Peter’s Obedience

Luke 5: 1-11
1 Cor 3:18-23 / Psa 24

Do not be afraid; from now on you will be catching men.
(Luke 5:10)

Woe to those who do not listen,
But worse for those who don’t obey
All the laws that Christ has given,
Alas, they’ll never find the Way.

One day as Jesus was standing by the Lake of Gennesaret, with the people crowding around Him and listening to the word of God, He saw at the water’s edge two boats, left there by the fishermen, who were washing their nets. He got into one of the boats, the one belonging to Simon, and asked him to put out a little from shore. Then He sat down and taught the people from the boat. When He had finished speaking, He said to Simon, “Put out into deep water, and let down the nets for a catch.” Simon answered, “Master, we’ve worked hard all night and haven’t caught anything. But because you say so, I will let down the nets.” When they had done so, they caught such a large number of fish that their nets began to break. So they signaled their partners in the other boat to come and help them, and they came and filled both boats so full that they began to sink. When Simon Peter saw this, he fell at Jesus’ knees and said, “Go away from me, Lord; I am a sinful man!” For he and all his companions were astonished at the catch of fish they had taken, and so were James and John, the sons of Zebedee, Simon’s partners. Then Jesus said to Simon, “Do not be afraid; from now on you will be catching men.” So they pulled their boats up on shore, left everything and followed Him. (Luke 5: 1-11)

Reflection

This fishing expedition by the sea of Galilee which brought in such a large number of fish happened after Jesus had preached to the multitude of people gathered at the shores of Gennesaret. As Jesus had predicted, Simon Peter would also be “catching” a great number of converts to the early Church after he preached the Word of God at Pentecost. They accepted his message, were baptized, and “about three thousand persons were added that day” (Acts 3:41).

We can see that aside from Jesus, the other main character in this story is Simon Peter, whose boat Jesus chose as a pulpit to teach the people on the shore. St. Luke gives us a vivid picture of the man’s character – outspoken, and yet humble, and most important of all, obedient. He did not hesitate to do as Jesus instructed, even though as an experienced fisherman, he knew that if they had not caught anything all night, it was virtually impossible to catch anything in the daytime. Because of his obedience he and his companions received the gift of faith, which enabled them to leave their livelihood, and begin a new life with their Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.

The Book of Deuteronomy enumerates God’s numerous blessings to those who follow His will, and are obedient to His decrees. Here are some selected verses: “If you fully obey the LORD your God and carefully follow all his commands… You will be blessed in the city and blessed in the country… The Lord will send a blessing on your barns and on everything you put your hand to. The LORD your God will bless you in the land he is giving you. He will establish you as His holy people, as He promised you on oath, if you… walk in his ways. Then all the peoples on earth will see that you are called by the name of the LORD… The Lord will make you the head, not the tail… you will always be at the top, never at the bottom” (Deut 28:1,3,8-10,13). Let us never hesitate to obey when we hear His call, and like St. Peter, we may experience the wonders we have never seen in our life before.

Father God, we submit everything in our life to You, because You are all-knowing and all-loving; You know best what is best for us, and we will never go wrong if we only obey all Your commandments. As Jesus has taught us, obedience is our salvation, and in His word we have come to believe. Amen.

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