The Obedience Dilemma

I was reading in the book of Luke this morning, Chapter 5, where Jesus was teaching on the lake shore and ran out of room because of the encroaching crowd. So he stepped into a boat docked behind him and taught from there. Then he told the fishermen to “put out into deep water, and let down the nets for a catch.” (v.4) Peter said “Master, we’ve worked hard all night and haven’t caught anything. But because you say so, I will let down the nets.” (v.5) He was obviously tired. It’s not hard to imagine that he was annoyed, on top of being frustrated from not catching anything all night. He had probably been looking forward to a nice warm breakfast and some sleep. And now this stranger steps into his boat uninvited, surely unwanted, and begins giving him orders. IN HIS OWN BOAT! Peter reluctantly obeys and I’m sure is overwhelmed by the response of the fish. There are so many fish in his nets that not only do the nets begin to break, but the boat begins to flood! He has to call to his partners in another boat to come out and help him and his crew before they capsize! When they finally get back to shore, Peter falls to his knees, admits his sinfulness and asks Jesus to leave because of it. Jesus tells him to not be afraid, that he will now “catch men” instead of fish. Peter now had a choice: follow Jesus or not. In light of what had just happened, it seems like obedience would be an easy choice. But would it? It says Peter and the others with him left everything and followed him. In other words, they left their livelihoods. Could you imagine walking away from your job/career to follow a stranger into the unknown? And yet, we are faced with far lesser tests of obedience every day, and how much of a struggle are those for us? What would I do? What about you?

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