Resilient | Awestruck

posted by Joey Bates | Mar 9, 2022

Luke 5:1-11

Going through the motions at work can be tedious. Doing the same thing over and over can be tiring. That’s what Peter had to have felt at times as a fisherman. He had this job like many of us do; to provide a living for his family. Sure, work was lively at times, but at other times felt boring. Have you ever been there? Have you ever felt like you’re going through the motions in life? You’re not alone. 

One day, Jesus approached Peter during one of these ordinary days. We have to remember, too, that Peter didn’t know who Jesus was. Sure he might’ve heard about him as a preacher, or as a nice guy, but Peter didn’t know Jesus was, well, Jesus. 

Since Peter knows Jesus is a nice guy, he lets him in to the boat and Peter watches as Jesus teaches the crowds. I’m sure Peter smiled and felt proud knowing that he was letting this teacher, this good man, use his boat to tell about the things of God. Peter had done his good deed for the day. But then Jesus turns this ordinary day upside down. 

Jesus looks at Peter and says, “Go into the deeper waters.” 

Have you ever had anyone try to tell you how to do your job? It’s uncomfortable, isn’t it? It feels like they are encroaching on your territory, and when they do that, our walls go up. That’s what happens with Peter, too. “Master,” Peter said, “We worked hard all night and didn’t catch a fish.” Peter’s done the task. He’s worked hard. He’s gone through the motions. Peter is basing his expectation on past experience. But Jesus is about to blow his mind. 

Peter decides to appease Jesus; after all, Jesus is a good dude, and Peter doesn’t want to dishonor him, so Peter, full of exhaustion, suspicion, and curiosity, obeys Jesus. 

Peter can’t believe his eyes when a few minutes later, his boat is overflowing with fish. 

Peter is awestruck. 

Peter’s perception of Jesus changed at that moment, and in light of his perception of Jesus changing, Peter’s perception of himself has changed too. Have you ever experienced that? Have you ever had someone love you, provide for you, surprise you with care, that you realized who Jesus was? And then, have you ever realized how much you aren’t like Jesus? I know I have. That moment is hard. That moment is way more uncomfortable than someone talking to me about my job. That is a moment of exposure and vulnerability. That is a moment where I can’t even defend myself because I am completely and utterly disarmed. In those moments, I realize how good God is, and how, well, not good I am. 

But this story is not about how good Peter or we are. This story is about how good Jesus is. 

Jesus doesn’t leave Peter. Instead, he gives him a mission. Jesus meets Peter in this moment of vulnerability and reorients Peter’s life around who really matters. I believe Jesus wants to do the same thing with us.  

Going through the motions of life can be tedious when we think our life is all about us. But when Jesus enters our story and invites us to the greatest adventure known, we become reoriented to what this life is really all about. 

Life is about Jesus. 

Peter realized that Jesus isn’t just some good teacher, but instead, he is the author of life and Jesus is life himself. Everything we do is about knowing Jesus and seeing his love made known to everybody everywhere. When we realize his love for us, our life becomes like Peter’s boat, overflowing with life that is truly life; so much so that we may feel the sinking feeling of not deserving it – as Peter did. We may say, “Lord, get away because I am so sinful.” We may be awestruck at the realization of the gap between us and Jesus. 

But Jesus doesn’t leave. Instead, he reaches out and invites us to join him. 

Today, will you accept that invitation? As you go through the tasks of life, will you let Jesus into your proverbial boat? Will you let him teach about the ways of God? And when he tells you to go into deeper waters will you obey? Even if, like Peter, you are filled with exhaustion, suspicion, and curiosity? Because if you do, if you let Jesus in, your life will begin to overflow, and you will be awestruck.