Luke 5:4b-6, 8, 10b-11 - Jesus said to Simon, "Put out into the deep and let down your nets for a catch." And Simon answered, "Master, we toiled all night and took nothing! But at Your word I will let down the nets." And when they had done this, they enclosed a large number of fish, and their nets were breaking ... when Simon Peter saw it, he fell down at Jesus' knees, saying, "Depart from me, for I am a sinful man, O Lord." ... And Jesus said to Simon, "Do not be afraid; from now on you will be catching men." And when they had brought their boats to land, they left everything and followed Him.
This devotion pairs with this weekend's Lutheran Hour sermon, which can be found at lutheranhour.org.
Around a campfire, when I was eight years old, I was caught up in my Uncle David's words. The way he told that story at our family reunion, if he had been fishing, I was hooked. Uncle David died of cancer not too long after that. I don't remember much about him. But I remember being caught by his words that night. He made that story an adventure that we shared together.
Christians believe something similar about Jesus—that He is the Word of God, the Creator made flesh. And He didn't just tell a story. He became a human being and lived one—to catch us and pull us up into a great adventure. From the day He called Simon Peter and his partners from their fishing boats, Jesus has been catching people and sending them to catch others. For about sixty generations, that's what the followers of Jesus have been doing. They've been telling and living His story, sharing this account of the things that were accomplished among them, how Jesus gave Himself to be crucified for our sins, how He physically rose from the dead to give new life, how He still sends His servants to catch more and more people. And like fish in a net, being caught by Jesus means dying—dying to your old concerns and living in Him, through Him, and for Him instead.
There have been times in my life when it felt like I was trying to find my "self." And like me, maybe you've been told that to find yourself, you've got to fish deep inside yourself, to figure things out for yourself. But God's counter-intuitive truth is that you find yourself by losing yourself, caught up in a relationship with Jesus, for others. You don't have to run from Him. He knows you better than you know yourself. He loves you more than you love yourself. He catches you to give you the gift of your true "self." And He is sending you for others.
My Uncle David showed me how being caught can be a good thing. David was a math teacher at a Christian School. I'm told that he loved to entertain people with stories like that. But most of all, he loved to tell people about Jesus, their Savior. And he usually found a way to somehow bring the story or the math lesson or the conversation back to Jesus. Uncle David is one of the hundreds of people Jesus has sent to catch me. Whom has He sent to catch you? And for whom is He sending you?
THE PRAYER: Lord Jesus, keep catching me with Your Word and pulling me into Your adventure. Amen.
This Daily Devotion was written by Rev. Dr. Michael Zeigler, Speaker of The Lutheran Hour.
1. Can you name ten people who have helped "catch" you for Jesus?
2. What were some of the small things they did to draw you deeper into Jesus' story?
3. Can you think of ten people you are or could be praying for Jesus to catch?
To Download Devotion MP3 to your computer, right click here and select "Save Link As" or "Save Target As" or "Download Linked File As"