God’s amazing blessings
When Simon Peter realised what had happened, he fell to his knees before Jesus and said, “Oh, Lord, please leave me—I’m such a sinful man.” For he was awestruck by the number of fish they had caught, as were the others with him. Luke 5:8-9
If you have ever talked to fishermen, you will know that they have a great sensitivity for their work. It is dangerous and demanding, and they are eager to be successful. They are often very good at anticipating where the fish are and how they are likely to respond. So when a complete stranger offered Simon Peter and his friends some advice, they were bound to take it with a pinch of salt. But how wrong they were. Jesus’ advice to head out into deeper water resulted in a huge catch, to the complete amazement of the experienced fishermen.
Simon Peter’s response is really interesting. He was so overwhelmed by it that he didn’t know how to cope and asked Jesus to go away. The amazing blessing of the great haul of fish drew attention to his sinfulness. He didn’t feel worthy of such an incredible success. As we read through the Gospels, we get to know Peter really well and what is most striking about him is his honesty. In this first encounter, we see that very clearly.
Meeting God is always an amazing experience. The Old Testament introduces us to a succession of people who felt this: Moses was on the run after murdering an Egyptian, and considered himself totally unsuitable to lead his people. When Isaiah met God in the Temple, he saw it as a hopeless situation because the holiness of God shone such a bright light on his own unholiness, and the unholiness of his society. Jeremiah objected to God’s call because he considered himself much too young. Time after time, we meet people who heard the call of God and were overwhelmed by the experience.
Simon Peter needed to learn about God’s grace. Yes, he was indeed a sinful man, and he could never deserve the generous blessings of God. But that’s the way God works. You and I are sinful but God loves to bless us regardless.
How do you respond to God’s amazing blessings?
Lord Jesus, thank you that you love to bless me even though I am sinful and could never deserve your generosity. Amen