Luke 5:4-6 NIV — When he had finished speaking, he said to Simon, “Put out into deep water, and let down the nets for a catch.” 5 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.” 6 When they had done so, they caught such a large number of fish that their nets began to break.
Luke 5:10b NIV — Jesus said to Simon, “Don’t be afraid; from now on you will fish for people.”
God has called us to “fish for people”, just like He called Simon-Peter. But understand that Peter was the “expert” in fishing, not Jesus. Peter was the fisherman, the one thoroughly acquainted with the waters of the Sea of Galilee; Jesus was the son of a carpenter who hailed from the mountainous town of Nazareth. And the fishing advice that Jesus gave Peter was pretty preposterous for the veteran angler.
This is where I believe the whole point of this story lies. Peter had to choose to trust the words of Jesus in spite of his own experience, background, wisdom and rationale. I’m sure the inner fisherman inside of Simon was screaming in objection to this foolish venture. So he had to trust the voice of Jesus more than his own wisdom.
This is what led to the miraculous catch! Not a thorough study of fish behavioral patterns. Not the wisdom of the day. Not the best bait recommendations. It was listening to and obeying the voice of Jesus, whose command flew in the face of conventional wisdom. And this type of obedience is what led to an abundant, miraculous, uncontainable catch.
Jesus taught this lesson and then connected it to “fishing for people”. We want to see many people come to Christ. We want to see a miraculous harvest. We want to see nets bursting. But this comes not by studying the world and examining societal trends more closely. There’s nothing wrong with those things in and of themselves, they just don’t lead to a miraculous harvest of souls.
To see a miraculous harvest of souls, we have to listen to the King. We have to get really good at hearing His voice, and then be faith-filled enough to obey what He says, even when it seems ridiculous to us. We need to invite Jesus into our “boat” of ministry and let Him take over.
I believe there is a miraculous catch coming to Secular Europe. I believe we’re going to see hundreds of thousands of once jaded, atheistic young people fall in love with Jesus. How will it happen? When Simon’s stop relying on themselves and start listening to the words of Jesus. When we as leaders spend more time listening to the still small voice of the Spirit than we do studying the trends of culture. And when we get crazy enough to obey that which God speaks to us that defies conventional wisdom and the status quo. I’m believing for a miraculous catch in Spain… so it’s time to listen closely to the words of Jesus!