Why Drop Everything?

When he had finished speaking, he said to Simon, “Now go out where it is deeper, and let down your nets to catch some fish.”

“Master,” Simon replied, “we worked hard all last night and didn’t catch a thing. But if you say so, I’ll let the nets down again.” And this time their nets were so full of fish they began to tear! A shout for help brought their partners in the other boat, and soon both boats were filled with fish and on the verge of sinking.

When Simon Peter realized what had happened, he fell to his knees before Jesus and said, “Oh, Lord, please leave me—I’m such a sinful man.” For he was awestruck by the number of fish they had caught, as were the others with him. His partners, James and John, the sons of Zebedee, were also amazed.

Jesus replied to Simon, “Don’t be afraid! From now on you’ll be fishing for people!” And as soon as they landed, they left everything and followed Jesus. (Luke 5:4–11)

Why should we be willing to drop everything and follow Jesus Christ? And what happens when we do? I can think of at least six reasons:

  1. Jesus chooses not to minister to others all alone. He could, but he deliberately chooses not to. He could have rowed that boat Himself. He could have dropped those nets over the side Himself. He certainly could have pulled up the nets choked with fish. Instead, He had the disciples do it. And He specifically stated, "From now on you will be catching men."
  2. Jesus uses the familiar to do the incredible. He came to their turf (lake, boat), their place of work (fishing), and had them use their skills (nets). In a familiar setting, He made them aware of incredible possibilities.
  3. Jesus moves us from the safety of the seen to the risks of the unseen. He led them "out into the deep water" where nobody could touch bottom before He commanded, "Let down your nets." Nothing spectacular occurs in shallow water.
  4. Jesus proves the potential by breaking our nets and filling our boats. When God's hand is on a situation, nets break, eyes bulge, deck planks groan, and boats almost sink. It's His way of putting the potential on display.
  5. Jesus conceals His surprises until we follow His leading. Everything was business as usual on the surface. Boats didn't have a halo; nets didn't tingle at their touch; the lake water didn't glow; a chorus of angelic voices didn't thunder from the sky. No. The divinely arranged surprise came only after they dropped the nets. Remember, it wasn't until he followed Jesus' instructions that Peter changed "Master" to "Lord."
  6. Jesus reveals His objective to those who release their security. He could read their willingness in their faces. Then—and only then—did He tell them they would be engaged in "catching men." And guess what—they jumped at the chance!

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Taken from Day by Day with Charles Swindoll by Charles R. Swindoll. Copyright © 2000 by Charles R. Swindoll, Inc. Used by permission of Thomas Nelson. www.thomasnelson.com

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