6 And when they had this done, they inclosed a great multitude of fishes: and their net brake. 7 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. 8 When Simon Peter saw it, he fell down at Jesus’ knees, saying, Depart from me; for I am a sinful man, O Lord. 9 For he was astonished, and all that were with him, at the draught of the fishes which they had taken: 10 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. 11 And when they had brought their ships to land, they forsook all, and followed him. (Luke 5:6-11)
The Greater Work
Just before this section of scripture Simon had already worked all night without catching any fish, and then after graciously assisting Jesus with the use of his boat Jesus told Simon where he could find a huge catch of fish. This story is often repeated, preached upon, and taught from the perspective of this large catch. If we are not careful we will miss the greater work that is accomplished in this story. If you made your living as a fisherman would you not have asked Jesus to teach you how to know where the fish were? Would you not have offered Jesus a job, and told this homeless teacher that you could make Him a rich man?
The Unusual Response
Simon’s response to Jesus was very unusual. In fact, Simon told Jesus to go away from him. Some people may have thought to themselves, “Look what a good person I am! I let Jesus use my boat, and now he has rewarded my good act with a huge catch of fish.” Instead of boasting in his good works Simon fell at the feet of Jesus, and confessed that he was a sinner that was unworthy of being in Jesus presence. Do you think that God still does the impossible in people’s lives so that they will recognize Him, only to have them pat themselves on the back, and ignore what He has accomplished?
The Common Calling
After Simon recognizes the Lordship of Jesus and confesses that he is a sinner, Jesus calls Simon to be a fisher of men. Simon then forsakes it all, and follows Jesus. Imagine if God allowed you to have the most profitable day that you have ever had, and on that same day He ask you to leave it all behind. Would you be willing to do that? When we recognize that the worldly blessings are God’s way of pointing us towards Himself, and realize our unworthiness of His blessings, confess our sins, and confess that He is Lord then we will be willing to become fishers of men. God may want you to remain in your vocation, but He also wants you to go from being a mechanic of automobiles to a mechanic of relationships between men and God, a doctor of medicine to a doctor of sin as you share the gospel.
You can spend your whole life thinking that you are the one who brings in the big catches in whatever field you work in, but in the end you will only regret having stored up treasure on earth, and not in heaven.