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No, Jesus, I Got This

Messiah, not just Miracle-Worker  •  Sermon  •  Submitted
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1st Draught of fish

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Think You Know More than You do?

Moms. Have you ever received parenting advice from people who don’t have kids. Or, maybe, their kids haven’t turned out so great and they don’t know your situation at all?
Ever catch yourself in an amateur pontification to a professional?
It happens to me occasionally. But, I have no space to be critical as I do it too often myself.
One time, watching a football game w/ Sara’s dad I went into great detail on what happens when a player injures their knee. He’s a retired orthopedic surgeon.
All he said to me was, “Keep your day job.”
Moment of honest, we all treat God the same way.
We try to explain our situation to get Him to do what we want. Obviously, He doesn’t understand!
Pray the multiple choice prayer.
And, God will tell us to do something.
Our response, “It’ll never work.”
“I’m an expert in this, God, so I feel it’s my duty to inform you that your plan will only end in your disappointment. And, I don’t want you to be disappointed, you’re God.”
He’s disappointed all right.
The disciples learned a this valuable lesson out on the water one day.
When God asks you to do something, that you believe to be impossible or fruitless, it’s a good idea to do it anyway.
B/C He’s about to do something thru you and demonstrate that He’s God and you’re not.
Miracle #5. The first time He filled their nets w/ fish.
; ; and .
We’re going to spend most of our time in Luke this morning.


Previous miracles

One over nature; water to wine
Healed various diseases; including Peter’s MIL and the officials son.
Cast out numerous demons; delivering possessed people from their torment.
He has demonstrated power, authority and ability over all these.
He’s demonstrated how relational and compassionate He is.
And, He’s called His first few disciples to join Him

First few disciples

Traveling w/ Him, observing, learning and helping out.
They’ve been their for the teaching and the miracles.
By now He has also laid out what it looks like t/b a committed disciple.
Faith is a process for everyone, even these guys.
They believe in the power and authority. And, they believe in Him as their Messiah. They just don’t understand all the implications, yet.
Nobody understands everything the moment they come to faith. We spend the rest of our lives learning and growing.
As we grow, we come to understand more about God and ourselves. We realize the difference between us is far greater than first thought.
And since the difference is greater, so is the grace that God applies to span the difference.
Everything good we accomplish in life is simply due to a gracious God working thru us to make good things happen.
Back to the context, shortly after this miracle Jesus sends the disciples out 2 by 2 to preach the gospel and serve the people.
So, between Jesus coming and introducing Himself as the Messiah and sending out the disciples to represent Him as such, He needs to help them understand their role as His disciples.
Miracle #5, the 1st time He fills their nets w/ fish. .

An Ordinary Day

Luke 5:1–3 NIV
One day as Jesus was standing by the Lake of Gennesaret, the people were crowding around him and listening to the word of God. He saw at the water’s edge two boats, left there by the fishermen, who were washing their nets. 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.
Luke 5:1-

Been fishing

They’re routine. A normal, ordinary day.
Though, ordinary had changed a bit w/ Jesus on the scene.
They fished at night b/c the fish would come to the surface to eat. As the sun rose the fish would return to depths too deep to catch.
It’s morning, the fishermen are finishing their work, washing the nets and the boats are on the shore.
The fishermen included Peter, Andrew, James, and John; the first 4 disciples.
They would be tired, but not overly so. Ordinary. Routine.

Jesus showed up

And, whenever He showed up, so did the crowd.
You can imagine. People were drawn to Him. And, something miraculous might happen.
Whatever they believed about Him, they knew there was always the chance something spectacular might happen.
Jesus, less concerned about anything spectacular, more more concerned about them hearing the gospel and how to get to get to Heaven thru Him.
So, He starts teaching. Obviously, every word He spoke is the Word of God. Whether they realized it or not.
As the crowd grew larger people had a hard time hearing him so they pressed in closer. He had to get back a little farther so that everyone could here.
There were the boats and the fishermen. So, they pushed away from the shore a short distance, nets and all, and He kept speaking.
When He was done speaking things went from ordinary to extraordinary.

An Extraordinary Experience

Luke 5:4-
Luke 5:4–7 NIV
When he had finished speaking, he said to Simon, “Put out into deep water, and let down the nets for a catch.” 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.” When they had done so, they caught such a large number of fish that their nets began to break. 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.

Jesus’ emphatic instruction

Simple enough: Back out to the deep water and put down your nets for a catch.
Direct and to the point. He didn’t explain anything. Just said go do this.
So often before we ask people to do something we make our case about a problem or situation or what we’re thinking. Then, in light of what we just presented, we ask people to respond appropriately.
Jesus doesn’t have to do things that way. He doesn’t need to build His case. There’s no mention of what He’s about to do.
He’s not always sensitive to how tired we might be.

Peter’s ‘expert’ opinion

Remember, the time to fish is at night. It’s now the middle of the day. It’s hot. They’re tired. Fishermen don’t catch fish like this at this time.
Peter: We’re tired, it wasn’t a productive night and the odds are horrible during the day. It’ll be a huge waste of time.
It won’t work. It never does. We shouldn’t even try. The nets have been cleaned already. They’re dry. We’ll have to do it all over again...
Okay, if you say so.
You can hear the pessimism in his voice. He’s reluctant. But, it’s Jesus. He healed His MIL. They were friends. He owed Him one. He’s new at this and there’s only one way He will learn that fish don’t jump into the nets during the day.
He may have faith in Jesus to save Him but He has no faith in Jesus as a fisherman.
What did Jesus know about fish anyway?
Except that He created them and can control them.

Their extraordinary catch

So many fish their nets began to break and it nearly sank two boats.
After being shut out all night when expert fishermen are out. Jesus, the novice, led them out to a record catch.
Impossible? Highly improbable? Either way, miraculous.
Peter and Andrew couldn’t handle the catch so they called James and John out to help them pull the fish in.
They were close enough to be able to communicate but far enough out that no one else realized what was going on.
This was a private miracle intended only for the 4 disciples.
Everyone else who’d been out there were going on about their ordinary day.
This extraordinary experience was intended to communicate something important to the disciples that day.
Did they get it?

A Reality Check

Luke 5:8–11 NIV
When Simon Peter saw this, he fell at Jesus’ knees and said, “Go away from me, Lord; I am a sinful man!” For he and all his companions were astonished at the catch of fish they had taken, 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.” So they pulled their boats up on shore, left everything and followed him.

The difference

As a society, we are the frog in the kettle. The heat keeps getting turned up and we don’t realize the change nor the need to jump out while we can.
Like TV shows. Back in the day on “I Dream of Jeanie” they weren’t allowed to show Barbara Eden’s belly button.
Or, if you see old reruns of the Monkee’s you’ll notice that if a girl’s outfit was too revealing they would blur out certain parts. (Didn’t pixilate in the day).
We don’t even realize until we see an old rerun how much things have changed.
Those are the moments when reality hits us like cold bucket of water and we realize how far we’ve fallen and the difference between morality then and morality now.
That’s what happened to Peter in that moment. He realized the vast difference between sinless, perfect, Son of God, Jesus and his own sinful self.
Up to that point Jesus had been more of a peer, partner, pal.
Sure, He’d done some things that Peter couldn’t do but Peter didn’t see the difference between the two as so great.
This was one of those moments when Peter understood Who Jesus is versus who he is.
Peter was genuinely afraid. He was in the presence of Holy God.
Now, one main reason why God came as Jesus was so we could relate to Him and not be terrified of Him.
Up to this time the latter point had dominated Peter’s perspective of his relationship w/ Jesus.
What it meant was Peter didn’t believe that the difference between him and Jesus was all that great. He didn’t see Jesus as fully God and saw himself as a pretty deserving guy.
We all do it. “You need a lot more grace than me!” I have my moments, but if God grades on a curve I’m in great shape!”
So, in those moments of reality, complete clarity, when God does something extraordinary and we realize how big, how odd, how special it is and could only be done by Holy God.
God becomes so much bigger. We become so much smaller. And, the difference between that seemed so slight is now vast.
Right after realizing the reality of the difference between God and me, is the realization of the amount of grace that God offers to cover it. I can’t meet Him halfway. I can’t even take one step toward Him. He has to make up the difference all Himself. And He does it because He loves me.
Peter was terrified, fell to his knees, couldn’t look Jesus in the eye as he felt so unworthy. Peter and Jesus were as different as black and white.
The blackness of a sinful person next to the pure white of Holy God.
The were all astonished, amazed, at the catch that day. But something more occured to Peter. Astonishment isn’t faith.
The 4 Spiritual Laws is a simple gospel presentation.
Law 1: God loves you and has a wonderful plan for your life.
Law 2: All have sinned and fall short of the the glory of God.
Law 3: The wages of sin is death.
Law 4: While we were yet sinners Jesus died for us and whomever receives Him, believes in His name, He gives the right to become children of God.
God has a plan for each one of us. Each one of us has messed up the plan. The consequence for messing it up is Hell. But, God has provided a way to get back to His plan.
At this point in Peter’s life he is up to and thru Law #3. He knows there is a difference, a separation between him and God. And he can’t do anything about it.
It’s killing him. Eating him up inside. Conviction. Conflict.
So, in desperation and defeat, knowing there was nothing he could do about the reality of the difference between him and Jesus; he gave up and told Jesus to just go away.
He wasn’t worthy and there was no way to change his situation.
Jesus already knew that. It wasn’t a surprise to Him. But, Jesus’ response surprised Peter and the other men.

The responses

Jesus’ response: Grace

They didn’t expect this, they didn’t deserve this.
“Don’t be afraid. I will still use you.”
Not, Yeah, I know, you’re worthless. Or, see you later.
I’m only looking for the perfect people.
Here are 4 guys, working together fishing to support their 2 families and feed the village. Successful, but uneducated.
The way their school system worked is they had to pass a series of exams to be able to move to the next level.
Elementary, High School, College, Grad school.
Every child started elementary, most made it into high school, some made it to college, and few beyond.
Once you failed the exams you were done. And, if it happened after high school you went to work with you dad in the family business.
In the case of these men, their fathers were fishermen.
So, when you think about all that Peter and John accomplished in the church, remember, they had the equivalent of a high school diploma.
Jesus’ calling on these men is to become fishers of men. All they are going to have to do is drop their nets where Jesus says drop the nets.
They won’t have to make it up, figure it out, or force it to happen. All they have to do is follow and obey. Trust Him for the results.
That day, they did it. And, many more days to follow

The men’s response: Surrender

They left everything. Fishing equipment that their fathers had given them.
At least Peter had a family, maybe one or two others.
We don’t know how God took care of their families and the village after they left their career.
This is what God called them to do. They ended up having tremendous success but at great cost. John was the youngest and lived the longest. Peter and John wrote letters included in our Bible. They were all martyred.
Jesus guaranteed results here. They would catch people for the kingdom. He knew they would depend on Him for those results.
It’s just a short time after this he sends all 12 out, 2 by 2, to preach the gospel and lead people to Jesus.
He didn’t sent them out perform miracles, but to preach. He gave them authority over demons, but it was His authority, not theirs.
Their message was, “Jesus saved us. He’ll save you, too. Let me tell you how.”
Personal testimony. Witness. Personal experience.
Imperfect, under-educated, unqualified people who are willing to surrender everything in order to give more people the opportunity to live forever.
This is the life of a disciple. Surrender everything. Be willing to walk away from everything. And, enjoy whatever Jesus gives you.
It may be a nice house, or two. A car. Good health. Or, it may not be. We don’t deserve what we have much less any more.
The only way we can do anything good is if God does it thru us.
When God does extraordinary things around us or thru us we realize the vast difference between God and us. Then, we understand how much grace God has to apply to span the difference.
Since we can’t figure how to do extraordinary things, we follow God’s instructions and He does it.
And so it goes. The life of a disciple. Drop your nets wherever Jesus says to and watch Him bring in the fish.


Drop your nets

Don’t ever think you know better than God about any situation.
Don’t think you just need to explain it better or pray multiple choice tests to God.
If He says go drop your nets at a time or a place that you know makes no sense, do it anyway, w/ pleasure and gratitude.
He’s about to do something and it will be extraordinary and exhilarating for those who participate w/ him.
If you don’t, you will miss out.
Jesus will show you how and where. He will empower you to perform. And, he alone is responsible for the results.
Don’t pressure yourself for any results.
If you believe you’re not qualified, that’s one of the qualifications. If you think you can do what God calling you to do w/out Him, you’re not qualified.
Just follow and obey. Drop your nets wherever He says.

A lot of ordinary days

Every day starts out ordinary. Get up. Get to whatever it is you do.
If you live only for the extraordinary you’ll become completely ineffective.
Extraordinary is rare. But if you can’t live faithfully and obediently in the ordinary, then you’ll miss whatever extraordinary God is doing already.
Be a faithful, ordinary mother, grandmother, wife, friend.
Be a faithful, ordinary father, g-father, husband,
Be faithful in the ordinary and you see much more extraordinary.

Embrace grace

The difference is vast between you and God. Embrace it.
One of the ways we fail to is we stop praying.
If there really is very little distance and difference between me and God then maybe He should ask me for help occasionally.
Otherwise, I can figure things out on my own.
Don’t worry Jesus, I got this!
If you think you got anything on your own you don’t fully appreciate how little you have to offer God.
Once you embrace the difference, embrace the amount of grace God applies to span it.
Then, a by product of this process will allow you to administer more grace to the people around you who need it, too.
When God asks you to do something, that you believe to be impossible or fruitless, it’s a good idea to do it anyway.
B/C He’s about to do something thru you and demonstrate that He’s God and you’re not.
Be faithful in the ordinary and be useful for the extraordinary.
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