Saturday, February 23, 2008

Growing in Grace

Luke 5: 8 But when Simon Peter saw it, he fell down at Jesus’ knees, saying, "Depart from me, for I am a sinful man, O Lord." 9 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." 11 And when they had brought their boats to land, they left everything and followed him. ESV

Indeed when God shows His power in an obvious way it can cause fear. Ask anyone who has escaped certain death in war, car wreck or illness. That was St Peter’s reaction to Jesus telling them to cast nets one more time after a night of fruitless work. Some have dared suggest that perhaps he did not believe in Jesus at the time and came to faith later. To prove this point the next section of scripture is used:

John 21: 4 Just as day was breaking, Jesus stood on the shore; yet the disciples did not know that it was Jesus. 5 Jesus said to them, "Children, do you have any fish?" They answered him, "No." 6 He said to them, "Cast the net on the right side of the boat, and you will find some." So they cast it, and now they were not able to haul it in, because of the quantity of fish. 7 That disciple whom Jesus loved therefore said to Peter, "It is the Lord!" When Simon Peter heard that it was the Lord, he put on his outer garment, for he was stripped for work, and threw himself into the sea. 8 The other disciples came in the boat, dragging the net full of fish, for they were not far from the land, but about a hundred yards off. ESV

So what could have made the difference? We are dealing with the same sinner and the same Saviour. In fact this second occurrence happened after St Peter messed up big time with denying Jesus on the night if His crucifixion. In the second account St Peter was bold in approaching Jesus so much that he did not want to wait for the boat to arrive at the shore. The difference is St Peter found out what a complete sinner he was and what a complete Saviour is Jesus.

This can happen and should to all those who trust in Jesus. For certain when one comes to understand the original sin of which we are all guilty it is an amazing grace we behold. However, when afterward we continue to screw up, repent, receive forgiveness and realize no matter how hard we try all we can do is promise to sin again we see what a much greater Saviour we have. So we too with Simon look forward to being with Jesus more and more as time rolls on. Like a little child looks forward to seeing a loving and accepting adult we look forward to seeing Jesus.

Luke 7: 41"A certain moneylender had two debtors. One owed five hundred denarii, and the other fifty. 42 When they could not pay, he cancelled the debt of both. Now which of them will love him more?" 43 Simon answered, "The one, I suppose, for whom he cancelled the larger debt." And he said to him, "You have judged rightly." 44 Then turning toward the woman he said to Simon, "Do you see this woman? I entered your house; you gave me no water for my feet, but she has wet my feet with her tears and wiped them with her hair. 45 You gave me no kiss, but from the time I came in she has not ceased to kiss my feet. 46 You did not anoint my head with oil, but she has anointed my feet with ointment. 47 Therefore I tell you, her sins, which are many, are forgiven—for she loved much. But he who is forgiven little, loves little." 48And he said to her, "Your sins are forgiven." 49 Then those who were at table with him began to say among themselves, "Who is this, who even forgives sins?" 50 And he said to the woman, "Your faith has saved you; go in peace." ESV

Praise to you O Christ. †

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