Luke 5. This is a passage that I discovered last year. I needed a Bible lesson for middle-schoolers, so I called it “God calls stinky fishermen.” It’s a really fun story. The scene opens with Jesus teaching by a lake. Nearby, some tired, stinky men were washing out their nets after a long night of empty nets. (Incidentally, I passed around some expired fish juice at this point in the lesson, which got the true essence of fish into everyone’s mind).
Jesus, crowded again, asked to use one of the boats. The fishermen shrugged and put out into the water. After they had listened to His stories, He turned to the tired man next to Him and said to row all the way out to deep water and try for a catch one more time. Really? We just did that all night. But OK…
Suddenly there are a million flopping fins. Hey guys, get out here with the second boat! Whoa, there are so many! How…what? And Simon Peter drops to Jesus’ knees and says, “Depart from me, for I am a sinful man, O Lord.” He is so sincere, able to see Jesus in the moment of awe, surrounded by abundant chaos.
I can image Jesus chuckling just a little. “Don’t be afraid,” (He says that when we really see Him), “from now on you will be catching men.”
Have you caught sight of Jesus like that? What has made your jaw and knees drop at the same time?
Later in this chapter, in the midst of touching the leper (similar to an ebola patient, perhaps), and facing down the Pharisees (again), Jesus called Levi. All Jesus did was walk up to the tax booth and say, “Follow Me.” How much had Levi heard of His teaching? Did Jesus see a strange impulse stirring the heart of this powerful, hated IRS man who took cuts off the top?
Levi invited all his buddies to come hear the man who had changed his life. And the Pharisees got on Jesus’ case again. But He wasn’t interested in the cool rich people.He called the stinky fishermen. What people would He pick today? What would it take for you to drop everything and follow Him?