Beth Moore — The Calling
I want you to see with me, Luke 5. I’d like to read verses one through eleven with you.
Lord, let this word fall fresh on us. If all scripture is God-breathed and every breath of God is fresh then this can fall fresh upon us today.
“On one occasion while the crowd was pressing on him”
And that him is Jesus Christ.
“to hear the word of God. ….
What kind of man is it that can cause you to leave everything you have known and follow him? That is the call of someone, I pray, we’re going to hear from this very day and this very series.
I saw a cartoon within just the last couple of days, a kind of a typical looking picture that you might have seen in Sunday School had you been raised in those little baby bear chairs where Jesus is talking to a more present looking, present clothed individual, Jesus being in his robes. And then the present day individual sitting there in what may have been a suit or in this case, it was just like a golf shirt and jeans.
So he’s sitting beside this one on a bench and underneath it the caption says, “No, I’m not talking about twitter. I literally want you to follow me!”
Because it’s just like a whole new day.
I wonder what my grandmother would have thought if I’d have said that I’d been twitting all day. I have no idea that she might have taken me to the doctor after a day full of tweeting.
But it’s a whole new day of what it means to follow someone. But Jesus really means, “Come alongside me and follow me.”
We’re going to make three points together in this present series as we look as this side of the canon on this concept we call the net. And the first one is this: number one, the gospel casts a new kind of net. The gospel casts a new kind of net.
All of the sudden a net is not something to be feared, it’s a place to encounter the living Lord Jesus Christ.
I want you notice something. Go back into the scriptures with me where in Luke chapter 5, look at about verses three and four and I want you to notice something. Notice that it said that there was a great crowd pressing in. That’s in verse one.
He sees two boats by the lake. The fishermen had gotten out of them and were washing their nets. Getting into one of the boats, which was Simon’s, he asked him to put out a little from the land, and he sat down and he taught the people from the boats.
So we already know from verse one that it is a crowd of people. Such a crowd of people that they’re pressing in. Then, by the time we get to verse three we find that he is now gotten in a boat, pulled out a little bit so that he can have that amplifying effect of speaking, letting the wind be in his favor and take the voice up through that crowd.
It is also to step him back from them just a little way so that he can actually talk to them. So, we have this setup here but something wonderful happens between three and four. He’s been talking to the people, we know they’re a crowd, and suddenly, it says, “And when he had finished speaking, he said to Simon, ‘Put out into the deep and let down your nets for a catch.”
Suddenly we go from the crowd to one person and I am praying that for somebody here and somebody on the other side of that screen that that is exactly what is going to happen in this series. We can be surrounded by people when we hear a message, whether it’s on Sunday mornings at our different churches, whether it’s at a Bible conference, where ever it might be, we can be so surrounded by people that we can hear a word and wonder if it even applies to us.
You could even find yourself, if you’re like me, especially if I’m just sort of out of sorts with my husband, I will apply an entire sermon to my husband. Anybody know what I'm talking about? And he won’t even be there and I’ll just be ticked that he’s not there. Anybody know what I'm talking about? Or, I’ll just wonder and kind of cut my eyes, if he’s with me, I’ll kind of cut my eyes to see if he’s listening because he needs that! That word was for him!
We just get caught up in who’s around us but if we would come before the word of God and just like let it be, just me and him. Let it be through this series. I wonder if you would let him confirm his call on your sweet life. That he wants to call your name, that this is about you and the Lord Jesus Christ. Let everything else go!
Listen, he knows our hearts toward our families. He knows our hearts toward our spouses, if we’re married. He knows what we want for our children. For just a little while let’s let every other request, just pause a moment, let that -- just push hold, just for a moment. He knows! He knows!
But how about we let him do something just in us alone. Me, with Jesus. You, with Jesus. Why don’t we let the rest of the crowd go and let it just be us.
I’ve often asked, if I’m in an arena speaking, I love to ask the crowd, “Who came all by themselves?” And it will always be the wildest thing to me and it may be in the midst of hundreds of people that may be just three or four will hold up their hands somewhere out in the audience. And you know what? I always know they’re going to get a word.
I know every time they’re going to. Because without any company whatsoever, just desperate for God to speak, they came by themselves and I always know. I’ll see someone up in the rafters just praising God, hands straight in the air and I know! I know she’s going to get a word. Because she’s come, just like, “If I don’t get a word, Lord, I’m not going to make it.” Just with that kind of desperation that says, “I’ve come here and I’m not going home without it.”
See, what you’ve got that we don’t have right here in our room is that you are probably alone and so can it just be the two of you, the two of you. Just wrestle this scene through as if it’s just you and Jesus. The lens goes from the people to the person. That’s how Jesus does things.
Now, mind you, I think it’s important to know this is not the first time Peter has seen Christ do something miraculous. It’s even right here in this same context. Look back just a little bit to verse 38 in the previous chapter, Luke 4:38. It’s talking about Christ again. It says,
“And he arose and left the synagogue and entered Simon’s house.” That’s our same Simon Peter. “Now Simon’s mother-in-law was ill with a high fever, and they appealed to him on her behalf. And he stood over her and rebuked the fever and it left her and immediately she rose and began to serve them.”
After that it says, “… all sorts of people were brought to be healed of diseases.”
But I want you to lock in on that for just a moment because he had come into their very house but I want to suggest to you it had not messed with him like this messed with him. It’s hard to explain to somebody why it is that one particular encounter with Jesus changes everything. That after all the times he’s pursued you, after all the times he’s pursued me, that somehow something will happen and you will so know it is him that there is no way to deny that you are looking face-to-face at the living Lord Jesus Christ and he’s all in your business and that’s what happened here.
And when Jesus comes and he messes with Simon in his work place, everything changes. I want to say to you today, Jesus not only can come to your home, he can meet you at work. For some of us, we’re glad about that, for others of us, we’re not so glad about it.
And one of the things that is so interesting here is that Jesus can beat us at our own game. In other words he joins Peter and tells Peter what to do when it is what Peter is best at. There is nothing more annoying than someone telling you how to do something you are already good at! So, I want you to picture that he just goes and he just climbs in his boat and I mean they’re cleaning everything up. He just gets in his boat and I mean, he has great respect for him.
He has seen what he can do. He saw him heal all of these diseases earlier in the scene in the chapter before but I’m just saying something huge happens here because he is having a reaction in this scene that we do not see prior to this. So, there is some reason why this got to him in a way that the other did not.
And I’m going to tell you today and I need to know this, I think you need to know this, and unless you’re in some area of illicit work, Jesus is better at your job than you are. I don’t care what it is, if it’s real estate, if you’re a bank teller, if you are in computer technology, if you are working in the health profession, I don’t care what it is. I don’t doubt that if you are a hair dresser, he could fix hair better than you could.
That’s the thing about him, is that he could just do it all. In him is hidden all wisdom and knowledge. It’s the craziest thing, it’s impossible to conceive, that everything we learn how to do he already knew how to do in eternity behind us. That all of this knowledge age, he already knew it. He already knew it! He’s proficient at it. He is author of all things, wisdom and knowledge, and he casts this new kind of net, beats Peter at his own game.
I also want to suggest to you, especially by the way it ends and what he calls him to do. I want you to be encouraged that, first of all, you have a calling. If you know Jesus Christ you are called. You are called!
If you know Jesus you’ve got a calling on your life. In other words that means that before the foundation of the world God already knew and had ordained in advance, that is why he put you in this particular generation, it’s why you’re here on planet earth at exactly this time is because your calling fits to what is going on in your sphere of influence at this exact time in your life. We’ve got a calling on our lives.
What we need to understand is that for most of us we don’t just do our calling professionally, we also have what Paul showed us by example, what we call tent making. He still had to make a living for himself by making tents all the while he was sharing the gospel. For the most part that’s what most people are doing. But I do want you to know that there’s a connection between the two. There are things that God is teaching you in your work place that are very, very, very, strategic in your calling. So, I just implore you, ask him to show up at work! Ask him to give you spiritual eyes to see and ears to hear, to make you aware of him and what you may think is the most God-forsaken workplace you have ever entered.
Listen, he goes in with you. If you’re the only reason he shows up for work he goes in with you and there’s something there that is strategic for you to learn for your calling or else it’s time for you to go because you’re here to fulfill your calling. I’m here to fulfill my calling. It is the reason why you are here on the planet. No other reason! No other reason!
So everything that we’re doing, everything that all of our experience, all of our family life, all of our relational experience, all of our circumstantial experience, all of that is part and parcel of this thing that is called the calling of Christ.
I want you to notice something in -- because it says it pretty well in the ESV that I’m reading from. Notice that it says that he tells them to “-- put out into the deep, let down your nets for a catch.”
I’ll do it if you say. Everything humanly possible, Lord, we’ve already done it! We’ve already tried it!”
Jesus is telling somebody listening or watching today to do something that you’ve already done and it didn’t work. And he’s going, “Do it again! This time I want you to just cast it over on this side.”