Day 15 - Followers of Jesus

Day 15 - Followers of Jesus

Written by: Pat Hardin

“And Jesus said to Simon, “Do not be afraid; from now on you will be catching men.” And when they had brought their boats to land, they left everything and followed him.” (Luke 5:10b, ESV)
Reading through Luke 5:1-11, we get a glimpse of Peter that reveals his character to us. He is a rough dude, a fisherman that probably smells like sweat and fish guts. I worked in a fish market as a teenager, and I promise you that is not a good smell! I imagine Peter being cynical, rough around the edges, a heavy drinker, a mouth full of profanity, and on the lower end of the socio-economic scale in his village, much like a couple of the people I worked with back in those days. Peter is probably not the guy most of us would be attracted to if we visited his region of the country, and certainly not one that any religious people would associate with, yet Jesus steps into his empty boat  and asks for his help. After teaching the crowds of people, this carpenter begins to instruct the fishermen. Peter immediately begins to make excuses why they shouldn’t obey Jesus, nevertheless he and his brother put out their commercial fishing nets and filled them up!! They had fished all night without catching anything and suddenly they had so many they called their partners to come and help them haul all of the fish to shore.

Peter’s response to the miracle was to fall at the feet of Jesus and tell him to leave, because he felt that he was too “sinful” (v. 8) to be around Jesus. Verse 9 says that the fishermen “were astonished at the catch of fish they had taken.” This encounter reminds me of the responses I hear sometimes when talking to people about Jesus and the changes He has made in my life. Some share some pretty salty language as they tell me why Jesus could not possibly save them, and still others are astonished to hear that He wants to save them. The truth is, Jesus desires that all believe in Him and follow Him. In fact, His challenge to Peter is the same for each one of us, “Do not be afraid.”  Jesus wants us to become fishers of men, just as Peter, Andrew, James, and John became on that day at Lake Gennesaret. Are you ready to answer that call? It will change your life, just like it did for the fishermen named Peter, Andrew, James, and John. Begin to look around you for people that nobody wants to be around, and carefully watch for opportunities to connect with them. Perhaps a homeless person you encounter on your way to work or shop, or maybe the grouch in your neighborhood that everyone else avoids will be the person that Jesus asks you to reach with the Gospel.
Take note of the least desirable people you see today and begin praying for ways to invest in a relationship with them. Write down the name or names of those least desirable people and ask God for wisdom on how to befriend them. Make a list of ways to share God’s love with them this week…….and then do the things on your list!

As you pray over your list, begin to look for opportunities to complete the list by sharing the life-changing love of Jesus.

Father, please help me humble myself and become friends with the least desirable people I know. Help me have the courage to withstand the criticism, the coarse language, even the potentially negative response. Please help me realize that you desire my obedience, and show me how to walk in the way of Jesus. Amen.