When one considers the incredible issue at stake in the great controversy, it’s amazing that Jesus would use human beings to aid Him in ministry, especially those as flawed as the ones He chose. Of course, if we consider the state of fallen humanity, no one He chose would have been without moral defects, anyway.
Walking along the northern shore of the Sea of Galilee, followed by a crowd of people, Jesus noticed two fishing boats whose owners were cleaning up after an unproductive night. These fishermen were already aware of Jesus. He had taught in their synagogue, where He astonished everyone with His words (Luke 4:31-32). Jesus had even cast out a demon from a man in their synagogue, and everyone was amazed (Luke 4:33-36). They had seen Jesus at Peter’s house healing Peter’s mother-in-law (Luke 4:38-39), and later that evening, healing many others (Luke 4:40-41).
It is no wonder that a crowd was following Jesus along the beach. Jesus stepped into Peter’s boat, asked Peter to push it out a little from the shore so that all could see Him, and then spoke to the people (Luke 5:3). When finished, He told Peter to throw his freshly cleaned net into the deep water. Peter surely thought that wouldn’t achieve anything, but out of respect for Jesus, he did as He said.
Read Luke 5:6-8. What does Peter’s reaction teach us about him and help us to understand why, despite Peter’s obvious faults, Jesus chose him?
Peter’s reaction is remarkable. Maybe it is parallel to Jacob wrestling with the angel-the same realization of Divine Presence, and an overwhelming sense of unworthiness (Gen. 32:24-30). One thing is clear. Peter became aware of his sinfulness because he knew that the Lord was there. His open confession of his sinfulness stands in stark contrast, for instance, to the reaction of some of the religious leaders, who referred to Jesus Himself as a sinner (see John 9:24) instead of acknowledging, even when in His presence, their own sinfulness.
Luke 5:11 says that they “forsook all” and followed Him, which meant that, when their nets were so full they were about to break, the men left it all to follow Jesus. What message is there for us here?