Disciple Because You Say So – I like how Luke records the very first words spoken by Peter in the Scripture as, “…because you say so.” That is the attitude Jesus is looking for from a disciple and we see what happened when words are not only spoken but followed through. Peter experienced a massive miracle. The attitude of a disciple is BECAUSE YOU SAID SO, but this isn’t necessarily the attitude of a Christian.
By Pastor Delbert Young
Disciple Because You Say So
Scriptures: Luke 5:1-11; Luke 5:10-11; Proverbs 6:9-11; Luke 5:4-5
Luke 5:1-11 One day as Jesus was standing by the Lake of Gennesaret, with the people crowding around him and listening to the word of God, he saw at the water’s edge two boats, left there by the fishermen, who were washing their nets. He got into one of the boats, the one belonging to Simon, and asked him to put out a little from shore. Then he sat down and taught the people from the boat. When he had finished speaking, he said to Simon, “Put out into deep water, and let down the nets for a catch.”
Simon answered, “Master, we’ve worked hard all night and haven’t caught anything. But BECAUSE YOU SAY SO, I will let down the nets.” When they had done so, they caught such a large number of fish that their nets began to break. So they signaled their partners in the other boat to come and help them, and they came and filled both boats so full that they began to sink. When Simon Peter saw this, he fell at Jesus’ knees and said, “Go away from me, Lord; I am a sinful man!” For he and all his companions were astonished at the catch of fish they had taken, and so were James and John, the sons of Zebedee, Simon’s partners.
Then Jesus said to Simon, “Don’t be afraid; FROM NOW ON YOU WILL CATCH MEN.” So they pulled their boats up on shore, left everything and followed him.
Jesus said that Peter could use the principles and energy used to catch fish to catch people. As we talked last time, there is a vast difference, to me, between a Christian and a disciple. Christians just do not fish for people much. However, a disciple does. Today in our talk time, I want to discuss 3 principles used to catch fish that must be used to successfully catch people: (1) DECIDE I WANT TO GO FISHING; (2) WHAT DO I WANT TO CATCH; (3) PRESENTATION. Applied, these three principles will assure us of catching people as a disciple should.
(Begin) I like that Luke records the very first words spoken by Peter in the Bible as “BECAUSE YOU SAY SO.” That is the attitude Jesus is looking for from a disciple and we see what happened when words are not only spoken but followed through. Peter experienced a massive miracle. The attitude of a disciple is BECAUSE YOU SAID SO. That is not necessarily the attitude of a Christian.
Our series is called DISCIPLE, not “Christian.”
Jesus never called us to be a “Christian.” As we talked last time, the word “Christian,” to me, is more a social belief system than an experience. 85% OF AMERICANS SAY THEY ARE “CHRISTIANS.” If you ask someone, “are you a Christ follower”, the response is usually something like this: “Yes, I BELIEVE Jesus is the Son of God who died and rose again.” However, when I think of “DISCIPLE” and know Jesus said, if you want to be my disciple, (1) you must love me more than anyone. (2) you must love me more than your own life. (3) you must follow me while carrying your own cross. (4) you must count the cost and (5) you must give up everything (Luk 14:25-33),
I think of a step up from just a social belief system. I think of something beyond cultural/social Christianity and believing that Jesus is real. A disciple is one who believes SO MUCH in Jesus that their whole life pursuit is to become like him, and not only are they to become like him, but they desire to do what he did (Joh 4:12). They do what Peter did – leave everything and follow Jesus. In my mind, there is a profound difference between a “Christian” and a “disciple.”
Peter’s response to that miracle has always puzzled me.
I would have said, “WOW! WOW! WOW! – THIS IS UNBELIEVABLE. HOW DID YOU DO THAT? HOW DID YOU KNOW WHERE THOSE FISH WERE? TEACH ME HOW TO DO THAT?” However, Peter fell at Jesus’ knees and told Jesus to go away. Honestly, I am very comfortable with the “Christian” belief system – cultural Christianity. It’s easy. Anyone can do it. However, like Peter,
I don’t feel worthy to become like Jesus – conformed to his image (Rom 8:29), have the mind of Christ (1Co 2:16) – be a DISCIPLE. That is very, very intimidating to me. “GO AWAY FROM ME. I AM NOT GOOD ENOUGH. I HAVE SIN.” Have you ever felt like that when the preacher told you that you were to be like Jesus? If so, then you can relate to what Peter said. That’s when Jesus said…
Luke 5:10-11 “DON’T BE AFRAID; from now on you will CATCH MEN.” So they pulled their boats up on shore, left everything and followed him.
Jesus does not want us to be afraid of becoming a disciple. He does not want us to think we cannot do it. He simply wants you to have the attitude of BECAUSE YOU SAID SO.
One thing a DISCIPLE does is go fishing for people. A disciple LITERALLY fishes for people. Jesus said so. Think about that a minute. A DISCIPLE GOES ON A LITERAL ANDINTENTIONAL FISHING TRIP FOR PEOPLE. The very last thing that Jesus said to his disciples before he ascended to heaven was “Go and make disciples” – not Christians (Mat 28:19-20). He was saying, “I want you to catch them. I want you to baptize them. I want you to teach them to do all the things I commanded you to do.” Go fish for people. “For whom are you fishing?” Is anyone on your fish locator (sonar)? Have you ever literally and intentionally gone fishing for someone?
I was thinking about this
and the process I go through to be as sure as I can that I have a successful fishing trip. I could talk all day about fishing and there are so many principles of fishing that apply to catching people, so I have reduced it down to three. So, here we go…
(1) DECIDE I WANT TO GO FISHING.
Funny huh? Sometimes I have hooked up my truck to my boat tailor the night before thinking I wanted to go fishing, but when the alarm went off at 4:30 a.m., I turned it off and rolled over.
Proverbs 6:9-11 How long will you lie there, you sluggard? When will you get up from your sleep? A little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to rest – and poverty will come on you like a bandit and scarcity like an armed man.
The Bible calls a lazy person a sluggard. I believe the church is scarce on reaching people because so many are sluggards. The image is a slimy slug and most “Christians” are sluggards when it comes to catching people.
I fish normally from early spring to late fall and usually I go at least once a week. I love it. It’s my release. I go on vacation to Panama City, Florida for a month and most every day go fishing in the Gulf of Mexico… alone. I literally wear myself out fishing every day. I love it that much. Judy tells me if I could catch people like I catch fish, our building would not hold them all. However, there have been times I decided not to go fishing and rolled over. Isn’t that what most “Christians” do when it comes to literally and intentionally catching people? They do not care that Jesus said so. However, a disciple will turn off the alarm, load up, fuel up, pay the costs, and literally and intentionally DECIDE TO GO FISHING.
Have you ever intentionally DECIDED TO GO FISHING for people?
Was it a goal? For whom are you fishing now? Or, are you simply a “cultural/social Christian” who doesn’t really care that Jesus said so? A DISCIPLE will DECIDE TO GO FISHING.
(2) WHAT DO I WANT TO CATCH?
This principle determines many things: (1) where I fish, (2) the equipment necessary, and (3) the bait I use. You do not use a Zebco light rod/reel, 6-pound line with a red wiggler to deep sea fish for a King Mackerel. I enjoy catching Striped Bass and spend most of my fishing time fishing for them. I intentionally go to Striped Bass populated areas with the appropriate tackle and bait and I nearly always catch Striped Bass along with Large Mouth Bass and Catfish, etc.
Jesus said it would cost us to be his disciple. I don’t think we think in the terms of the cost to catch people. I invest a great deal of money, time, and effort to successfully catch fish – boat, sonar, tackle, fuel, license, maintenance, etc. To catch people, it will cost money, time, and effort. You must invest. You will need a boat, i.e. some way to get to where they are. Fish do not come to me. Even Jesus needed some equipment.
Luke 5:4 …he said to Simon, “Put out into deep water, and let down the nets for a catch.”
Couldn’t Jesus have just summoned the fish to where he and Peter were? No, Jesus told Peter let’s go to where the fish are located. Jesus always went to where the people were to catch people. He took church to people. I wish we could learn how to do that – but maybe that is exactly about what I speak. You are the church. Who are you wanting to catch? You need to go to them – boat. The boat simply takes me to where the fish are. I will not catch many Striped Bass from shore.
You will need tackle – connect. I do not want to hook that fish and lose it because of inferior equipment. A few years ago, I took the contractor who did the stucco work on our building fishing to Watts Bar for large Striped Bass. He wanted to use his rod and reel. He hooked a big one and SNAP! His rod broke in half and he lost a great fish. His connection did not hold. The disciples used a net. I use a rod and reel and I do not use cheap rods and reels. The principle is you will need some way to connect – net up, or hook up – with the person/people. How are you connecting with those you want to catch?
The correct bait will cost either money or cost you time and work.
In Florida, I usually buy bait – $20 for 20, 6 inch cigar minnows. For Striped Bass, I throw a cast net for shad. I take my grandchildren bluegill fishing and buy crickets. I must have the correct bait if I want a successful trip. What bait are you using to catch those you want to catch?
WHO DO YOU WANT TO CATCH? You will need to go to where they go – boat. You will need a strong connection – tackle, and you will need good bait – something they will bite even though it is unnatural (I will explain in a minute).
Disciple Because You Say So
Ok, so, I have finally gotten to the fish. Now, I must think about the presentation of the bait. The principle is I must present them something worth eating. It could be the correct location, tackle, bait etc, but if not presented correctly, it won’t work. I can’t tell you the times I have successfully caught fish when others fishing 20 feet away were catching nothing. The bait must appear good enough to eat even though the bait has a hook stuck in it – an unnatural situation.
This might be my best point. People know you are presenting them Jesus and there is a hook in it. They know you are fishing for them, but how good does it look? Is it alive? Is it worth eating? How is your life? How are your children, finances, marriage, etc., and how are you at work? Do you lie, come in late, lay down on the job, lay out? My in-laws think I hung the moon. In tough times, I am the one they want. For example, I had two brother-in-laws to die and the family wanted me to do the speaking at the funerals. Why? They have watched my ups and downs for 40 years. Judy and I have presented them something worth eating. My point is, are you presenting those you fish for something they will bite even though it has a hook in it?
Years ago before I began pastoring,
I worked as a production supervisor on the midnight shift. There was a night watchman who was a very nice guy, but not a Christ follower. I began to intentionally “fish for him” taking some time every night to stop by and talk, presenting my bait. One night the conversation became very serious. He said, “Del… I have watched you for a few years and I believe you are real. I don’t want to talk about people, but (he named a name) on the first shift, says he is a preacher and tries to talk to me about Jesus. But, he found out that I have some porn videos and wanted to borrow them. What do you think about that? Is that what a Christian should do?
I am interested in what you have to say about God, but what difference is there between me and that guy who says he is a preacher?” Of course, I knew the person about whom he spoke and I was startled. I attempted to answer him without being negative toward the other guy. His problem was I am not going to bite that bait. A few years later, my watchman friend died. As far as I know, he never came to the Lord and died lost. The other guy had the boat, tackle, bait, even the license, but the presentation was dead and spooked the person away. I can’t help but wonder how many people have I spooked? How many have you spooked?
Disciple Because You Say So
One more thought on this point.
When you finally get them here to church, I know you have been fishing hard, maybe all night. I do my best to present them truth. We work hard to develop a service that will “net” them. I don’t want you to get your fish to the boat and then it get off. Every part of the service has been thought through and practiced – yes I practice my talks several times before anyone ever hears them. The praise team practices on Wednesday nights and again on Sunday mornings. We do everything we possibly can to net your fish.
Luke 5:5 Simon answered, “Master, we’ve worked hard all night and haven’t caught anything. But BECAUSE YOU SAY SO, I WILL LET DOWN THE NETS.”
Those may be some of the most powerful words in the Bible – BECAUSE YOU SAY SO… That is what the Lord is looking for. It’s not always fun. Sometimes we have been fishing all night for the same person and ready to clean the nets and quit… BUT BECAUSE YOU SAY SO… To be a disciple of Jesus Christ, we must be fishers of men.
Peter said, BECAUSE YOU SAY SO,
I will let down the nets. Let’s pray. First to us Christ followers, you want to catch people, sometimes you are a sluggard. You are like me sometimes – roll over and go to sleep while people are going to hell. There is no excuse. You are lazy when it comes to literally and intentionally fishing for people. Today though, you (1) DECIDE TO GO FISHING. You are willing to make a commitment to get into the boat with Jesus, push out deeper where your fish are, and let down your nets for a catch. (2) You know WHAT/WHO YOU WANT TO CATCH. You are ready and willing to pay the costs. (3) You are going to work on the PRESENTATION. You want to see people come into the kingdom of God.
Raise your hands right now and let’s pray together. (PRAY) Now for those who are not Christ followers. Obviously, you are already hooked, or you would not be here. You don’t think you are, but you are and Jesus is letting you run until you wear out and come to the boat. Why don’t you just come on. It will be the best life you can imagine. You will have more peace, more joy, and you too will begin to catch people. If that is you and you are ready to receive Jesus today, raise your hand right now and I will pray for you.
Disciple Because You Say So
Disciple Because You Say So
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