This a tribute to my late husband, Pastor Don. He has shared this message in various ways in his preaching and teaching. This is how I remember it.
The wall hanging pictured here is on my dining room wall. It's certainly not realistic in size with such a dinky boat and large, muscular fishermen. I do think the guy in the back of the boat on the right looks kind of like Neptune! Such as it is, it was a gift from some friends in a church my husband pastored for the last time. It reminded them of his sermon "Knee-deep in Fish". I will offer you my rendition of Don's sermon.
Luke 5:1-10: "One day as Jesus was standing by the Lake of Gennesaret, the people were crowding around him and listening to the word of God. He saw at the water’s edge two boats, left there by the fishermen, who were washing their nets. He got into one of the boats, the one belonging to Simon, and asked him to put out a little from shore. Then he sat down and taught the people from the boat.
When he had finished speaking, he said to Simon, “Put out into deep water, and let down the nets for a catch.”
Simon answered, “Master, we’ve worked hard all night and haven’t caught anything. But because you say so, I will let down the nets.”
When they had done so, they caught such a large number of fish that their nets began to break. So they signaled their partners in the other boat to come and help them, and they came and filled both boats so full that they began to sink.
When Simon Peter saw this, he fell at Jesus’ knees and said, “Go away from me, Lord; I am a sinful man!” For he and all his companions were astonished at the catch of fish they had taken, and so were James and John, the sons of Zebedee, Simon’s partners.
Then Jesus said to Simon, “Don’t be afraid; from now on you will fish for people.”
Simon Peter was tired and discouraged. He and his fishing crew had been out all night fishing and caught nothing. Zilch! I can imaging him thinking, "No food for our families.We can't afford another night like this one! His body exhausted, he is ready to go home and sleep. Suddenly he feels his boat shift and sees Jesus climbing into his boat. He doesn't do ferry rides! What is Jesus doing in my boat? But Jesus calmly sits down and begins teaching from Peter's boat. But Jesus does something unexpected, He tells Peter to put the nets out into the deep water and he will haul in some fish. Peter probably thought that Jesus doesn't understand fishing. So he protests initially, but after remembering this Man's reputation, relents to toss the nets out as Jesus said. Peter had the haul of his of his life!
Suddenly Peter dropped down onto his knees in the middle of the slimy squirming fish in front of Jesus. He felt so unworthy of this provision and to be in the presence of Jesus. Jesus was in the midst of Peter's life, the stinky stuff, the hard stuff, the gritty stuff.
Jesus is in the midst of your stuff too, and mine. What is causing you pain, frustration, discouragement today? Jesus is there for you. All you have to do is ask Him to take charge of your life. He's calling out to you today.