Following Jesus is costly. The grace Jesus extends to us comes at a great cost to the Lord – namely his life. The gospel of Mark emphasizes that being Jesus’ disciples requires us to give up our lives – take up our cross daily and follow him. Living as a disciple of Jesus in the marketplace is a challenge. Luke 5:1-11 is a wonderful account of Jesus calling his disciples, and it is filled with intentional decisions and demands that Jesus makes.
How intentional do you believe the Lord is? Do you believe Acts 17 to mean God knows where you live and work? Do you believe it matters? If so, this can empower you to endure tough circumstances at work. Perhaps you have a strained relationship with a co-worker or client. Perhaps you feel that you cannot work for your boss any longer. Could the Lord be calling you to put your boat out to deep water? Perhaps you have no problem pushing out form shore, but to actually drop your nets is another story. The seasoned fishermen we read about in this gospel knew their trade. These were waters they fished all the time. They were familiar with the nuances of these waters. Not only did Jesus have Peter push his vessel away and get to deep waters, but also he insisted that he put in his nets for a catch. This was clearly an emotional demand that made Peter uncomfortable. Some may refer to it as an unreasonable request.
The result of Peter’s faithful (or dutiful or compliant) response is powerful! The Lord’s abundant grace expressed in the massive catch of fish drove Peter to repentance. He was confronted with his own sin in the light of Jesus’ love. The other fishermen were astonished as well, and likely had a more internal process since they were not the focal point of the human interaction. Certainly they were privy to all that transpired, and it is plausible that they quietly repented of their unbelief, selfishness, doubt, and unworthiness to be the object of the blessing. By the end of the encounter with Jesus in the boat, James, Peter, and John responded to the Lord’s call. They would henceforth be catching men.
What appeared to be a routine ending to a nonproductive “day on the job,” turned into a life-changing encounter with the living God of the Universe. Jesus was not haphazard in his approach, although he asked Peter to do the absurd. ‘Go back into the waters you have just spent hours fishing. And, put your nets back in the water. I realize you wrapped-up for the day. I see that you are cleaning your gear, and closing up shop for the day. Now, get right back out there and drop those nets one more time. “Has Jesus, His life, or His teachings given you pause lately? Have you resisted His call on your life to be fishers of men? Are you aware of those where you live, work, and play that are in need of the hope and blessing we have in Jesus? Push your boat into the deep water of spending time men. Let down your nets – ask how you can pray for a co-worker, client, or customer. The world will actually tell you to “look out for #1.” Jesus says to look first to the needs of others. Those who have already declined your invitation to consider Jesus, may be the waters where HE is calling you to go drop your nets one more time.
When Jesus spoke, his words carried great authority, of course, because he was God. Do you believe that He still calls us to high standards through demanding requests? Do you believe that he is precise in His call? Does this have anything to do with how you do business?