I’ve read the story of Jesus calling the first disciples many times in my life. I’ve preached on it a good many times in my ministry. It’s a story that I feel like I know pretty well. It reads in Luke 5: 8-11 like this:
But 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 and all who were with him were astonished at the catch of fish that they had taken, and so also were James and John, sons of Zebedee, who were partners with Simon. And Jesus said to Simon, “Do not be afraid; from now on you will be catching men.” And when they had brought their boats to land, they left everything and followed him.
So, when I started reading today’s passage, I thought, well, I wonder what’s there. I’ve read it so many times, I just don’t know what’s there this morning to reflect on and share. And then I read verse 10 again.
And Jesus said to Simon, “Do not be afraid; from now on you will be catching men.”
Peter realizes who Jesus is, and his immediate response it to say – I am sinful and not worthy of being in presence. Just like Isaiah in Isaiah 6, when Peter has an encounter with the Holy, he realizes how unworthy he is.
Jesus then calls the disciples to follow Him. But before He calls them to go and catch men, He says this – do no be afraid.
Do not be afraid. What a message we need to hear. These disciples were beginning to head out on a journey that would take them far from home. They would see things that they never thought they would have ever seen. They would experience things that many of them would have never through possible. They were literally going to do the impossible.
And I’m sure if they realized on the front end all they were going to do, they’d have been terrified.
So, Jesus says, don’t be afraid.
I don’t know what your day holds. I don’t know what your life holds. I don’t know what challenges await you. I don’t know what all callings Jesus has on your life. I don’t know what the future will be.
I know that there will be joy and pain, laughter and tears, challenges and triumphs. And I know in all things, today, tomorrow, and always this message we hear today rings true.
Do not be afraid. God is with Jesus. He never leaves us. He is with us. He calls us, He loves us, He cares for us.
Do not be afraid. You are His beloved child. He will neve leave your side. You have nothing to fear. Today, or any day.
Do no be afraid.