Luke 5:10
and so were his partners James and John, the sons of Zebedee. "Do not be afraid," Jesus said to Simon. "From now on you will catch men."
Catch Men by LoveJ. B. Clark.Luke 5:10
Catching BaitC. H. Spurgeon.Luke 5:10
Catching Men AliveBishop Goodwin.Luke 5:10
Fishers of MenCanon Duckworth., B. Weiss.Luke 5:10
Fishers of MenChristian AgeLuke 5:10
Fishing for MenW. H. Burton.Luke 5:10
Men-CatchersC. H. Spurgeon., C. Babut, B. D.Luke 5:10
Ministerial LessonsJ. S. Hoare, B. D.Luke 5:10
Over-Cautious FishermenFrom Hervey's "Manual of Revivals."Luke 5:10
Purposeless SermonsDr. J. Clifford.Luke 5:10
Sinners Must be Taken Out of Their Native ElementC. H. Spurgeon.Luke 5:10
Sucking Off the BaitC. H. Spurgeon.Luke 5:10
Sympathy a BaitDr. J. Clifford.Luke 5:10
The Draught of FishesJ. B. Clark.Luke 5:10
The Net of a Genuine Christian LifeJ. B. Clark.Luke 5:10
The Noblest CallingJ. B. Clark.Luke 5:10
Fishers of MenR.M. Edgar Luke 5:1-11
A Broken NetS. Baring-Gould, M. A.Luke 5:6-11
A New Year', Word for Business PeopleMark Guy Pearse.Luke 5:6-11
A Night of Toil: the Philosophy of FailureW. Scott.Luke 5:6-11
An Image of the Preaching of the GospelVan Oosterzee.Luke 5:6-11
Blessing in Our Temporal CallingLisco.Luke 5:6-11
Christ the Lord of NatureW. J. Deane, M. A.Luke 5:6-11
Christ with the Galilean FishermenJames Foote, M. A.Luke 5:6-11
Failure and SuccessR. A. Griffin.Luke 5:6-11
Failure, Faith, and FortuneM. Braithwaite.Luke 5:6-11
Faith Triumphant in FailureDean Vaughan.Luke 5:6-11
Gospel for the Fifth Sunday After TrinityG. Calthrop, M. A.Luke 5:6-11
Peter an Example for UsFuchs.Luke 5:6-11
Place of the Miracle in the HistoryA. B. Bruce, D. D.Luke 5:6-11
Reasons for the MiracleW. J. Deane, M. A.Luke 5:6-11
The Blessed FishermenHeubner.Luke 5:6-11
The Desponding EncouragedJ. Woodhouse., J. Keble.Luke 5:6-11
The Disappointing Night and the Successful MornR. M. Spoor.Luke 5:6-11
The Faith of PeterVan Oosterzee.Luke 5:6-11
The Galilean FishersNewman Hall, LL. B.Luke 5:6-11
The Just Means of Gaining Temporal BlessingHeubner.Luke 5:6-11
The Miraculous Draught of FishesD. Longwill.Luke 5:6-11
The Nature of the MiracleA. B. Bruce, D. D., Dean Plumptre in "Poet's Bible.Luke 5:6-11
The Obedience of FaithVan Oosterzee.Luke 5:6-11
The Remarkable Transitions in the Life of FaithVan Oosterzee.Luke 5:6-11
The Sinking Fishing-Boat a Symbol of the Ruinous Tendency of Abounding ProsperityT. R. Stevenson.Luke 5:6-11
The Three F's -- a Parable of FishingT. L. Cuyler, D. D.Luke 5:6-11
The Two Draughts of FishesC. H. Spurgeon.Luke 5:6-11
This ParagraphJ. Parker, D. D.Luke 5:6-11
Use of PartnersBishop Hall.Luke 5:6-11
Weariness and FaithDean Vaughan.Luke 5:6-11

It was the coming of God in the person of Jesus Christ that excited in the breast of the apostle such shrinking of soul. Peter perceived that he stood in the presence of One in whom was Divine power, of One who was in very close association with the Holy One of Israel; and, feeling his own unworthiness, he exclaimed, with characteristic candour of impulsiveness, "Depart from me; for I am a sinful man, O Lord."


1. Nature and providence. The heavens declare his glory, and so does this wonderful and beautiful and fruitful earth. Not less so do the souls and the lives of men, created with all their faculties, preserved and enriched with all their joys and blessings. "The invisible things of him... are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made." But more than this was proved to be needed by the sad, dark history of man kind. Hence we have:

2. Special revelation. "At sundry times and in divers manners God spake unto our fathers" by Abraham, Moses, Samuel, David, etc.; but at a later time he spake unto us by his Son - by his life, his truth, his sorrow, his death, his resurrection. But this did not suffice. Divine love appeared, and human hatred slew it. Divine truth spake, and human error determinately rejected it. So God gives us what we need.

3. The direct influences of his Holy Spirit, to arouse, to quicken, to enlighten, to renew us.

II. THE FIRST EFFECT UPON THE SOUL OF THIS VISION OF GOD. What usually happens is that the soul is smitten with a sense of its sinfulness, and desires to withdraw from the Divine presence. At this we need not wonder. If conscious ignorance shrinks from great learning, poverty from great wealth, obscurity from high rank, human guilt from human purity, well may the consciously sinful soul of man shrink from the near presence of the thrice-holy God. As Adam and Eve hid themselves when they "heard the voice of the Lord God walking in the garden;" as Isaiah exclaimed, "Woe is me! I am a man of unclean lips," when he "saw the Lord" in the temple; - so do we shrink from the felt presence of the Lord in view of our own unworthiness and guilt. Remembering our spiritual estrangement, our great undischarged indebtedness to God, our impurity of heart in his sight, our manifold transgressions of his righteous law, - our souls tremble before him; and if we do not say, "Depart from me, O Lord!" as Peter did, yet our first thought is to escape from his felt presence, to put some distance, in thought and feeling, between ourselves and that Holy and Mighty One in whose power we stand so absolutely, and whose Spirit we have grieved so greatly.

III. THE INTERPOSITION OF OUR SAVIOUR. The sacred record does not state what immediately ensued, but our instructed imagination will very readily supply the remainder of the incident. We are quite sure that our gracious Master, instead of acting on Peter's word, and leaving him, drew nearer to him, and "took him by the hand," and so reassured him. Thus does he treat us now. Instead of withdrawing from us when we know and feel our guilt, he comes nearer to us. Instead of saying to us, "Depart from me!" he says, earnestly and emphatically, "Come unto me!" He says to us, "If, in my teaching and in my life and in my death, there is (as there is) the strongest possible condemnation of sin, so is there also in all these things, in my words and my actions and my cross, the greatest possible hope for the sinner. Come unto me; see in me the Propitiation for your sin, the Way back unto the Father the Divine Friend and Helper of the sorrowing and struggling human soul. Do not leave me; come to me, and abide in me!" - C.

Fear not; from henceforth thou shalt catch men.
To be good fishermen we must be —


II. INTIMATELY ACQUAINTED WITH THE FISHES. In following the analogy, we may observe that, because of his acquaintance with the fishes, the fisherman knows —

1. Where to fish. A novice would throw in his line anywhere; but not so the fisherman. Fishes of various sorts must be sought in various localities, and in some places you may seek in vain for any. Many a man has "toiled all the night and has taken nothing," simply because he has been trying in the wrong place; while others round about him have "made a good tide." For one sort he may go to the quiet lake and the gentle stream; for another to the open sea or the deep channel; while for others he has to go out into the great wide ocean. And in our spiritual fishing we must learn where to catch men. We may find opportunities in the quiet lakes of our own domestic circles, or in the pleasant streams of our social friendships. Because of his acquaintance with the fishes, the fisherman also knows —

2. How to fish. Like men, fishes differ very much in their dispositions and habits, so that what would be suitable for catching one class would not be successful with another. For instance: While some must be drawn, others must be driven. I have seen fishermen, after casting their net, row round about it, making as much noise as possible with their oars, in order to frighten the fishes into it; while, in other instances, a bright light has been burned in the boat to allure them, if possible, into the snare. It is exactly so with men. Some are caught in shoals, while others must be caught singly. There are some that never can be taken in a net, and there are others that can never be taken with a line. You must go about it very cautiously. The fish is a shy creature, and many would-be sportsman has driven away all chance of success by his incautious procedure. Almost anybody can cast a net, but it requires an expert to use the line. People can successfully address large assemblies, who are ill at ease when in personal intercourse with the ungodly. This is a work that demands all our skill and care. You may see a wonderful example of this in our Saviour's conversation with the woman at the well. I have been in the same boat with several persons, each provided with similar lines, hooks, and bait; and yet some have been as wonderfully successful as others have been strangely unfortunate. The secret, to those who understood fishing, was obvious. The good fisherman, knowing exactly how to manage and tempt his prey, could, with inferior apparatus, secure success; while the novice, with the best patent gear, might sit, and wait and watch in vain. The application is easy. Seek to allure men! Make your Christianity an attractive thing! Surround all you do with the genuine sunshine of the Bible! Reveal Christ, and He "will draw all men unto Him." Again, his acquaintance with the fishes will teach the fisherman —

3. When to fish. "A word in season, how good it is!" Some fishes are to be caught when the tide is high; others, when it is low; and others, when it is "slack." Some can be obtained only in cloudy weather, and others may be caught when the sky is clear and bright. For some the daylight is needful, and for others there is no time like the night. And the fit season for approaching men may be equally various. As in fishing, so, as a rule, with men, the best time to seek them is during "the slack" of the tide. It is not well to make the attempt during either the full swing of the flood, or of the strong rush of the ebb. Indeed, no ordinary lead would carry your bait to where they are. You must seek men when they are quiet. It is worthy of observation that most fishes arc caught best in cloudy weather. When the sky is murky and lowering, then the fisherman puts out to sea. This certainly suggests to us the appropriateness of Christian words in seasons of sorrow.

III. MORALLY QUALIFIED TO BE FISHERMEN. Piety, patience, perseverance, and every Christian grace will be needful in this work. Its difficulties are neither few nor small.

(W. H. Burton.)

Thou shalt catch men. The word "catch" is different from any word that has been used concerning the fish, and expresses the catching alive of the prey to be caught; so that the phraseology of our Lord seems to carry with it the thought that fishers of men are to toil for living creatures, and that unless they be caught alive they might as well not be caught at all. How well would it be for all those who are called to be fishers of men, to remember that their work is not to fill their boat with fishes which may serve as food for themselves, but to catch living men and make them servants of the Most High God.

(Bishop Goodwin.)

The design of this miracle was twofold. It was intended —

1. To produce an immediate effect upon the minds of Peter and the rest, to deepen their faith in the Master who had called them, and to set forth His power, His watchfulness, His love. But still more —

2. To take effect in the future; it was emphatically a prophetic miracle — to be looked back to and to yield inexhaustible comfort again and again amid the heavy cares and discouraging tasks of the years to come, when the gospel-net had been finally put into their hands, and they had become "fishers of men." St. Peter was to translate into spiritual language all that belonged to his old fisherman's life. He was to understand that it had been in a homely, but still most real, way a preparation for the new unearthly service to which Christ was calling him. So you may remember the simple shepherd-life of David is set forth in the seventy-eighth Psalm as a preparatory discipline for kingly rule. And so, according to the fancy of an early writer, the trade of tentmaker followed by Saul of Tarsus prefigured the work which lay in store for Paul the apostle, as the maker of tabernacles for the people of God, the founder of Churches all over the known world.

(Canon Duckworth.)The promise that Peter should become a fisher of men was made still more impressive by a great symbolical miracle.

1. The number of fish caught at Jesus' word represented the men he should some day take.

2. As he fished all night and caught nothing, so had he afterwards to labour long in Israel without winning a single human soul.

3. So, too, at Jesus' word, he put further out into the deep of the great Gentile world, and drew there a great draught.

4. Last of all, there were two boats to fill — the Gentile-Christian and the Jewish Christian Churches. Then the net began to tear, and the opposition of these two sections threatened the Church with a grievous schism. But the draught was brought safely to land, to the confounding of the circumcised Jew, through whose instrumentality this Divine action had been brought about.

(B. Weiss.)

The man who saves souls is like a fisher upon the sea.

1. A fisher is dependent and trustful.

2. He is diligent and persevering.

3. He is intelligent and watchful.

4. He is laborious and self-denying.

5. He is daring — not afraid to venture upon a dangerous sea.

6. He is successful. He is DO fisher who never catches anything.

(C. H. Spurgeon.)There is as much analogy as contrast between the first and second vocations of the sons of Jonas and Zebedee.

1. Like the fisherman, the minister of the gospel must be furnished with a good net, i.e., he must be conversant with the Scriptures, and mighty in them.

2. Like the fisherman, he must be acquainted with the sea, i.e., the world, and not fear to confront its perils in pursuance of his calling.

3. Like the fisherman, he must now mend, now cast his nets.

4. Like the fisherman, he must labour perseveringly, and wait patiently.

5. Like the fisherman, he must enter into the spirit of his vocation, i.e., he must be animated with the enthusiasm of the holy ministry.

6. Like the fisherman, he must dare to expose his life (Acts 20:24).

7. Like the fisherman, he must draw in his net after having cast it.

(C. Babut, B. D.)

It is a fact of which we can scarcely make too much, that nothing baits the gospelfisherman's hook like sympathy.

(Dr. J. Clifford.)

Are an insult to God and man. A sermon that aims at anything short of catching men is a mistake. Let us beware of converting means into ends.

(Dr. J. Clifford.)

The fisherman, however, thinks far less of his gathering bait than he does of his catching bait, in which he hides his hook. Very numerous are his inventions for winning his prey, and it is by practice that he learns how to adapt his bait to his fish. Scores of things serve as bait, and when he is not actually at work the wise fisherman takes care to seize anything which comes in his way which may be useful when the time comes to cast his lines. We usually carried mussels, whelks, and some of the coarser sorts of fish, which could be used when they were wanted. When the anchor was down the hooks were baited and let down for the benefit of the inhabitants of the deep, and great would have been the disappointment if they had merely swarmed around the delicious morsel, but had refused to partake thereof. A good fisherman actually catches fish. He is not always alike successful, but, as a rule, he has something to show for his trouble. I do not call that man a fisherman whose basket seldom holds a fish; he is sure to tell you of the many bites he had, and of that very big fish which he almost captured; but that is neither here nor there. There are some whose knowledge of terms and phrases, and whose extensive preparations lead you to fear that they will exterminate the fishy race, but as their basket returns empty, they can hardly be so proficient as they seem. The parable hardly needs expounding: great talkers and theorizers are common enough, and there are not a few whose cultured boastfulness is only exceeded by their life-long failure. We cannot take these for our example, nor fall at their feet with reverence for their pretensions. We must have sinners saved. Nothing else will content us: the fisherman must take fish or lose his toil, and we must bring souls to Jesus, or we shall break our hearts with disappointment.

(C. H. Spurgeon.)

Walking to the head of the boat one evening, I saw a line over the side, and must needs hold it. You can feel by your finger whether you have a bite or no, but I was in considerable doubt whether anything was at the other end or not. I thought they were biting, but I was not certain, so I pulled up the long line, and found that the baits were all gone; the fish had sucked them all off, and that was what they were doing when I was in doubt. If you have nothing but a sort of gathering bait, and the fish merely come and suck, but do not take the hook, you will catch no fish; you need killing bait. This often happens in the Sunday-school. A pleasing speaker tells a story, and the children are all listening; he has gathered them; now comes the spiritual lesson, but hardly any of them take notice of it, they have sucked the bait from the hook, and are up and away. A minister in preaching delivers a telling illustration, all the ears in the place are open, but when he comes to the application of it the people have become listless; they like the bait very well, but not the hook; they like the adornment of the tale, but not the point of the moral. This is poor work. The plan is, if you possibly can manage it, so to get the bait on the hook that they cannot suck it off, but must take the hook and all. Do take care, dear friends, when you teach children or grown-up people, that you do not arrange the anecdotes in such a way that they can sort them out, as boys pick the plums from their cakes, or else you will amuse but not benefit.

(C. H. Spurgeon.)

— A very zealous revivalist of our acquaintance was wont to say that over-cautious preachers were like fishermen who refuse to cast forth the net for fear they might catch a devil-fish.

(From Hervey's "Manual of Revivals.")

We must never be satisfied till we lift sinners out of their native element. That destroys fish, but it saves souls. We long to be the means of lifting sinners out of the water of sin to lay them in the boat at the feet of Jesus. To this end we must enclose them as in a net; we must shut them up under the law, and surround them with the gospel, so that there is no getting out, but they must be captives unto Christ. We must net them with entreaties, encircle them with invitations, and entangle them with prayers. We cannot let them get away to perish in their sin, we must land them at the Saviour's feet. This is our design, but we need help from above to accomplish it: we require our Lord's direction to know where to cast the net, and the Spirit's helping of our infirmity that we may know how to do it. May the Lord teach us to profit, and may we return from our fishing, bringing our fish with us. Amen.

(C. H. Spurgeon.)

This miracle illustrates —

I. THE LOW LEVEL OF A LIFE WITHOUT CHRIST FOR ITS MASTER. Fishing had become to these men the chief end and whole aim of living. Up to this time their life was exceedingly narrow. It had no horizon wider than the sea which held their food and supplied their trade. Thus they would have lived and died, but for the call and commission of Christ. The secular ideal of life always binds men to earth. Only Christ can raise it.

II. THE TRUE RELATION BETWEEN BUSINESS AND RELIGION, Our Lord lived a carpenter before He died a Saviour. Through all His early manhood He consecrated manual toil by His own example, and so He wedded the daily and spiritual life for ever in one. Here He sanctions Simon's business, even while crowning it with a higher calling. Our Lord is master both of business and religion; no drudgery is too low or mean to become, when done for Christ's sake, the very service of God. How this transfigures the net of the fisher, the miner's pick, the grocer's scales, the clerk's tape: in each of them can be discerned a humble tool for the accomplishment of the Divine will. The servant's broom, thus held, becomes a sceptre in the hand that holds it.

III. THE SECULAR LIFE, SUBMITTED TO CHRIST, BECOMES A SCHOOL FOR THE SPIRITUAL LIFE. It was in doing His daily work for Christ's sake that Peter took his first and most needed lesson in apostleship — the lesson of humility. And thus it is, through the arts and implements which are the most familiar, that the Lord is always seeking to lift men up from secular to spiritual lives. As the Eastern astrologers were pointed to the Redeemer's cradle by a star; as the woman of Samaria, in the very act of drawing water out of Jacob's well, was led to dip and drink of the sweeter waters of life; as Peter, the fisherman, by a surprising draught of fishes was made lowly enough to catch men — so through the humblest art or calling of the daily life, the Lord is reaching down hands to train and mould us for a purer spiritual life and service. The counting-room is no longer narrow, when thus its higher use as schoolroom of the soul is recognized. Dollars and cents no longer degrade men when they learn to read on their face, not the name of Caesar only, but the holier seal and superscription of God. The irritating cares of home cease to fret the housekeeper's spirit when she begins to treat them as part of that ministry by which the Lord seeks to make her a more profitable servant.

IV. THE NOBLE SERVICES OF A LIFE CONSECRATED IN ALL ITS ACTIVITIES TO THE LORD. Not all at once; we cannot enter school and graduate the same day. It needs many lessons; line upon line of experience; but success does come at last.


1. The service of the Lord is always the truest service we can render to ourselves. We have all something to give up to become followers of Jesus. Yet give it up! Yours will be a strange experience if the things you give up for Christ's sake do not soon look small beside the things you have gained. They will be, in comparison, as the Sea of Galilee to the world, as the worth of a fish to the value of an immortal man.

2. No business on earth is worth following for its own sake. It may be an honest and innocent business; but if it be not also a Christian calling, and that by our own most deliberate choice, it will certainly dwarf the higher nature of him who follows it. It may keep us alive. It may bring us gains. But what are life and wealth worth, in any sober man's estimate, when thus secured? The "successes" of millionaires have been commonly the worst mistakes of life. There is a higher law reigning over all trades, professions, occupation (1 Corinthians 10:31).

3. The climax of all callings is to be a fisher of men.

(J. B. Clark.)

An eminent New England divine, in his last sickness, was asked by a friend, "What seems to you now the greatest thing?" "Not theology," said this prince of theologians; "not controversy," again replied this chief of debaters; "but," gathering up his last breath to speak the words, while his spirit hovered at the gate of heaven, "the greatest thing in the world is to save a soul." He spoke of what he knew, for he had felt the joy of delivering many; and could the witness of all saints, from Peter down to the last ascended, be taken, would it not be the same, "the greatest thing on earth is to save a soul"?

(J. B. Clark. .)

You and I may never be heroes of a Pentecost; we are not masters of the great seine, which Peter and John of old, and some modern disciples, shoot out and catch men by the thousands; but have we not some humble hand-net with which we can take a few? Along our coast line, for some years, men have been setting up what they call "weirs," consisting of a series of enclosed ponds, connected with each other by openings, and terminating, at last, in a netted fence running far out into the bay. Against this netted fence the fish, in their progress, strike, and, following it down, they are safely enclosed, at last, in the smallest pond where they are easily captured when the tide is out. Like this netted arm, running far out into the busy world, is a genuine Christian life. It has none of the special gifts of a Finney or a Moody, but in the coming and going tides more than one soul is arrested by this standing net of a godly life. Unconsciously guided by the holy barrier in their way, they are drawn into stiller waters, and when the tide goes out at last, many, I believe, will be found taken for Christ, and taken by fishers of men whose chief skill has been to stand, to stand firm and without rent, in the midst of a restless sea.

(J. B. Clark.)

Would you be a fisher of men? And do you ask, How may I succeed? Love is the best pilot, the only wise interpreter. Love men as Christ loved them, and you will not mourn your small skill or limited chance. Love will soon show you your own best way. To catch men without love is as hopeless as to catch fish without a net. Love is the net. There never was a wicked sinner unsoftened by a pure and steadfast love. There never was a wayward scholar who did not reward the faithful, patient love of his teacher. Let our love be only such that we can pray as Christ prayed for men, can weep as Christ wept over them, can bleed as Christ bled for them, can stretch our arms of help as wide as He stretched His on the cross of sacrifice I Then we shall be able to catch men, for so He drew us, and so He is drawing the world to Himself. "Fear not," He seems to say to all who love, yet shrink from this holy calling, "fear not; love men, and you shall catch them."

(J. B. Clark.)

Christ's method of training His ministers for their high office was very remarkable. It was by a miracle, especially designed to represent, in a figure, their future office, me that the homely trade in which they were engaged was for ever hallowed to be the emblem of the gathering into the Church of such as should be saved.

1. The unwearied patience and consummate skill, without which the fisherman cannot be successful in alluring his prey, are, no doubt, fit illustrations of that constancy of purpose and that heavenly wisdom which are such important elements in the character of the Christian teacher.

2. And, perhaps, the fact that the four disciples had toiled all night and taken nothing, and yet were ready, at their Master's bidding, again to let down the net for a draught, is recorded as an instance of that unwavering faith in the Divine promise, and that patient continuance in well-doing, which had prepared these simple-minded peasants of Galilee for that office in which the Christian minister has only to obey, while he leaves results in a higher hand, and, even when he fears he has bestowed labour in vain, still to labour on, in reliance upon the assurance that God's word shall not return to Him void.

3. But perhaps the chief ministerial lesson which our Lord intended to convey to the minds of His apostles was this — that as even the fisherman, in spite of all his skill, must still depend on the power of Him whose is the sea, for He made it, so all the success of the gospel preacher is of the Lord alone.

(J. S. Hoare, B. D.)

Christian Age.
I. NONE SHOULD ENTER THE MINISTRY BUT THOSE WHO ARE CALLED OF CHRIST, There are other voices to which young men are apt to listen.

1. There is the voice of the love of a life of literary ease. The young man has a passion for books; his daily toil seems to him mean and degrading; and he fancies that if he were in the ministry he would have nothing to do but to study, and that study would be a lifelong and ever-increasing delight. At the best he becomes a respectable bookworm, who hates preaching, which so greatly interferes with his studies; but he must preach or starve, and so he preaches sermons about the gospel — very learned sermons — which do his hearers about as much real good as would an admirable lecture on the chemistry of food delivered to a number of farm labourers who at the close of a day's toil had hurried into a kitchen! hungry for food.

2. There is a voice of the ambition to be respectable, genteel!

3. There is the voice of the love of publicity. Sometimes a little success in delivering half a dozen addresses to a Sunday School, or in making as many speeches in a debating society, turns a young man's brain, and he is sure that his proper place is in the ministry.

4. There is still another voice to which many young men are apt to listen, imagining that it is indeed the voice of Christ calling them to devote themselves to the ministry — the voice of a sincere desire to do good. This desire is quick and powerful in the heart of every young man who has really given himself to Christ. But it is a pitiable mistake to imagine that the call to do good and the call to become a preacher of the gospel is one and the same thing. To none of the voices that I have named should a young man listen when he is debating the question whether he should devote himself to the ministry of the Word. Before he takes that solemn, and in many cases irrevocable step, he should be very sure that it is the voice of Christ that he has heard saying to him, "Follow Me, and I will make you a fisher of men."

II. BUT — this is the second fact that should be pondered — WHEN A MAN HAS HEARD THAT CALL HE SHOULD OBEY IT AT ANY COST. It may be that he cannot do so without making sacrifices; like Simon and Andrew, James and John, he may have to leave behind him nets, boats, valuable fishing-tackle, and dear friends; he may have to give up great present advantages, still greater prospective advantages; but like those of whom this narrative speaks to us, he should cheerfully forsake all, and follow Christ. Amos, the herdsman, was as true a prophet of the Lord as Isaiah, although he was reared in a palace. The other young man is in the counting-house; he is the eldest son of the successful head of the firm; he knows that in due time he will be a partner in the firm; he, too, is called, clearly called — he has no doubt that it is Christ's voice he hears — yet he hesitates, for the nets and boats that will have to be left are too many and too valuable; he reminds himself of the fact of which of I have reminded you, that it is not in the ministry only that a man can do good, and so, with this excuse, which he knows is for him a lie, he silences the Voice that calls so clearly. And hence comes that fact, which all the Churches deplore, that so few young men come forth from the middle and upper ranks of society to serve our Lord Jesus Christ as preachers of His Word. This was Garibaldi's most effective appeal to his fellow-countrymen: — "Soldiers, your efforts against overwhelming odds have been unavailing. I have nothing to offer you but hunger, thirst, hardship, death: let all who love their country follow me" (July 22, 1849). Such an appeal does Christ address to-day to the sons of our Christian merchants and landowners.

(Christian Age.)

James, Jesus, John, Levi, Peter, Simon, Zabdi, Zebedee
Galilee, Genneseret, Jerusalem, Judea
Afraid, Alive, Catch, Catching, Fear, Fisher, Forward, Henceforth, James, John, Manner, Partners, Simon, Simon's, Sons, Working, Zabdi, Zebedee, Zeb'edee
1. Jesus teaches the people out of Peter's ship;
4. shows how he will make them fishers of men;
12. cleanses the leper;
16. prays in the desert;
17. heals a paralytic;
27. calls Matthew the tax collector;
29. eats with sinners, as being the physician of souls;
33. foretells the fasting and afflictions of the apostles after his ascension;
36. and illustrates the matter by the parable of patches.

Dictionary of Bible Themes
Luke 5:10

     1651   numbers, 1-2
     5113   Peter, disciple
     5355   invitations
     5425   net
     8754   fear

Luke 5:1-11

     7758   preachers, call

Luke 5:2-11

     6620   calling

Luke 5:7-10

     7924   fellowship, in service

Luke 5:10-11

     5877   hesitation

March 25 Evening
Master, we have toiled all the night, and have taken nothing; nevertheless at thy word I will let down the net.--LUKE 5:5. All power is give unto me in heaven and in earth. Go ye therefore and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: . . . and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. The kingdom of heaven is like unto a net, that was cast into the sea. Though I preach the gospel, I have nothing to glory of: necessity is laid
Anonymous—Daily Light on the Daily Path

March 19. "Launch Out into the Deep" (Luke v. 4).
"Launch out into the deep" (Luke v. 4). Many difficulties and perplexities in connection with our Christian life might be best settled by a simple and bold decision of our will to go forward with the light we have and leave the speculations and theories that we cannot decide for further settlement. What we need is to act, and to act with the best light we have, and as we step out into the present duty and full obedience, many things will be made plain which it is no use waiting to decide. Beloved,
Rev. A. B. Simpson—Days of Heaven Upon Earth

December 9. "Launch Out into the Deep" (Luke v. 4).
"Launch out into the deep" (Luke v. 4). One of the special marks of the Holy Ghost in the Apostolic Church was the spirit Of boldness. One of the most essential qualities of the faith that is to attempt great things for God and expect great things from God, is holy audacity. Where we are dealing with a supernatural Being, and taking from Him things that are humanly impossible, it is easier to take much than little; it is easier to stand in a place of audacious trust than in a place of cautious, timid
Rev. A. B. Simpson—Days of Heaven Upon Earth

LUKE v. 8. Depart from me; for I am a sinful man, O Lord. Few stories in the New Testament are as well known as this. Few go home more deeply to the heart of man. Most simple, most graceful is the story, and yet it has in it depths unfathomable. Great painters have loved to draw, great poets have loved to sing, that scene on the lake of Gennesaret. The clear blue water, land- locked with mountains; the meadows on the shore, gay with their lilies of the field, on which our Lord bade them look,
Charles Kingsley—Discipline and Other Sermons

Instructions for Fishermen
'Now when He had left speaking, He said unto Simon, Launch out into the deep, and let down your nets for a draught.'--LUKE v. 4. The day's work begins early in the East. So the sun, as it rose above the hills on the other side of the lake, shone down upon a busy scene, fresh with the dew and energy of the morning, on the beach by the little village of Bethsaida. One group of fishermen was washing their nets, their boats being hauled up on the strand. A crowd of listeners was thus early gathered round
Alexander Maclaren—Expositions Of Holy Scripture

Fear and Faith
'When Simon Peter saw it, he fell down at Jesus' knees, saying, Depart from me; for I am a sinful man, O Lord.' --LUKE v. 8. 'Now, when Simon Peter heard that it was the Lord, he girt his fisher's coat unto him,... and did cast himself into the sea.'--JOHN xxi. 7. These two instances of the miraculous draught of fishes on the Lake of Gennesareth are obviously intended to be taken in conjunction. Their similarities and their differences are equally striking and equally instructive. In the fragment
Alexander Maclaren—Expositions Of Holy Scripture

Blasphemer, or --Who?
'And it came to pass on a certain day, as He was teaching, that there were Pharisees and doctors of the law sitting by, which were come out of every town of Galilee, and Judea, and Jerusalem; and the power of the Lord was present to heal them. 18. And, behold, men brought in a bed a man which was taken with a palsy: and they sought means to bring him in, and to lay him before Him. 19. And when they could not find by what way they might bring him in because of the multitude, they went upon the house-top,
Alexander Maclaren—Expositions Of Holy Scripture

"The Moody and Sankey Humbug. "
There was a man, while we were in London, who got out a little paper called "The Moody and Sankey Humbug." He used to have it to sell to the people coming into the meeting. After he had sold a great many thousand copies of that number, he wanted to get out another number; so he came to the meeting to get something to put into the paper; but the power of the Lord was present. It says here in this chapter (Luke 5) that the Pharisees, scribes, and doctors, were watching the words of Christ in that house
Dwight L. Moody—Moody's Anecdotes And Illustrations

Preached June 2, 1850. ABSOLUTION. "And the Scribes and the Pharisees began to reason, saying, Who is this which speaketh blasphemies? Who can forgive sins, but God alone?"--Luke v. 21. There are questions which having been again and again settled, still from time to time, present themselves for re-solution; errors which having been refuted, and cut up by the roots, re-appear in the next century as fresh and vigorous as ever. Like the fabled monsters of old, from whose dissevered neck the blood
Frederick W. Robertson—Sermons Preached at Brighton

Carried by Four
When our Lord left his retirement he found the crowd around him exceeding great, and it was as motley as it was great; for while here were many sincere believers, there were still more sceptical observers; some were anxious to receive his healing power, others equally desirous to find occasion against him. So in all congregations, however the preacher may be clothed with his Master's spirit and his Master's might, there will be a mixed gathering; there will come together your Pharisees and doctors
Charles Haddon Spurgeon—Spurgeon's Sermons Volume 17: 1871

The Secret of Success.
5th Sunday after Trinity S. Luke v. 5. "We have taken nothing; nevertheless at Thy word, I will let down the net." INTRODUCTION.--S. Peter and the other Apostles had been fishing all night, and had met with no success at all, then Jesus entered into the boat of Simon, and bade him launch out and let down his net. S. Peter did not hesitate. He had met with no success when fishing in the night, nevertheless now, at the word of Christ, he fishes again, and this time the net encloses a great multitude,
S. Baring-Gould—The Village Pulpit, Volume II. Trinity to Advent

Christ the Great Physician.
"They that are whole have no need of a physician; but they that are sick. I am not come to call the righteous, but sinners, to repentance" (Luke v. 31, 32). "For this people's heart is waxed gross, And their ears are dull of hearing, And their eyes they have closed; Lest haply they should perceive with their eyes, And hear with their ears, And understand with their heart, And should turn again, And I should heal them" (Matt. xiii. 15). "He hath sent me to heal the broken-hearted" (Luke iv. 18).
Frank G. Allen—Autobiography of Frank G. Allen, Minister of the Gospel

Jesus, Still Lead On.
"Jesu, geh Voran." "They forsook all, and followed him."--Luke 5:11. [7]Ludwig von Zinzendorf transl., Jane Borthwick, 1846, 1854 Jesus, still lead on, Till our rest be won! And although the way be cheerless, We will follow, calm and fearless. Guide us by thy hand To our Fatherland. If the way be drear, If the foe be near, Let not faithless fears o'ertake us, Let not faith and hope forsake us For, through many a foe, To our home we go! When we seek relief From a long-felt grief-- When oppressed
Jane Borthwick—Hymns from the Land of Luther

Travelling in Palestine --Roads, Inns, Hospitality, Custom-House Officers, Taxation, Publicans
It was the very busiest road in Palestine, on which the publican Levi Matthew sat at the receipt of "custom," when our Lord called him to the fellowship of the Gospel, and he then made that great feast to which he invited his fellow-publicans, that they also might see and hear Him in Whom he had found life and peace (Luke 5:29). For, it was the only truly international road of all those which passed through Palestine; indeed, it formed one of the great highways of the world's commerce. At the time
Alfred Edersheim—Sketches of Jewish Social Life

Penitence, as Explained in the Sophistical Jargon of the Schoolmen, Widely Different from the Purity Required by the Gospel. Of Confession and Satisfaction.
1. Errors of the Schoolmen in delivering the doctrine of repentance. 1. Errors in defining it. Four different definitions considered. 2. Absurd division. 3. Vain and puzzling questions. 4. Mode in which they entangle themselves. 2. The false doctrine of the Schoolmen necessary to be refuted. Of contrition. Their view of it examined. 3. True and genuine contrition. 4. Auricular confession. Whether or not of divine authority. Arguments of Canonists and Schoolmen. Allegorical argument founded on Judaism.
John Calvin—The Institutes of the Christian Religion

Seventh Appearance of Jesus.
(Sea of Galilee.) ^D John XXI. 1-25. ^d 1 After these things Jesus manifested himself again to the disciples at the sea of Tiberias; and he manifested himself on this wise. 2 There was together Simon Peter, and Thomas called Didymus, and Nathanael of Cana in Galilee [see p. 111], and the sons of Zebedee, and two other of his disciples. 3 Simon Peter saith unto them, I go a fishing. [As usual, Peter was the leader.] They say unto him, We also come with thee. They went forth, and entered into the boat;
J. W. McGarvey—The Four-Fold Gospel

Jesus Heals a Leper and Creates Much Excitement.
^A Matt.VIII. 2-4; ^B Mark I. 40-45; ^C Luke V. 12-16. ^c 12 And it came to pass, while he was in one of the cities [it was a city of Galilee, but as it was not named, it is idle to conjecture which city it was], behold, ^b there cometh { ^a came} ^b to him a leper [There is much discussion as to what is here meant by leprosy. Two diseases now go by that name; viz., psoriasis and elephantiasis. There are also three varieties of psoriasis, namely, white, black and red. There are also three varieties
J. W. McGarvey—The Four-Fold Gospel

The Disciples of Jesus.
In this terrestrial paradise, which the great revolutions of history had till then scarcely touched, there lived a population in perfect harmony with the country itself, active, honest, joyous, and tender-hearted. The Lake of Tiberias is one of the best supplied with fish of any in the world.[1] Very productive fisheries were established, especially at Bethsaida, and at Capernaum, and had produced a certain degree of wealth. These families of fishermen formed a gentle and peaceable society, extending
Ernest Renan—The Life of Jesus

The Conflict with Evil
The Kingdom of God Will Have to Fight for Its Advance The great objective is the Kingdom of God. In realizing the Reign of God on earth three recalcitrant forces have to be brought into obedience to God's law: the desire for power, the love of property, and unsocial religion. We have studied Christ's thought concerning these in the foregoing chapters. The advance of the Kingdom of God is not simply a process of social education, but a conflict with hostile forces which resist, neutralize, and defy
Walter Rauschenbusch—The Social Principles of Jesus

The Lake of Gennesaret; Or, the Sea of Galilee and Tiberias.
Jordan is measured at one hundred and twenty furlongs, from the lake of Samochonitis to that of Gennesaret. That lake, in the Old Testament, is 'The sea of Chinnereth,' Numbers 34:11, &c. In the Targumists, 'The sea of Genesar'; sometimes, 'of Genesor'; sometimes, 'of Ginosar': it is the same also in the Talmudists, but most frequently 'The sea of Tiberiah.' Both names are used by the evangelists; 'the lake of Gennesaret,' Luke 5:1; 'the sea of Tiberias,' John 21:1; and 'the sea of Galilee,' John
John Lightfoot—From the Talmud and Hebraica

Peter's Repentance
"And the Lord turned, and looked upon Peter. And Peter remembered the word of the Lord, how he had said unto him, Before the cock crow, thou shalt deny me thrice. And Peter went out, and wept bitterly" (Luke 22:61, 62). That was the turning-point in the history of Peter. Christ had said to him: "Thou canst not follow me now" (John 13:36). Peter was not in a fit state to follow Christ, because he had not been brought to an end of himself; he did not know himself, and he therefore could not follow
Andrew Murray—Absolute Surrender

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