IN CHRIST WE BREAK NETS
Text: Luke 5:1-11
Illustration: Two teams.
One has all the major players, top draft pics, trained and ready to destroy their opponent. Giants. Very intimidating. Many cheer them. Most love them. Millions follow. According to the world this team is the bastion of international pride. Breaking all the records.
- But they have a weak spot, their pride and boasting has forced their coach (experienced and wise) to go looking somewhere else. And in their pride, they tell themselves, “we need no coach, we’ll change the moves and do things our own way, we are much wiser than he is. Let him depart from us and find losers to train.”
The other team is the complete opposite, the underdogs. Nothing pretty. Nothing fancy. Certainly, nothing to be intimidated about. Broken. Needy. The world sees them as losers, fools. “Why would they even bother to try?” many would say. They’ve lost every attempt since forever it seems. No confidence. No hope. “We keep trying but nothing ever happens,” they would often express.
- But on this day a well-known, experienced, and wise coach comes along to recruit them and build a new team. They are grateful, submissive to His authority, experience, wisdom, and care. They are far from perfect but yet hear the words of this coach and become confident and trusting in his ability. He molds them into warriors ready for the battle taking place on the field. And so, they do what He tells them to do. And as a, result…
These two teams come to ahead and a war takes place on the ground. And would you know it? A tremendous upset and surprise takes place. The former “losers” achieve the goal, they win the prize and every blessing that comes with it. And those who tried to do things their own way, came home empty handed. Fell on the way side and never again were able to take the crown. But this team belonging to this coach, gathered many believers. Broke many records. So much so they needed to build bigger stands to accommodate the amount of people coming in.
WHICH TEAM (CONGREGATION) ARE WE?
- The religion of the world and all its denominations may seem intimidating in their strength and numbers. They may masquerade as “winners.” But they have a weak spot. They don’t have a head coach, they trust in themselves and their traditions. They don’t have Jesus and His Word leading them into battle. And so, ultimately, they lose their souls and never become productive.
Now, regarding Luke 5:1-11, context:
- In the previous chapters, we see how our Master’s faith had been galvanized for His ministry after conquering the tempter. His ministry begins and has been stirring up the religious platform. He’s been offending many people with the truth, some of which tried to murder Him for it. He’s also been performing miracles (i.e. casting out demons, healing). All for the purpose of the words He is proclaiming, “repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.” He is going to be establishing His church soon and so will be recruiting and training His team.
Thesis: The word of God is taught to the people, obedience to His word comes from a submissive heart. The result is productivity and growth for His Majesty.
Theme: Without Jesus, His teachings, and our obedience to Him. We shall never be spiritually successful in anything we do. We will not be provided for, we will lose our nourishment, decay and die. Empty nets for fishermen. Empty pews for our Lord. An embarrassing loss.
- And sometimes empty pews can have idle bodies sitting as “whitewashed tombs which indeed appear beautiful outwardly, but inside are full of dead men’s bones and all uncleanness.” Just like that first team who looked a certain way outwardly, but inwardly where prideful and rebellious to the instruction of the coach.
READ LUKE 5:1-11 – explain each verse, and then recap…
- The “WORD OF GOD” is proclaimed.
- The Bible is “TEACHING THE PEOPLE”
- Those who are listening say, “I WILL DO AS YOU SAY”
- The results of doing what the Bible says meant “A GREAT QUANTITY OF FISH.” So much so their nets began to break. They had no more room to put them.
- They were so amazed at the amount of fish that had been captured, Simon Peter doesn’t feel worthy to be in the presence of Jesus, the one in whom provision is provided. We remain humble and recognize through whom growth comes.
- “DO NOT FEAR, FROM NOW ON YOU WILL BE CATCHING MEN.” So, now that you’ve seen what can be achieved with Jesus in the boat, for catching fish. Imaging what can be achieved with Jesus and His church, for catching men.
When Christ is in the boat with us, we are successful. When Christ lives in our minds through His Word, we are faithful. When Christ is our head coach, the head of His church, we win souls for Him. When we listen to His words and obey them, we belong to Him. And He teaches us how to gather a people for His kingdom. For His purpose.
This congregation which belongs to Jesus Christ, is going to grow in great numbers. And it will do so because we will listen to His words and obey them. Even when we doubt, even when we are uncertain, in pain, going through health issues, or persecution. We will go out into the field and gather souls for Him. We will become productive and prepared. We will use the talents He has blessed us with, for His glory. We will not burry them. We will use both the digital realm and physical realm. We’ll talk to people in the community. We’ll invite friends & family. We’ll ask those willing, to study the Bible with us. And we will grow. Our faith will grow. And our numbers will grow. Because Christ will be in the boat with us, and His Words will instruct us. This faith heals all mended wounds, and division. It is the cure to a dying world.
And just as Christ was found in the designated area He so chose in order to extend His words and blessings. So, it is for us this day, we must be in the same boat. We must be citizens of His kingdom. Members of His body. Saints in the church (of) belonging to Christ. Jesus says “whoever believes and is immersed shall be saved.” If you are willing to believe in Him, repent of your past sins, confess Him as your Lord and Master, … you now qualify to be immersed in water with His authority in order to be saved. Born again. Washed. Forgiven. Out of that water He will add you to His kingdom, church. And there together, we in Spencer WI, shall be “IN CHRIST BREAKING NETS.”