Chapter # 5 Paragraph # 1 Study # 3
Authorized Version Translation:
February 4, 2007
4 Now when he had left speaking, he said unto Simon, Launch out into the deep, and let down your nets for a draught.
5 And Simon answering said unto him, Master, we have toiled all the night, and have taken nothing: nevertheless at thy word I will let down the net.
6 And when they had this done, they inclosed a great multitude of fishes: and their net brake.
1901 ASV Translation:
4 And when he had left speaking, he said unto Simon, Put out into the deep, and let down your nets for a draught.
5 And Simon answered and said, Master, we toiled all night, and took nothing: but at thy word I will let down the nets.
6 And when they had done this, they inclosed a great multitude of fishes; and their nets were breaking;
- I. The Enormous "Catch".
- A. Luke tells us nothing of what Jesus "taught"; he merely alludes to the fact that, once He concluded His teaching, He "said" to Simon, in effect, "Let's go fishing."
- 1. By this tactic, Luke maintains his focus upon the foundation of Jesus' ministry: the teaching of the Word of God.
- 2. But this tactic also brings the second most critical issue of "ministry" into play: the practice of the thing(s) taught.
- a. The realization of this aspect of Jesus' "ministry" is the door-opener to the content of what He taught. It would be ludicrous to even think that Jesus was putting Simon through an experience that was "disconnected" from what He had just "taught".
- b. We already know from Jesus' position in the boat and on the Lake that He has set Himself to be the focus of men's attention in light of the larger scenario. He is the best and only hope of men in light of the wrath (Lake) of God (see Revelation 19:20; 20:10, 14, 15; and 21:8 -- the only references in the New Testament to a "lake" outside of Luke).
- c. That Jesus immediately put Simon through the process of "fishing" and produced the largest "catch" from the Lake that any of those fishermen had ever seen in their fishing history is a statement: Jesus has the ability to produce "Life" not only "in the midst of", but specifically "from", the Lake. Peter had spent his life attempting to wrest a living from that environment of death, so Jesus demonstrated His ability to produce Life from Death. This is the essence of the truth of Romans 8:28 -- that God actually subverts the very forces of Death into means of Life for those who trust Him. The very core of the Gospel is that Life arose out of Death; the Crucified One, raised, is our Life. This is a crucial truth for humanity because humanity tends to denigrate God's wisdom as foolishness. Men and God are 180 degrees "out of sync" when it comes to wisdom and men arrogantly go about their pursuit of their "wisdom" (which God deems "foolishness") as if they actually know what they are doing. But they do not know. They are on a track of total destruction as they arrogantly assume that "life" is going to get better and better. When the "wreck" happens, it invariably comes as a huge shock...which is the "proof" of just how deceived men are.
- B. Jesus addresses a particularly "Simonized" issue with His words, "Put out into the deep."
- 1. The "deep" is where all really significant changes are made (a cursory view of the uses of "deep" in the New Testament reveals that all significant change is related to getting beyond the "shallows" into the "deep"). Both the "deep" of God's love (Ephesians 3:18-19) and the "deep" of Satan's deceptions (Revelation 2:24) produce "disciples". Nothing else is really effective.
- a. In a very real analogy, Peter had been trying to obtain the provisions of life from the shallows of the dangerous all of his life -- unwilling to risk, but lusting after the "life". Shades of "The Five Minute Bible"... people are foolishly encouraged to "give God five minutes" as they prepare to spend the other 1435 minutes of their day trying to find "life".
- b. In the profound wisdom of God, Life is richest where men think Death reigns. Jesus required all who would find Life to embrace death: He that gives up his life for My sake...shall find it. The Lake represents the Enforced Righteousness of God (the "Wrath" is nothing more than "Justice" responding to wickedness) and men hate "rules" more than anything because they have enthroned their "freedom" as the fountain of life. But, only those who embrace "righteousness" find "peace" and "joy". Dying to myself means giving up my practice of denying others true righteousness because of the way it "pinches" me.
- 2. The "deep" was where Peter's core problem existed, but only there was he going to find "Life".
- C. Jesus produced the enormous catch of fish as a "lesson".
- 1. Clearly, He was being "analogical" ... developing an analogy so that the one who was most familiar with the material realities could identify the spiritual facts.
- 2. Just as clearly, Peter got at least part of the point. There is no way to explain Peter's response at the "material" level. Catching fish does not typically produce an overwhelming sense of personal depravity. But that is precisely what Peter felt.