Luke 5:1-11 - So it was, as the multitude pressed about Him to hear the word of God, that He stood by the Lake of Gennesaret, 2 and saw two boats standing by the lake; but the fishermen had gone from them and were washing their nets. 3 Then He got into one of the boats, which was Simon’s, and asked him to put out a little from the land. And He sat down and taught the multitudes from the boat. 4 When He had stopped speaking, He said to Simon, “Launch out into the deep and let down your nets for a catch.” 5 But Simon answered and said to Him, “Master, we have toiled all night and caught nothing; nevertheless at Your word I will let down the net.” 6 And when they had done this, they caught a great number of fish, and their net was breaking. 7 So they signaled to their partners in the other boat to come and help them. And they came and filled both the boats, so that they began to sink. 8 When Simon Peter saw it, he fell down at Jesus’ knees, saying, “Depart from me, for I am a sinful man, O Lord!” 9 For he and all who were with him were astonished at the catch of fish which they had taken; 10 and so also were James and John, the sons of Zebedee, who were partners with Simon. And Jesus said to Simon, “Do not be afraid. From now on you will catch men.” 11 So when they had brought their boats to land, they forsook all and followed Him.
One definition of Grace is, “An unmerited favor and the love of God for man.” Another definition says grace is, “God's Riches at Christ's Expense.” These definitions show us that grace is supernatural. It is the supernatural love of God for man. God loves us, even when we don't deserve it or at Christ's expense.
Unlimited: not limited or restricted in terms of number, quantity, or extent, no boundaries.
This story is not parallel to Matt 4:18-22 and Mark 1:16-20. Peter, Andrew, John had gone with Jesus in Capernaum and Galilee. From where we read Peter and others were fishing and had toiled and they had caught nothing. They were folding their nets. Please note these men were in relationship with Jesus. They were His friends, but friends did not make them catch anything. Based on first mention the word toiled is found in Genesis when Adam and Eve sinned, and they were chased out of the garden of Eden (Gen 3:17). Due to Grace unlimited God redeemed man through our second Adam (Jesus Christ).
Here’s how it happened: “The crowd was pressing in on Jesus to hear God’s word”. After the teaching the Lord asked Peter to “put out into deep water and let down your nets for a catch” (v. 4). Peter’s attitude is typical when we think a rookie is telling us how to do our business, isn’t it (v. 5)? Peter is the experienced fisherman; Jesus is a Carpenter (a handyman). Peter has been out all night; Jesus just got into the boat. Peter has not caught anything all night; Jesus thinks he knows the fish are biting. Peter could just be saying Jesus you just got now here and you are starting to give instructions. How awesome is it when we lend our ear to Lord. Isn’t that wonderful. May the Lord help us to hear His voice. Some of you were already folding your nets and someone told you to unfold the nets and you continued folding them. You say you don’t know what I am experiencing and what I have tried before but Peter Nevertheless at your word.
Something could have happened when Peter was listening to the word that Jesus was Preaching. Faith come by hearing and hearing by the word of God. (Rom 10:17). True fisher men don’t quit. Someone said quitters are never winners. Their situations changed the moment they rented the boat to Jesus. After use they caught a huge catch. It was a huge catch. They could not contain it. We need to give ourselves fully to Jesus and never compromise or turn back. Grace is supernatural, after toiling a whole night they had a surprise bountiful catch. It’s not natural. It’s God’s love to us even we don’t deserve it at Christ expense. Paul says in Ephesians 3:20, “Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us.” God always want to partner with us in our faith. The bible says in he gives his own whilst are asleep. David says, Psalm 127:2 “In vain you rise early and stay up late, toiling for food to eat- for he grants sleep to those he loves.’’ Let us ask God to partner with us in anything of our lives. Christ knew that they had not caught nothing though he didn’t ask them but He instead asked for the boat to find a way to bless them. The reason I believe so is because immediately after using the boat he asked them (disciples) to launch into the deep. Peter said, “If you say so, I’ll let down the nets.” Peter is basically passive-aggressive with a hint of self-righteousness. The other version says ‘’Nevertheless at your word’’. Peter did not expect what we see in verses 6-7. They landed two boats full of fish, and they were sinking! I believe the Lord sustained the boats until they landed safely to the shore. Peter, James, and John were experienced fishermen, but they had never seen anything like this! They were all “amazed” (v. 9).
Something deeper happens to Peter. Something more profound enters his mind. In the light of Jesus’s holiness, Peter sees his own heart (v. 8). This miracle causes Peter to fall before Jesus, confessing his sin? In this miracle Peter receives a glimpse of the glory, majesty, and holiness of Jesus Christ. Peter reminds us of the prophet Isaiah:
In the year that King Uzziah died, I saw the Lord seated on a high and lofty throne, and the hem of his robe filled the temple. Seraphim were standing above him; they each had six wings: with two they covered their faces, with two they covered their feet, and with two they flew. And one called to another: Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of Armies; his glory fills the whole earth. The foundations of the doorways shook at the sound of their voices, and the temple was filled with smoke. Then I said: Woe is me for I am ruined because I am a man of unclean lips and live among a people of unclean lips, and because my eyes have seen the King, the Lord of Armies. (Isa 6:1-5)
Ladies and gentlemen, the Glory of the Lord exposes us to our own selves. Seeing God in his holiness makes us aware of our sinfulness. Peter finds in himself what we all find in ourselves: sin. This is the Glory that makes you catch many fish when you exalt the name of Lord and reverence Him. Some of us would keep going and asking for more but sees a gap between himself and the Lord. The bible says But Peter cries out, “Go away from me!” (v. 8). But I want to tell you ‘Peter’ that Jesus is here to stay with you though He is holy. Rather than going away, Jesus says, “Join me.” Here is a holiness that uses a confessing sinner in its mission. Jesus’ holiness commissions the sinner to become a fisher of men and great men. This holiness causes a man to leave everything for its sake. It gives the former sinner a new purpose, direction, and call. Romans 3:23 says, “All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” So we all deserve God going away from us. We all deserve hell because of our sin. Something happened at Calvary, For while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. We only need one thing to come to this holy Lord: to confess we are sinners and repent like Peter. How people respond to success is one indication of their true character. Instead of claiming the valuable catch to themselves Peter and Andrew calls the other partners to share it. We are not reservoirs, but channels of blessings, to share with others what God has graciously given us.
In conclusion the word “Master” (Luke 5:5) is used only by Luke and it has a variety of meanings, all speak of authority: chief commander, magistrate, governor of a city and president of a college. Peter was willing to submit to the authority of Jesus, even though he did not understand what the Lord was doing. And remember a great crowd was watching at the shore. He commanded Peter, “Launch into the deep.” If Peter had not obeyed the first command, he would never have participated in the miracle. I want to urge to launch into the deep as we are praying today, there is a greater catch waiting for you. Trust in the word of God, scriptures says, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made. In Him was life, and the life was the light of men. 5 And the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not [a]comprehend it.” (John 1:1-5). The word is saying launch into the deep there is unlimited Grace for you. Start to speak things that are not as if they are. God is able and nothing is impossible with Him. Jeremiah 32:27 “Behold, I am the Lord, the God of all flesh. Is there anything too hard for Me? Jeremiah 33:3 ‘Call to Me, and I will answer you, and show you great and mighty things, which you do not know.’ Trust in the Lord. Cry for Grace Unlimited. The Grace over your life should not be limited. Even if you are in a place where there is no fish God should create some fish for you there. Like I said we believe in miracles because we believe in the Almighty God. Jehovah Elohim, El Shaddai (Lord God Almighty), El Elyon (The Most High God), Adonai (Lord, Master), Yahweh (Lord, Jehovah), Jehovah Nissi (The Lord My Banner), Jehovah Raah (The Lord My Shepherd), Jehovah Rapha (The Lord That Heals), Jehovah Shammah (The Lord Is There), Jehovah Tsidkenu (The Lord Our Righteousness), Jehovah Mekoddishkem (The Lord Who Sanctifies You), El Olam (The Everlasting God), Qanna (Jealous), Jehovah Jireh (The Lord Will Provide), Jehovah Shalom (The Lord Is Peace), Jehovah Sabaoth (The Lord of Hosts). He is the Almighty God and worthy of all the praise and glory.