Luke 5:1-16 (ESV)
1 On one occasion, while the crowd was pressing in on him to hear the word of God, he was standing by the lake of Gennesaret, 2 and he saw two boats by the lake, but the fishermen had gone out of them and were washing their nets. 3 Getting into one of the boats, which was Simon’s, he asked him to put out a little from the land. And he sat down and taught the people from the boat. 4 And when he had finished speaking, he said to Simon, “Put out into the deep and let down your nets for a catch.” 5 And Simon answered, “Master, we toiled all night and took nothing! But at your word I will let down the nets.” 6 And when they had done this, they enclosed a large number of fish, and their nets were breaking. 7 They signaled to their partners in the other boat to come and help them. And they came and filled both the boats, so that they began to sink. 8 But when Simon Peter saw it, he fell down at Jesus’ knees, saying, “Depart from me, for I am a sinful man, O Lord.” 9 For he and all who were with him were astonished at the catch of fish that they had taken, 10 and so also were James and John, sons of Zebedee, who were partners with Simon. And Jesus said to Simon, “Do not be afraid; from now on you will be catching men.” 11 And when they had brought their boats to land, they left everything and followed him.
12 While he was in one of the cities, there came a man full of leprosy. And when he saw Jesus, he fell on his face and begged him, “Lord, if you will, you can make me clean.” 13 And Jesus stretched out his hand and touched him, saying, “I will; be clean.” And immediately the leprosy left him. 14 And he charged him to tell no one, but “go and show yourself to the priest, and make an offering for your cleansing, as Moses commanded, for a proof to them.” 15 But now even more the report about him went abroad, and great crowds gathered to hear him and to be healed of their infirmities. 16 But he would withdraw to desolate places and pray.
Day 1: Loving God
Even though Simon’s best professional opinion suggested that it was futile to try fishing again, he deferred to Jesus and said, “at your word I will let down the nets” (v. 5). Is God is calling you to faith and obedience in ways that contradict your assessment of your situation?
After the large catch of fish, Peter falls down at Jesus’s knees, saying, “Depart from me, for I am a sinful man, O Lord” (v. 8). Do you recognize Jesus’s Lordship and your sinfulness? Have you left everything to follow Jesus, as Peter, James, and John did? What are some things that you are keeping for yourself without giving them up to God?
- Confess your sins to God, and surrender the things that you have been keeping for yourself without leaving them behind to follow Jesus.
- Thank God for His forgiveness and cleansing.
- Pray that you would grow in humility before God and have the faith to subject everything in your life to God.
Day 2: Loving One Another
All of us have at point sinned, and all of us were once unclean, but we, as Christians, have been saved by the grace of God. For this reason, we should have no pretensions of self-righteousness. Within the family of God, we should not fear each other’s judgments. Instead, we should “confess [our] sins to one another and pray for one another, that [we] may be healed” (James 5:16).
Just as Peter needed partners when he was a fisherman, we need partners for our mission as fishers of men. Do you make it your regular practice to encourage and exhort fellow brothers and sisters toward evangelism?
- Pray that God would make all of our church members evangelists who share the gospel with their neighbors.
- Pray that we would be a church that humbly, and freely, confesses our sins to one another.
- Pray for the Members’ Meeting on February 10th, that the Spirit might lead us and that we, as the church, might be unified.
Day 3: Loving Our Neighbors
The Gospel of Luke often mentions that Jesus touched someone or laid hands on someone in order to heal them (4:40; 6:19; 7:14; 8:44-47; 13:13; 18:15; 22:51). This is an expression of Jesus’s tender care, especially in the case of this leper. This leper is contagious and ritually unclean, to touch him was to be contaminated spiritually, and it was to put oneself at risk of contracting the leprosy, but instead of putting on the sanitary gloves and a face mask, instead of backpedalling and keeping the leper at an arm’s length, Jesus stretches to touch him. Do you care about the marginalized members of society? Do you love and serve them as people made in the image of God?
Jesus called His disciples to “Catch alive” men. Does this Christian calling to seek and save the lost take priority in your life, or is it an afterthought?
- Pray for opportunities and boldness to share the gospel with someone so that we might watch them alive for God.
- Pray for the salvation of specific family members, friends, and neighbors who have not experienced the cleansing blood of Jesus.
- Pray for opportunities and compassion to care for, and serve, the people on the margins as a church.