January 15, 2020

Do Not Be Afraid to Trust God 

Luke 5:1–16

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Jesus Calls the First Disciples

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, and he saw two boats by the lake, but the fishermen had gone out of them and were washing their nets. 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. And when he had finished speaking, he said to Simon, “Put out into the deep and let down your nets for a catch.” And Simon answered, “Master, we toiled all night and took nothing! But at your word I will let down the nets.” And when they had done this, they enclosed a large number of fish, and their nets were breaking. 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. But when Simon Peter saw it, he fell down at Jesus' knees, saying, “Depart from me, for I am a sinful man, O Lord.” 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.”1 11 And when they had brought their boats to land, they left everything and followed him.

Jesus Cleanses a Leper

12 While he was in one of the cities, there came a man full of leprosy.2 And when he saw Jesus, he fell on his face and begged him, “Lord, if you will, you can make me clean.” 13 And Jesus3 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.

Footnotes

[1] 5:10 The Greek word anthropoi refers here to both men and women
[2] 5:12 Leprosy was a term for several skin diseases; see Leviticus 13
[3] 5:13 Greek he

Do Not Be Afraid to Trust God 



Key Verse | Luke 5:10b-11

"Do not be afraid; from now on you will be catching men." And when they had brought their boats to land, they left everything and followed him.

Bio | Katherine McMordie

Hello! I'm Katherine McMordie. I moved to Fort Worth shortly after graduating from Baylor (sic 'em) and have loved it here ever since. During my high school and young adult years I fell into patterns of anxiety and depression. For years I tried and failed to find peace on my own. I felt hopeless and acted like a troll until I was regenerated by the goodness and lovingkindness of God. Now I spend Monday nights serving at re:generation, a biblically based recovery program. I love seeing God's Word transform the hearts of broken people every week!

Central Truth

Jesus is trustworthy. He demonstrates His faithfulness time and time again.

Devotional | Luke 5:1–16

There is so much to unpack in these 16 verses. We see a range of emotions from Simon (aka Simon Peter, aka Peter). We may not all be professional fishermen today, but Simon Peter still manages to be very...

There is so much to unpack in these 16 verses. We see a range of emotions from Simon (aka Simon Peter, aka Peter). We may not all be professional fishermen today, but Simon Peter still manages to be very relatable with his workplace mood. After Peter's long, unsuccessful night at work, Jesus asks him to once again let out the nets. I can imagine Simon Peter reluctantly rolling his eyes and following Jesus' direction out of obligation, doubtful that any fish will be caught.

Then, as the nets fill with fish, Simon Peter falls down at Jesus' knees and declares himself an unworthy sinner. Jesus responds to Simon Peter with grace, telling him to not be afraid and calling him to be His disciple. Simon Peter responds by leaving everything and following Him. That's trusting God.

How many times have I doubted God's goodness or instruction or provision in my life only to have Him provide with abundance? When I go to Him feeling like an unworthy sinner because of my lack of trust, Jesus meets me with the same grace that He extended to Simon Peter. God tells us time after time in the Bible to not be afraid.

As a person who struggles with fear and anxiety, reading God's promises that He is with me and that I do not need to fear builds my faith. I often let fear and lack of trust hold me back from fully leaving everything behind to follow Jesus. Leaving my comfort zone and giving up my sense of control feels scary. But then I remember Who is asking this of me, and how trustworthy He is.

God demonstrates His faithfulness again when the leper reaches out to Jesus in Luke 5:12-13. He begged Jesus to cleanse him, and Jesus responds to the leper's cry for healing. This encourages me to call out to God, in full faith, trusting that He can do anything in His will and that He knows best.

When in doubt, trust God. 

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Discussion Questions

1. Have you ever second-guessed or doubted God's instruction? What do you think is the root of your doubt?

2. Have you ever felt absolutely unworthy to be in God's presence? Know that God loves you deeply and desires a personal relationship with you. We are called to boldly approach God's throne of grace. Left to our own devices, we will never be worthy of His grace, but the blood of Jesus cleanses us from all unrighteousness and makes us white as snow in the presence of God. 

3. What are your hurts, habits, or hang-ups? Are they keeping you from experiencing God's goodness and saving faith? Then join us at re:generation, Watermark's recovery and discipleship ministry, where you will hear stories of life change every week. This ministry radically challenged and deepened my faith, and I know God can use it to do the same for you.

9 Comments available

Gabriel Adel 3 days ago

Liked this Katherine: “This encourages me to call out to God, in full faith, trusting that He can do anything in His will and that He knows best. When in doubt, trust God.”

Fear is the biggest obstacle to trusting God and fully surrender to him

Trey Collins 4 days ago

Great devo Katherine, thank you!

The example Jesus sets to withdraw from the crowd to pray is amazing to me. Here’s a “star Christian” which has crowds of people wanting to follow, yet He pursues intimacy with the Father over that “fame”.

It is convicting to me as someone who often would rather check the box of public Christian works over private personal pursuit of Christ. Praying for us both Katherine this morning to pursue Jesus alone!

Michael Scaman 4 days ago

There was a miraculous catch of fish with Peter involved at the start of the gospels (in Luke) and also at the end after the resurrection (in John)

Both times Peter recognized he was sinful. The first time he told Jesus to leave. The last time, knowing he denied Jesus, he swam as hard as he could to Jesus despite his sin.

Michael Scaman 4 days ago

“And Jesus stretched out his hand and touched him, saying, “I will; be clean.”

Jesus did was was appropriate for each:

touching a leper: involving a mute person by taking him away from the crowds and using gestures as sign language and healing in stages; and putting mud in a blind man’s eyes engaging touch and sending him across town to wash

greg jones 4 days ago

To understand something hard to describe-something Peter and other disciples embraced early about following Jesus-Luke gives a picture of what they walked away from. Easy catching verses the satisfaction that fishermen get from-fishing.

Great devotional today.

Hope Harris 4 days ago

“All In” are the words rumbling around in my head this morning. Jesus call Peter go “All In.”

I am called to go all in and follow Jesus. Weather In his book All In, Mark Batterson says “The Gospel costs us nothing, but it demands everything.” He goes on to say:“Kneeling at the foot of cross of Christ and surrendering to His Lordship is a radical act of dethroning yourself and enthroning Christ as King. It’s also an act of disowning yourself. Nothing belongs to you. Not even you.”

Sue Bohlin 4 days ago

Thank you, Katherine.

What I never noticed before is that when Jesus told the now-healed leper not to tell anyone, but to go straight to the priests to be declared clean, that instruction itself was an incredible blessing. Lepers had to go around announcing to anyone within earshot, “Unclean! Unclean!” so that everyone else could keep their distance from the contagion. What a horribly shame-filled aspect of an already horrible disease! But this man was gifted with the privilege of walking to the temple like every other person, NOT calling out his shame, just . . . walking. Silently. In health and wholeness.

I can only imagine how his heart must have been overflowing with gratitude at walking in his “new normal.”

Which is what Jesus continues to do at re:gen! Create a wonderful “new normal”!!

Hugh Stephenson 4 days ago

“He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose.” Jim Elliot

I love this quotation. It challenges me at my core.

Giving “it” all away and following Jesus. Period.

What if that’s not the call but giving up the treasures of my heart is? Then surrendering my heart to Him? Putting all my hope, faith, trust and happiness in my relationship with Him? (John 15:10-11).

What is hardest to give away? Money? All of “my” money. Time? Love? Giving love away one directionally and getting nothing back?

How about no longer caring about “it”. What’s “it”? Image? Self-Image? Being “right”? Personal comforts?

In Prodigal and re:gen we talk about idols.

What does it take to trust, be obedient and lay down my idols and give them up?

Abraham laying down Isaac is my model.

Praying John 10:10 and 1 John 2:15:17

Burlon Leffall III 4 days ago

Thanks, Katherine. God bless.

These passages aren’t as shallow as I took them for [most of my life]. What would it be like for Jesus to show up at my job, then complete a task that astonishes me to the point of saying ‘I am a sinner.’ Then I leave my job and follow Him. I love how you present that it may not even be a job; Maybe it’s a struggle with x,y,z not just all night-maybe all my life I’ve had to fight-live through hurt, failure, and unmet expectations. And I’m tired. Tired of trying. I don’t want fish. But freedom. Joy. Peace. Love. Maybe my heart is in a spot that says, ‘I’m finished and I’m done.’ But Jesus. He’s excellent.

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