Leaving the Shallows of Presence & Voice For the Depths of the Supernatural & Miraculous

Today’s selected reading continues in the New Testament gospel narrative concerning the life and ministry of Jesus the Christ as it was written and recorded by the beloved physician Luke. More specifically, today’s passage is found in verses twelve through thirty-nine of the fifth chapter of this New Testament book. “And it came to pass, that, as the people pressed upon him to hear the word of God, he stood by the lake of Genesaret, and saw two ships standing by the lake: but the fishermen were gone out of them, and were ashing their nets. And he entered into one of the ships, which was Simon’s, and prayed him that he would thrust out a little form the land. And he sat down, and taught the people out of the ship. Now when he had left speaking, he said unto Simon, Launch out into the deep, and let down your nets for a draught. And Simon answering said unto him, Master, we have toiled all the night,a nd have taken nothing: nevertheless at thy word I will let down the net. And when they had this done, they inclosed a great multitude of fishes: and their net brake. And they beckoned unto their partners, which were in the other ship, that they should come and help them. And they came, and filled both the ships, so that they began to sink. When Simon Peter saw it, he fell down at Jesus’ knees, saying, Depart from me; for I am a sinful man, O Lord. For he was astonished, and all that were with him, at the draught of the fishes which they had taken: and so was also James, and John, the sons of Zebedee, which were partners with Simon. And Jesus said unto Simon, Fear not; from henceforth thou shalt catch men. And when they had brought their ships to land, they forsook all, and followed him” (Luke 5:1-11).

            “And it came to pass, when he was in a certain city, behold a man full of leprosy: who seeing Jesus fell on his face, and besought him, saying, Lord, if thou wilt, thou canst make me clean. And he put forth his hand, and touched him, saying, I will: be thou clean. And immediately the leprosy departed from him. And he charged him to tell no man: but go, and shew thyself to the priest, and offer for thy cleansing according as Moses commanded, for a testimony unto them. But so much the more went there a fame abroad of him: and great multitudes came together to hear, and to be healed by him of their infirmities. And he withdrew himself into the wilderness and prayed” (Luke 5:12-16).

            “And it came to pass on a certain day, as he was teaching, that there were Pharisees and doctors of the law sitting by, which were come out of every town of Galilee, and Judaea, and Jerusalem: and the power of the Lord was present to heal them. And, behold, men brought in a bed a man which was taken with a palsy: and they sought means to bring him in, and to lay him before him. And when they could not find by what way they might bring him in because of the multitude, they went upon the hoestop, and let him down through the tilling with his couch into the midst before Jesus. And when he saw their faith, he said unto him, Man, thy sins are forgiven thee. And the scribes and the Pharisees began to reason, saying, Who is this which speaketh blasphemies? Who can forgive sins, but God alone? But when Jesus perceived their thoughts, he answering said unto them, What reason ye in your hearts? Whether is easier, to say, Thy sins be forgiven thee; or to say, Rise up and walk? But that ye may know that the Son of man hath power upon earth to forgive sins, (he said unto the sick of the palsy,) I say unto thee, Arise, and take up thy couch, and go into thine house. And immediately he rose up before them, and took up that whereon he lay, and departed to his own house, glorifying God. And they were all amazed, and they glorified God, and were filled with fear, saying, We have seen strange things to day” (Luke 5:17-26).

            “And after these things he went forth, and saw a publican, named Levi, sitting at the receipt of custom: and he said unto him, Follow me. And he left all, rose up, and followed him. And Levi made him a great feast in his own house: and there was a great company of publicans and of others that sat down with them. But their scribes and Pharisees murmured against his disciples, saying, Why do ye eat and drink with publicans and sinners? And Jesus answering said unto them, They that are whole need not a physician; but they that are sick. I came not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance” (Luke 5:27-32).

            “And they said unto him, Why do the disciples of John fast often, and make prayers, and likewise the disciples of the Pharisees; but thine eat and drink? And he said unto them, Can ye make the children of the bridechamber fast, while the bridegroom is with them? But the days will come, when the bridegroom shall be taken away from them, and then shall they fast in those days. And he spake also a parable unto them; No man putteth a piece of a new garment upon an old; if otherwise, then both the new maketh a rent, and the piece that was taken out of the new agreeth not with the old. And no man putteth new wine into old bottloes; else the new wine will burst the bottles, and be spilled, and the bottles shall perish. But new wine must be put into new bottles; and both are preserved. No many also having drunk old wine straightway desireth new: for he saith, The old is better” (Luke 5:33-36).

            When you come to the fifth chapter of this New Testament gospel narrative you will quickly be met with an encounter at a specific lake which was present in the region of Galilee. As you read the opening verses found in this portion of Scripture you will immediately be caught up in the tremendous reality that in addition to Jesus preaching in the synagogues of Galilee He would also move in the midst of and among the terrain of the landscape during those times. The opening verses of the fifth chapter brings us face to face with the awesome reality that in the midst of preaching in the synagogues of Galilee—undoubtedly on the sabbath days—Jesus would also find Himself moving in the midst of the landscape and terrain of Galilee as He would go to where the people were and/or as He would go to where He knew the people would gather. What we find here in this portion of Scripture is an incredible picture of a great number of people pressing upon Jesus to hear the word of God. On this particular occasion—as Jesus was standing by the lake of Gennesaret—Jesus would see two ships standing by the lake for the fishermen were gone out of them and were washing their nets. It’s actually quite remarkable to think about and consider the fact that Jesus would enter into one of those ships belonging to Simon and asking him to thrust out a little from the land. It would be there in the midst of the lake as the people were present on the shoreline that Jesus would sit down and teach them. Scripture is entirely and altogether unclear as to what Jesus taught the people, and even how long He taught them for. What we do know is that Simon must have surely obliged Jesus’ request, for not only does this passage speak of Jesus sitting down and teaching the people out of the ship, but it also references an end of Jesus’ teaching and speaking. The words found in the passage before us are absolutely incredible when you take the time to think about and consider them, for they call and draw our attention to the awesome and powerful truth surrounding Jesus and His use of the terrain, His use of the landscape, and His use of whatever was available to Him that He might teach and speak unto the people. On this particular day Jesus would choose to use a fisherman’s boat in the midst of the sea that He might teach and speak unto the people.

            If there is one thing I absolutely love about the words which are found in this portion of Scripture it’s the absolutely remarkable truth surrounding the difference between the shallow waters at the shoreline of the sea where Jesus would teach the people, and the depths of the lake and the sea where Jesus would instruct Simon to thrust his ship. It’s actually quite astounding to read the words which are found in this portion of Scripture, for essentially we find two different and two distinct instructions which were given unto Simon who would later be called Peter. On the one hand we find Jesus initially instructing Simon to thrust out a little from the land that from that place in the shallow waters He might teach the people. It would be there in the shallow waters just off the shoreline that Jesus would sit down in the midst of the ship there in the sea that He would teach the people and would speak directly unto them. With this being said, however, we also find that there would be a second instruction Jesus would give unto Simon after the teaching had finished and after it had been completed. Upon continuing to read the words which are found in this portion of Scripture you will find that after the teaching had concluded and undoubtedly after the people had departed from the shoreline Jesus would give Simon a second set of instructions—essentially an entirely and altogether new set of instructions which would serve an entirely different purpose. In the fourth verse of this portion of Scripture we find and read how Jesus’ first instruction to Simon would be to thrust out a little from the land, while His second instruction and command was to launch out into the deep. Oh that we would recognize and understand the vast and incredible difference between thrusting out a little from the land for the purpose of teaching, and launching out into the deep. Oh that we would recognize and understand that more often than not it is when we thrust out a little from the land into the sea and in the shallow waters where we might very well find and experience teaching, while it is in our launching out into the deep where we are actually brought face to face with something much greater than teaching. There is not a doubt in my mind that Jesus wasn’t well aware of the labor and toil Simon and those who were with him faced the night before in the midst of the sea as they would repeatedly let down their nets and yet would come up empty.

            I sit here today thinking about and considering how in order to understand the words and language found within the fifth chapter we must needs begin with this encounter on the lake of Gennesaret, for it brings us face to face with the incredible difference and dichotomy that exists between thrusting out a little from the land and launching out into the deep. What’s more, is that I would dare say that there are countless men and women among us who are content with merely thrusting out a little from the land if it means Jesus is in the ship with them, and if it means that they can hear the words which Jesus would teach and speak. There are those present among us who might very well be content with thrusting out a little from the land with Jesus in the midst of their ship as they hear and listen to Him teach and speak, and yet when it comes to launching out into the deep they tend to balk and shirk such a suggestion given unto them. Oh dear brother, oh dear sister—would it shock and surprise you to think about the fact that we have been called to more than simply thrusting out a little from the land? Would it shock and surprise you to think about and consider the fact that we have been called to experience more than thrusting out a little from the land—even though Jesus might be present within the ship we are in and within the ships of our lives? WE would like to think and even believe that it is enough to simply thrust out a little from the land that we might be in the presence of Jesus and might hear and listen to the words which He would teach and speak unto us, however, I am absolutely and completely convinced that there are times when Jesus must needs bring us into the deep waters and into the depths of the sea. It is there in the deep waters and in the midst of the depths of the sea that teaching takes on an entirely different shape and form. It is as you read the four gospel narratives which were written by the gospel writers you will find three distinct experiences and encounters the disciples had with Jesus. It would be on this particular occasion where Simon thrusting out into the deep waters would be instructed by Jesus that he might experience the miracle of the great catch of fish—particularly and especially after he and his partners had labored and toiled all night and had come up empty. OH how absolutely wonderful it is to think about the fact that on this particular day Jesus would show up after tremendous labor and toil, and would even show up in that place of emptiness as Simon, James and John—perhaps even others—had labored and toiled all night and had come up empty without catch a single fish.

            There is something truly remarkable and powerful about the words and language we find here in this particular passage of Scripture, for what we find here is an awesome and powerful picture of Jesus initially and originally instructing Simon to thrust out a little from the land that He might teach the people, as well as Simon and those who were with him as his partners in fishing. There would be an initial instruction that would come unto Simon who would later be called Peter to thrust out a little from the land, while there would be secondary command and instruction that would come unto Simon to launch out into the deep. Permit me to ask you very pointedly if you can remember a time in your life when Jesus instructed you to thrust out a little from the land, and it was in that place where you might have experienced His presence. Do you remember a time in your life when you thrust out a little from the land and not only experienced the presence and person of Jesus, but also heard His voice as He taught and spoke unto you? On this particular day—not only did Simon who would be called Peter experience the presence of Jesus in the midst of his ship, but he would also experience the voice of Jesus as he would have heard and listened to every word Jesus taught the people. There is and there can be absolutely no mistaking that which is found within this portion of Scripture, for in the opening verses we do indeed and do in fact discover that Simon would thrust out a little from the land with Jesus in the midst of his ship as He would not only sit in His presence, but would also hear Him teach. What we must needs recognize and understand is that this would come after Simon had labored and toiled all night in the midst of the sea and had come up empty. Oh I can’t help but wonder what it was like for Simon to labor and toil all night and come up empty—and not only come up empty, but perhaps even be tired and weary after being in the midst of the sea and catching absolutely nothing. Not only this, but Jesus had showed up in the midst of that emptiness, in the midst of that tiredness, in the midst of that weariness, and perhaps even in that place where Simon had resolved to return home to his wife.

            I absolutely love what is found within this portion of Scripture, for what we find here is an incredibly awesome and powerful picture surrounding that which Jesus desires us to experience in the depths of the sea. What’s more, is that within this portion of Scripture—not only do we see a picture and catch a glimpse of that which Jesus desires to do within us in the midst of the sea, but we also see a wonderful and powerful picture of what Jesus desires to do in the midst of the sea. This passage of Scripture would indeed begin and open with Jesus instructing Simon to thrust out a little from the land, for it would be there in the shallow waters Jesus would be able to teach both Simon and the people. This initial instruction would come unto Simon to thrust out a little from the land, for it would be there in the shallow waters where He would experience the presence of Jesus, as well as hear the words of Jesus. It would be there in the midst of the ship not far from the shoreline the people who had gathered themselves together unto Jesus would indeed and would in fact hear the words which Jesus would teach unto them. How incredibly powerful it is to think about and consider the fact that here on the lake of Gennesaret we find Jesus accomplishing two incredibly awesome and powerful realities within the life of Simon—and not only within the life of Simon, but also within the lives of James and John whom Luke refers to as partners together with him in fishing. Just before I get into that which the Lord Jesus Christ desired to do I can’t help but be absolutely gripped and captivated with the fact that Jesus would enter into the lives of these men who were not only brothers, and perhaps not only friends, but also partners together in the work of fishing. It is truly something astonishing and worth thinking about when reading the words found in this portion of Scripture that Jesus would enter into the lives of these men and would radically change and transform them from being fishermen and partners together in such a trade to being disciples and followers of Jesus. What’s more, is that as we can and will later see these men would be transformed even more into mighty apostles of Jesus and men would marvel at their understanding and discernment given that they were not only Galilean, and not only unlearned, but were also fishermen.

            It is truly something worth thinking about and considering when reading the words found in this portion of Scripture that Jesus would initially invite Simon into the shallow waters, for it would be in the shallow waters where Simon would not only experience the presence of Jesus, but where Simon would also hear the words He would teach. It would be there in the shallow waters just off the shoreline this man would experience the presence of Jesus in the midst of his ship—and not only experience the presence of Jesus, but would also experience the words of Jesus. Stop and consider how incredible that which is presented before us in this passage of Scripture truly is, for it calls and draws our attention to the awesome truth that there are times within our lives when Jesus calls and invites us into the place where we thrust out a little from the shore and thrust out a little from the land that we might not only experience His presence, might also experience His words. There is not a doubt in my mind when I read the words found in this portion of Scripture that Jesus invited and instructed Simon to thrust out a little from the shoreline that he might initially experience the presence of Jesus in the midst of his ship, and might even experience the words of Jesus. Oh please make no mistake about it, for there are times within our lives when the person of Jesus Christ can and will invite us to thrust out a little from the shore and to enter into the shallow waters, for it is there in the shallow waters where we are able to experience His presence in our lives. There are times in our lives when Jesus invites and instructs us to thrust out a little from the land and to enter into the shallow waters, for it is there in the shallow waters where we experience His presence within our lives, and experience His words and His voice. With this being, I fully realize and recognize that this might seem like an absolutely insane idea and thought, for there are many who would have a difficult time thinking about and considering the fact that it is in the shallow waters where we experience the presence of Jesus together with His voice and His words. There are those who would think that it’s in the deep waters where we find and experience the presence of Jesus, as well as His voice and His words, however, the truth and underlying reality surrounding this passage is that it is in the shallow waters of the sea where Simon experience the presence of Jesus in the midst of his ship, as well as the words and voice of the Master.

            I am absolutely and completely convinced that when we read the words found in a passage like this we are brought face to face with the truly wonderful and incredible truth that more often than not it is in the shallow waters where we might very well experience the presence of Jesus, and might even experience His words and His voice. There are times within our lives when Jesus needs to bring us off the shoreline and get out off the land and thrust out a little from the shoreline that we might experience His presence, as well as experience His voice and His words. It would be there in the midst of the ship just a little ways off the shoreline where Simon who would later be called Peter would experience the presence of Jesus—and not only experience the presence of Jesus, but would also experience the voice and words of Jesus. With this being said, however, it is absolutely necessary that we recognize and understand that although Simon might have experienced the presence, the voice and the words of Jesus there in the midst of the ship, and there in the midst of the sea, it would truly and ultimately be in the midst of the deep waters where he would experience true transformation within his life. We dare not and must not miss and lose sight of this and how absolutely astonishing it is, for although Simon called Peter would experience the words and presence of Jesus in the shallow waters of the sea, it would be in the depths of the sea where he would ultimately experience transformation. It is true that Simon might very well have experienced the presence and voice of Jesus there in the shallow waters, however, there was something much deeper Jesus wanted to do within the life of Simon beyond just allow him to experience His presence and hear His voice.

            As you sit here and read these words I find it absolutely necessary to call and draw your attention to the incredibly awesome and powerful truth that we might very well experience the presence and the voice of Jesus within our lives in the shallow waters—and such encounters and experiences are indeed wonderful and can be truly amazing—however, that which the living Word desires to do within us is to bring us beyond the shallow waters and into the depths of the sea. It is in the depths of the sea away from the shoreline and away from the crowds of people where we can not only experience the presence of Jesus, but can also experience that intimacy and personal time with Him. Perhaps one of the greatest things surrounding this passage of Scripture is how Simon would have heard the voice of Jesus teaching and speaking the crowds and multitudes which had gathered together to hear and listen to Him speak, and Simon would have even heard the voice of Jesus instructing and inviting him to first thrust out a little from the land, and second to launch out into the deep and let down his nets, and yet there in the midst of the depths of the sea there would be no words which would be spoken by Jesus until after the great catch and multitude of fish had been caught. It’s interesting to read this portion of Scripture and encounter the awesome truth surrounding Jesus instructing Simon to launch out into the deep and to let down his nets for a draught, and although Simon would initially hesitate and resist the request Jesus had made unto him, he would indeed and would in fact launch out into the deep. Oh I can’t help but wonder what it must have been like for Simon to not only launch out into the deep waters of the sea of Gennesaret, but also to let down his net in the midst of the sea. What would go through the mind of Simon—other than the fact that the Lord Jesus had commanded and instructed him to launch out and let down—as he would row the ship out into the midst of the depths of the sea and would let down his nets? I would truly love to know what went through the heart and mind of Simon knowing that he had already labored and toiled all night and had come up empty, and how here was Jesus—a man from Nazareth and a carpenter by trade—who instructed him to launch out into the deep and to let down his net. Oh how truly awesome and powerful it is to think about and consider the fact that Jesus’ first command and instruction given unto Simon would have been to thrust out a little from the land, while the second command and instruction given unto Simon would have been to launch out into the deep.

            Jesus’ first instruction and command given unto Simon was in direct connection to the land, as Jesus would instruct Him to thrust out a little from the land. It would be there in the shallow waters just off the shoreline Jesus would teach the people. It would be there in the shallow waters just off the shoreline Simon who would later be called Peter would experience the presence and voice of Jesus in the midst of His ship. There would indeed be something unique and powerful about thrusting out a little from the shore, for it would be there in the shallow waters Simon would experience the presence and voice of Jesus. Even though Simon would experience the presence and voice of Jesus there in the midst of the shallow waters of the lake of Gennesaret there would be something greater Jesus would desire to do within the life of Simon—something that could not be done, performed or accomplished in the shallow waters of the lake. We would like to think that we can receive everything we desire and everything we can from Jesus in the shallow waters, and yet we must needs realize that there are times in our lives when that which Jesus desires to accomplish within our lives can only be accomplished in the deep waters. This must be carefully considered and examined by all who wish to be disciples and followers of the Lord Jesus Christ, for there are countless men and women who might very well be content remaining in the shallow waters of the lake. There are those among us who might very well be content in the shallow waters of the lakes and seas within their lives because it is there in those shallow waters they are able to experience the presence and voice of Jesus. For some among us—they are entirely and altogether content with remaining in the shallow waters within their lives, for they are content with the presence of Jesus, as well as the voice of Jesus. There are some among us who have absolutely no desire to launch out into the deep, for they are and have been content with dwelling and abiding in the shallow waters. They are content dwelling in the shallow waters in their homes, on their jobs, in their houses of worship, in their secret closets of prayer, and the like, and they have absolutely no desire to launch out into the deep.

            If there is one thing I can’t help but think about and consider when reading the words found in this portion of Scripture it’s that there was something Jesus sought to do within the life of Simon that would and could not be done in the shallow waters of the lake. It was indeed true that there in the shallow waters Simon was able to experience the presence of Jesus, and even experience the voice of Jesus, however, in order for Simon to experience that which Jesus wanted to produce within him he needed to leave the shallow waters of the sea. What’s more, is that Simon had spent all night in the midst of the deep waters letting down his nets and yet had come up empty without catching anything. There was, however, something entirely different about returning into that place of laboring and toiling with the presence and person of Jesus with you. With this being said, however, we must needs realize and understand that it wasn’t Simon who called and invited Jesus to join him out in the midst of the deep waters of the lake, but rather it was Jesus who instructed him to do so. Oh how great and vast is the difference between Simon inviting Jesus into the deep waters and Jesus instructing him to launch out into the deep. The first one of these realities brings us face to face with Simon attempting to bring Jesus into the place of his work and bringing Jesus into the place of his labor and toil where he had come up empty, and quite possibly even seeking to use Jesus to catch a great multitude of fish. The other one of these realities is Jesus Himself instructing Simon to launch out into the deep—instructing Simon to launch out into that place where he had previously labored and toiled, and into that place where he come up empty—in order that He might work and produce something within his life. Not only this, but we must needs realize and understand that what Jesus was in fact doing within the life of Simon was instructing him to return to a place where he had previously labored and toiled and come up empty that He might produce something for him, as well as something within him. For Simon—launching out into the deep wasn’t merely about launching out into the deep waters, but it was also about returning to that same place he had spent the previous night with Jesus present in the midst of the ship together with him.

            I am sitting here today thinking about and considering the words which are found in this portion of Scripture and I can’t help but be absolutely gripped and captivated with the fact that there are times within our lives when launching out into the deep isn’t merely about us moving beyond the shallow waters and even moving beyond the shoreline, but it is about our return to that place—perhaps even those places—where we have previously labored and toiled and come up empty. For Simon who would later be called Peter Jesus’ instruction and command to launch out into the deep was an incredibly powerful command and instruction to return to that place where he had spent the previous night doing what was perhaps the only thing he knew how to do. Jesus’ command and instruction unto Simon to launch out into the deep must be carefully considered and carefully understood, for it calls and forces us into the place where we have labored and toiled and have come up empty. Oh dear brother, oh dear sister—would it shock and surprise you to think about the fact that it is highly likely and very possible for Jesus to instruct us to return to those places where we have labored and toiled and have come up empty, and to do so with His presence with us that He might accomplishing something within us and on our behalf? Would it surprise you to think about and consider the fact that there are men and women who the Lord Jesus Christ is instructing and commanding to launch out into the deep within their own hearts and lives—perhaps even those places of frustration and disappointment—in order that He might accomplish something we might not have even thought was possible? Oh I am absolutely and completely convinced there are times within our hearts and lives when the Lord Jesus Christ can indeed and can in fact call and invite us into the place where we return to those places of laboring and toiling that He might produce something within us and in our presence. What we find within this portion and passage of Scripture is truly awesome and powerful when you take the time to think about it, for it calls and draws our attention to the tremendous truth that Jesus would initially instruct Simon to thrust out a little from the shore that he might experience His presence and hear His voice, while immediately after this Jesus would instruct him to launch out into the deep. It would be there in the midst of the deep Simon called Peter would experience something he did not expect and did not anticipate, and all because he chose to obey the command and instruction of Jesus.

            The words which are found in this portion of Scripture are such which must needs be carefully considered, for they force us into the places of our own disappointments and the places of our own frustrations, and how there are times when the depths and the deep places we have been called to enter into are the very same places. There is not a doubt in my mind that Simon called Peter would have spent a good portion of the night in the deep waters of the lake letting down his nets to hopefully produce a great catch of fish, and yet after laboring and toiling all night he would come up empty. How incredibly profound it is to think about the fact that not only would Jesus show up after Simon had labored and toiled all night, and not only would Jesus show up after Simon had come up empty, but Jesus would also who up after Simon had returned to the shore and began washing his nets. We dare not and must not miss and lose sight of this, for there would be another instance found within the gospels where Jesus would see the disciples together in the midst of the sea laboring and toiling. The difference between this particular event and that which is found in the fifth chapter of the gospel narrative written by Luke is that in the fifth chapter of the gospel of Luke Jesus shows up after the laboring and toiling had come to an end, while Jesus would show up in the midst of the laboring and toiling—and not only in the midst of the laboring and toiling, but also in the midst of the storm. Oh I am absolutely convinced we have a great need to recognize and pay attention to this particular truth, for there are times within our lives when Jesus shows up after the laboring and toiling has indeed finished and been completed, and it’s in that place He instructs us to launch out into the deep—quite possibly return to the very place we had previously labored and toiled. There are, however, other times when the Lord Jesus Christ shows up within our lives in the midst of the laboring and toiling—and not only shows up in the midst of the laboring and toiling, but also shows up walking on the water and walking in the midst of the storm we have found ourselves facing. With this being said, I am absolutely and completely convinced we must consider the words which Jesus spoke unto all those who had gathered themselves before, around and unto Him concerning their labor and toil—and not only their labor and toil, but also the rest He came to provide them with. Consider if you will the following words which are found in the eleventh chapter of the New Testament gospel narrative written by the apostle Matthew in the final verses of the chapter:

            “At that time Jesus answered and said, I thank thee, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because thou hast hid these things from the wise and prudent, and hast revealed them unto babes. Even so, Father: for so it seemed good in thy sight. All things are delivered unto me of my Father: and no man knoweth the Son, but the Father; neither knoweth any man the Father, save the Son, and he to whomsoever the Son will reveal him. Come unto me, ALL YE THAT LABOUR AND ARE HEAVY LADEN, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light” (Matthew 11:25-30).

            Pause and consider the language and words Jesus used in this particular portion of Scripture, for within this passage of Scripture Jesus would speak directly those who labor and have labored, as well unto those who were heavy laden and burdened. Moreover, I would dare say that within this portion of Scripture Jesus was also speaking unto those who were tired, those who were weary, those who were worn out, and those who were burdened with the cares of this life. We know that one of the curses pronounced in the garden of Eden after Adam and Eve had sinned and transgressed against the command of the Lord was not only cursing the ground, but also increasing the labor and toil which man would need to engage in to provide for themselves and for others. As early as the garden of Eden we read of this concept of laboring and toiling that would need to be engaged in within the earth, and when we come to the gospel narratives written by the gospel authors we not only find Simon having labored and toiled all night and catching nothing, but we also find the disciples together as a whole laboring and toiling in the midst of a storm against the wind for it was contrary to them. Oh it is truly something worth thinking about and considering when we read the words found in these passages of Scripture, for they reveal something truly awesome and powerful concerning the Lord Jesus Christ and how He can either show up after the laboring and toiling has already been finished and completed, or He can show up in the midst of the laboring and toiling as we found ourselves struggling in the midst of the storm against the wind and against the waves. In the narrative and account that is found in the New Testament gospel narrative written by Luke, and in the fifth chapter we find it written how Jesus would show up the following day as Simon was cleaning his nets—and not only cleaning his nets, but also after Simon had labored and toiled all night. Oh how awesome it is to think about the fact that when Simon was perhaps in the midst of the sea during the night without the person and presence of Jesus in the midst of the ship with him it was indeed labor and toil, however, once he launched out to the deep with Jesus now in the midst of the ship with him he would be brought into the place of the miraculous rather than laboring and toiling. What a tremendous thought it is to think about and consider the fact that the previous night Simon would have engaged in laboring and toiling in the midst of the lake and come up empty, however, on this particular day Simon would launch out into the deep and would not only experience the presence of Jesus there in the midst of the sea, but would also experience the miraculous.

            If there is one thing we must needs realize, recognize and understand concerning this particular passage and narrative it’s that Simon would experience the miraculous in perhaps the very same place he had previously labored and toiled. Within this passage we see an incredibly powerful transition from that which was indeed and was in fact laboring and toiling to that which the miraculous. We dare not and must not miss and lose sight of this, for within this portion of Scripture we find Jesus bringing Simon from the place of laboring and toiling into the place of the miraculous. This is something we have a great need to recognize and pay close and careful attention to, for it calls and draws our attention to the truly awesome and powerful truth concerning the need to bring us from and out of the place of laboring and toiling and into the place of the miraculous. It is something worth thinking about and considering when reading the words found in this portion of Scripture, for the words we find here provide us with a powerful picture of that which the living Word desired to produce within the heart and life of Simon who would later be called Peter. It was indeed true Simon would experience the person and presence of Jesus in the midst of the shallow waters, and would even experience His voice and His words in that place, however, there was something Jesus wanted to do within his life that would and could not be experienced apart from and outside of the shallow waters. It would have been very easy for Jesus to conclude His teaching and speaking unto the people and not only sent them unto their homes, but also allowed Simon to finish washing and mending his nets. Instead of doing this, however, Jesus would instruct Simon to launch out into the deep and to let down his net to catch a draught. What makes this truly amazing is that not only did Jesus instruct Simon to launch out into the deep, and not only did Jesus instruct Simon to let down his nets, but Jesus also told and informed him of what would happen. It would have been one thing for Jesus to simply instruct Simon to launch out into the deep and to let down his nets, however, it would have been something else entirely different for Jesus to at the same time reveal unto Simon what would take place. Jesus didn’t merely instruct Simon to launch out and let down, but Jesus also prepared Simon for what would be experienced there in the midst of the deep waters and in the depths of the sea.

            Perhaps one of the greatest questions we must needs ask ourselves when reading the words found in this portion of Scripture is whether or not we are those who are content remaining in the shallow waters—even though being in the shallow waters might very well be where we experience the presence and voice of Jesus. I can’t help but find within this passage of Scripture an incredibly powerful and awesome truth surrounding Jesus’ invitation, command and instruction to move beyond and move past the shallow waters of the lake—even though it would be there in the shallow waters where His voice and presence would be manifested. There was something present in the midst of the deep waters which would and could not be experienced there in the shallow waters and close to the shoreline. It would be there in the depths of the sea where the presence of Jesus would transcend simply hearing His voice and hearing Him teach to actually experiencing the miraculous and supernatural. If there is one thing I truly love about the words found in this portion of Scripture it’s that Jesus would invite Simon into the deep waters and into the depths of the sea, for it would be there in the midst of the sea Jesus would perform something supernatural and miraculous within his life. It would be there in the midst of the depths of the sea away from the shoreline and away from the crowds of people where Jesus would and could be alone with Simon and manifest His power and His authority. What we must needs realize and understand is that when reading the words found in this portion of Scripture that which Jesus performed and wrought within the life of Simon could not be performed in the shallow waters close to the shoreline. Even though Simon would indeed and would in fact be in the presence of Jesus and hearing His voice there in the midst of the shallow waters there was something deeper Jesus wanted to do within the life of Simon. Oh we dare not and must not miss and lose sight of this, for it calls and draws our attention to the fact that it is more often than not in the deep places were are willing to journey to where Jesus can minister unto and within the deep places within our own hearts and lives. What’s more, is that we must needs recognize and understand that it’s in the deep places where the Lord Jesus Christ can indeed and can in fact produce something supernatural and miraculous within our lives—something that cannot at all be manifested within the shallow waters close to the shoreline.

            It is absolutely necessary that we pay close attention to the words found in the opening verses of the fifth chapter, for the words presented before and unto us here draw and call our attention to the wonderful and powerful truth surrounding Jesus’ invitation and instruction given unto us to journey with Him into the deep places. It is truly something worth focusing on that Jesus didn’t merely instruct Simon to launch out into the deep and to let down his nets without also being present in the midst of the ship with him. If and as you read the words found within this portion of Scripture you will be brought face to face with the truth that Jesus was indeed and was in fact willing to go out into the depths of the sea with Simon, and did not send him into the depths alone. IN THE DEPTHS WITH JESUS! LAUNCHING OUT INTO THE DEPTHS WITH JESUS! LETTING DOWN YOUR NETS WITH JESUS! What truly and utterly fascinates me about the words which are found in this portion of Scripture is when you think about how Jesus did more for Simon than merely instruct him to launch out into the deep and let down his nets without and apart His presence in the midst of the ship with him. It would be there in the depts of the sea with Jesus still in the midst of the ship there in the middle of the sea that Jesus would be present with Simon called Peter, and would watch as He let down his nets. Oh I can’t help but wonder what it was like for Jesus as He watched Simon not only launch out into the deep places within the sea, but also as He watched Simon let down his nets there in the waters. Scripture provides us with no other description of what took place there in the midst of the depths of the sea, and we aren’t even aware of how much time elapsed between the time Simon let down his nets and the time they inclosed a great multitude of fishes. WHEN NETS BEGIN TO BREAK AND BOATS BEGIN TO SINK! What we do know from reading the words which are found in this portion of Scripture is that here in the depths of the sea we find Simon and those who were with him inclosing a great number and multitude of fish, and so much so that the nets themselves began breaking and the boats began sinking. It would be as Simon would see and witness the great multitude of fish that would be inclosed in the nets, and as the nets began to break that he would beckon for help and assistance from his partners who would also come to their aid to help with the great catch of fish.

            The words which are found within this portion of Scripture are an incredibly powerful picture of that which Jesus invites us to experience within our hearts and lives when we are willing to obey His command and instruction to launch out and let down. If there is one thing we must needs realize and understand it’s that it wasn’t enough merely to launch out into the deep, but Simon and those who were with him needed to also let down the nets. It would be as a direct result of their letting down the nets that the supernatural would and could in fact take place there in the depths of the sea. With this being said it is absolutely necessary that we recognize and understand that we have all been given a ship and we have all been given nets which the Lord Jesus Christ will call us to use to launch out into the deep and let down in order that the supernatural might be manifested within our hearts and lives. What’s more, is that as you read the words found in this portion of Scripture you will be brought face to face with the awesome and powerful truth that it was in the context of launching out and letting down that Simon would experience broken nets and sinking ships. It would be in the context of broken nets and sinking ships that Simon would encounter and experience the holiness, the purity and the righteousness of Jesus and would in fact fall down at the knees of Jesus and would ask him to depart from him, for he was a sinful man. Oh stop and think about that which is found in this portion and passage of Scripture for I am absolutely and completely convinced that what Jesus was truly after there in the midst of the depths of the sea was the humility and surrender of Simon. It would be there in the midst of the depths of the sea Simon would realize and recognize his own sinfulness in the presence of the holy and righteous Jesus. It is this particular reality where we must encounter the same reality within our hearts and lives as we come face to face with our own sinfulness in the presence of the holy and righteous person of Jesus the Christ. It is this reality which was also manifested in the life of Isaiah the ancient Hebrew prophet in the year in which king Uzziah died. Consider if you will the following words which are found in the sixth chapter of the Old Testament prophetic book of Isaiah beginning to read with and from the first and opening verse:

            “In the year that king Uzziah died I saw also the LORD sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up, and his train filled the temple. Above it stood the seraphims: each one had six wings; with twain he covered his face, and with twain he covered his feet, and with twain he did fly. And one cried unto another, and said, Holy, holy, holy, is the LORD of hosts: the whole earth is full of his glory. And the posts of the door moved at the voice of him that cried, and the house was filled with smoke. Then said I, Woe is me! For I am undone; because I am a man of unclean lips, and I will in the midst of a people of unclean lips: for mine eyes have seen the King, the LORD of hosts. Then flew one of the seraphims unto me, having a live coal in his hand, which he had taken with the tongs from the off the altar: and he laid it upon my mouth, and said, Lo, this hath touched thy lips; and thine iniquity is taken away, and thy sin purged. Also I heard the voice of the LORD, saying, Whom shall I send, and who will go for us? Then said I, Here am I; send me” (Isaiah 6:1-8).

            Oh that we would realize, recognize and understand that which is found within this portion and passage of Scripture, for what we find here is an incredibly awesome and powerful picture of a work which needs to be done in the midst of the depths of the sea. There is not a doubt in my mind that it was there in the midst of the depths of the sea where Jesus could fully and completely perform a work within the heart and life of Simon called Peter. It would be there in the midst of the depths of the sea where the Lord Jesus Christ could indeed and could in fact perform divine surgery upon and within the life of Simon Peter, thus bringing him face to face with his own sinfulness and his own humanity. It would be there in the depths of the sea Simon called Peter would indeed and would in fact experience the holiness of Jesus, and that holiness would expose the sinfulness which was present within his own heart and life. Please do not miss and lose sight of how absolutely necessary and vital this is within our own hearts and lives, for it calls and draws our attention to the fact that it is in the depths of the sea and in the deep places the LORD brings us to where He is able to go into the deep places within our hearts and lives. I am absolutely convinced that more than just a great multitude of fish being brought forth from the depths of the sea there was a great multitude of thoughts, feelings, emotions, and the like which was brought forth from the depths of the heart and soul of Simon who was called Peter. We must needs realize and recognize that it is in those deep places within our hearts and lives where we encounter and come face to face with the fact that more than drawing a great multitude of fish from the depths of the sea the Lord Jesus Christ desires to draw forth those things within the depths of our heart and the depths of our soul. We have a great need to recognize and understand the powerful truth that the living and eternal Christ earnestly and desperately desires to draw forth from the depths of our heart and from the depths of our soul all those things which need to be changed and transformed in His sight and in His presence. Let us truly recognize and understand that it would be there in the depths of the sea Jesus would do more than bring forth a great multitude of fish from the depths of the sea, but Jesus would also draw those things from within the depths of the heart and soul of Simon Peter. It was from that place where Jesus drew those things within the depths of the heart and soul of Simon that he was able to cry out in the presence of Jesus and ask Him to depart from him for he was a sinful man.

            As I prepare to bring this writing to a close it is absolutely necessary that we call and draw our attention to what we find in the rest of this chapter, for as you continue reading the words found in this chapter you will find that the very next thing Jesus would encounter and experience would be a man who was full of leprosy. This man who was full of leprosy would fall upon his face and beseech Jesus emphatically declaring and proclaiming that if Jesus was willing He would make Him clean. If there is one thing I absolutely love about the words found in this portion of Scripture it’s that not only was Jesus willing to cleanse this particular leper of his leprosy, but Jesus was also willing to stretch forth His hand and touch him. Jesus was more than willing to stretch forth His hand and cleanse this man, but Jesus was willing to give unto this man his life back. What’s more, is that Jesus was willing to make this man clean according to the Law of the LORD which was given through and unto Moses. In the previous portion we find Jesus bringing Simon called Peter into the place where he would see his own sinfulness and would see his own depravity, and it would be in that place Jesus would invite Simon beyond the place of thrusting out a little from the land, beyond the place of launching out into the deep, and beyond the place of letting down his net, and would bring him into the place where he would become a fisher of men. What’s more, is that Jesus would bring Simon into the place where He would walk with and follow Him as Simon would become a wonderful and powerful disciple and apostle of the Lord Jesus Christ. We must needs realize and understand this, for immediately after this Jesus would touch one whose physical body was full of leprosy, thus driving out the leprosy from within his physical body. Oh we dare not and must not miss and lose sight of how absolutely incredible this truly is, for not only was Jesus willing to make this man clean, and not only was Jesus willing to make this man clean according to the Law of the Lord given unto Moses, but Jesus was also willing to stretch forth his hand that he might touch this man. What’s more, is that within the life of this leper—not only do we see the touch of Jesus, but we also see the command and authority that was found in the word of Jesus as He would command the man to be clean.

            What we find within this portion of Scripture is and incredibly powerful truth, for not only do we find the touch of Jesus, but we also find the command of Jesus. Moreover, when we find Jesus speaking unto this man we don’t find Him speaking to the leprosy, but we find Jesus speaking to the man as He commanded Him to be clean. Oh that we would recognize and understand this particular truth, for it calls and draws our attention to the wonderful and beautiful truth that Jesus was indeed and was in fact willing to bring healing, wholeness and cleansing into the life of this man. It would be in the process of providing healing, cleansing and wholeness within the life of this man Jesus would indeed give him his life back and would essentially reintroduce him to society. From this moment in this man would never be the same, for no longer would he have to journey through society crying out how he was unclean. What we find in this particular portion of Scripture is an awesome and powerful truth of Jesus giving this man his life back as He would reintroduce and present him as a clean and whole man. It would be in the presence of Jesus this man would find and experience cleansing, healing and wholeness, and it would be in the presence of Jesus this man would be entirely, fully and completely healed and cleansed of the leprosy that had plagued and wreaked havoc upon his physical body. In addition to this, we must needs recognize what’s found in this portion and passage of Scripture, for after Jesus would heal and cleanse this man the fame concerning Him would be spread abroad—and so much so that great multitudes would come together to hear, and to be healed by Him of their infirmities. How absolutely wonderful awesome and powerful the words and language is within this portion of Scripture, for it calls and draws our attention to the wonderful and powerful truth that a fame would begin to spread throughout Galilee and throughout the surrounding regions. It would be this fame and this report concerning Jesus that would cause countless men and women to come unto Him that He might heal and cleanse them and that He might bring deliverance into their hearts and lives.

The question I would like to leave you who might be reading the words which are found in this portion and passage of Scripture is whether or not you are one such individual who is willing to hear the voice of the Lord Jesus Christ instructing you to launch out into the deep and to let down your nets. Are you one who recognizes that the Lord Jesus Christ is calling you to leave and depart from the shallow places within your life that you might be brought into the deep places that the Lord Jesus might extract, draw out and bring forth those things which are and which have been present within the depths of your heart and soul? Are you willing to move beyond the shallow waters, and beyond mere experiences with the presence and voice of Jesus that you might encounter and come face to face with your own sinfulness, your own humanity, and your own frailty. I firmly believe we as the people of God are being and have been called into the place where we are willing to take our ships and our nets into the deep places, for it’s in the deep places where we are truly able to experience the holiness, the righteousness, the purity and the awesome wonder and power of the Lord Jesus Christ. Moreover, we must needs realize and understand the truth that what is found in this portion of Scripture brings us face to face with Simon called Peter, James and John departing from those ships which began to sink, and even those nets which began to break. Simon, James and John would not only leave the great multitude of fish which had been brought up from the depths of the sea, but they would also leave the ships they had used to bring that great catch of fish that they might walk with and follow the Lord Jesus Christ. Oh that we would truly recognize and pay close attention to the words which are found in this portion of Scripture and that we would be brought face to face with the truly wonderful invitation being given unto us inviting us into the place where we are willing to depart from the shallow waters of our lives and launch out into the deep places—even those deep places of frustration, disappointment, labor and toil—that we might experience the truly awesome and powerful presence of the Lord Jesus Christ. Oh that we would make the conscious and deliberate decision within our hearts and our lives to launch out into the deep—and not only to launch out into the deep, but also let down out nets—for it’s in the letting down of our nets that Jesus does indeed and does in fact let down His own net within our hearts and souls that He might draw out and draw forth those things which need to be completely and utterly transformed. Let us this day be a people who are willing to launch out into the deep and let down our nets that in the process of our obedience to the command and instruction of Jesus we might indeed experience the tremendous work of the Holy Spirit within our lives in extracting all those things which are displeasing in the sight of God and those things which are displeasing that we might be brought into the place where we become disciples and followers of Jesus Christ.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s