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Sunday: Depart from Me! — 26 Comments

  1. Peter must have heard Jesus' teaching (Luke 5:3) and the message must have moved him (conviction??). The miracle thus confirmed to Peter that he was in the presence of a power that made him realise his own sinful state. He realised his own shortcomings and how this contrasted with this phenomenon. Peter's utterance in vs 8 indicated that he not yet knew that the remedy to his sinful state was also the ONE who made him realise his shortcomings.

    • John 1:41-44 suggests that Simon Peter had met Jesus near the Jordan River. This was about a year before the fishing net experience, according to many Bible chronologists. That first encounter with Jesus resulted in a name change from Simon to Cephas. Indeed, it took much faith to launch the fishing net, but he would have seen much of Jesus' works by that time.

  2. Peter was the right man for the job of discipleship. His most important qualification, one we all need, is that he realized his shortcomings.

  3. It is ALL or Nothing for God. God requires unreserved surrender to Him in order to work effectively in our hearts. Peter demonstrates this clearly. He understood the value of the fish was great. But he also understood that the source of this fish was not the sea,for he had fished the whole night and caught nothing. The source was Christ the bread of life and he followed the source. This is a theme that runs throughout scripture showing us that nothing on this earth is worthy the loss of Christ. Matthew 16:26.

  4. I believe that Peter had already witnessed Jesus changing water into wine at the wedding feast in Cana. He would have heard Jesus' sermon on the Mount and it must have touched his heart as he pondered upon these things. He had already come to certain conclusions about the Preacher from Galilee so that when Jesus told him to cast his net he obeyed (even though he had some doubt about catching any fish at all). Jesus worked an awesome miracle which astonished all those who witnessed it. But at the height of their success in the fishing business, Jesus calls the disciples to follow Him. The disciples forsook everything and followed Jesus. He who is not willing to forsake mother or father (or whatever) is not worthy of Me. The question I must ask myself, am I willing to forsake everything and follow Jesus?

  5. I just wanted to point out one correction to this sentence:

    'When we first meet Peter, he is a fisherman on the Sea of Galilee (Matt. 4:18, Mark 1:16, and Luke 5:1-11)'

    We first meet Peter in John 1:42 when his brother, Andrew, brings him to Jesus; However, the call at the sea was when him, together with Andrew, James and John became full time disciples by leaving all.

    "Until this time none of the disciples had fully united as colaborers with Jesus. They had witnessed many of His miracles, and had listened to His teaching; but they had not entirely forsaken their former employment. The imprisonment of John the Baptist had been to them all a bitter disappointment. If such were to be the outcome of John’s mission, they could have little hope for their Master, with all the religious leaders combined against Him. Under the circumstances it was a relief to them to return for a short time to their fishing. But now Jesus called them to forsake their former life, and unite their interests with His. Peter had accepted the call. Upon reaching the shore, Jesus bade the three other disciples, “Follow Me, and I will make you fishers of men.” Immediately they left all, and followed Him." {DA 246.5}

    We may depart from the Master unto our daily toils; but our Gracious Master, who sees our desires and the potential He has placed on us, will always come for us, to call us to be colaborers with Him.

  6. I'd say that these fishermen were longing for something else in life. They were not totally at ease with their own lifestyle. I'd say that something caught their attention in Jesus. They had no formal education. Perhaps for simple people this should definitely be an opportunity! "A master is calling! He saw some future in me"! Not that we can't be happy with what we are, but when things around us are completely filling us, and we do not miss anything, why would we look for a change? For a chance? For answers of things that we are not able to explain? Why do try Jesus?
    Fact is that we may have all kinds of motives to decide following Jesus, but He is not worried about that, He just want a chance to let us know for sure who He is, and what He can do for us! Much much more than what our small human minds can think of! He can truly open our minds and eyes to just "a little further"!
    Were we to know all purposes of Jesus for our lives perhaps we would not want to move on and let Him change the way we live!

    • JC, let me share a few details that might allow the motive to leave their nets behind(walking away from financial security, such as it was) to be better understood.

      Before the call to "follow Me", Jesus had began to publicly preach saying; " The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand:", which for a Jew at that time (remember the local people had been stirred up by the preaching of John about the kingdom of God and the soon-to-come King) seemed to revive hope in national glory and power over all their [temporal] enemies. Who WOULDN'T want to be a part of that, especially when seeing this poor carpenter's son doing miracles and being pointed to by John(who was well received himself) as being the "anointed one".

      So, perhaps selfish motives, mingled with a few better reasons, helped them to join this poor itinerant preacher in His movement to change the fortunes of Israel, remembering that they would be arguing about who would be the greatest in this new government the evening before Jesus' death after walking close with Him for 3+ years.

      Also, Jesus had made it easier for their weak faith by first demonstrating He could supply their needs in a moment. So we might understand that their expectations were very high and future prospects seemed brighter than ever when the call to "follow Me" personally came to them.

      God will draw us in ways that will help us follow, knowing that the heavenly riches He has to share will eventually change our lives and give us the right motives, as we see finally took place in all but one of the 12. Because they followed, many will be received into the kingdom of God at last through their faithful labors.

      I guess our question is: do we follow too? What is our motive?

  7. Thank you the message. Am Humbled & grateful.

    Please do help me, i want to be a fully committed Christian, having strog will to over personal weakness so that i have a firm foundation with God.
    I want to be able to speak with Jesus. I know it is possible.
    I failing to do this beacuse i feel i spend most of my time on worldy things. Kindly recommend how i can gather strenght.

    Ido believ i can but i dont how. And i believe there is a reason for my life here on earth.

    Thank you.

    • Hi Jacqueline! Our Lord Jesus Christ be with you always. My suggestion to your plea: Set an appointment with the Jesus every morning before engaging in any other daily activity, so that you pray and study the Bible (Psalms 88:13). We may fail at some point but it is not how weak we are but how merciful is our Savior and able to keep us from falling. Keep looking to Him! As well, decide beforehand not to partake in certain activities or go to certain places that will then on put a burden on your conscience and know that You can do "all things through Christ who gives you strength." God loves you.

    • Jacqueline, I believe you hit on the answer - how do you spend your time?
      Depending on your nature either go 'cold turkey' and only spend time on studying the Bible, meditating on the Word and praying, OR
      Each day spend a little more time on studying/meditating/praying and a little less on worldly things until you only want to spend time on getting to know & love Jesus.

      Submit your will to the LORD and He will change your wants and desires, you don't have to force yourself, just ask Him to change your heart.

    • Peter had the same problem as we will see in the future lessons, I have the same, we all do. When a child who is still crowlling tried to walk on his own falls, he cries with his head up so as to be lifted up. Cry up to the Lord and He will lift you up.

  8. What else could Peter have said or done in this instance? Perhaps explain away the obvious miracle, and deny the power of the poor itinerant preacher? See only the great advantage for himself with this bountiful catch, thanking Jesus while asking Him to get out of the way? Get offended by the carpenter who told the professional fisherman how to fish? The choices are not that many, but being the honest soul that he was, Peter responded with the candid, self-forgetting manner of a child. He could not deny the miracle nor the Divine character of the one seated in his boat, leading to his reaction in the utmost humility and sense of unworthiness. Jesus looks for such honesty and faith, regardless of how sinful they might be. In such a one, He can do wonderful things.

    In asking the fishermen to leave their nets when prospects were great, the Lord demonstrates how He has always proved every soul of either faith or unbelief. None are exempt from this trial of their soul and true inner self, by the One who will reveal the thoughts and intents of every heart. Has He not asked us to leave our nets of earthly entanglements, whatever they might be? Isn't He still calling for fishers of men?

    • I think sometimes we focus too much on incidents where God asks people to leave when things are going good. I'm sure there are times when He does that and has reasons, knowing each individual heart. But the temptation is to see God as a killjoy. Every time something is going well, He calls for sacrifice. I don't buy it. When He does do that sort of thing, it is because he knows our success or status quo will be harmful to us. Also he may have something better in store that we don't realize. But the idea that He just likes to mess up people's plans has more in common with pagan gods than the God I know.

      • Yes, many do "see" God as a killjoy, even though He is wanting to bring them eternal glories and joys we can't imagine. But the fault is not God, but rather is due to unbelief. Blinded by the love of the world, unbelief rules most hearts and God cannot be "seen" by any but the "pure in heart" as Jesus taught.

        Only by exercising genuine faith can we escape the corruption of the world and truly see the Blessed Hope that is promised.

  9. When Peter left the boat with all his companions, also as well left all the fish behind in the boat. Instantly deep down, Peter finally got the point, that Jesus is the center of his life. In addition, this unexpected action of Peter has become until this day a great example for us as Christian. We need to leave everything behind to follow Christ jus as peter did. Moreover, God has shown us his infinite power zillion times. He will provide for us. Just trust Him, it does not matter how the situation elevates

  10. This episode tells us about the meaning of total surrendering. Peter provided his best asset, his boat, to serve as a platform for Jesus to herald the gospel. He subdued his good sense and logic to Jesus, by following his instruction. And ultimately, he dedicated his all life to follow Jesus and herald the good news. This is perfect submission from an imperfect individual!

  11. Peter's statement "Master we have toiled all night long and caught naught" suggests that he knew the Master even before and that's the reason he knew obeyed Jesus instruction immediately.Again Peter declared his sinfulness openly before others.This to me is the biggest challenge in our walk to even its extremely impossible for a person to accept and say their weakness openly,what this means we will cling to our sins come what may.We Christians by so declaring our spiritual status we accept the help that only heaven can offer to people like Peter.

  12. Peter represents the hard working men who have rough edges, but a heart soft for the words of the Lord. He began his "Jesus Journey" inspired, but there would be much to learn (and unlearn) as he moved from faith to faith.

  13. Peter realize fully his sinful condition and acknowledge that he was in the presence of one who is holy and almighty (divine.)

  14. Peter's recognition of his sinful state was the start of the transformation process that ended up with him being a fisher of men. We don't know how long it took for him to get going but he outlines the process in 2

    Peter 1:5-7 [Amp]
    5 For this very reason, applying your diligence [to the divine promises, make every effort] in [exercising] your faith to, develop moral excellence, and in moral excellence, knowledge (insight, understanding),
    6 and in your knowledge, self-control, and in your self-control, steadfastness, and in your steadfastness, godliness,
    7 and in your godliness, brotherly affection, and in your brotherly affection, [develop Christian] love [that is, learn to unselfishly seek the best for others and to do things for their benefit].Some refer to this as the Christian Ladder.

    It begins with faith and ends in love. That Christian love will inspire us to love others to the point that we will 'fish' for them.

  15. Why did Peter ask Jesus “Depart from ME, for I am a sinful man, O Lord!”? Why 'me' not 'us'? Any ideas? Does it mean that the closer we are to Jesus, the sinner we (not others) really appears to ourselves?

    • It seems that Peter did not assume to speak for others, and that his reaction was honest and sincere. No pretense, only pure confession of that great conviction of Whom it was who sat in his boat. Perhaps it was only an expression of his utter unworthiness to be in the presence of the long hoped-for Messiah. You know Peter, often speaking by whatever words came out first. This is the same Peter who said "not only my feet, but my hands and head" when Jesus told him the importance of the foot washing He was about to give to Peter.

  16. Many follow Jesus when they cannot find fish, but Peter walked to Jesus at the time when his ship was overflowing with fish. What a stunning and practical critic of the prosperity gospel...we follow Jesus not so He can give us things but because He is our everything!

  17. Peter said, "Because you say so, I will". He already had faith in the power of this new Teacher in town. Peter's faith was answered through the catch.


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