Tuesday 12 March 2013

Bible Book:

Luke 5:1-11 Tuesday 12 March 2013


The story in Luke's Gospel's of Jesus calling the firstdisciples differs in a number of ways from the similar accounts ofMatthew and Mark. Luke's is longer as it includes the miracle ofthe large catch of fish, together with the subsequent dialoguebetween Jesus and Simon Peter. This is absent from Matthew (Matthew 4:18-22) and Mark's (Mark1:16-20) accounts, but is very similar to the post resurrectionstory in John 21.1-11.

The other interesting difference is that in Luke's Gospel, thisis not the first time Jesus has met Simon (Jesus had already healed Simon'smother-in-law). And rather than the instant response to Jesus'call to follow him that we are told about in the other Gospels,Luke's Gospel describes a more gradual and questioning responsebefore Simon finally makes a commitment.

Jesus had moved to Capernaum from Nazareth (Matthew 4:13) and it is clear from the story ofJesus healing Simon's mother-in-law (Luke 4:38-39) that the two men knew eachother. Simon would have had an opportunity to hear Jesus teachingin the synagogue (Luke 4:31) and even witnessed somethingremarkable happening in his own home and yet he is not in the crowdlistening to Jesus (verse 1) but working in his boat on the lake.He was not yet a committed disciple.

Simon responds to Jesus in stages, which is signalled by the useof the name Peter towards the end of the story. Firstly he allowshim to get in to his boat (verse 3). Then he is prepared to listento Jesus, ignore his own experience and do what Jesus asks (verses4-5). He witnesses another miraculous event but still questionswhether he is good enough to be associated with this man (verse 8).However finally, after Jesus reassures him and promises him a newand very different future (verse 10), Simon Peter is convinced. Itis then that he feels able to leave everything and follow Jesus(verse 11).

Whilst strange and unexplained events were taking place, it wasthe conversations with Jesus that enabled Simon Peter to take thenext steps. He was willing to take a step of faith after listeningto Jesus even against his better judgement (verses 4-5) and he wasreassured that he was worthy, regardless of his own sense ofsinfulness, by the words of Jesus.

To Ponder

  • Are there times when you don't feel good enough to followJesus? Listen to God's word offering you his reassurance andlove.
  • Think about the different stages of your own faith journey,including the times of questioning and doubt. Give thanks for thosewho have helped you along the way.

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