Oh, the wonder of the early followers of Christ.
While we meet this morning in this beautiful church, called St. Michael the Archangel –
we are surrounded by friends and comfort, but in the Gospel we see what poor conveniences Christ had for His ministry.
So yes, let us enjoy our air conditioned seat within the beautiful surroundings of His Holy Church.
Vast crowds attended Christ’s preaching:
The people pressed upon him to hear the word of God in v. 1 of the Gospel.
Jesus drew them out to the sand of the sea shore, reminding us Abrahams promise,
that his seed should be as the sand upon the sea shore (Gen. 22:17),
and yet; we are reminded in Romans 9:27: of them, but a remnant shall be saved.
Two fishing boats were brought ashore,
Simon’s and Andrew’s, the other belonged to Zebedee and his sons (v. 2.)
These fishermen had had previous experiences with Jesus before, which began at John’s baptism (Jn. 1:40, 41);
Theb they were with him at Cana of Galilee (Jn. 2:2),
and in Judea (Jn. 4:3);
but, as yet … they were not called, so here this morning in the Gospel we have them at their calling,
as they were called into a more intimate fellowship with Christ.
When Christ finished preaching, he ordered Peter to act upon his current trade:
Launch out into the deep, and let down your nets.
Since the day he preached was not the Sabbath day – when finished – he set them to work.
For each of us, the time spent on week-days in exercises of religion
(you know things like the Eucharist, Morning and Evening Prayer) may be but little hindrance to us in actual time spent
in comparison to the rest of the day.
Therefore, it is our wisdom and duty so to manage our religious exercises so that they may be friendly to our worldly business;
Therefore; yes, it us up to us to manage our worldly business as that it may not be an enemy to our religious exercises.
And on this day, as Peter attended Christ in his preaching, so now Christ will accompany him in his fishing business.
An interesting point: throughout the Gospel, those that will be constant (daily) followers of Christ shall have him as a constant guide to them.
So now, Christ now orders Peter and his ship’s crew to cast their nets into the sea
and they did though they had been hard at it all night, and had caught nothing!!!!
Imagine how frustrated, tired, and exhausted they were so we must acknowledge that some callings are much more difficult than others.
A good example for us all to follow in our business dealings, when we are blessed in our activities and receive abundance,
Then we must think with compassion of those who follow their own paths, also with great fatigue, and still hardly earn a livelihood by it.
For many could the reasons be, yet compassion is called for.
We all know people who seem to be most diligent in their business and are oftentimes met with disappointments;
like the the fishermen who toiled all night and yet caught nothing.
So we must understand that the race may not always to be swift (as the saying goes “life is not often fair.”
Regardless, God desires us to be diligent, always following his commandments
and being dependent and satisfied with his goodness,
for there is never assurance of our worldly success.
However, assurance of success in His comfort and love is promised.
We must do our duty to our very best, and then leave the event to God in His Wisdom and within his goodness. As we heard yesterday at the dinner theater – God always has the last word!
We see now their obedience to Christ’s command as at the word of Jesus, they let down the net.
Though they had toiled all night, though they have taken nothing,
yet, if Christ bid them let down for a draught, they will at least hope to take something in.
For us, we must not abruptly quit our callings wherein we are called just because we have not the success
we desired for ourselves or for other.
This morning is a great and important lesson for all of us (including myself this morning,)
as ministers of the gospel we must continue to let down that net,
though the people have perhaps toiled long and hard and have caught nothing;
we must continue unwearied in our labours, though we see not the success of them.
Often, we will never see any success – but if God is allowed in – so will success.
So Christ tells each of us this morning – day by day, hour by hour, minute by minute –
Let His Net Down to those who are heavy laden and travail – that those who have toiled long and hard may be refreshed.
As we just celebrated St. Peters the Apostle Feast day, it is appropriate this morning we see Peter,
above all the rest, as he was so astonished to such a great degree
that he fell down at Jesus’s knees, and said
“Depart from me, for I am a sinful man, O Lord.”
because he thought himself unworthy of the favour of Christ’s even being within presence in his boat.
His humbleness is opposite of the dialect of demonds, “What have we to do with thee, Jesus, thou Son of God?”
Peter’s actions and words are becoming of us as well:
I am a sinful man, O Lord.
Even the so called righteous man is sinful, and all of us should be ready upon all occasions to give it to Jesus; the great healer of sinners,
for to whom else can we be saved from ourselves?
It is to him only, who came into the world to save sinners, that we all should fall down on our knees,
to pray him constantly that he not depart; for woe unto us and the world if he leave us, if He depart from the sinful man.
By enclosing these fishermen in the net of the gospel shows us this morning of the Redeemer’s power,
and his favor to them shall an even more astonishing miracle, and infinitely more advantageous than the catching of the fish.
Lastly, The fishermen’s farewell to their calling (v. 11):
When they had brought their ships to land, instead of going to seek sale of their fish,
that they might profit from this miracle,
they forsook all and followed him.
How about our willingness
within our hearts
to serve Christ
above the advancing of our secular interests.
to bring the service of Christ
into our daily lives and jobs.
Let us be reminded that when secular riches increase, it is easy to set our hearts upon them,
But we must not – let us come and bring all to Him …
our life, souls, and bodies.
So yes, come… & receive Him – the ONE GOD.
FOR AS HE FEEDS US – HE LEADS US
AND AS HE LEADS US – HE FEEDS US.
So, just for a moment – Imagine –
picture in your mind a world – you and I –
if we all gave to Christ – as we give to the world.
What a wonderful world this, indeed, would be.
Just Imagine –
ALL TO HIS GLORY ABOVE ALL ELSE…
YES – IMAGINE – AND NOW DO!
The hour cometh and now is……