I wonder if Peter had any inkling just how much his life would change when he met the Messiah. I wonder if he knew just how many times his strength, his faith, his obedience would be tested.
The very first time they met, Jesus gave him a new name. A new definition of who he would become - a foreshadowing, if you will, of just how Peter would change. Simon became Peter - the rock. But it didn't happen right away. Just like most of us, Peter didn't always learn things right away - but one night he quickly learned the lesson of obedience, faith, and confession. He also learned just how abundantly Jesus would provide for him in return.
In Luke 5, Jesus is on the shore of lake Gennesaret and there is a very large crowd gathered there. They wanted to hear him speak on the Word of God. Jesus notices Peter his boat...cleaning up after a fruitless night of fishing. I can imagine that Peter is tired, worn, discouraged and ready to get away from that boat and go home to rest. Can you? He's probably thinking of a bit of a meal...some fresh bread, a little wine, some fruit. But wait, what's that?
Jesus has walked up to his boat, and gesturing at the crowd, he climbs right in and asks Peter if he could take him out on the water so he could talk to the people. No telling how long Jesus spoke while Peter sits and waits...and then, THEN, when he finishes, Jesus tells him to do one more thing.
When He had finished speaking, He said to Simon, “Put out into the deep water and let down your nets for a catch.” (Luke 5:4, NASB)
Say what, now? But Jesus, we fished all night...for nothing! Peter's voice has to be just a bit incredulous...kind of "are you kidding me?" But he must have seen something on Jesus' face...something in his eyes...his demeanor, because Peter turns right around and says, " but I will do as you say, and I will put down the nets." That's obedience. That's faith. Somehow Peter knows this man wouldn't be making a fool out of him. Somehow Peter sees that this man he just met is a man of integrity, a man worthy of trust.
And so those nets go in the water, and next thing Peter knows...they are filled to overflowing. They are so full, Peter has to call for help to pull them up. Those fish fill not just Peter's boat, but a second one as well - to the point that they are beginning to sink as they carry the load back to shore.
Abundant. Overflowing. Gifts of grace. Peter obeyed, Jesus graced. Peter had faith, and Jesus did not disappoint. What can we learn from Peter? What areas in our lives are not being led by obedience? Where is our faith faltering? Are we willing to trust Jesus, even when the odds are against us?
Try putting your nets out in obedience...in faith...and see where God takes you next....