret,and he saw two boats by the lake, but the fishermen had gone out of them and were washing their nets. Getting into one of the boats, which was Simon’s, he asked him to put out a little from the land. And he sat down and taught the people from the boat. And when he had finished speaking, he said to Simon, “Put out into the deep and let down your nets for a catch.” And Simon answered, “Master, we toiled all night and took nothing! But at your word I will let down the nets.” And when they had done this, they enclosed a large number of fish, and their nets were breaking. They signaled to their partners in the other boat to come and help them. And they came and filled both the boats, so that they began to sink. But when Simon Peter saw it, he fell down at Jesus’ knees, saying, “Depart from me, for I am a sinful man, O Lord.”For he and all who were with him were astonished at the catch of fish that they had taken, and so also were James and John, sons of Zebedee, who were partners with Simon. And Jesus said to Simon, “Do not be afraid; from now on you will be catching men.” And when they had brought their boats to land, they left everything and followed him.
They came to hear Jesus, they came to be healed, did they truly know who they came to for help? They heard his teaching, they experienced his healing, did they truly know who taught them, who healed them? Do we? There are times when we are so full of ourselves we think we know more. Peter was a fisherman, he knew fishing; so he thought. Yet after the catch he says…I am a sinful man… What revealed this to him? Jesus did not scold; Peter was quick to realize the true status of his nature, because he had questioned the Lord. He knew it wasn’t about fish, it was about things of the spirit.
It is about our sinful condition that separates us from the Lord. Peter was about to start a journey with the Lord that would reveal more, that would bring him to a place where his sinful condition no longer separated him from the Lord. The blood shed for his sinful nature would cleanse him and restore him to fellowship with His Lord. We have the same promise, we have the same privilege. With the restoration comes a mission. Jesus said: Do not be afraid; from now on you will be catching men.” We do not need to fear the sin status, we can be free of it in Him and we then will have a mission as well. Catch mankind; catch those who will come. Gather a harvest for the Lord of souls ready and willing to be restored to fellowship with their Creator.