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Friday, May 1, 2020

2020.05.01 Hopewell @Home ▫ Luke 5:1–11

Questions from the Scripture text: What did the multitude press around Jesus to hear in Luke 5:1? Where was He? What did He see (Luke 5:2)? Who weren’t there and why? Where did Jesus go in Luke 5:3? What did He ask? What did He do? What does Jesus stop in Luke 5:4? What does He then say? How does Simon answer (Luke 5:5)? What happens in Luke 5:6? What is breaking? Whom do they get for help in Luke 5:7? But then what happens to the boats? Who sees it in Luke 5:8? What is his response, while the nets are breaking and the boats are sinking? What does he ask Jesus to do and why? What did these professional fisherman think of what had just happened (Luke 5:9-10)? What does Jesus tell Simon not to do? What does Jesus tell him that he will do? What do they do when they get to the shore (Luke 5:11)? 
Christ’s first catch in this passage is breaking the geography and geometry of preaching. When hearing this account as a child, I remember much being made of the genius of the natural amphitheater of the shoreline and the use of water to reflect sound. But the passage begins with the reason that He ends up in the boat: “the multitude pressed about Him to hear the Word of God.” That’s a miracle, praise God!

In the dullness of our flesh, we do not so readily see this miracle. Peter should have dropped to his knees then, and begged the Lord to depart from him then. But we are more impressed with inexplicably full-to-breaking nets that have enough fish in them to sink two boats. The professional fisherman didn’t think, “huh—guess we missed where to get ‘em.” They were all astonished (Luke 5:9-10).

Peter understands the implications of the miracle—Jesus is holy, and this holiness is a mortal threat to sinners such as Peter. Peter is literally in a sinking boat, but for a sinner the presence of the Holy One is more dangerous than a sinking boat. Yet, what is Jesus’s holy command? “Do not be afraid.” Jesus is here to exercise His almighty power by catching men, not destroying them. He is catching Peter.

And He will empower Peter to be a catcher of men too. The miracle on the shore that had pushed them into the boats would be repeated at Pentecost and other occasions throughout the apostolic ministry. It is repeated in men’s hearts through gospel preaching today, as they realize the holiness of Christ, and their own sinfulness, and Jesus’s power to save sinners.

Ought we not to seek the Lord of the catch would make multitudes press to hear the Word of God? May the Holy One thus exercise His almighty power!
In your life, how is Jesus always displaying His power? In what way does He especially do so?
Suggested songs: ARP2 “Why Do Gentile Nations Rage?” or TPH280 “Wondrous King, All Glorious”

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