Teaching Session 1
Teaching Session 2
Teaching Session 3
What does it mean to be at the end of yourself, to follow Christ? Jesus was preaching at the Sea of Galilee, where Peter had just finished fishing. Peter was washing his nets when Christ told him to pull back out in to deeper water for a big catch.
Peter was a professional fisherman. He knew what he was doing. He was experienced. He had been fishing all night and had not caught anything. He was probably thinking, “been there, done that, don’t want to do it again,” right? But instead of doing it his way, he submitted to Christ and did it His way. “Master, we've worked hard all night and haven't caught anything. But because you say so, I will let down the nets."
So he does what Christ asks, and he ends up with the catch of his life – so much fish that he has to call the second boat out, and they both start to sink under the weight of the catch. This is a huge payday for him! And you would think that Peter would ask Jesus to do it again, catch more fish for them. But he doesn’t. Peter’s eyes are opened. He realizes there is something special about Jesus, and he feels unworthy to be in His presence. He is not concerned about the amount of fish they have just caught; he’s focused on the power Jesus just demonstrated. He submits to his authority. He bows before him and says, “Go away from me, Lord; I am a sinful man.” Jesus acknowledges Peter’s confession, reassures him, and says, “‘Don't be afraid; from now on you will catch men.’ So they pulled their boats up on shore, left everything and followed Him.” - Luke 5:10b-11 (NIV) They left EVERYTHING, and followed Him. Just a few moments before Peter was concerned about his fishing business, and now it didn’t matter to him. His life was changed.
Jesus knows our sins. It’s no surprise to him. But he calls us to follow him because of who he is, not who we are, and following him frees us to be who we were created to be. He frees us to get out of the lives created by our own sin. Even when Satan wants to keep reminding us of our filth and of how sinful we are, Christ says, “Follow me. I will make you new. I will recreate you.” Peter was obedient, even though pulling back out to sea meant he would have to wash his nets again. And he had already been out there with no luck, but he was still obedient. He set aside his way of doing things and did things Christ’s way. And in return, he was given more fish than he knew what to do with, and he gained an understanding of who Christ was. He also learned that Christ was able to meet all of his needs and would provide for him. God wants our surrender. He wants our obedience. He wants our hearts. At the point where we stop doing things our way and start following God and seeing through His eyes, then we will find we are at the end of ourselves and are in a place to find ourselves in Him.
About the Song
“I think some of the most confusing times for me, as a believer, have been trying to understand God just from what I know already or what I’ve heard… instead of getting into His word for myself. When you try to understand God’s forgiveness without getting into God’s word, all you’ve got is a reference. The forgiveness around you won’t add up. If you are trying to understand God’s love, how much He’s going to stay with you, and His patience with you, but you’re not in the word…all you’ve got to go on is what you are seeing around you. So when I get into His word, I see a God who loves me not because I’m doing “good.” I see a God who loved me before I even knew what “good” was. I see a God who is pursuing me, who is sustaining me and who will finish me. He says in Matthew 5 and 6 that He is coming after our heart, not just so we would do better or become better versions of ourselves. He is going to recreate us, turn us into the ‘us’ that we were supposed to be from the start. All He wants is for us to know Him and to make Him known. He will produce the fruit! You can’t hang fruit on your life. Fruit comes within and fruit comes from Jesus.”
- Luke 5:1-11