Jesus said . . . , “Don’t be afraid; from now on you will fish for people.” Luke 5:10
First, the man selected a tackle box. Standing in his town’s small bait shop, he then filled a shopping cart with hooks, lures, bobbers, line, and weights. Finally, he added live bait and selected a new rod and reel. “Ever fished before?” the shop owner asked. The man said no. “Better add this,” said the owner. It was a first-aid kit. The man agreed and paid, then headed off to a day of not catching a thing—except snags on his fingers from his hooks and gear.
That wasn’t Simon Peter’s problem. An experienced fisherman, he was surprised one dawn when Jesus told him to push his boat into deep water and “let down the nets for a catch” (Luke 5:4). Despite a long night of catching nothing, Simon and his crew let down their nets and “caught such a large number of fish that their nets began to break.” In fact, his two boats started to sink from the haul (v. 6).
Seeing this, Simon Peter “fell at Jesus’ knees,” urging Him to “go away from me, Lord; I am a sinful man!” (v. 8). Jesus, however, knew Simon’s true identity. He told His disciple, “From now on you will fish for people.” Hearing that, Simon “left everything and followed” Christ (vv. 10–11). When we follow Him, He helps us learn who we are and what we’re called to do as His own.
Outside of Jesus, what’s your identity or role in life? When you follow Him, how does your identity change?
Father, when I struggle to know my true identity, remind me to follow You to discover in You my true self.
Luke 5:1–11 contains the first of two similar fishing stories that frame Jesus’ earthly interaction with Simon Peter. In this account, Peter immediately recognized he’d encountered someone holy (v. 8). It’s also the moment Jesus called Peter as a disciple (v. 10). Three years later, Peter betrayed Christ (22:54–62). Believing everything was over, he returned to his old life as a fisherman. Then a second miraculous catch of fish took place. Again, Peter realized it was Jesus (John 21:1–7). The first miracle was God’s call on Peter’s life; the second brought restoration and a reaffirmation of that call (vv. 15–19).