Let Down the Nets

Lou Lotz

READ : Luke 5:1-11

We toiled all night and took nothing! But at your word I will let down the nets. (v. 5)

It is a pity that some first-century Christian never thought to preserve Peter’s fishing boat. It would have made quite an addition to the Smithsonian Institute. That boat was Jesus’ personal ferry, his bed, his escape, even his pulpit.

“Put out into the deep and let down your nets for a catch,” says Jesus. But Peter and the boys have sifted the sea all night, with nary a nibble. “Master, we toiled all night and took nothing!” Does Peter believe? I don’t think so. He thinks this is a waste of time. Under his breath Peter may have murmured something about landlubbers. “But at your word I will let down the nets.”

Some miracles don’t seem to require great faith, just a little obedience. What sign from God is waiting now, under your nose, needing only your cooperation?

The other disciples, presumably, are ecstatic. Fish mean money, and they just won the lottery. But Peter, realizing he has somehow stumbled into the middle of a miracle, is terrified: “Depart from me, for I am a sinful man, O Lord.” C. S. Lewis said that on the Judgment Day “God will switch on all the lights.” The lights switch on for Peter, and in a blinding moment of consciousness he realizes his depravity and Christ’s searing holiness. But the good news is that our sinfulness does not render us ineligible to serve: “Do not be afraid; from now on you will be catching men.”


Lord, use me.