A Fisherman Meets Jesus
By Brent Lanigan
In this 5 part series, we are discovering stories about Jesus that show how he calmed people’s fears. Last week, we learned about how a man named Jairus was afraid because a bad thing had happened. Here is today’s story, Part 3.
Key Verse: John 14:27b: “So don’t let your hearts be troubled. Don’t be afraid.”
“One day Jesus was standing beside Lake Galilee. Many people were all around him. They wanted to hear Jesus speak. Jesus saw two boats at the shore of the lake. Jesus got into one of the boats, the one which belonged to Simon, a fisherman. Jesus asked Simon to push off a little from the land. Then Jesus sat down in the boat and taught the people who were listening on the shore. When Jesus had finished speaking, he said to Simon ‘Take the boat into deep water. If you will put your nets in the water, you will catch some fish.’ Simon answered, ‘Master, we worked hard all night trying to catch fish, but we caught nothing. But you say to put the nets in the water, so I will.’
The fishermen did as Jesus told them. And they caught so many fish that the nets began to break. They called to their friends in the other boat to come and help them. Both boats were filled so full that they were almost sinking. The fishermen were all amazed at the many fish they caught.
When Simon saw what had happened, he bowed down before Jesus and said, ‘Go away from me, Lord. I am a sinful man!’ James and John, Simon’s fishing partners, were amazed too. Jesus said to Simon, ‘Don’t be afraid. From now on you will be fishermen for men.’ When Simon, James and John brought their boats to the shore, they left everything and followed Jesus.
This story about Jesus is interesting because it shows Jesus choosing his first disciples: some fishermen. Isn’t it interesting that Jesus chose fishermen to be his first disciples? Jesus didn’t choose rich men or popular men, he chose men who worked with stinky fish!
The Bible says that one of the fishermen, a man named Simon, told Jesus to get away from him. Why would Simon say that? You see, Simon was afraid. His heart was troubled. He had never met anyone like Jesus. And when he saw Jesus do a great miracle and give the fishermen a net full of fish, he realized that this man Jesus was someone full of God’s power. And that made Simon fearful because it reminded him of how much of a sinner he was. But what did Jesus say to Simon? “Don’t be afraid”. And in that moment, a peace came over Simon because he realized how much Jesus loved him and did not see him as a bad sinner.
Like Simon, some people are afraid because their hearts are troubled. They think they are bad sinners and Jesus could never love them. But Jesus does not see people that way. He loves everyone equally no matter how bad of a sinner they think they are. Jesus brings us his love and peace so that we don’t have to feel afraid of our sin or have our hearts troubled. How do we know this? Well, here is what Jesus says in John 14:27b: “Don’t let your hearts be troubled. Don’t be afraid.” Isn’t that a wonderful promise from Jesus?
Thank you God that we don’t have to be afraid of Jesus because he loves us so much.