I love the story of how Peter met Jesus. Peter was a fisherman. In Luke 5 we read that Jesus walked along the shore and saw two empty boats. He saw Peter and asked him if he would let Jesus into the boat, and row out a little way so Jesus could better see all the people. You see, a crowd had followed Jesus and Jesus wanted to address them. He wanted to speak His truth into their hearts. He wanted to change their lives for the better. That’s what Jesus did then, and it’s what He does today.
When Jesus had finished speaking to the crowd he told Peter to cast his net into deeper water. Peter answered in verse 5, “We worked hard all through the night and we didn’t catch anything. ” Peter was a professional fisherman. He knew the water and he knew the fish. He had been out all night long, working hard, and had come back empty handed. Then this man Jesus tells him to throw out the nets a bit deeper. Peter could have politely refused, explaining that his professional experience deemed throwing the net out again as a useless endeavor. Peter’s response is most interesting and insightful for us. In verse 5 he tells Jesus that he had worked all night and caught nothing; then he says further, “But if you say so, I’ll let the nets down again.” Another translation puts it this way, “Nevertheless, at your word, I will let down the net.”
What put Peter into action? What made him do something against his own professional experience? It was the word of Jesus. Remember that Peter had heard Jesus speaking to the crowd. Jesus had stood in Peter’s boat. Whatever Jesus taught the people that day also made an impact in Peter’s life. “At your word,” Peter says, “I will do as you say.” The story goes on to tell us that there were so many fish caught that the nets broke!
Peter had worked hard all night and had nothing to show for it. Enter Jesus. He speaks. Peter obeys. All is changed. It’s the same today. Are you working hard to accomplish something in your life? Is there some hardship? Is there some difficulty that you can see no way out? What can you do? Let’s learn from Peter. He paid attention to the words of Jesus. He chose to do exactly what Jesus said to do. It made a difference.
I meet people who share with me that they are going through hard times. After a few questions, I often find that they are paying no attention to the teachings of Jesus. Someone once said to me, “I’ll get my problems sorted out and then I’ll turn to Jesus.” Wrong way around! Come to Jesus first, and then let Him guide you through your problems. Let Him give His guidance as to what you should do. We have an entire book from Genesis to Revelation of God’s own words. It’s full of guidance and comfort. It always points in the right direction. It can never be wrong.
Jesus’ words made all the difference to Peter. His Words are still changing lives today.