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The Art of Followship (7)

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Followship

The first 11 verses of chapter 5 gives Luke’s version of the call of the disciples Simon Peter, James and John. This call to follow Jesus surrounds events of finding fishermen who have been out fishing and has nothing show for their labor .
Why is following so hard? It is a problem of the modern church we just have not master the Art of Followship. We want to be in charge we want it our way but when it comes to following we are challenged. We cant seem to get it right. For some reason we feel our opinions matter more than anyone else’s. We feel we don’t have to listen to anyone. We even agree to do and start out following but somehow we keep getting off track.
Yet we must learn to trust and obey song writer wrote:
When we walk with the Lord in the light of His Word, What a glory He sheds on our way! While we do His good will, He abides with us still, And with all who will trust and obey.RefrainTrust and obey, for there’s no other way To be happy in Jesus, but to trust and obey. 4) But when he stopped speaking, he said to Simon, Put out into the deep and lower your nets for a catch! And answering, Simon said, Master, having labored through the whole night, we took not a thing; yet on thy utterance I will lower the nets.
A startling command indeed! What did Jesus know about fishing in contrast with an expert like Simon? It sounded like ignorance for this former carpenter to designate “the deep” as the place for making a catch of fish and like double ignorance to ask that this effort be made now, well on in the day, about noon. Jesus orders this while multitudes line the shore, many of whom were conversant with fishing, who certainly would give Peter the laugh for doing something that is so apparently irrational, really foolish, and contrary to all experience. All this must be fully appreciated in order to understand this order of Jesus. He intended it to be an order like that, and Peter’s face must have been a study when he heard it. Παύω has a complementary participle (R. 1121) as an essential part as predicate (R. 431), and the verbs “put out” and “lower” are the ones that are regularly used in connection with these acts when fishing.
5) Peter realizes what Jesus means. Not the deep but the places of moderate depth are the right ones for fishing; not the broad daylight but the nighttime is the best for fishing. And he is certainly susceptible to the opinion of the crowds on the shore. Luke never uses “Rabbi” but always the vocative ἐπιστάτα as the address to Jesus, “Master,” one standing over others. Peter has a word for the second of the indicated considerations: “having labored through the whole night, we took not a thing.” Jesus did not perhaps know that. Peter is not raising an objection as though he were refusing Jesus; he is uttering a misgiving, for he and his helpers worked in the best places of the lake at the best time and continued their labor many hours with absolute failure. Jesus was asking much of Peter, and by this word Peter shows how strongly he felt it.
Peter declares that he will obey. The emphasis is on the phrase, which is put forward for that reason: “on thy utterance” will I lower the nets, and at the mere speaking of Jesus.
He intends to say, “The fact that thou hast spoken commands my will.” That is exactly what Jesus wanted: Peter was to drop everything else and to throw himself absolutely on his Lord’s utterance alone.
Yea, he was to go counter to all his own experience, science, wisdom, reason, or what not, including all that men might say and to hold to only one thing, his Lord’s word. It was a great test of genuine faith in whatever Jesus might say; on top of that it was to be an unforgettable experience for Peter to have absolute confidence in his Lord’s word in all his future apostolic work. And Peter’s experience is set down for us so that in us, too, layman and preacher, it may produce the same effect. It is thus that faith overcomes the world, the faith that conquers by the Word and by nothing but the Word. The weakness of our believing lies in not taking Jesus altogether at his word.
Peter says “I will lower,” for the boat is his, and he is in command. Jesus uses the singular “put out” and then the plural “lower your nets.” So from the start Peter had his men with him in the boat likely his brother Andrew is with him. Both Mark and Mathew account of the calling of the disciples include Andrew by name at the situation.

4) But when he stopped speaking, he said to Simon, Put out into the deep and lower your nets for a catch! And answering, Simon said, Master, having labored through the whole night, we took not a thing; yet on thy utterance I will lower the nets.

A startling command indeed! What did Jesus know about fishing in contrast with an expert like Simon? It sounded like ignorance for this former carpenter to designate “the deep” as the place for making a catch of fish and like double ignorance to ask that this effort be made now, well on in the day, about noon. Jesus orders this while multitudes line the shore, many of whom were conversant with fishing, who certainly would give Peter the laugh for doing something that is so apparently irrational, really foolish, and contrary to all experience. All this must be fully appreciated in order to understand this order of Jesus. He intended it to be an order like that, and Peter’s face must have been a study when he heard it. Παύω has a complementary participle (R. 1121) as an essential part as predicate (R. 431), and the verbs “put out” and “lower” are the ones that are regularly used in connection with these acts when fishing.

5) Peter realizes what Jesus means. Not the deep but the places of moderate depth are the right ones for fishing; not the broad daylight but the nighttime is the best for fishing. And he is certainly susceptible to the opinion of the crowds on the shore. Luke never uses “Rabbi” but always the vocative ἐπιστάτα as the address to Jesus, “Master,” one standing over others. Peter has a word for the second of the indicated considerations: “having labored through the whole night, we took not a thing.” Jesus did not perhaps know that. Peter is not raising an objection as though he were refusing Jesus; he is uttering a misgiving, for he and his helpers worked in the best places of the lake at the best time and continued their labor many hours with absolute failure. Jesus was asking much of Peter, and by this word Peter shows how strongly he felt it.

Peter declares that he will obey. The emphasis is on the phrase, which is put forward for that reason: “on thy utterance” will I lower the nets, and ῥῆμα refers to the mere speaking of Jesus. He intends to say, “The fact that thou hast spoken commands my will.” That is exactly what Jesus wanted: Peter was to drop everything else and to throw himself absolutely on his Lord’s utterance alone. Yea, he was to go counter to all his own experience, science, wisdom, reason, or what not, including all that men might say and to hold to only one thing, his Lord’s word. It was a great test of genuine faith in whatever Jesus might say; on top of that it was to be an unforgettable experience for Peter to have absolute confidence in his Lord’s word in all his future apostolic work. And Peter’s experience is set down for us so that in us, too, layman and preacher, it may produce the same effect. It is thus that faith overcomes the world, the faith that conquers by the Word and by nothing but the Word. The weakness of our believing and of our preaching lies in not taking Jesus altogether at his word.

Peter says “I will lower,” for the boat is his, and he is in command. Jesus uses the singular “put out” and then the plural “lower your nets.” So from the start Peter had his men with him in the boat, which was of good size, for it at times carried all the disciples and Jesus. We are not certain whether Andrew was there too, for he is not mentioned in the entire account. Note also the plural “nets.” These required several men to handle them.

This boat was of good size, for it at times carried all the disciples and Jesus. We are not certain whether Andrew was there too, for he is not mentioned in the entire account. Note also the plural “nets.” These required several men to handle them.
Now obedience will always get good results
6) And having done this, they enclosed a great multitude of fishes; moreover, their nets began to break. And they beckoned to their partners in the other boat in order that, having come, they lend a hand. And they came and filled both the boats so that they began to sink.
Here again the miracle is told in the simplest, most matter-of-fact way. They followed the word of Jesus and at once had their nets so full of fish that the nets started to tear (inchoative imperfect). How did all these fish come to that most unlikely place and at that altogether wrong time, and why were they so ready to enter Peter’s nets?
Well it wasn’t because Jesus saw some fish jumping from a distance. What we fail to realize is
1  The earth is the LORD’s and the fullness thereof,
the world and those who dwell therein,
2  for he has founded it upon the seas
and established it upon the floods.
The Holy Bible: English Standard Version. (2016). (). Wheaton, IL: Crossway Bibles.
Lenski, R. C. H. (1961). The Interpretation of St. Luke’s Gospel (p. 280). Minneapolis, MN: Augsburg Publishing House.
This was an ocular demonstration of the power of Jesus’ word. When Jesus sat in the boat teaching, the power of what he spoke was invisible. Who could see that the mountains of ignorance were removed, that the flinty hearts were made like butter by contrition, that the new, immortal spiritual life of faith was coming into existence, that the frightful, crushing guilt and sin were blown away as far as the east is from the west? Here was the visible answer: the nets full of fish caught at Jesus’ word, and at that word alone. So the net of the gospel would become filled to the top. These gospel fishermen would most assuredly succeed.
It is essential to note “on thy utterance” and “having done this.” Any deviation from the Lord’s utterance in word or in action is fatal to success. Improve on his Word, and you fail.
Say that Jesus would today modify his utterance, and you are trying to justify your deviation from it. Nothing saves souls except the Word, and that Word unchanged in any way. The divine and saving power lies in that Word and in nothing else.
7) When the nets began to tear and there was danger of losing the fish, Peter and his men beckoned their partners in the other boat, who rushed to the rescue and filled both boats with fish so that they were near sinking because of the load.
When the Lord gives he is never stingy. His generosity is overwhelming; think of Cana. But this load of fish symbolizes in advance the abounding success of the gospel, its all-sufficient power to catch men.
Lenski, R. C. H. (1961). The Interpretation of St. Luke’s Gospel (p. 281). Minneapolis, MN: Augsburg Publishing House.
Spiritual things are invisible, nobody’s eyes see that they are wrought.

This was an ocular demonstration of the power of Jesus’ word. When Jesus sat in the boat teaching, the power of what he spoke was invisible. Who could see that the mountains of ignorance were removed, that the flinty hearts were made like butter by contrition, that the new, immortal spiritual life of faith was coming into existence, that the frightful, crushing guilt and sin were blown away as far as the east is from the west? Spiritual things are invisible, nobody’s eyes see that they are wrought.

Lenski, R. C. H. (1961). The Interpretation of St. Luke’s Gospel (pp. 280–281). Minneapolis, MN: Augsburg Publishing House.
In order to follow we must recognize our own sinfulness
8 But when Simon Peter saw it he fell down at the knees of Jesus, saying, Go out from me because I am a sinful man, Lord! For astonishment enveloped him and all those with him at the catch of the fishes which they did take together, moreover likewise also James and John, Zebedee’s sons, who were associates with Simon.
8 But when Simon Peter saw it he fell down at the knees of Jesus, saying, Go out from me because I am a sinful man, Lord! For astonishment enveloped him and all those with him at the catch of the fishes which they did take together, moreover likewise also James and John, Zebedee’s sons, who were associates with Simon.
In the excitement of making and completing the tremendous catch Peter’s mind was taken up with the hurry and the work. Now that the fish are in the boats, and that Peter sees what the Lord’s word has done, a powerful reaction sets in.
When we see our own sinfulness and our own in adequateness we will fall down and worship for real. Peter’s falling down at his knees. This was an act of deepest humiliation and abasement coupled with worship. Peter realized the deity of Jesus in a way that wholly overcame him and made him feel his utter unworthiness and nothingness in Jesus’ presence.
Up to this point Luke has called him by his old name “Simon,” and he will do so in the remainder of the narrative; but when he is describing this act Luke calls him “Simon Peter” and adds the name that Jesus gave him to designate the rocklike faith that would mature in him. That faith was now showing its humble face in Peter.
A moment ago Peter said ἐπιστάτα, “Master”; now that word is not enough by far, he now says Κύριε in the sense of divine Lord as the apostles and then the church regularly came to call Jesus. It is true, κύριος was used as a mere title of respect like our “mister” or “sir.” But that common use is shut out here by Peter’s action and by the contrast “sinful man.” 9 For he and all who were with him were astonished at the catch of fish that they had taken, 10 and so also were James and John, sons of Zebedee, who were partners with Simon. And Jesus said to Simon
The Holy Bible: English Standard Version. (2016). (). Wheaton, IL: Crossway Bibles.
Lenski, R. C. H. (1961). The Interpretation of St. Luke’s Gospel (pp. 282–283). Minneapolis, MN: Augsburg Publishing House.
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