Nepaug Bible Church - http://www.nepaugchurch.org - Pastor's Prayer Meeting Lesson Notes - http://www.nepaugchurch.org/pm/pm19971203.htm
LUKE: GOSPEL OF CERTIFYING THE CHRISTIAN FAITH
Part XVI: God's Certification Of Christ's INITIAL CALL For Peter's Discipleship
Lesson: (1) When God calls us to go a certain direction, He means for us to STAY that direction until further notice. (2) Now, when a believer turns back from God's directive after a while, the LORD will allow him to "dangle" in a state of a loss of blessing until he heeds the INITIAL call.
- When God leads a believer into a specific direction, He means for him to remain in that direction unless God delivers clear orders to the contrary.
- If the believer fails to stay the course of God's initial directive, there is a loss of blessing and a patient, gracious program in that loss of blessing whereby God moves to get him to rebound into obeying Him.
- A very clear example of this truth is presented in the incident involving Jesus and Peter in Luke 5.
- God's Certification Of Christ's INITIAL CALL For Peter's Discipleship, Luke 5:1-11.
- Before the incident of Luke 5:1-11, the credible commentaries assert that Jesus had already called Peter, James and John to follow Him and that He would then make them fishers of men, cf. G. Campbell Morgan, Luke, p. 72; Bib. Know. Com., N.T., p. 216 with Mk. 1:16-20.
- Now, Christ's command for them to follow was not intended to be temporary -- He expected them not to return to fishing unless He was to give another order to that effect.
- However, in the meantime, feeling the need to continue to make a living, they had returned to fishing.
- Since they disobeyed Christ's first order, their fishing efforts under the Mosaic Covenant became fruitless:
- The Mosaic Covenant provided that were the people of Israel to obey God's Word, He would bless all the works of their hands, and that included fishing on the Sea of Galilee, cf. Deut. 28:1, 12.
- Now, the Mosaic Covenant ordered the people of Israel to heed every word of God that came from the future Messiah when he arrived, Deut. 18:18. Failure to heed Him would bring God's discipline, 18:19!
- Accordingly, being out-of-step with Christ's order to be in a following mode, Peter's effort in returning to fish had yielded nothing all night long, and that because of divine discipline under the Law, Lk. 5:5a.
- In a second call of Jesus, a call of GRACE, Jesus got Peter back into a "follow-mode" through displaying His great power over every area of Peter's life and livelihood, Luke 5:1-11:
- When Peter and the other disobedient disciples washed their nets on the shore after a fruitless night of effort, Jesus graciously moved alongside them, Lk. 5:1-2.
- After exposing them indirectly to His presence and teaching, all in grace, Jesus got Peter to move his boat out into the Sea a bit so He could teach the throngs effectively, Luke 5:3.
- After having taught for a while, Jesus redirected His attention to Peter, but only concerning solving his need to acquire fish. He told Peter to launch out into the deep in broad daylight when fish normally m oved out of sight and let down the nets for a draught, Luke 5:4.
- Peter at first hesitated, but, out of respect for Jesus, obeyed to obtain the draught, Luke 5:5-7.
- Realizing that the failure to catch fish in the first place was due to his having failed to follow Messiah in accord with Deuteronomy 18:18-19 and 28:1, 12, and that he had now caught fish only for obeying Jesus regarding the excursion , Peter confessed that he was too unworthy a man to follow Jesus, Lk. 5:8.
- With Peter's undivided allegiance and respect, Jesus simply then renewed His initial call, announcing that in accord with that call for Peter to be a fisher of men, Jesus would make him catch men, 5:9-10.
- Encouraged and now fully committed to Christ, Peter and the others left all and followed Jesus, 5:11.
Application: (1) Thus, if WE experience fruitlessness, God wants us to evaluate our way and repent if we see that our problem rises from failing to follow a former divine directive. (2) Similarly, if we work with OTHERS who have turned into that w ayward path, remember how PATIENT and GRACIOUS Christ was in slowly moving up to Peter on a renewed call effort, and how He allowed TIME for God to get Peter's attention through his failed "all-night" expedition so as to turn him around! We should give tim e for God to make His move without prematurely giving up on the party!