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Intro: Fishing stories are undoubtedly some of the greatest stories ever told.
You know, “It was this big!” Have you ever noticed that in those kinds of fishing stories the fisherman is always alone, nobody is there to see it, the fish gets bigger with each telling, and the fish always gets away?
This morning I want us to look at a fishing story that truly is the greatest one ever told.
But this story is real, there were eyewitnesses and the catch was so amazing that it nearly sunk two boats.
Text; Luke 5:1-11
I want to remind you of the meaning of this word “nevertheless”.
It is often used against the dark background of conditions in this world, it turns the picture to say, “Notwithstanding, however, still, on the other hand, there is another way, side.…”
Nevertheless is a bridge one can cross to pass from darkness to light, from defeat to victory, from bad to good.
But unfortunately visa versa as well.
This morning we are going to see it used in a way that cements the life of a few men into a new form that eventually turned the world upside down!
1. Jesus’ Teaching; 1-3
Jesus continued his teaching in the area of Galilee and the crowds continued to grow.
So much so that as they followed him it prevented Him to teach effectively so that all could hear.
So He used the lake and a boat for his pulpit.
Why was Jesus’ teaching so popular?
When Jesus spoke, they literally heard God speaking.
The rabbis spoke of the scriptures and quoted other rabbis.
But Jesus is the scriptures, the Word, and when He spoke of the good news of salvation; the truth about entering the kingdom of God, it was if God had come down from heaven and was speaking to them face to face!
He was!!
Lake Gennesaret was not only a beautiful area, an economic boom but also the lake is 650 feet below sea level surrounded by mountains which makes for great acoustics when the water is calm.
What a pulpit!
I believe this illustration is both figurative and suggestive.
Every pulpit is a “fishing boat,” a place to give out the Word of God and attempt to catch fish.
McGee, J. V. (1991).
Thru the Bible commentary: The Gospels (Luke) (electronic ed., Vol.
37, p. 75).
Thomas Nelson.
Washing their nets- nets were vital for the survival of the fishermen.
If they were not kept clean from sand, pebbles, weeds and dead fish or repaired they would not be useful for fishing and would scare the fish away.
If we are going to be effective, if we are going to be reliable, if we are going to be fruitful and fulfill the purpose for which we were redeemed, then we need to keep ourselves clean from sin.
2. Launch Out; 4-5
After Simon had given his boat as a pulpit for the Lord, the Lord wanted to bless him.
He told him to launch out to deeper water and cast out his nets for a catch of fish.
Several methods were used to fish.
One was the hook and line.
Next was the net that was thrown from the shore.
It was about nine feet to fifteen feet in diameter with weights on the edges.
The third was a large dragnet that was strung between two or more boats in deep water.
This net was about three hundred feet long and eight feet wide.
One side had 114 corks to keep it afloat; the other side had lead sinkers.
The boats would pull the net into a circle and trap the fish.
So after a hard night of fishing and dragging that 300 foot net several times and coming up with no fish at all, Jesus, the carpenter, tells the professional fisherman to go out again in the heat of the day for a catch!
Launch out- means “to go back or to return.”
Peter was to return to the deep, and again let down his nets, and he would reap “catch of fish.”
He would be successful and blessed.
Lessons to learn; there may be times when we need to return to our place of failure in order to find blessing.
Some people quit and run from their problems when they face difficulty and never work through them.
In doing so, they rob themselves of the blessings that come from “sticking it out” and the lessons that diligence and determination teach.
Launching to the deep would mean more involvement and work.
Spiritually speaking, this is what the Lord wants us to do.
He wants us to grow spiritually and develop a deeper, more intimate walk with God and that requires hard work.
Sometimes what God asks us to do doesn’t seem logical and is often inconvenient.
When Israel confronted the city of Jericho, God’s strategy for attack was to march around the city for six days and keep quiet.
On the seventh day, they were to march around it again and shout as loud as possible.
Their attitude was, “If you say so, we will do it.”
They did and the walls fell.
Gideon faced the massive army of the Midianites.
God’s solution was to take 300 men, who would surround the enemy camp at night, break their clay pitchers that hid some torches and blow a horn.
Their attitude was also, “If you say so, we will obey.”
The result was an overwhelming victory for Gideon and God’s people.
For the widow of Zarephath who was almost out of food, Elijah told her that God’s solution was to go get every vessel or jar she could find.
She may have wondered, “What?”
She did as commanded and the vessels were miraculously filled with oil that she could sell.…
Tithing is hard to understand, giving a tenth of your firstfruits when you can hardly makes ends meet with all you have now.
But when we do, God opens the windows of heaven on us and vats are overflowing and our coffers are full.
But we need to learn as Simon Peter does, that God knows best and say, “Nevertheless at Your Word I Will.”
3. Letting Down your Net; 6-7
Though Peter had half heartedly obeyed and did what the Lord asked of him, Jesus was true to his word and filled the net.
Jesus’ purpose wasn’t to give them a good catch and the best payday ever; Jesus purpose was to change their professions and priorities forever.
God wants us to let down our nets [step out in faith] to change our lives and our priorities through the fulfillment of His Word and an abundance of blessings.
Ephesians 3:20 (NKJV)
20 Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us,
Some of you here today need to let down your nets and trust God.
Even though it seems strange and not even logical, let God bless you!
Quit running from God!
4. A Change in Heart; 8-10
Simon Peter realized at this miracle that Jesus was truly God.
[5] Master is a word used of respect towards one as a teacher
[8] Lord [kurios] means God.
Peter realized that Jesus was God.
If He could see into the lake where the fish were and fill their net, where they had fished all night and caught nothing, then Jesus could see into his heart and know what kind of man he really was.
Peter confessed himself a sinner and was forgiven at that moment.
He was a changed heart.
He had a healthy fear of God.
There is a proper, healthy fear of God;
Peter and the others begin a new relationship with Christ that day.
They had spent their lives catching fish for the purpose of killing them; now they would spend the rest of their lives catching men to give them life.
Have you had a change of heart?
From a fear of being judged by Him to a fear [reverence] of His mercy and grace.
Have you moved from a head knowledge of God to a heart relationship with Him through Christ Jesus?
Has Jesus changed your life and your priorities?
5. Forsake and Follow; 11
The most amazing thing happened to Peter and the others with him who had witnessed this miracle of the greatest catch ever!
They left it all behind!!
This was the catch of a lifetime.
This boatload could have changed their business.
They could have been a Fortune 500 business in Galilee!
But instead they abandoned their boats, their business and careers to follow Jesus.
Being a disciple of Jesus requires forsaking and following.
Forsaking is the negative aspect of removing hindrances from our lives and replacing them with the positive elements of following the Lord and doing what is right.
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