Nepaug Bible Church - http://www.nepaugchurch.org - Pastor's Evening Sermon Notes - http://www.nepaugchurch.org/ev/ev20050911.htm
JESUS CHRIST'S DISCIPLING OF SIMON PETER: A STUDY IN MAKING DISCIPLES
Part I: Getting Peter To Follow Jesus
B. Christ's Impressing Peter In A Non-threatening, Encouraging Way
Lesson: Jesus impressed Peter by demonstrating the spiritual power of God in His life, but He did so in a way that was non-threatening and encouraging to Peter, so Peter became motivated to follow Him!
- After we make an initial, positive contact with the one we wish to see discipled for Christ, we may wonder what needs to occur for the disciple to begin to want to hear the Word of God.
- Jesus exampled the second step very effectively in Luke 5:1-11 as follows:
- Getting Peter To Follow Jesus: Christ's Impressing Peter In A Non-threatening, Encouraging Way.
- From Luke 5:4-5 with 5:8, we know Peter was choleric in personality, one who tended to make rash judgments about others that he could later regret due to the later exposure of his lack of initial wisdom:
- When Jesus asked Peter to launch his boat out into the deep to let down his nets for a catch, Peter quickly judged Jesus to be ignorant and unable to fish well by responding that he had labored all night when the fish were more catchable, but that he had caught nothing, Luke 5:4-5a.
- Yet, implying he was nice to Jesus, Peter said he would condescend to do what He asked in spite of what Peter had implied was an unwise recommendation from Jesus on fishing, Luke 5:5b!
- Later, when Peter caught the draught and realized Jesus was a miracle worker, he felt remorse at how badly he had underestimated Him, and urged Jesus to depart from him since he was a sinful man, 5:8!
- Aware of Peter's tendency to let himself look bad by making rash judgments to his own later regret, Jesus won Peter's following by impressing him in a non-threatening, encouraging way, Luke 5:1-11:
- Jesus first let his teaching become known to Peter in an indirect, non-threatening way, Luke 5:1-3:
- Initially, Christ spoke to the crowds of people in the vicinity of the seashore near Peter, Luke 5:1-2.
- To communicate more effectively by using the sea as a sounding board, Jesus entered Peter's boat and asked him to move it out from the shore so He could sit down and teach from there, Luke 5:3.
- In this way, Jesus continued to expose Peter to his teaching as he mended his nets in a way that was not personally invasive toward Peter!
- Next, Jesus impressed Peter of his personal credentials by performing a great miracle, Luke 5:4-7:
- When Peter condescended to go through the motions of moving the boat out into the deep in open daylight and let down his nets into the sea, he enclosed a huge multitude of fishes, Luke 5:4-6.
- This catch required the help of Peter's coworkers and their boat, Luke 5:7a.
- However, both boats became so flooded with fish that they began to take on water, Luke 5:7b.
- Obviously, Peter was astonished at this miraculous event, Luke 5:9!
- Upon realizing how badly he had underestimated Jesus' power and intent, instead of being hurt by a reprimand from Christ, Peter was met by gracious encouragement from the Lord, Luke 5:8-10:
- Astonished as Peter was at the tremendous catch they had experienced in broad daylight after having caught nothing all night long (Luke 5:5a, 9-10a), and that after he had verbally demeaned Jesus about trying to make such a catch, Peter fell on his knees in the midst of the wriggling fish and told Jesus to leave him; he was a sinner opposite Jesus who was God's righteous miracle-worker, 5:10b!
- Jesus did not reprimand Peter for his previous misjudgment of Him, but rather encouraged him: He told Peter not to fear any discipline from God, but to be encouraged that he would catch an abundance of men just as he had caught all of these fish, Luke 5:10b!
- Deeply impressed and encouraged, Peter and his associates forsook all and followed Jesus, Luke 5:11!
Application: (1) After developing a rapport with the disciple-to-be, we need to "let our light shine" (Matthew 5:16), to let God's power become evident in our lives before the disciple-to-be. (2) When he becomes impressed with God's power in our lives, instead of "preaching at" him and thus "lording over" him to his intimidation, we must encourage him -- tell him God wants to use His power in HIS life as He has in our lives! (3) The party will then be motivated himself to follow the Lord!