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Luke 5 1-11 Outline

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Gone Fishin’

Grace, mercy, and peace be to you from God our Father and from our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.  Amen.

Text: (Luke 5:1-11, NIV) One day as Jesus was standing by the Lake of Gennesaret, with the people crowding round 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. 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 to 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. 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 catch men.” So they pulled their boats up on shore, left everything and followed him.

In the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, Amen.

I. Introduction

A. Today’s text has two themes

1. Power of the Word of God

2. Distance between man & God

B. The two are related

1. Word of God shows us how far we are from God

2. Also brings Him to us (not, btw, us to Him)

II. Jesus climbed into a boat to preach while the fishermen washed their nets.

A. People were eager to hear the Word of God preached

1. Good news they hadn’t heard

2. Sincerity & authority

3. Salvation by grace

B. Kept trying to get closer, but they crowded Him out

C. He’ll adjust His means in order to meet our needs, even if it means backing off

1. Three different means of grace to bring us His forgiveness

2. Answers our prayers according to our needs

III. When He was done, they went out to the deep water & Jesus told them to let down the nets.

A. Word of wisdom that seems foolish

1. Not the normal time for fishing

2. Fish in the shallow, not the deep

3. For that matter, they weren’t catching anything

B. Jesus tells us to do strange things, too

1. Don’t always understand

2. Stay married even though you’re not happy

3. Love your enemies & pray for those who persecute you

4. Don’t take advantage of people—even if they’re asking for it

5. Treat people with respect even if they don’t deserve it

6. Share the message of salvation with the guys who don’t care about it

IV. “We haven’t caught anything, but by Your Word, I will.”

A. Peter was frustrated

1. They’d been working hard & accomplished nothing

2. By themselves, they were hopeless

3. Yet He obeyed

a. Don’t know why

b. Maybe hoping for a miracle

c. Maybe hoping to say, “I told you so.”

d. Maybe because the command of the Lord has a certain authority to it that just makes sense

B. It’s impossible for us to accomplish anything good without the Lord’s blessing

1. Especially, as we’ll see, catching men

a. You can argue logic until you’re blue

b. You can scream about love until you’re hoarse

c. You can do good works until you collapse

2. Impossible to turn a man’s heart to God unless the Holy Spirit is working

a. He has promised to do just that

b. Does so through the means of Grace:

V. They caught so many fish, the nets almost broke, so they needed another boat.

A. Any fisherman that credits his skill alone with his success is a fool

1. My dad is a great fisherman

2. He knows just what baits, what lakes, what weather, what kind of line

3. When he gets a good catch, he knows it’s only by God’s grace

4. Just like life, you can do everything right & it still doesn’t work out right

5. All part of carrying our crosses

B. Yet God does bless us

1. Created faith in us through those means of grace

a. Fish aren’t the only things that can’t live without water

b. They can’t breathe without water

c. In Greek & Hebrew, the word for “breath” is the same as the word for “Spirit”

d. He has given us life, the Holy Spirit, through Baptism

2. So He catches us in His net

a. Just as fish are unwilling, so are we

b. The Word gives us life

c. Has nothing to do with the messenger—the message!

d. What is that message? Peter got a hint in this miracle

VI. “Go away from me Lord. I’m a sinful man!”

A. Peter knew He was in trouble

1. Even though he was right next to God in the flesh (as had become clear)

2. He was far from God because of his sin

3. The nearer you are to God, the more you know your sin in comparison

B. Peter, in terror, begs Jesus to leave

1. He would rather be without God than face His wrath

2. That’s all poor, miserable sinners deserve

VII. Don’t fear.

A. Jesus knew Peter’s sin, because He’s God

1. He didn’t condemn Peter

2. Not why He came

3. He came to forgive

B. These words were spoken at Jesus’ birth by the angels

1. He didn’t come to condemn the world, but to save us

2. That’s exactly what He did

a. Took our sin on Himself

b. Suffered on our behalf

c. Died because of our sin

VIII. From now on, you’ll be catching men.

A. Instead of condemnation, Jesus gives Peter a job

1. Just like fishing, sharing salvation isn’t dependent on skill

2. Simply spreading the word

3. God has forgiven us

4. He’s snagged us out of life

5. By pulling us through the water, He has, as the word here literally means, “Caught us alive” in Jesus’ name. Amen.

Conclusion

Now the peace of God which passes all understanding keep your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.  Amen.

Rechecking:

Pastoral Context: Cover challenges needed to be heard?

Liturgical context: season theme & mood

Linguistic: Teach a new word?

Cultural: Link w/ a current event?

Buzzword/mnemonic:

Is it art?


Children’s Sermon

Object: Who likes fishing? How do you catch fish? (Show how you can do everything right & still not catch them.)

Message: Do the fish choose to be caught? We’re like fish! We’re saved through faith in Jesus (believing & loving Him), but faith is a gift from God.

Lesson Summary

This series focuses on the privilege we have as believers in telling of God's goodness. Our bodies are to be pressed into service of God so that we become His agents of salvation. The Psalm is a litany of praise to God, recalling His mighty deeds and His mercy. The Old Testament Lesson recounts Isaiah's vision of God's glory, ending with the sending of the prophet to go speak as God's representative. The optional verses refer to the coming desolation of Israel. In the Epistle, Paul gives instructions for the proper use of spiritual gifts, pointing out that their purpose is to build up the Church, not exalt the user. In the Gospel, Jesus enables the new disciples to catch a great number of fish, even though His directions sound contrary to their logic.

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