The Catch of a Lifetime: Abandoned

On Sunday morning Pastor Eric preached from Luke 5:1-11. In this Scripture, Jesus preaches to the multitudes from a boat before telling Peter to push out into the deeper water to go fishing.

Having just washed his nets after a fruitless (or should I say, fishless) night of work, Peter replies, “Master, we have toiled all night and caught nothing; nevertheless at Your word I will let down the net” (Luke 5:5).

So they did.

What happened next was humanly inexplicable: “And when they had done this, they caught a great number of fish, and their net was breaking” (Luke 5:6).

Great Catch of Fish

Say whaaaat? Yep. But let’s move on before their net completely breaks…

“So they signaled to their partners in the other boat to come and help them.” Problem solved, right? Well, no…now they simply have two problems: “And they came and filled both the boats, so that they began to sink” (Luke 5:7).

Oh man…after reading this again, I want to go preach from it too! But not right now. I want to share a great truth that Pastor Eric brought to my attention.

Imagine the scene. These poor fishermen probably just had one of the most miserable nights ever on the job, working hard and catching nothing.

Nothing.

Now, these men didn’t get paid by the hour. No, they get paid by the results. If they get no results, they get no pay. Simple as that.

After they wash their nets, Jesus tells the weary men to go out and try again.

Peter offers a slight protest but obeys anyway…and they hit a jackpot. A silver mine of sorts, depending on the color of the fish.

So now what? Go sell the fish, feed their families, and relax a little afterward, right? Enjoy the good life for awhile before going back to work to repair the nets and patch the boats, right?

Not quite. “And Jesus said to Simon, ‘Do not be afraid From now on you will catch men.’ So when they had brought their boats to land, they forsook all and followed Him” (Luke 5:10-11).

Say whaaaat?! Yep. They returned to the shore with their boats full of fish, got out, and abandoned it all.

But…all that fish! The catch of a lifetime! They just LEFT it?!

Yeah, I don’t know what happened to that fish. Perhaps it went to the crowd that Jesus had just spoken to so that they could all eat while the little boy kept his lunch and ate it too.

The point is that they literally abandoned one of the greatest things that had ever happened to them. “They forsook all.”

What do you absolutely love doing? Imagine accomplishing one of your greatest goals in life doing something you enjoy doing.

Now imagine yourself immediately abandoning your success just so you can follow Christ. Could you do it?

As I listened to Sunday’s sermon and pondered what this meant for me, I wrote in my notes, “There must be something better if God asks us to leave great things.”

Why would Christ tell them to cast their nets and catch all those fish and then expect them to walk away from it? Because He had something even better.

Boy, if leaving all that behind on a whim means something greater lies ahead, I can only imagine what that must be!

So when God prompts me to abandon something big for the sake of following Him, will I do it?

What about you? Are you holding out on following God’s will because you’re holding on to some other blessing He has bestowed on you?

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