Simon Peter was just a normal guy. He was just like any other fisherman of his day. When Jesus got into his boat to preach, I’m sure he must have thought himself lucky to be able to help this famous and greatly revered man. But it doesn’t appear, at this point in Luke’s Gospel, that he was especially more qualified than anyone else for his future as such an important disciple. In the passage below there are three things, however, which point to how Simon Peter showed himself to made of the right stuff.
Firstly, Simon obeyed Jesus despite his doubts and let down the nets again. Secondly, when he realised the power of God in the miracle of the massive catch, Simon Peter recognised his own unworthiness to be in the presence of God. Thirdly, he and the others left everything and followed Jesus. Simon Peter believed, and realising how big a sinner he was, he gave up everything and followed Jesus.
Luke 5:1-11 NLT
One day as Jesus was preaching on the shore of the Sea of Galilee, great crowds pressed in on him to listen to the word of God. He noticed two empty boats at the water’s edge, for the fishermen had left them and were washing their nets. Stepping into one of the boats, Jesus asked Simon, its owner, to push it out into the water. So he sat in the boat and taught the crowds from there. When he had finished speaking, he said to Simon, “Now go out where it is deeper, and let down your nets to catch some fish.” “Master,” Simon replied, “we worked hard all last night and didn’t catch a thing. But if you say so, I’ll let the nets down again.” And this time their nets were so full of fish they began to tear! A shout for help brought their partners in the other boat, and soon both boats were filled with fish and on the verge of sinking. When Simon Peter realised what had happened, he fell to his knees before Jesus and said, “Oh, Lord, please leave me—I’m too much of a sinner to be around you.” For he was awestruck by the number of fish they had caught, as were the others with him. His partners, James and John, the sons of Zebedee, were also amazed. Jesus replied to Simon, “Don’t be afraid! From now on you’ll be fishing for people!” And as soon as they landed, they left everything and followed Jesus.
I think I’m a pretty normal guy, by which I mean, I don’t think I’m special in any particular way. I’m not especially good or especially bad. I’m not too stupid or too clever. I’m an average man. My goal is not to let these facts prevent me from giving all of what I am to Jesus. I am not special but Jesus is! When we give our average, normal, sinful selves entirely into the service of Jesus, he can do extraordinary things with us. Jesus is extraordinary and in his service we can be too.
Numbers 32:1-33:39, Luke 4:31-5:11, Psalms 64:1-10, Proverbs 11:22