Jesus calls his first disciples Mark 1:14-20
After Jesus had completed his time of temptation in the wilderness, he was ready to start his public ministry. His preaching ministry begins with these words in Mark 1:15
'The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel"
In my studies, I thought about what it meant for Jesus to say that the time is fulfilled. The word fulfilled is pleroo or it means to make full, complete. It carries with it that this is the time when the fulfillment of all the promises of the prophets will be completed. Jesus was saying that in his coming he is the fulfillment of what the prophets had talked about.
So, Jesus begins to build his team of disciples that he will live with and teach closely over the next three years. And it says that he was in Galilee sometime after John the Baptist had been taken into custody and he saw Simon and Andrew and James and John fishing. He calls to them and tells them they will become fishers of men and their response is to immediately leave what they have and go to him. I wish I would always be that obedient to the calling God has for me. For all of the grief that Peter takes for betraying him here he is immediately faithful to leave his prosperous fishing business and follow without hesitation.
Luke adds to this story in a way that Matthew and Mark do not, by adding that prior to this Jesus had asked to borrow Peter's boat to sit in while he was preaching Luke 5:1-11. After he had completed his message he told Peter to let down their nets for a caught. This was odd because with casting nets the nets would normally be cast at night since the fish would come to the top of the water at that time and go lower when it was daylight. Peter was already tired and frustrated and yet he was also obedient. To him, to do fishing now simply didn't make sense. In verse 5 he protests, "Master, we worked hard all ngiht and caught nothing, but at Your bidding I will let down the nets."
The result is that the net start to break due to the large amount of fish they haul in. To the point, that Peter signals James and John to come help them. Peter is astonished. He realizes that nothing has changed except that now Jesus is there. His response is "Depart from me, for I am a sinful man, O Lord." Peter realizes that while he did Jesus bidding it was with a heart that didn't believe it would matter and that they were all wasting their time. But, now Peter is wiling to repent of his poor attitude and doesn't even feel worthy of being with him.
It reminds me of seasons in my life when God has worked despite me instead of because of me. It also shows me that even when we are reluctant to his will the simple act of obedience is rewarded. God knows our weaknesses and our struggles and it is transparent before him. Psalm 139:3 says,
"Thou dost scrutinize my path and my lying down, and art intimately acquainted with all my ways."
So, Jesus knew what was in Peter when he called him and was not surprised by Peter's sinful attitudes or actions. Neither is he surprised or caught off guard by ours. He simply calls us to repent and believe in Him, to put our trust in Him. These type of situations where there is little hope and then the boat is full shows us that God can provide at all times and he is completely trustworthy.
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