Thursday, January 20, 2011

Instant wealth without the Lottery?

Please note this  post is not about the lottery or making money or a business opportunity, but rather about Jesus!  I do not play the lottery or encourage anyone to waste their time or money on a random chance. In the gospel of Luke chapter 5 Jesus is teaching near the waters edge and the first disciples are being called out to follow him as well. I have read this bible passage before, but this time I saw something different. In this account we read about Jesus getting into a fishing boat belonging to Peter and pushing off shore to get some space away from the crowd.  Once Jesus pushes off shore a little he keeps teaching the large crowd from the boat.
After Jesus finishes teaching he asks Peter to go out into the deep waters.  “Simon answered, "Master, we've worked hard all night and haven't caught anything. But because you say so, I will let down the nets."

    It is miraculous because they caught so much fish and almost sunk two boats trying to contain them. This is amazing to me because they walked away from the greatest catch  ever to follow Jesus. In verse 11 we read that “they pulled their boats up on shore, left everything and followed him."

   We see are fisherman who had a long evening of hard work with NO CATCH. This was not a good business day at all for those fishermen who needed to go market, make a living so they could feed their families and perhaps employees. All this changed in a short amount of time when they obeyed Jesus as illogical as it sounded to Peter's ears. They have so many fish being caught that Peter calls for his partners to bring another boat to handle the catch. Before they realize it their boats are actually struggling to stay afloat because of the weight of so many fish.
       Emotionally it impacted their lives and especially Peter. Peter realizes he is in the presence of greatness and the divine Messiah. He is convinced through this encounter how sinful he is and completely humbles himself in the midst of fish, nets and other fisherman by falling on his knees before Jesus. I’ve got to imagine that the crowd on the shore is witnessing every bit of this adventure as well. For an exhausted fisherman who was working hard all night with his fishing companions this is a very humbling and divine encounter.

   This catch of fish is much like hitting the lottery. People play the lottery with the hope to win an instant large catch of cash to fill their lives with more than enough. Most people never win and waste millions of dollars on a system of chances. Yet in this account, these fishermen actually hit a bonanza of a catch as never probably experienced before in fishing history.  This catch of fish was likely so big that it could have put them over the top in their financial business lives above every fishing vessel in the area for weeks on end or longer.

      These fishermen hit the jackpot, yet they pulled up their sinking boats and LEFT EVERYTHING (a financial wealth of fish for market) to follow Jesus. Wow!! What should this tell us about following Jesus first and not be overly concerned with business above the clear instructions and directions of the Lord?  It does not mean we do not work or care and strive to succeed, but it does mean we listen and obey Jesus and follow him above all things first. If we do so, I believe the desire for the big catch (whatever that is for you) will fad away in comparison to the wealth of opportunity to know and follow the Masters plan for your daily life.  

Thank God that he can meet our natural needs in unorthodox and unusual ways if we will just keep listening and following our Master for our daily lives.  May we who call ourselves followers of Jesus continue to follow the real catch?

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