What would our response be to an all-powerful God who intercedes in our lives in a dramatic way? In Luke 5, Peter’s response was not what you would have expected. He responded obediently to Jesus’ request to go back out to fish, following a long night catching nothing. Throwing the nets out in verse 6-7, “they enclosed a large number of fish and their nets were breaking”. Instead of praising Jesus, Simon Peter responded in verse 8 by saying, “Depart from me, for I am a sinful man, O Lord.”
Why didn’t Peter praise Jesus for the miracle of the fish? Why not at least thank Him? Instead, he asked Jesus to leave him. Why?
Christians totally underestimate the true “presence” of Christ. We read the New Testament on a regular basis. We know all the miracles by heart. In fact, it’s the miracles and fulfilled prophesies that are the proof texts that separate our true faith from the false teaching of other religions.
Peter got to see the real Jesus perform a real miracle, right in front of his eyes. However, in John 14:12, Jesus tells his disciples, including Peter, that they will do even “greater works than these”. Does that include us?
Sometimes we may feel like our prayers are being answered through some otherwise unexpected event in our lives. But how much faith do we really have? Is it greater than the size of a mustard seed such that we could move a mountain (Matthew 17:20) if we wanted to?
We need to be regularly reminded that our God is so awesome and so powerful that our response to a miracle should be total humility. That is the reason why Peter asked Jesus to “depart from him”, because he was so undeserving of the attention of his Lord. Interestingly, following that event, Peter and his friends did just the opposite. In Luke 5:11, after dragging their overflowing boats to land, they “left everything and followed him” and walked away from the boats full of fish and profession as fishermen, to become fishers of men.
They followed Christ for the next three years, failed Him numerous times, watched Him die on the cross, and then died a martyr’s death themselves. Two thousand years later, we are worshiping the same God, the same Christ, and the same Holy Spirit that lives in every Biblical Christian. As you study your Bible, listen to weekly sermons, and pray, keep in mind the awe-inspiring God you serve.