Luke 5:1-5 (NIV) One day as Jesus was standing by the Lake of Gennesaret, with the people crowding around him and listening to the word of God, he saw at the water’s edge two boats, left there by the fishermen, who were washing their nets. He got into one of the boats, the one belonging to Simon, and asked him to put out a little from shore. Then he sat down and taught the people from the boat.
When he had finished speaking, he said to Simon, “Put out into deep water, and let down the nets for a catch.”
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.”
The crowds along the shore were huge, and they continued to press forward on Jesus, shoving Him toward the edge of the water, wanting to touch Him in order to receive a miracle for themselves. But miracles were not to be taken from Jesus; they were to be given and received, so that Jesus was honored, and God glorified through them.
Jesus saw the boats belonging to Simon, and to his partners James and John (Luke 5:10) At this point, Simon had been a follower of Jesus for a few months, and Jesus was using his home as a base in Capernaum (Luke 4:38-39). So when Jesus asked him to leave his net maintenance to row Jesus out away from the shore, Simon instantly responded.
From a few yards offshore, Jesus could teach the people without the constant pressure of the surging crowd, and without the people having divided attention from jockeying for position. So He taught until He was done, and then dismissed the crowd.
Jesus turned to Simon, and instructed him to put out into deeper water and to let down the fishing nets. Simon pushed back against this suggestion, because that’s just not how it was done. The best time for fishing was at night. The nets were spread into the water, and torches were lit on the boat. The fish were attracted to the light (and the promise of insects that would also be attracted to the light) and were snared in the net.
It was full daylight now, so the normal procedure wouldn’t work. Add to that the fact that Peter had already been up fishing all night, and hadn’t caught anything, and you can see the reason for his disgruntled response. But one look at the expression on Jesus’ face made him veer in a new direction: “But because you say so, I will let down the nets.”
Father, You often give directions to those who listen to Your voice, and sometimes those directions defy conventional wisdom as to how things should be one. Help me, Lord, to never fall into the trap of trying to tell You how to do things. Instead, help me to simply obey and see what happens, so that You are glorified in everything I do. Amen.