One day as Jesus was standing by the Lake of Gennesaret,[a] the people were crowding round him and listening to the word of God. 2 He saw at the water’s edge two boats, left there by the fishermen, who were washing their nets. 3 He got into one of the boats, the one belonging to Simon, and asked him to put out a little from the shore. Then he sat down and taught the people from the boat.
4 When he had finished speaking, he said to Simon, ‘Put out into deep water, and let down the nets for a catch.’
5 Simon answered, ‘Master, we’ve worked hard all night and haven’t caught anything. But because you say so, I will let down the nets.’
6 When they had done so, they caught such a large number of fish that their nets began to break. 7 So they signalled to their partners in the other boat to come and help them, and they came and filled both boats so full that they began to sink.
8 When Simon Peter saw this, he fell at Jesus’ knees and said, ‘Go away from me, Lord; I am a sinful man!’ 9 For he and all his companions were astonished at the catch of fish they had taken, 10 and so were James and John, the sons of Zebedee, Simon’s partners.
Then Jesus said to Simon, ‘Don’t be afraid; from now on you will fish for people.’ 11 So they pulled their boats up on shore, left everything and followed him.
Luke 5 is an acted parable of how we can make disciples.
Jesus is showing them how to evangelise. Peter got a picture of how he could be used.
A few years later he led 3000 to Christ. It all goes back to this –
1)The potential is VAST
There are millions of people who don’t know Jesus Christ. In Galilee there were shoals of fish, They just hadn’t caught any more.
Jesus says ‘Cast the nets out into the DEEP.’
That’s where the focus is meant to be.
Some people are great natural evangelists. Most of us aren’t, We swing from (fear) insecurity to insensitivity.
In the 80s, Nicky got involved with Alpha. It was a course for people who had become Christians, but the ones he saw on it weren’t Christians, UNTIL they came to faith through Alpha.
Now at HTB thousands of young people are coming to faith through Alpha, it’s an astonishing catch of fish.
Alpha goes incredibly well in all kinds of cultures across the world.
2) Nothing is impossible with Jesus.
Peter was saying, ‘I’ve tried it and it doesn’t work.’ So they got busy cleaning nets.
It’s good to clean your nets, but that’s not the purpose of the nets.
The purpose of nets is to catch fish.
When they did this, the nets began to break.
The church isn’t meant to spend all its time making nets.
We need a big front door – everyone’s welcome.
And a big back door – which is church planting!
3)It needs partnership.
Everyone gets involved in the catch! Partnership with churches, partnership with anyone who loves Jesus. What unites us is far bigger than what would divide us. Unite around Jesus. To reach this spiritually hungry generation.
4)It’s worth giving anything up for.
Peter and the other guys said, ‘This is worth leaving our nets and boats behind for.’
In 1750 they said Christianity was dead in the UK. It didn’t die. Look at China, India, Africa.
It can happen! A nation can be changed as we do what Jesus told us to do.