One day as Jesus was standing by the Lake of Gennesaret, the people were 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.”
When they had done so, they caught such a large number of fish that their nets began to break. So they signaled their partners in the other boat to come and help them, and they came and filled both boats so full that they began to sink.
When Simon Peter saw this, he fell at Jesus’ knees and said, “Go away from me, Lord; I am a sinful man!” For he and all his companions were astonished at the catch of fish they had taken, and so were James and John, the sons of Zebedee, Simon’s partners.
Then Jesus said to Simon, “Don’t be afraid; from now on you will fish for people.” So they pulled their boats up on shore, left everything and followed him. – Luke 5:1-11
This story is incredible. It’s one of my favorites in all of the Bible. Jesus “one ups” some fishermen by completely astonishing them with his fishing skills. They clearly see who they are when compared to him. Their lives are changed. And they leave everything to follow him.
Until last week I’d overlooked the significance of one crucial detail in this story: the fishermen had a boat.
Now maybe you’d say “duh,” but think about it.
This boat represented their way of life…
…their most prized possession…
This boat was everything to them.
But after meeting Jesus, they were willing to leave their boat behind.
They saw Jesus clearly. And they realized he was of more value than their boat.
We all have a boat of some sort.
There is something that you and I find our identity and security in other than Jesus.
There is something that we treasure more than him.
There is something that we fear losing more than anything else.
And what Jesus desperately wants for us to do is invite him into our boat. Just like the fishermen did. And let him take over.
When we do, we will find a sustained fulfillment that cannot be found elsewhere.
We will see ourselves rightly in comparison to him.
We will discover someone who is way better than that something else we’ve been holding on to.
So what is it for you?
What is your boat?
Last week I taught this to our students at Bell Shoals. You can listen to the whole message below, or fast forward to around 25 minutes as I zero in on what our “boats” might be.
Pic Credit HERE