Luke 5:4 — When He had finished speaking, He said to Simon, “Put out into deep water, and let down the nets for a catch” (NIV).
The Bible isn’t clear as to how long Jesus spoke to the people from Peter’s boat, but we do know He didn’t start teaching until after the fishermen had worked all night. They were tired, and I imagine the subtle rocking of the boat by the waves made it difficult for Peter to stay awake. I wonder how many times he nodded off as Jesus taught.
Though he was exhausted, Peter had been very accommodating up to this point. But as Jesus closed the service, Peter’s mind probably wondered to his bed. And I’m sure his excitement grew as Jesus dismissed the crowd. “This is it!” he must have thought, “I can finally go get some sleep.”
Instead Jesus told Peter to go out into deep water and let down the nets. Briefly look back at Luke 5:3, and you will notice that Jesus initially asked Peter to take Him out on the boat to teach the people. This time He didn’t ask; He gave Peter a command.
If there was ever a moment for Peter to get upset, this was it. “First He asks to sit in my boat and teach. I let that slide, but now He’s telling me what to do with my boat! The nerve of this guy. Doesn’t He know I worked all night and I’m tired?!”
This is the kind of response you would expect from most people, but Peter did not react this way. He was being tested. Peter answered, “Master, we’ve worked hard all night and haven’t caught anything. But because you say so, I will let down the nets” (vs. 5).
Jesus will never force us to follow Him. But once you allow Him aboard your boat, you give Him the authority to direct your life. Sometimes He will ask you to do things you don’t want to do or that don’t make sense, but He does not owe you an explanation. It’s during those times you need to trust and do what He wants simply because He says so.
James 1:22 — But don’t just listen to God’s word. You must do what it says. Otherwise, you are only fooling yourselves (NLT).
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