Called Out! (Luke 5:4-11)

Change the World: Starting with Me  •  Sermon  •  Submitted
0 ratings

The Call of Peter

Sermon Tone Analysis
View more →

One of my favorite songs growing up, was “The Change by Garth Brooks.”
One hand reaches out And pulls a lost soul from harm While a thousand more go unspoken for And they say what good have you done By saving just this one? It's like whispering a prayer in the fury of a storm
And I hear them saying You'll never change things And no matter what you do it's still the same thing But it's not the world that I am changing I do this so this world will know That it will not change me (Garth Brooks - The Change)
Too many people have wrongly believed that they can’t make a difference in the world so why try? But the Bible teaches us that by partnering together with others who are looking to Jesus for answers. God is changing the world and Christianity is the fastest growing religion in the world because people have said yes to the call. But it starts with you you and me answering the call to bigger story.
Transition to the text: As we think about how God’s plan to change the world always starts with individual people, let’s look to the calling of Jesus’ first disciples and specifically Simon Peter. Now sometimes the Bible can be a little confusing because when God changes your life, He often changes your name.
So when you read Simon, remember this is the guy whose name Jesus changed to Peter. This is the same guy that constantly got his foot in his mouth. Jesus referred to him as Satan. He cut some dudes ear off. He denied Jesus 3 times. And even after Jesus went to heaven and the Holy Spirit came, Paul had to call Peter because was acting like a hypocrite.
But God had a plan for Simon that was about to begin. Didn’t mean that Simon was going to all of a sudden be perfect.
One of the most comforting quotes, I’ve read recently is this:
When God puts a calling on your life, He has already factored in your stupidity.
It’s funny because it’s true.
So let’s look at how Simon’s story with Jesus began. For you comic book fans, think of this as Peter the Rock’s origin story.
Luke 5:4–11 ESV
4 And when he had finished speaking, he said to Simon, “Put out into the deep and let down your nets for a catch.” 5 And Simon answered, “Master, we toiled all night and took nothing! But at your word I will let down the nets.” 6 And when they had done this, they enclosed a large number of fish, and their nets were breaking. 7 They signaled to their partners in the other boat to come and help them. And they came and filled both the boats, so that they began to sink. 8 But when Simon Peter saw it, he fell down at Jesus’ knees, saying, “Depart from me, for I am a sinful man, O Lord.” 9 For he and all who were with him were astonished at the catch of fish that they had taken, 10 and so also were James and John, sons of Zebedee, who were partners with Simon. And Jesus said to Simon, “Do not be afraid; from now on you will be catching men.” 11 And when they had brought their boats to land, they left everything and followed him.
Transition to the Big Idea: There is so much to unpack here and we’ll get to that. But a few things that we can see immediately:
Jesus meets Simon in Simon’s story. In his world. At his work. He doesn’t wait for Simon to come to him.
While acknowledging Simon’s story, Jesus calls Simon into a bigger story.
Simon immediately answers the call.
But the question is, “why would Simon want what Jesus was offering?”
Because deeply rooted in Simon is the same longing that all of us have.
We want to make a difference in the world around us. We want significance.
What Jesus was offering seemed to Simon a better avenue for doing that. Peter has a basic understanding that Jesus might be the Messiah. But still he had no idea that his small mind could not comprehend what lay ahead.
And the beauty is that it’s not just Simon.

Big Idea: We are all called to God’s world-changing story.

Transition to the Main Points: And for us it starts where we are. Now you don’t change the world on day 1. Rome wasn’t built in a day. The Patriots didn’t learn to be effective cheaters in a day. These things take time and practice.
On the other hand, our lives don’t fall apart in a day either. There was a powerful commercial when I was a kid that said,
No one dreams of growing up to be a drug addict.
The point is that it is the little things, small choices over time that lead to a changed person and a changed world.
But every once in a while, we are given a glimpse of the bigger story of God and we are called to take a step of faith.
Will we answer that call?
Let’s look at Simon

Main Point 1: Simon Peter’s story began where he was.

Explanation: Imagine you begin your day by going to work. You wake up early. You get dressed and drink your coffee and you go off to work. Since it’s not the sabbath you probably aren’t expecting a big spiritual awakening in your life. You’re planning for normal.
God’s extraordinary plans for us typically start on ordinary days.
Simon was a fisherman. And based on what we know about Simon, he wasn’t a very good one. Business wasn’t booming. And even on this day, they hadn’t caught anything, (As a recreational fisherman, I know the feeling), but Simon was depending on these fish to survive. This was his job.
Now Jesus had big plans for this man, but He was going to meet him where he was. At work.
Your changed story might be on the other side of your current responsibility.
Be faithful with what is in front of you. Simon may not have been a great fisherman, but he was out there doing it as best he could.
But the truth is that boys in Galilee didn’t grow up wanting to be fisherman anyway. The hope was to do really well in synagogue school and to become the disciple of a rabbi. So the fact that Peter was fishing means he didn’t make it. Back then, it was the teachers who were wealthy. Imagine that! This is not the story that Simon would have written for himself.
Just because your story is not what you hoped for, doesn’t mean that this is all there is.
Illustration: I love the story of Kurt Warner who has now been enshrined in the Pro Football Hall of Fame. he graduated from the University of Northern Iowa in 1994. He went undrafted and even though he was invited to Packers training camp, he was cut. With no prospects, he found himself bagging groceries at a convenience store. And with a strong faith in God and a resolve to never give up, he kept at it. He took a job with an Arena football team. He did so well in Arena football that he’s actually also in the Arena football hall of fame. But it was during this time, he got a call. Would he like to try out for the Saint Louis rams. He made the team as a 3rd stringer and would barely play that first year. But the next year, as a backup after the starter got hurt, he got his chance and had arguably the best seasons by a quarterback in NFL history.
They haul in the biggest catch of their lives. the nets are breaking. This catch is going to make them a lot of money. But he won’t even enjoy it. Because after the biggest catch of their young careers, Jesus says, follow me.
Don’t waste your disappointments. Keep working hard. Keep writing your story.
Application: Some of you may be living stories you would not have written. Some are still waiting for that call that might change your life.
Don’t waste your disappointments. Keep working hard. Keep writing your story. But look for God’s bigger story in your everyday life.
It was in the midst of his working hard in a mundane life....
But look for God’s bigger story in your everyday life.

Main Point 2: Jesus called Simon Peter to a bigger story.

Explanation: It was on an ordinary day that Jesus entered Simon’s life. On this particular day, after a failed early morning of fishing, Jesus comes along and needs their boats for a floating teaching platform. Can you imagine this. You’ve had a bad day, and some Rabbi comes along and wants your help? Maybe they were hoping to get paid, or maybe Jesus just did the jedi mind trick.... “I need these boats.” “Right away sir.” But it was going to be interesting nonetheless. This was a rabbi rising in popularity. This is the closest they’ve probably ever been to a rabbi. And it was probably awesome to hear Him teach…and they were in the boat with him. For many of us, hearing our favorite preacher this close might change your life. But then the teaching comes to an end and it’s time to go back to normal. What’s next?
But since they are out there anyway, Jesus says let’s do some fishing. Now, my guess is that Simon didn’t want to do this. Every part of him wanted to say no. Everyone knows you catch fish in the early morning and not the midday. But something told him to obey.
Jesus was and still is looking for people who are willing to obey without needing all the information.
That’s called faith. But notice this first act of faith Jesus asked from Simon didn’t cost him anything.
Don’t be afraid to take a chance when it costs you nothing.
A time will come when it will cost Simon everything to obey Jesus, but that’s not this day. All it would cost to throw the nets over is the potential for more disappointment. Another shot at pride. And truth be told, failure would also lessen Jesus in the eyes of Simon and his partners. But what if that one chance becomes an amazing start to a new story.
They haul in the biggest catch of their lives. The nets are breaking. This catch is going to make them a lot of money.
But all of this was a big setup for Jesus’ invitation of Simon into a bigger story.
The fish was just the start to show Simon what kind of story he was being invited into.
But Simon immediately knows that strange things are afoot. He knows this is no mere rabbi. But he is a prophet....a holy man. He even knows that this might be the Messiah. Certainly a man who has no business spending time with a sinner like Simon. Simon believes that his story up to this point has disqualified him for a bigger role in God’s story. But here is the truth.
Your past does not disqualify you from a future role in God’s story.
Illustration: One of my very good friends was called out of sin and destruction while in prison. But while in there He came to embrace the saving power of Jesus. His life was transformed. Through great discipleship, God put a calling on his life to be a pastor. And he has been faithfully pastoring for a number of years now. His past did not disqualify his future. And now God is changing live through this young pastor’s story.
Application: Sometimes we can be so completely paralyzed by our past that we can’t answer the call for our futures. Other times we feel like God can’t use us because of the things that we have done. Still other times we would do anything to get out of our current situation. But here’s the truth about God’s call.
It is not often that God calls you away from something. He calls you to something.
Jesus called Simon to come follow him.

Main Point 3: Jesus’ disciples willingly gave up their story to be a part of Jesus’ story.

Explanation: Imagine you just got the biggest haul of your career. That was awesome. You are going to make so much money when you take those fish to market. Finally your hard work has paid off.
But you won’t get to enjoy this new found success in business. because immediately after the haul, this same Jesus, says, “Give it all up and join a bigger story!” You will be much better at fishing for people. Come follow me.” And says don’t be afraid of the unknown.
Now there are times in the Bible where something doesn’t seem to fit the context. Something that seems out of place. There is no indication that Simon or James or John were in any way afraid. They jumped out of theose boats.
So why the statement about being afraid? I think that’s meant for you and me and all others who will be given a chance to give up our story and embrace God’s story. Simon wasn’t afraid, but with what you are going through right now, you might be. And let that be an encouragement to you....“Don’t be afraid to give up your story to follow Jesus.”
Don’t be so attached to your story (good or bad), that you’re afraid to embrace the future.
Someone once told me that the devil you know is better than the devil you don’t. So we naturally fear the unknown. The life you have now, however much a struggle it is....could get worse. But it could become more meaningful and purposeful.
And there it is…the call. A better life in a bigger story. Notice that there isn’t even time to think....Simon drops everything and immediately followed Jesus. And notice it isn’t just Simon who leaves to follow Jesus…James and John willingly follow Jesus too. Matthew and Mark tell us that Andrew was there as well. Poor Andrew is so often overlooked. John’s gospel tells us that Andrew was a disciple of John the Baptist and was told that Jesus was the Messiah and before this tried to convince Peter of it.
Let your steps of faith be an example to others.
Illustration: Imagine you are a struggling in your career not knowing what to do. And then one day someone comes along that gives you some advice and direction that immediately pays huge dividends. But before you can enjoy this new found success that same person says give it all up and follow me in a path that will most certainly not lead to riches. Will you go?
Application: God’s story is on the other side of great sacrifice. I always come back to the story of Jim Elliott and Nate Saint as they gave up everything to follow Jesus into the jungle to share the name of Jesus with those who desperately need to hear it.
“He is no fool who gives up what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose.” - Jim Elliott

Reflection: Are you ready to be called out of your story into God’s story?

Let God meet you where you.
Look for God’s story all around you.
And when God calls, answer the call.
This is especially true of those who need to embrace Jesus.
We have to remember that Simon’s story is more than just a call to ministry. It’s also an evangelistic call to Jesus himself.
Jesus doesn’t just offer Simon a better life or a bigger story, He offers him Himself.
So later on in life, when Simon Peter willingly dies on an upside down cross, he doesn’t die for the mission, He dies for the person.
Right now, you have a glimpse into a better story by giving your life over to Jesus. And right now, it costs you nothing to say yes.
Later on it will cost you everything. But God wants to use you to change the world and right now in this place, He’s starting with you.
Will you answer the call?
Related Media
See more
Related Sermons
See more