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KATA LOUKAN (KATA LOUKAN)
THE GOSPEL ACCORDING TO LUKE
When Jesus Gets Into Your Boat Luke 5:1-11
Delbert Young, May 1,, 2011
204 North Main Street, LaFayette, GA 30728, www.lifegatechurch.com

Have you ever had a life-changing experience where you look back and say, "That changed my life!"? The experience not only changed how you lived, but it changed why you would die. Simon, James, and John have such an experience in this week's Luke study.

Luke 5:1-3 One day as Jesus was standing by the Lake of Gennesaret, with the people CROWDING AROUND HIM AND LISTENING TO THE WORD OF GOD, he saw at the water's edge two boats, left there by the fishermen, who were washing their nets. HE GOT INTO ONE OF THE BOATS, THE ONE BELONGING TO SIMON, and asked him to put out a little from shore. Then he sat down and taught the people from the boat.

I want to talk today about "When Jesus gets into your boat." He doesn't intend to sit there long. He will want you to push out, first just a little, but eventually, he will ask you to go deep. If you will, when he does, something big will happen. Every boat ride Jesus took was eventful. You might catch a boat load of fish, or run into a storm, or run into a demon, but something will happen when Jesus steps into your boat. It's not only the ride of your life. It will change your life.

The Lake of Gennesaret was actually the Sea of Galilee, but called the Lake of Gennesareth when at the city of Gennesareth a few miles southwest of Capernaum. (map) Jesus spent a lot of his time around the lake/sea of Galilee.

The crowds were already large and growing causing Jesus to do much of his teaching outside of town. The crowds would gridlock a town. If we think about this, we understand. Today we see the massive crowds of maybe 50,000 people a Benny Hinn meeting attracts with people hoping to be healed. What if Benny Hinn could heal every single person of any kind of sickness or disease? What would the crowds be like then? Great preachers and communicators attract large crowds also. But, what if the preacher was the greatest communicator ever, full of the Spirit, with crystal clarity of thought, total knowledge of every scripture, amazing examples, total truth, and brought a conviction to people changing their lives? Add the capacity to set people free from demonic possession and oppression. Put together the ability to heal anyone of anything when healing was extremely limited, with his being the greatest communicator ever, and with the ability to deliver people from demonic activity. You have huge crowds that grew and grew and grew. Eventually Luke wrote.

Luke 12:1 Meanwhile, when a crowd of MANY THOUSANDS had gathered, so that they were TRAMPLING ON ONE ANOTHER

Jesus was phenomenal and people were crowding around him and LISTENING TO THE WORD OF GOD. I'm no grammar expert, but the phrase, listening to the word of God, is subjective genitive. It's better translated as "listening to the word coming from God." To us, "the word of God" is a synonym statement for the Bible. You come here and listen to the teaching of the word of God. Someone posted on Facebook how I make scriptures simple, but can you imagine listening to Jesus teach the word coming from God! Jesus didn't need to do research as I do. Jesus didn't need to study Greek and Hebrew to get the meaning of a word as I do. Jesus didn't need to spend hours listening to CD's, mp3's, or read books, as I do. We never find Jesus doing research on the web for a sermon. He didn't need notes to make certain he made his points. He opened his mouth. The word coming from God came out. Jesus was not a theologian or scholar of God's word. He was the word made flesh (Joh 1:14). They actually heard the voice of God speaking.

John 5:24 "I tell you the truth, WHOEVER HEARS MY WORD AND BELIEVES him who sent me has ETERNAL LIFE and will not be condemned; he has CROSSED OVER from death to life.

How powerful is his word? If you hear his word and believe, you cross over from death to life. We live in a time when children ministries, student ministries, women's ministries, men's ministries, etc seem more important than hearing his word. Where are you concerning his word? How important is his word to you? Those ministries are good, but they will not cross you over. Find the best word coming from God for you and your family. That's where you will cross over.

With the people crowding around him and listening to the word of God, many could not hear what Jesus said. People behind Jesus could not hear. Even if he spun around, everyone only got bits and pieces. Jesus knew Simon (soon to be Simon Peter) and PURPOSEFULLY got into Simon's boat to push out a short distance. Water surface amplifies sound. I frequently hear people from across the lake, and they are speaking normally. Jesus created his own amphitheatre. Nothing stopped Jesus from finding a way to teach the word coming from God.

Luke 5:4 When he had finished speaking, he said to Simon, "PUT OUT INTO DEEP WATER, and let down the nets for a catch."

Jesus didn't do or say anything haphazardly. Everything was planned and orchestrated. What happened that day when Jesus got into Simon's boat, would not only change his lives, but determined how he would die. When Jesus steps into our boat – life and everything will change.

Let's talk about Simon's relationship with Jesus. Jesus first met Simon through his brother Andrew and they began following Jesus.

John 1:41 The first thing Andrew did was to find his brother Simon and tell him, "We have found the Messiah" (that is, the Christ).

It was a first step commitment for Simon and Andrew, but they didn't stick with the commitment. They went back to fishing. Later, there was another calling. Jesus would not leave Simon alone.

Matthew 4:18-19 As Jesus was walking beside the Sea of Galilee, he saw two brothers, Simon called Peter and his brother Andrew. They were casting a net into the lake, for they were fishermen. "Come, follow me," Jesus said "and I will make you fishers of men."

They did follow, but became part-time followers and we could say "part-time believers." They saw the miracles. They heard the teachings, but they still were not committed the way Jesus wanted and needed. They went back to fishing again.

How many times has Jesus called you? How much teaching have you heard? How many amazing things have you seen God do for you and others? How committed are you? Would you consider yourself a "part-timer," or a "full-timer?" I don't mean go into full time ministry. Rather, do you purposefully attempt to minister every day to someone? Do you attempt to catch a person full time?

As we will see as we study Luke's gospel, Peter will be the apostolic leader, so, Jesus targeted Simon (Peter). He still does that in every group and home. If he gets into the boat of the leader, he will get the rest.

Luke 5:4-5 When he had finished speaking, he said to Simon, "Put out into deep water, and let down the nets for a catch." Simon answered, "MASTER, we've worked hard all night and haven't caught anything. But because you say so, I will let down the nets."

Simon said, "Master…" "Master" (epistates {ep-is-tat'-ace}) doesn't mean "Lord" (kurios {koo'-ree-os}) "Master" means an overseer. Lord means supreme. Simon reminded Jesus he was out of his field. "We're the fishermen… We've worked hard all night and haven't caught anything." A carpenter/preacher was telling professional fisherman how to fish. Simon didn't like that. Simon was tired. He fished right there all night and he knew no fish were there. (Jesus made certain they caught nothing.) They cleaned the nets making ready for the next night's fishing attempt and he didn't want to trash them again. Plus, it was hard work to put the nets out. The nets were long and heavy. You can read Simon's reluctance. "But because you say so, I will let down the nets." You'd say that too if Jesus had just healed your mother-in-law and made your wife happy. "I don't want to. It's a waste of time, but I'll humor you."

Let's not miss the point. Simon is about to have a life-changing experience springing from something not going right - caught no fish. Good things will come from bad experiences when Jesus is in the boat. This experience came because Simon did what the Lord asked him to do. He didn't want to do it. He was obviously reluctant, but did it. I want to say you will not always want to do what the Lord asks, but if you will, God will do something amazing.

Luke 5:6 When they had done so, they caught such a large number of fish that their nets began to break.

This would be a drag net with weights on the bottom and floats on the top. When put out and pulled into a circle or to shore, everything is caught. I know a little about net fishing. I know small fish will not break a net even a large number of them. I know a large number of large wish will destroy a net. Not only did they catch a large number, they caught large fish.

Jesus knew where the fish were. Back when I was a young boy, my parents would allow me to go to Pensacola Florida to spend much of the summer with my Aunt Florence and Uncle Tommy. Uncle Tommy took me fishing in the Gulf. My addiction to fishing probably goes back to him. This was prior to electronic fish finders, GPS navigational equipment, or fish limits. He found someone anchored and fished close to them thinking they must know something. Once we fished for Red Snapper all day, catching nothing. Tired, frustrated, and running out of fishing time, he asked, "What do you want to do?" He wanted to head in. I said pointing my finger, "Let's go five minutes in that direction. If we don't catch anything we'll go in." He smirked and said, "Five minutes? Why five minutes?" He decided to humor his nephew and said, "Pull the anchor and we'll try." It was no easy task for a twelve year old to pull anchor eighty feet deep, but I got it in and off we went - five minutes exactly. He throttled back. I tossed out the anchor. The boat swung around and within an hour, we filled every cooler plus fish were flopping in the boat. Using Snapper rigs, we were bringing them up two or three at the time. My uncle looked at me with a "How did you know five minutes?" look. We caught so many we sold them to the fish market. It was one of our favorite memories together and we talked about it in the last conversations we had before he and my aunt were killed in a car crash in 97.

My "5 minutes that way" was a guess. Jesus saying "Let down the nets" here was divine knowledge. Jesus said not one sparrow will fall to the ground - meaning land and hop - without Father's knowledge. He said the hairs of your head are numbered (Mat 10). That's not much of a challenge for God with me, but that's not the point. The point is God knows everything! Jesus didn't need sonar. He knew! God not only knows where the fish are. God knows where you are. He knows every place you land and every little hop you make. If he didn't he wouldn't be God. Jesus is omniscient.

Luke 5:7 So they signaled their partners in the other boat to come and help them, and they came and filled both boats so full that they began to sink.

The boats Jesus used were fairly large. There are instances where all the disciples and Jesus were in a boat at one time. That's up to thirteen people and required a large boat. James and John came to help. I know what happened when they began putting all those fish in the boat - pandemonium. They were laughing and yelling. "Look at that! I've never…! That one's huge!" That's what fishermen do when they're catching fish. Surely, Simon caught great catches before, but no one ever caught anything like that. This was phenomenal.

They had so many fish both boats began to sink. Imagine the picture. Jesus is smiling watching Simon and probably Andrew pulling in the net full of fish. They began yelling in excitement, realized their net was ripping, and called James and John. They were all grabbing fish and throwing them into the two boats. Fish flopped. Fins stabbed. They laughed. Fish slime everywhere. Their boats began to take in water. In the midst of the excitement the eyes of Simon and the eyes of Jesus locked. It finally dawns on Simon who's in his boat.

Luke 5:8 When SIMON PETER saw this, he fell at Jesus' knees and said, "Go away from me, LORD; I am a sinful man!"

When we see Jesus for who he is, we see ourselves for who we are. Until this very moment, Luke referenced him as Simon. Now, at this moment, at this experience, Luke said SimonPeter. Jesus will call him Simon in the next verse. In Luke 6:14 Simon will become an apostle and will be Peter until 22:31 where Jesus tells him Simon will be sifted by Satan. But, only here does Luke call him SimonPeter. Why? Simon fell at Jesus' knees and Simon's life forever changed. Whoever Simon thought Jesus was when Andrew introduced them (Joh 1:40) and when Simon began and stopped following, and whoever Simon thought Jesus was the next time Jesus called (Mat 4:18-19) when Simon invested part-time, Simon Peter now knows who Jesus is. He's God!

Simon referenced Jesus as "Master" (5:5), but Peter recognized Jesus as "Lord" - kurios {koo'-ree-os} he to whom a person or thing belongs. He realized Jesus was God and Jesus owned him. Simon heard Jesus preach and teach. Simon watched Jesus cast out devils. Simon watched Jesus heal people. However, none of that caused Simon to fall at Jesus' knees. Peter realized he was in the very presence of God and went to his knees. "Go away from me, Lord." "Get out of my boat. I can't handle your presence. Someone like you does not need to be around wretchedness like me."

When we see Jesus for who he is, we see ourselves for who we are. That's what happens when God penetrates through all our excuses for not following and our pretense of wanting God. That's when Jesus is real and in your boat. If you're not into fishing and that happened, you'd probably say, "We sure caught a bunch," but it wouldn't put you on your knees. God has a way of finding something that will. He will put you at his knees and its life changing.

How would it be if Jesus got into our boat here at Life Gate every Sunday? What if every Sunday, the presence of God was so real, we fell at the knees of Jesus? Should it be that way? He's Master. When does he become Lord? Has Jesus ever gotten into your personal boat and messed with your life to the point you fell to his knees? I have and it changed my Simon to Peter. It not only changed my life. It changed the reason I live and how I will die. I will die loving Jesus and serving God. I crossed over.

Luke 5:9 For he and ALL HIS COMPANIONS WERE ASTONISHED at the catch of fish they had taken

Simon knew about fishing, but this was not fishing. This was God. The word astonished is thambos {tham'-bos} - (to dumbfound,) to render immovable; amazement. They were stunned and frozen! Their worlds stood still. When this happens nothing else matters.

Luke 5:10 and so were James and John, the sons of Zebedee, Simon's partners. Then Jesus said to Simon, "Don't be afraid; from now on you will catch men."

Jesus used language and the analogy to which Simon, James, and John could relate. We need to use language people understand. I try not to use "Churchees" when I preach and teach. I want people to understand what I'm talking about. I seldom say "Amen?" or "Hallelujah" or "Glory to God" when I'm preaching. Jesus didn't either. I don’t use theological terms and if I do, I'll take time to explain it and make certain you get it. Jesus told stories and said difficult things in a way people could get it. Jesus didn't talk down to people. He got into their boat and talked to help them, not impress them. When you witness and talk to people, get in their boat. Use analogies and words they understand.

Luke 5:11 So they pulled their boats up on shore, left everything and followed him.

I'm certain they took care of the fish. Jesus wouldn't allow them to be wasted, but that was it. They left everything and followed him. No part time this time. This was the full time life they would live until death, the highest calling in life. There life was now about catching people for the kingdom of God. When you are talking to people about Jesus, i.e. helping Jesus get into their boat, you are operating in the highest calling of life.

Where are we in line with this amazing story? Where are you? Have you left anything to follow Jesus? How many times has he called you? Has Jesus ever really gotten into your boat - your life? If so, you found yourself at his knees. Where are you now? Are you catching people where you fish - at your place of business, employment, places you go, and family, anywhere?

 

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