Pastor Ben wrapped up our sermon series this week with a look at Luke 5. Peter, who has been fishing all night and hasn’t caught a single fish, finds himself in the middle of a crowd of people. Jesus, seeing Peter’s boat, asks him to put out from shore so that Jesus can teach the crowd.
It’s easy to understand how Peter must have felt in this moment. He’s tired. He’s cranky. He’s hungry. And he has no fish. The last thing he wants is to be interrupted by a man that he doesn’t even know.
But, as Pastor Ben says, we all need to learn how to “love interruptions a little more and hate them a little less.”
Peter hated this interruption because he valued his time as a resource. We all have expectations of how we think our time should be used, and usually it doesn’t involve lending out our boat to a man who claims to be the Son of God.
But as C.S. Lewis says, “the truth is of course, that what one regards as interruptions are precisely one’s life.” We all know that things never end up the way we expected them to. But it is that unexpectedness that makes life what it is. The interruptions that we stumble across each day are the heartbeat of our existence, and it is by these interruptions that we can truly hear God.
When we are chuggin’ along in life and everything is going as planned, there is no need for Jesus. If we can plan our days perfectly, why would we need to be in relationship with a God who’s main purpose is to sustain life? The answer: we wouldn’t. Interruptions, then, keep us dependent on God.
Jesus’ interruption into Peter’s life turns into something much more than a mere boat ride. After teaching the crowds, Jesus tells Peter to cast his net and fish. Peter, having caught nothing all night, questions Jesus’ judgment, but eventually says, “because you say so, I will let down the nets.”
Peter was convinced that there would be no fish to catch in that moment. He had recognized hours before that the conditions for fishing just weren’t right. And he expected Jesus to abide by that same logic. But what Peter failed to realize was that God is unconditional. The conditions of our circumstances don’t phase him, for he supersedes them all.
In faith, Peter casts his net. And in faith his net is filled to its breaking point. Upon seeing this miracle, Peter tells Jesus that he is a sinful man and that Jesus must leave him. But Jesus’ catches him with kindness. Instead of judgment and shame, Jesus brings hope and identity. And this hope and identity allow Peter to become the rock of the church.
God meets us where we are—not where we should be. And it his kindness that leads us to repentance.
Are you catching people with kindness?