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When Peter on the shore of Galilee loaned one of his ships to Jesus for a pulpit of sorts, little did he know his life was about to change course (Luke 5:1-11). Our Lord still does the same today—creating circumstances that, unbeknownst to us at the time, represent pivotal, life-changing moments.  

The entire time Jesus was teaching the Word from that ship, Peter continued WASHING his nets and was unavoidably LISTENING to his gracious words. We’re not told the content of Jesus' teaching, nor how long he spoke before turning his attention to Peter. 

Now when he had left speaking, he said unto Simon, ‘Launch out into the deep, and let down your nets for a draught’” (5:4). Please notice that (1) Luke still calls him “Simon” at this point, and (2) Jesus set an expectation for obedience (i.e., if you DO what I’m asking, this is what you can EXPECT—a draught of fish). If you search the scriptures, you’ll find many “IF…THEN” examples where God sets an EXPECTATION for man's obedience.  

Now came Peter's response to Jesus' request: “Master, we have TOILED all the night, and have taken nothing” (5:5). It was an tacit admission he had NO expectation the WORDS of Jesus could accomplish in a few moments what his SKILLS had failed to produce in the hours of an all-nighter.

Then came his acknowledgment of reluctant obedience: “NEVERTHELESS at thy word I will let down the net.” His quandry: Could the WORDS of Jesus outperform his WORKS? He was about to learn perhaps the most valuable lesson a disciple can learn!

Peter’s response to the ‘draught’ of fish breaking his nets caused him to acknowledge his DOUBTS about obedience: “Depart from me; for I am a SINFUL man, O Lord” (5:8). Whenever a disciple of Jesus entertains DOUBTS about the efficacy of his WORD, it is n indication he's 'missed the mark' where faith is concernedd. 

Remember we mentioned earlier Luke referred to Peter as ‘Simon’ throughout the text? I believe this is significant. In the next chapter, Jesus taught: “Whosoever cometh to me, and HEARETH my sayings, and DOETH them, I will shew you to whom he is like: He is like a man which built an house, and digged deep, and laid the foundation on a ROCK” (6:47-48). 

The name “Peter,” which Jesus later gave to Simon, means ROCK. And when Simon heard the WORDS of Jesus on that ship and commenced to DO them, despite his reluctant doubts, he was in fact laying a ROCK-like foundation for his future. 

When it comes to obedience, NEVERTHELESS is always better than NEVER. But there should NEVER be a NEVERTHELESS of reluctance in our obedience to the words of Christ!


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