Luke 5:10Posted 05/11/22, by Dan Vis
These last couple days, we've explored a number of common sources of fear. First, the unexpected storms of life that arise--those crises we all encounter, now and then, which are fully beyond our control. And then yesterday, the anxieties that come while watching our world unravel, as we race toward earth's final scenes.
Today I want to look at another common fear--worries about how we are going to make ends meet. How we're going to find the money to pay all our bills. It's a real issue, isn't it? Fortunately, Jesus has the answer: "fear not".
Here's the verse I'm thinking about today:
And so was also James, and John, the sons of Zebedee, which were partners with Simon. And Jesus said unto Simon, Fear not; from henceforth thou shalt catch men.
Peter, along with Andrew, James and John, had been following Jesus for some time. But informally, and clearly not yet full time. In fact, as we read earlier in the story, Peter and the others had been out all night working--fishing, but with no success (Luke 5:5And Simon answering said unto him, Master, we have toiled all the night, and have taken nothing: nevertheless at thy word I will let down the net.). In fact, Peter was still cleaning his nets while Jesus preached to the crowds that day from the deck of his boat. In other words, Peter was still clearly working hard to provide for himself.
And he had a family. In the previous chapter we see Jesus entering Peter's house, and healing his mother-in-law (Luke 4:38And he arose out of the synagogue, and entered into Simon's house. And Simon's wife's mother was taken with a great fever; and they besought him for her.), clearly suggesting Peter had a wife, and perhaps children as well. And no doubt, this need to provide for his extended family, weighed on Peter even more heavily. And especially given the fact he worked in a career that seemed rather "iffy" at times! In other words, Peter could well relate to our stresses when it comes to making a living.
But Jesus wanted to teach Peter a lesson on this exact point. Specifically, Jesus told Peter to launch out into the deep, and to try to catch some fish once again. Fortunately, Peter complied--not because it made any logical sense but simply because Jesus commanded it. "Nevertheless at thy word..." (Luke 5:5And Simon answering said unto him, Master, we have toiled all the night, and have taken nothing: nevertheless at thy word I will let down the net.).
The results, of course, were astonishing. They "inclosed a great multitude of fishes", so many in fact their net began to break (Luke 5:6And when they had this done, they inclosed a great multitude of fishes: and their net brake.). And when his partners sailed over to help with the catch, the number of fishes was so massive, it started to look like both ships might sink! And something about the miracle, broke through Peter's mental defenses, compelling him to fall at Jesus' feet, and say "depart from me; for I am a sinful man, O Lord" (Luke 5:8When Simon Peter saw it, he fell down at Jesus' knees, saying, Depart from me; for I am a sinful man, O Lord.). He realized he was in the presence of divinity.
I don't know how much money this haul of fish was worth, but it made it forever clear to Peter that Jesus could provide for his needs in even the most mundane and secular facets of life. Which was an important principle for Peter to learn given the fact Jesus had other plans for him. You don't have to worry about your support, Jesus was basically saying, so you are safe to work for me. And I have a job in mind: "from henceforth thou shalt catch men".
It's still a struggle to embrace this principle today. Intellectually we know Jesus can provide for us, but every time our funds fall short and our anxiety levels rise, we can know for sure that principle has not yet fully moved from head to heart.
Looking back on my life I can point to many occasions, where God supernaturally provided for my wife and I--and often in very specific, and clearly providential ways. There is no question in my mind God takes an active interest in the ins and outs of our finances, and that he watches over everything carefully. I should have no reason to fear.
But I also know, I still make decisions sometimes about whether or not I will help with some church need based on whether or not I can afford to take a few hours off from income generating work. As if God was not able to supply any lack that resulted from me prioritizing His cause! To quote Jesus, in the sermon on the mount, if we will but seek "first the kingdom of God", we can be confident "all these things shall be added unto you" (Matthew 6:33But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.).
Yes, even after a lifetime of experiences, I still find it easier to say than to do. To give freely. To serve generously. To fully trust in God when times are tight. It has become easier, for sure, but I must continually remind myself of the lesson Peter learned that day, and the words Jesus spoke to him on this exact point: "fear not".
If God is calling you to serve Him in some way, try not to let finances stand in your way. If God is truly calling you, He will provide a way. There is nothing too hard for Him (Jeremiah 32:27Behold, I am the LORD, the God of all flesh: is there any thing too hard for me?). You are never going to outgive God (Luke 6:38Give, and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men give into your bosom. For with the same measure that ye mete withal it shall be measured to you again.).
|Posted by Doug Schoch on 05/12/22|
|He is able to supply all our needs and graciously takes care of some of our wants.|
|Posted by Dan Vis on 05/12/22|
|Thanks Colette! I'm a reader, but I'm thinking these audios might be helpful to some. I've almost got it automated, so hopefully will be easy to generate these going forward.|
|Posted by Colette Guthrie on 05/12/22|
|Love the audio feature Dan!✔️
As for this post, reminds me of Genesis 15:1After these things the word of the LORD came unto Abram in a vision, saying, Fear not, Abram: I am thy shield, and thy exceeding great reward. (last part).
|Posted by Dan Vis on 05/11/22|
|Amen Bill! It's reassuring to know we can trust Him when things get tough. :)|
|Posted by Bill Hough on 05/11/22|
|God is our source of life. He is our provider in all things. Hallelujah!|
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