(Calling of Peter and Andrew)
Devotional using scripture, quote from John Calvin and thoughts for the day each day- on the 500th anniversary of Calvin's birth.
12/28- Luke 5:1-11
1 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.
Calvin abridged: The lake is called the Sea of Galilee which among the Hebrews is called “Chinnereth” or corrupted to Gennesaret, while the bank near Tiberius labels part of the lake “Tiberias.” It was not unusual for fishermen not to catch something and then finally catch something in one throw. But this was a miracle in that they had caught nothing all night and suddenly a great multitude was caught in their nets- enough to fill the ships. Peter called Jesus “Master” because he respected his authority highly. If Peter obeyed him so quickly when he did not yet know who he was, no apology can be given for our disgraceful conduct. For we call him our “Lord” our “King” and our “Judge” ,and his commands and rewards are clearer for us, but we do not move a finger to perform our duty. The design of this miracle was to let others know Christ’s divinity and to encourage Peter and the others to become his disciples. 5:8- Peter fell in awe and fear before Christ, but Christ told him to “fear not.” Thus Christ sinks his own people in the grave, that he may afterwards raise them to life. This was a special call to be apostles of Christ, for not all are commanded to leave their parents and former occupations and follow. Some are called to be a part of the flock and he assigns them to their own special place. Christ selected men who were rough, uneducated and inferior in many respects that he might train and renew them by the power of his Spirit- so that these might excel all the wise of the world. Thought he chose the uneducated, he did not leave them in that condition- but taught them. So, this is not a rule to be anti-intellectual. There are too many who think that the more they are ignorant of literature, the closer they are to the apostles. He chose these in part to show the world that heaven is not open to only the educated (yet Paul was highly educated).
Thoughts: It is important to be faithful and fruitful- that has been the theme at my church during 2009. Here the disciples were faithful to Jesus, even though it made no sense (“but because you say so”). Because they were faithful to his voice, then they were fruitful as well. This is true of any ministry that we have. To answer our calling only by doing what makes sense- and not obey- then we will be frustrated and fruitless. Peter fell on his knees in worship – and Christ did not refuse his worship, but encouraged them to follow him. This passage teaches us to not only listen to Christ, but also to worship Him as our true Lord.
Prayer: Lord, as the year ends, help us to have ears to hear your voice speaking to us, and give us grace that we will long to do your will.