Called to be Fishers of Men

Our text today is Luke 5:1-11: Jesus invited Simon Peter, Andrew, James and John with the words: “Do not be afraid; from now on you will be catching people.” They left their years of labour, their economic security and chose a relationship with Jesus, his mission and purpose. Ever since then, Christ’s followers have found out that life with Christ is a life with a purpose that comes from our relationship with him based on our baptism. Jesus invites you to follow him and shape your own life in a relationship with God. We are children of God and no one can change that.

When Jesus calls, Simon Peter is hesitant and thinks that what Jesus asks of him is both unnecessary and too demanding. Nevertheless, Simon Peter responds, and he discovers that by doing what Jesus asks him to do, he experiences an epiphany of God.

Our text today tells us how God calls ordinary people to discipleship and mission. There is nothing extraordinary about Simon Peter or the others. They are simple fishermen, minding their own business when Jesus turns up and changes everything. Simon Peter is aware that he is unworthy, but Jesus tells him not to be afraid and calls him to a new mission of catching people.

Throughout Scripture, we see that human sin, failure are no obstacles to God’s call. God calls imperfect people to do God’s work. People who are aware of their unworthiness and often resistant to God’s call. Exodus 3:10-11: “So come, I will send you to Pharaoh to bring my people, the Israelites, out of Egypt”. But Moses said to God, “Who am I that I should go to Pharaoh, and bring the Israelites out of Egypt?” God calls us as we are and then shapes us into faithful servants.

How often do we resist Jesus’ call because we feel that what he is calling us to do is too crazy, too impractical? We want to avoid sailing out into deep waters because we are convinced that we will not see any results and it is a waste of time.

We often forget that we are called by virtue of our baptism to participate in God’s mission to the world in Jesus Christ. We are called to use the gifts God has given us to serve others, to share the good news of Jesus Christ.

Jesus came into the world to reveal God. The call of the first disciples marks the beginning of a movement that culminates in the founding of the church. From the Gospels, we learn that the church had its beginning with Jesus. He formed a group of disciples who heard him preach, teach, heal, and finally suffer, die and rise again. Throughout history, the church has continued to exist and carry on its ministry in-spite of the tenuous response of its members, but God sustains and nurtures it and this is even appropriate today.

When Jesus calls, he also says to us, “Do not be afraid.” He will always be with us, working with us, through us and catching others in the deep wide net of God’s mercy and love.

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