Jump Start # 2672
Luke 5:4 “When He had finished speaking, He said to Simon, “Put out into the deep water and let down your nets for a catch.”
Our wonderful verse today shows the wisdom, care and power of the Lord. Jesus was a carpenter. Peter a fisherman. Peter knew how to fish. He had been at it all night. Caught nothing, which means no money. Peter wasn’t fishing on the weekend for relaxation. He was a commercial fisherman. It was how he made a living. To be good at it, one has to know what they are doing. They have to understand the best time to fish. They have to know where to fish. They have to know how to throw nets and how to pull them in. Those that didn’t do well, didn’t make it.
It’s daylight. Peter had been fishing all night. Wet, smelly and tired but more so, frustrated because he was going home empty. He worked all night and had nothing to show for it. But now, on this occasion, the Lord and a multitude have gathered along the shore. Jesus was teaching. He tells Peter to go out into the deep and lower the nets. The Lord claims that there will be a catch. Peter protests at first. We’ve worked all night, he said, and we caught nothing. Now, this carpenter turned rabbi has become an expert in the fishing industry? Really? Yet, Peter listened. Back out into the sea. Nets cast out once more. And, amazingly they had the catch of a life time. The nets were breaking. When they put the fish in the boats, they started to sink. How did Jesus know? This had never happened before. This was enough for Peter to realize that Jesus was more than a common carpenter or even a young rabbi. Jesus was the Lord.
The expression, “lower your nets” has become a special and important principle to me. We need to be able to peel the layers off of a passage and dig deeply in to God’s word. Bible classes ought to move beyond the simple fundamental thoughts that everyone already knows. We need to lower our nets.
If you noticed, several of our recent Jump Starts have been an attempt at doing that. We’ve looked at:
- Evangelism and what made the early church explode
- Changes in our lives
- The difference between trusting the Lord and trying the Lord
- Attempts Satan uses to ensnare us
- What to do when we have made a wrong choice
- Solomon said there is a time to love and a time to hate. When is it the right time to hate
All of these makes one stop and put some thought into these topics. These are not your typical easy to figure out ideas. Many have commented to me how they have thought about these things, yet never really came to a conclusion. There are many others like these, such as: If God truly forgets when He forgives, how does the Holy Spirit remind of events that are supposed to be “forgotten?” If suicide is wrong because the last act was “self-murder,” does that mean our last act has to be right before we die?
Thinking deeply…thinking things through. Thinking with the rest of the Bible in mind. These are the challenging things that will help us bring the Bible alive in our lives and to understand how practical, useful and relevant the Word is to us. Saying the same simplistic things over and over for years and years doesn’t develop us, challenge us and move us closer to the Lord. Lower the nets!
Here are a few things to consider:
First, put yourself into the text. Look at why people said what they did and reacted the way they did. Peal the layers back. Look at what all they had to face and consider. Then build a bridge to our times. Put some thought into what you read in the text.
Second, move beyond the same way of always studying the Scriptures. One needs to understand what the text says. That’s always a first. But, don’t stay there. Move on. Look at words and what they mean. Look at questions and how they were answered. Remember, when most first heard the Word of God, it was simply that. Someone else read it to them. Try that. There are many apps that will read Scripture. Without a Bible in your lap, listen to the sermon on the mount. Have Ephesians read to you. What do you notice? What stands out?
Third, understanding the purpose of a particular book of the Bible, run through it and see how that purpose is built and supported. There are several prayers and sermons in the Bible. Look at them from the standpoint of saying them yourself. Notice where the emphasis is and what the person is trying to get across.
Finally, never be satisfied with simple and easy answers. Dig deeper. Look beyond the surface. Lower your nets. Just how is it that God forgives and forgets, yet through inspiration, He still remembers? Think that out. Finding that answer, helps us to understand the way we forgive. Think about the environment of having a Jewish zealot and a tax collector among the twelve apostles. How would Jesus get these opposites to gel and become unified? Over and over you can go through the Scriptures and find amazing depth, wonderful insights and great lessons that often are missed simply because we failed to lower our nets.
The disciples lowered their nets and up came an abundance of fish. When we lower our nets, we will be amazed at the abundance of knowledge, applications and insights into God’s holy word.
It’s a matter of “lowering the nets!”