READ LUKE 5
Jesus was beginning to gather large crowds. His message was one they’d been longing to hear for ages. The promised Messiah was in their midst and they were eager to hear what He had to say.
It was the end of the work day for the fishermen of lake Gennesaret. Jesus had been pressed by the crowds and saw a boat, which belonged to Simon and asked him to pull out from shore so He could speak to all the people. When He finished speaking, He requested that Simon take the boat out further and let down the fishing nets.
Simon had been fishing all day without success. He was tired, sweaty and parched by the sun, but he followed the Master’s instruction. The nets became full to the point that some had broken through. They had to call on others to help them bring in the abundance of fish. This miracle frightened Simon, because he didn’t feel worthy to be blessed in such away, but his faith in the Master was what caused it to be. Jesus assured that this was just the beginning. He said to all of them, “Do not be afraid; from now on you will be catching men.” Thus the first disciples gave up everything and followed Jesus.
The group of vagabonds covered a lot of territory. Jesus did many healings, including those with leprosy or diseases which had disabled them from birth. The crowds continued to grow and even the leaders of the church were anxious to hear what this man had to say. They became suspicious at the faith of the people and the words of the man. How could this Jesus heal the body and mind? He also claimed to forgive sins. This wasn’t acceptable. No one can forgive sins except God. It was probably then that the leaders began their plot to kill Jesus.
Levi, the tax collector, was the next disciple to be called. Obviously tax collectors had a bad reputation in those times, because they often skimmed off the top and pocketed a great deal of those taxes. A letter from the IRS, can cause us to go into panic mode. Imagine how these poor citizens felt being overtaxed by thieves. Jesus’ mission was to bring the grace of God to all sinners – which means all of us. We’ve all sinned and fallen short of His expectations. We are equal in His eyes. It’s by God’s grace that we have forgiveness.
Each of the disciples had their own gifts and talents and Jesus knew exactly how they could serve the work of His Father. We’re called to be disciples of Christ. Are you ready to answer that call?