Luke 5: Answering Jesus' Call
By Sarah Snyder
I resonate with Peter and the fisherman. One of my favorite hobbies is fishing. I love to be outdoors, throwing a lure, and just waiting to catch my biggest fish yet. Most often, however, I return home defeated and empty handed. I have got to be the worst fisher(wo)man ever. Seriously, I never catch anything. It does not matter how much I study or what lures I buy, I almost never catch anything.
So I understand the feeling Peter and the others had that day at the Sea of Galilee when they returned home empty handed (Luke 5:5). The only difference between me and them is that I do not count on fishing for my livelihood. So here they are, cleaning their nets, tired and defeated, when Jesus walks up and asks for a ride. They must have heard about Jesus because Luke does not indicate that they questioned who he was and why he was asking for a ride in their boat. They take him out a little ways and he preaches. Luke also does not tell us what he said, but we can guess it was really good! When Jesus is done, He asks Peter to throw his nets out on the side. Now Peter does this for a living. I am sure that if he had decided to go back and fish, he would’ve thought and planned to go where he thought there might be fish. He wouldn’t waste his time fishing at some random spot. But he does as Jesus asks. And wouldn’t you believe it, he brings in so much fish he has to have two boats bring it all in (v. 7)!
The most amazing aspect to me about this story is that Peter and the others left all these fish behind to follow Jesus. They finally have someone who could help them make more money then they had ever seen, yet they leave it all behind. That’s the power of Jesus in our lives. When He calls, we answer.
We see this again in Luke 5:27-32. This time Jesus calls a tax collector! The Jews considered tax collectors to be traitors and thieves! They were one of their own who had sold themselves to Rome, Israel's captor. When Jesus comes to Levi, he says two words, “Follow me” (v. 27). Such simple words, yet powerful from Jesus. Levi left all he had and followed Jesus.
This passage often convicts me often as I read about Jesus eating with those His people considered sinners. When do I dine with those who our society has considered a castaway or sinner? When do I love those whom Jesus has loved, even when it’s difficult?
Later in this book, Luke records Jesus saying this, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me” (9:23). In these two stores God shows us those who have given up on everything they had to follow Jesus. What’s interesting about this verse is that Jesus had not been crucified yet. To those who heard this message it would have sounded like taking on the rejection of the world, being publicly humiliated for Jesus’ sake. These are not people who had special powers to give up their lives. They were everyday people, just like us. They could answer the call, so can we. Pray this week that God would reveal to you how you can follow him. Pray that he will show you how to love your neighbor more like Jesus loves them.