Nobody is on top of the world every
day. We all experience ups and downs. Sometimes the
world is sweet and sometimes it is sour. Sometimes
life moves along smoothly; we accomplish what we set
out to do and meet all our goals. And
sometimes, things get stuck and life comes to a
In Luke 5:1–11, we meet three discouraged
fishermen—not recreational fishermen, but workers
whose families went hungry if there was no catch.
They had fished all night and caught absolutely
nothing. Now it was morning and the men were washing
their nets to go home empty-handed.
Suddenly Jesus steps into Simon's boat, "Put out
into the deep water and let your
nets down for a catch."
Peter must had been thinking, “Really?” Have you
ever been there? You do your
best. You work hard. And the results are zero. An
important relationship goes sour and there is
nothing you can do. You watch a marriage dissolve
and you can't save it. A project you have put a lot
into just will not pan out. The harder you try, the
less you produce.
Suddenly, your inner voice tells you, “just give
up!” Happened to you? Of course! And the last thing
you want to hear when you are in this position is
someone saying, "try harder."
These fishermen were not stupid men. They knew the
lake, the ledges where the fish congregated, the
kind of weather you had to have to bring in a good
catch. They knew the time to fish and where to fish
and they had been fishing at the right time and at
the right place, yet still came up empty.
"Try over there," Jesus says. "Over there in the
deep water; let your nets down for a catch over
there," as he points with his finger.
Peter replies, "We have done everything we should
have done, everything we were taught to do by our
fathers and there fathers before them. We know our
business here Jesus, and we have caught nothing. . .
. BUT . . . if you say so, we can
let down the nets, again."
You know the story from here. They
threw the nets out from Simon's boat and caught such
a great score of fish that the nets began to break.
Indeed they caught so many fish that the boats began
to sink. It was an amazing catch. A catch made in
deep water. A catch taken where there should have
been no catch to be had. A catch taken at a time of
day when everyone know the fish don’t bite! It was a
“Put out into the deep waters and let
down your nets for a catch.” When I read those words
I can almost hear Jesus calling you and me, “Come
on, Ron, let’s dive a little deeper here.”
“But I tried that before!” I respond.
“Come on, let’s try it again,” Jesus says. So I give
Jesus control of my boat . . . my job . . .my
relationships . . . my finances! It’s not about
having the power or talent to do great things. It’s
about answering the question, ‘have I allowed Jesus
into my boat?’ He’s now the captain. Sometimes we
just need to head out into the deep waters and let
down our nets for no better reason than Jesus has
asked us to do so
So, when it comes to my work . . .”Come on board
Jesus.” My relationships? . . . “Welcome aboard.” My
finances? . . . “Push off Jesus, here we go!”
Our nets may still come up empty from time to time,
but that’s okay too, because I’m traveling with
Jesus. I can’t go it alone and I’m giving him
control of my vessel; venturing out with One more
qualified at the helm. Scary? Sometimes! Storms?
Occasionally. But there is always the potential for
a miracle catch!
Can Jesus borrow your boat today? Can you say, “Come
aboard Jesus . . . take over.” I wonder what
adventure he has in store for you?
[Ron Otto, Preaching
minister at Lincoln Christian Church in Lincoln]