Sunday, October 09, 2011

   N ow let us look at Jesus' response;
"And Jesus said to Simon, 'Do not be afraid. From now on you will catch men.' " (Luke 5:11/NKJV)
   N otice Jesus does not debate the second part of Peters statement; "...for I am a sinful man...", Jesus (being God) knows Peters statement is true so he addresses it by reassuring him with the simple statement "Do not be afraid..."  This is reflective of what the angel said to the shepherds;
"Then the angel said to them, 'Do not be afraid, for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy which will be to all people.'" (Luke 2:10/NKJV)
and what the angels said to Zacharias and Mary;
"But the angel said to him, 'Do not be afraid, Zacharias, for your prayer is heard; and your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son, and you shall call his name John.'" (Luke 1:13/NKJV)

"Then the angel said to her, 'Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God.'" (Luke 1:30.NKJV)
although in each of those circumstances the angels obviously were/are not God.  However, Jesus is no mere angel, but God in the flesh.  Consequently, He goes beyond the outward and sees Peters heart.  Jesus knows the first part of Peters statement, "Depart from me,..." is not a rejection Him (like the scribes and Pharisees) but rather a response similar to the shepherds, Zacharias, Mary and so many other before Peter (for more information on Peter's response see here, here and see my previous post).  So Peter "falls on his face" and utters the third part of his statement, "...O Lord."  Jesus knows what Peter understands, i.e. when Peter is confronted with his sinfulness Peter cannot stand in the presence of Jesus the representative of the holy, just, righteous and perfect God.  Jesus sees Peter has taken his first step towards God, i.e. an honest admission of his own condition and who Jesus truly is.  At this point, Jesus recognizes Peters admission that God is with Him and that he is God's representative (later Peter will come to the full revelation that Jesus is the one and only God).  However, Jesus not only alleviates Peters fears with the first part of His statement, "Do not be afraid...", but further shows Peter he has nothing to fear by commissioning him, "...from now on you will catch men."  and with the commission Jesus shows God's/His great grace, mercy and kindness.  Again this is reflective of God calling so many others in scripture;
And the posts of the door were shaken by the voice of him who cried out, and the house was filled with smoke. So I said: 'Woe is me, for I am undone! Because I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips; for my eyes have seen the King, The LORD of hosts.' Then one of the seraphim flew to me, having in his hand a live coal which he had taken with the tongs from the altar. And he touched my mouth with it, and said: 'Behold, this has touched your lips; your iniquity is taken away, and your sin purged.' Also I heard the voice of the Lord, saying: 'Whom shall I send, and who will go for Us?' Then I said, 'Here am I! Send me.' And He said, 'Go, and tell this people:'..." (Isaiah 6:5-8/NKJV - see also Genesis 17:1ff, Exodus 3:1ff, Ezekiel 1:28-2:9)

"Simul iustus et peccator"*
*Martin Luther

image source;
bleu elle

No comments: