10 Luke 5.1-11
The Unimaginable Grace of God
v READ 5:1-11
Ø Here Jesus is still in Capernaum
§ Preaching on the shores of the sea of Galilee also called Gennasaret
· Soon after healing Simon Peter’s mother-in-Law
v People gripped by Jesus’ teaching once again
Ø Crowding around Him so much…
§ Forced Jesus to convert Simon Peter’s fishing boat into a makeshift pulpit
· So Peter takes Jesus a little ways out and sits in the boat to listen to Jesus
¨ As Jesus sits and teaches His lost sheep
v So here is the scene
Ø Jesus is sitting (as all rabbis did) teaching from Peter’s boat a little ways off shore
Ø The people are gathered at the shoreline listening
Ø Peter is in the boat with Jesus
§ Exhausted from fishing all night long
§ Probably welcoming the opportunity to sit back and listen to Jesus teach
· However, Peter’s relaxation time was about to come to an end
¨ In more ways than one!
v Look @ V. 4
Ø Here Jesus turns to Simon Peter and tells him to go fishing once again!
Ø I don’t think we fully realize what Jesus was asking here
§ First, consider the nets
· 100’s of feet of newly cleaned and folded nets will have to be cleaned and stored again
§ Second, consider Peter
· Peter had just finished a long, unprofitable nights work
· Fishing was backbreaking work
¨ Describe fishing here
§ Thirdly, consider the source
· This was a Carpenter telling professional fishermen where and when to fish!
¨ RQ: How do you respond when given advice on a subject that you are an expert in?
Ø Like me telling professional lobstermen where to drop their traps
§ I don’t know anything about it
v But look at Peter’s response
Ø Look @ V. 5
§ Peter obeys Jesus even though he doesn’t agree with Him
· A lesson for all of us!
¨ If you are following Jesus…
¨ If you allow yourself to be led by Jesus…
Ø I guarantee that He will lead you into places that do not make sense
Ø He will asks you to do many things that do not make sense
§ Just as He led Jesus into the wilderness to be tempted
· He may lead you into a spiritual desert
§ In times like this, we have to remember…
· Isa 55:9
¨ As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.
Ø Because of this…
§ God doesn’t need our agreement as much as our obedience
· And that is just what Peter exhibits, probably out of respect
v So Peter obeys…(out of respect)
Ø And Jesus performs an amazing miracle ~ V. 6 & 7
§ A miracle aimed right at Peter
v Jesus knows just where and how to spiritually touch us so that we recognize who He is
Ø That is why every testimony is different
§ To some, faith is the result of Jesus touching the heart
· Billy Sunday ~ hitting bottom
¨ Looked up drunk and read Jn 3:16 on a wall
§ To some, their faith is a result of Jesus touching the intellect
· Josh McDowell or Lee Strobel ~ needed factual evidence
§ To some, their faith is a result of Jesus touching the physical world around them
· Such as miracles
¨ Jesus knows just how to touch a person so that their hearts melt and they see Jesus for who He is…
Ø Savior and Lord
v And “hard hearted” Peter, after seeing the miracle catch, falls to his knees as well because he recognizes who Jesus is!
§ Peter had witnessed the miracle of his mother-in-law’s healing
§ Peter had seen many other miracles
§ Peter had sat many a day and night at Jesus’ feet as he taught
· But it wasn’t until Jesus showed His grace to Peter in a personal way that Peter recognized who Jesus was
v And it isn’t until Christ’s grace touches each one of us in a personal way…
Ø That we recognize who Jesus is and begin changing from the inside out
v This text shows us 3 results of being touched by the Unimaginable Grace of God…
You Realize your own Sinfulness
v Look @ V. 8 ~ When Simon Peter saw this, he fell at Jesus’ knees and said, “Go away from me, Lord; I am a sinful man!”
Ø Peter’s first reaction when he comes into contact with God’s Grace is…
§ He recognizes how sinful he is
A person, walking on a dark night, got splashed by a taxi going by. By the light of a lamppost 100 yards away, he looks down and takes note that his pants are wet. As he gets nearer the light, he begins to notice that it is worse than he thought, there was some mud in the water. By the time he is right under the light, he realizes that he is going to have to go back to his apartment and change.
You see, the nearer we get to the Lord, the more we are going to see the horrible sin that is in your life.
v This is a hard thing to accept
Ø Our natural inclination is to think that we are all basically good
§ But that is not the picture the Bible paints of us
· Jer 17:9
¨ The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure. Who can understand it?
Ø Our heart is sinful and evil
· Romans 8:7
¨ The sinful mind is hostile to God. It does not submit to God’s law, nor can it do so.
Ø Our mind is sinful and evil
· Col 1:21
¨ Once you were alienated from God and were enemies in your minds because of your evil behavior
Ø Our behavior is sinful and evil
§ Because our heart, mind and behavior is sinful…
· We do not want that brought into light
¨ We want to keep it hidden away
Ø We do not want our lusts, our temper, our greed and covetousness brought to the surface
§ We want to keep those nooks and crannies hidden away
§ Jesus said as much when he was teaching Nicodemus…
· John 3:19
¨ This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but men loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil
Ø We don’t like to walk in the light
Ø Naturally, we love the darkness, not the light
§ We don’t like to be confronted with our sin
§ We don’t like to see our evil behavior
In a prayer letter to his supporters, evangelist Billy Graham told a story about a mother in Africa who came to Christ and grew strong in her commitment and devotion to the Lord. As so often happens, however, this alienated her from her husband, and over the years he grew to despise and hate her new devotion to Christ.
His anger and bitterness reached their climax one night when he decided to kill his wife, their two children and himself, because he was unable to live in such self-inflicted misery. But he needed a motive. He decided that he would accuse her of stealing his precious keys: the keys to the bank, the house, and the car.
Early one afternoon he left his bank and headed for the tavern. His route took him across a footbridge extended over the headwaters of the Nile River. He paused above the river and dropped the keys. He spent all afternoon drinking at a local tavern.
Later that afternoon, his wife went to the fish market to buy the evening meal. She purchased a large Nile perch. As she was gutting the fish, to her astonishment, in its belly were her husband's keys. She was astonished and wondered how had they gotten there? She had absolutely no idea, but she cleaned them up and hung them on the hook.
Sufficiently drunk, the young banker came home that night and pounded open the front door shouting for his keys and blaming his wife for losing them. Already in bed, she got up, picked them off the hook in the bedroom, and handed them to her husband.
When he saw the keys, by his own testimony he immediately became sober and was instantly believed. He fell on his knees sobbing, asked forgiveness, and confessed Jesus Christ as Lord and savior!
v When the evil in our heart is revealed amid the spotlight of Jesus Christ
Ø The great chasm between our unrighteousness and the righteousness of Christ is revealed
v So when the 1,000 watt spotlight of God Son was turned on Peter…
Ø He instantly recognizes his sin, falls to his knees and asks Christ to go away
§ Not because he does not want forgiveness…
· But because he cannot bear the sight of his own sin revealed by the light of Jesus Christ
v Oh if that was how we all viewed our sin
Ø But part of our problem is we do not realize how bad sin is
§ We tend to soft-pedal sin
§ Re-naming it so it doesn’t sound as bad
· Lies become “white lies”
· Greed becomes “ambition”
· Covetousness becomes “keeping up with the Jones’”
· Murder becomes an issue of “choice”
· Homosexuality becomes an “alternative lifestyle”
§ Illust. #1256 (Green)
v If only we saw sin the way Peter did
Ø What different people we would be!
Ø The second result of being touched by the Unimaginable Grace of God is…
You Begin a Relationship with Jesus
v Notice how Peter’s address of Jesus changes…
Ø V. 5 ~ Master (epistata)
§ Commander or chief, someone who has you in his employ
Ø V. 8 ~ Lord (kurios)
§ Lord of his life
· When you come in contact with the unimaginable grace of Christ…
¨ You realize that it is all about relationship, not respect
v And that is what God wants to have with us
Ø Listen to how Yahweh speaks of His relationship with His people
§ Hosea 2:14-16
· “Therefore I am now going to allure her; I will lead her into the desert and speak tenderly to her. There I will give her back her vineyards, and will make the Valley of Achor (trouble) a door of hope. There she will sing as in the days of her youth, as in the day she came up out of Egypt. “In that day,” declares the Lord, “you will call me ‘my husband’; you will no longer call me ‘my master’
Ø Jesus does not want a master-serf relationship
§ He desires the closest kind of relationship
· Like a vine and a branch
¨ Like the closest relationship on earth
Ø A Husband-wife relationship
A recently married man loved his young bride intensely. He wanted to provide her with the best home, nicest clothes, and everything else she might want. Though he had to hold down two jobs to do so, he did not mind, because they enabled him to provide for her many good things. Time together was hard to schedule, but he figured that later on, once they were set financially, there would be plenty of time together. Yet, as so often happens, within a few years his wife left him, not for more money or material things, but for a man who would spend time with her.
We often serve God and obey him as a master, expending much time and energy in doing things that we believe will please him. That is good, but it is not enough. God wants us to know him intimately, to develop a relationship through the time we spend with him.
v Jesus liken it to a vine and branches (Jn 15:5)
v You see…
Ø With a master you enter into a contract…
§ With the Lord you enter into a relationship
Ø A Master you obey…
§ The Lord wants to engage you in discussion (Isa 1:18)
Ø A Master tells you what to do…
§ The Lord guides you in all righteousness
Ø A Master you must follow…
§ But with the Lord you willingly go!
· And that is what we see happening here with Peter
v You see…
Ø When you come into contact with the unimaginable grace of God…
You are willing to leave everything and follow Him
Ø Then Jesus said to Simon, “Don’t be afraid; from now on you will catch men.” So they pulled their boats up on shore, left everything and followed him
v Believing in Christ is difficult
Ø It requires us to…
§ Recognize our own sinfulness
§ Enter into a relationship unlike any other we have ever had
v Q: But are we also willing to follow Jesus with abandon??
On August II, 1978, Double Eagle II, a large helium balloon, and her crew of three eased into an almost windless sky above the potato fields of Maine. Their destination was Paris, France. The aerodynamics of ballooning are somewhat complex, but one thing is certain. In order for the balloon to stay aloft as the journey progressed, ballast had to be expelled. As they approached continental Europe six days later, one of the crew wrote, "We have been expending ballast wisely, but as we neared land, not cheaply. . . over went such gear as tape recorders, radios, film magazines, sleeping bag, lawn chairs, most of our water, food, and the cooler it was in.”
Following Christ is the wisest choice a man can make, but it does not come cheap. Just as for these balloonists many important things had to be abandoned because they weighed them down, so it is for the believer.
v Peter, James and John had a good fishing business going
Ø Probably a profitable one
§ And they dropped everything to follow Christ
v And they did not even know where they were going!
Ø Many people stop short of following Christ because there is no roadmap
§ People want to know not only where they are going, but how they are going to get there
A mission society is reported to have written to David Livingstone: "Have you found a good road to where you are? If so, we want to send other men to join you."
Livingstone replied: "If you have men who will come only if they know there is a good road, I don't want them. I want men who will come if there is no road at all.”
v And that is the kind of men and women Jesus wants today
v You see…
Ø Following Christ is difficult
§ It requires you to look at the unseemly parts of your heart
§ It requires a relationship without borders
§ And it requires dropping everything and following Christ wherever He may led
Ø Plummer writes:
§ It is the master whose orders must be obeyed, but it is the Lord whose holiness caused moral agony to the sinner
§ The fish were as obedient to Christ as the frog, flies and locusts were in Egypt during the 10 plagues
· And this miracle was performed to show Peter just who Jesus really is!
v This is displayed in the life of Paul
Ø The closer his relationship was to the Lord, the more he saw his sinfulness
v See this in people who have lived a long time as Christians
Ø They see how wretched they are
§ And in need of a savior