When he had finished speaking, he said to Simon, “Put out into deep water, and let down the nets for a catch.” – Lk. 5:4 NIV
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Jesus Christ had just began his ministry on earth and needed to recruit disciples who will help in the implementation of the works of the Ministry. It was in pursuance of this intention that he entered the boat of Simon who with his colleague had just finished their work for the night and were washing their nets. They had spent the whole night trying to catch fish but were unsuccessful when Jesus got into the boat of Simon and continued teaching the Word of God, from a location a bit far away from the shore – Lk. 5:1-3. As soon as he finished the day’s teaching, he instructed Simon, in the scripture which is the foundation text of today’s devotional, to throw his net into the deep sea and make a catch, an instruction that Simon was reluctant to obey initially but for reasons best known to him decided to eventually obey. In his response he brought to the attention of Jesus Christ the following facts;
- The fact that they had spent all night trying to catch fish but have been unsuccessful – Lk. 5:5a.
- That he was however, willing to follow his instructions and throw in the net – Lk. 5:5b.
His decision to obey the instructions of Jesus Christ despite his initial failures turned out to be a wise one as on this occasion, he caught so much fish that he had to beckon on some of his colleagues to help haul the catch to the seashore – Lk. 5:6-7. At this point, he was convinced that there was something special about this man whom he already addressed as “Master” and whatever it was, he considered the man too holy to associate with someone like him because just as he admitted, he was a sinner and so pleaded that the man stayed away from him and his colleagues which included James and John, the sons of Zebedee – Lk. 5:8-9. Jesus Christ however removed their fears telling them that from that moment onwards, they had a bigger calling to fish for men. At this statement, the Bible says, they left everything and followed Christ – Lk. 5:10-11.
It is with no doubt a strange development that at the pronouncement of one that they had never met, they left all that they had laboured for all night including the tool of their profession, which is the boat to follow Christ. They did not mind again what they were going to feed their families with or take care of the responsibilities that may be before them as responsible members of the society. They simply obeyed his instructions to follow him at a time when they had just made a record catch, the type that could have stood them out amongst their peers and family members as being very successful in their chosen profession. Simply put, Jesus pulled them out when they were at the peak of their profession in life and possibly at the pinnacle of success and just about enjoying the reward of many years of hard work.
This no doubt characterised the manner in which the Almighty God calls his people. He first demonstrates to them that He is a great God just as He expects that those He has called should not have second thoughts about dropping all those elements of earthly success, if necessary, once they have heard His Call.
Christians today must get some knowledge from the experience of Simon as it epitomises the manner in which the Almighty God calls His people for specific tasks, some of which are as follows:
- The Lord demonstrates His greatness before the one He intends to call before announcing His Call for the individual. The experience may not always be positive but there is usually an outstanding action that will indicate that something special is about to happen. The case of Call of Moses (Exo. 3:1-22) and Apostle Paul (Acts 9:1-19) are examples in this regard.
- His Call is usually specific as it involves leaving a location to another location. The Call of God will definitely require a relocation which may be physical or spiritual in nature. It could just be a change in belief or actions but there will always be a shift that will reflect a new thought process. Peter had to start thinking of how to fish for men rather than think of how to catch fish.
- His Call has a purpose which in this case was for Simon to become fisher of men. Every Call by the Lord has a goal which is expected to be achieved by the one that is Called. Whoever has not identified the goal of his/her Call will likely find it difficult to satisfy the One that made the Call in the first place.
- The one that his called must acknowledge the fact that the Call was not made because of a righteous state but was due to Grace. In fact, most people who are called are the least expected to be used by the Almighty God. To men, they do not carry the qualifications that should meet the standard of a holy god but then that is why He is the Almighty God. He choses to use the foolish things of this world to shame the wise – 1Cor. 1:27.
Every Christian must realise that they are not in Christendom by accident. No one can come to God unless He has called them – Jn. 6:44. Whatever may be the instrument of His Call for you, that should not be as important as the fact that He has called you and it is for a purpose. You are not a Christian for reasons of acquisition of all those earthly possessions. If anything, you may actually lose them initially because of the Call but just as He promised, all those earthly possessions that are lost will be recovered as the one who has called will add them to the package of reward for the one who is obedient to His Call – Matt. 6:33. To be obedient is
- To accept that your status as a Christian is because He called you. It is not because of any other reason outside this.
- To identify the purpose for which He called you. This must remain in the vision of the Christian at all times.
- To operate maximally in that purpose with the desire to be successful it. This will include constantly strategising aimed at achieving success.
Then and only then can the Called one reap the rewards of heeding the Call. May God grant us the Grace to recognise our Call and operate in it according to his Will in Jesus name. Amen.