Worship, Sunday, March 19, 2023
      • Bible Trivia
      • Bible Trivia
      • Bible Trivia
      • Bible Trivia
  • I Need Thee Every Hour
  • Open Our Eyes
  • More Love To Thee
  • In The Garden
      • Luke 5.1-2ESV

      • Luke 5.3-4ESV

      • Luke 5.5-7ESV

      • Luke 5.8-9ESV

      • Luke 5.10-11ESV

      • Luke 5.27-29ESV

      • Luke 5.30-32ESV

  • I am indebted in no small part to Rev. Dr. Paul Smith for the descriptions and story line I used here in this sermon from his book, on which this Sermon Series title comes from and is based: Jesus - Meet Him Again for the First Time.
    One of the ways that you know about someone is the types of people that they would call their friends. When we take the time to look at Jesus, we find that He doesn’t seem to be a friend to the so called “Holy Men”, but to common folk, to fishermen, tax collectors (ah, there’s a hated group), and other sinners. If I were to try and describe what I would expect in a Messiah - a holiest of holy men - I don’t think that would be the kinds of people I would expect to which they would find themselves in company. Yet, here we have Jesus. We have the benefit of hindsight; we know the end of the Gospel story, but the people of the time didn’t.
    So if you will, let’s take some time to picture this scene. The lake of Gennesaret, as described here is the Sea of Galilee. Gennesaret was a small town on the northwestern shore. In Jesus time the narrow coastal plain of the northwestern shore of the sea of Galilee was one of the most densely populated areas in all of Palestine. dozens of thriving little cities dotted the coastal plain, harvesting fruit in the inland as well as fish with which the clear waters were filled.
    One can picture Simon, a burly man diligently working on his nets as they are spread over the black basalt boulder which lined the waters’ edge. He’s tired. He’s been out all night fishing, to no avail. A great crowd of people have gathered to see a man many thought to be the Messiah. His brother Andrew certainly thought so, but Simon was uncertain. He was impressed by him, and this Jesus had even given him a new monicker, Peter (Cephas in Aramaic), meaning “rock”. Simon was uncertain as to why, but he rather licked the personal attention and in any case the name stuck.
    Back in 28 A.D. it had been a sabbatical year, and thus a respite from the normal business year, and Peter had done some travelling with this man along with his brother Andrew, and Zebedee’s sons, James & John. During that time Simon had seen some unusual and remarkable things. He was with Him at a wedding feast where Jesus turned several large pitchers of water into wine. He’d seen Him heal numerous people, including Peter’s own mother-in-law. All of this was done with remarkable authority, even when Jesus was teaching people remarked that He didn’t teach like the other teachers of the Law but as one with authority.
    On this particular day, Jesus is back in the area and drawing huge crowds as had become normal. Nearly everyone considered Him a prophet and spoke of Him with awe and respect. As Jesus comes down towards the shore and the crowds continue to grow they are practically pushing Him into the lake. Simon was busily working on his nets, as he listened to Jesus talk about the Kingdom of God as if it were a place He knew well. Simon thought to himself, “if only I had time to contemplate such things, but right now if these people would just stay off of my nets!” Even if there were such a place Peter admitted, if he had anything to say about it he certainly wouldn’t allow a sinner like himself to get in. He tried to live right, of course, and having a family had tempered him some. Yet he worked with a tough crowd; if you backed down, someone was always there to take advantage. If Jesus knew what he was like on the inside, his thoughts, his heart, there’s no way Jesus would have invited him to travel with Him the year before.
    “Simon.” Startled from his thoughts and his work, Peter looked up to see this famous man had climbed into Simon and Andrew’s boat. The size of the crowd had made it impossible to remain on the shore. “Would you push out a bit from the shore?” Jesus asked. Peter scrambled over the rocks toward the water, uncoiled the ropes and pushed the wooden boat out several yards from shore into the shallow water. Jesus simply took a seat and continued teaching.
    When He’d finished speaking He called Simon Peter once more, “Put out into the deep and let down your nets for a catch.” One can hear the exasperation in Peter’s voice from his response. “Master, we toiled all night and took nothing! But at your word I will let down the nets.” Begrudgingly he called out to Andrew and a couple of hired helpers to load the nets back into the boat, raised the anchor and began to row back out to the deep water. Having cleared the other boats they unfurled the sail and moved swiftly out on the lake. At Jesus’ command they furled the sail once again, and let down their nets. Wondering no doubt how a carpenter could know more about fishing than they did.
    Yet when they did their nets were so filled with fish that they began to break. Frantically Peter signaled James and John who were watching from the shore. Together the two boats struggled to make it back to shore with the great load of fish.
    Once on shore the commotion began of transferring all those fish to barrels for transfer to the local market to be processed and sold. Peter who in his boldness usually found himself at the center of all this kind of activity stood at a distance. His eyes were focused on the carpenter. He realized in that moment that the One who could see a shoal of fish concealed in the depths of the waters of the lake could also see the accumulation of sins in him, to the very depths of his soul. In that moment Peter found himself reviewing all the coarse and insensitive words he had ever spoken, conversations that now were embarrassing haunted him. He hung with a rough crowd. He thought of every time he’d stretched the truth to better his profit margin. He thought of how selfish he’d been with his wife and family, and how ugly and degrading thoughts he had harbored in his mind. Dark sins from long ago suddenly were remembered and in that moment he did not want Jesus eyes turned on him.
    In response he could only say one thing, Luke 5:8
    Luke 5:8 (ESV)
    “Depart from me, for I am a sinful man, O Lord.”
    When you and I truly come face to face with Jesus, when we recognize Who He really is:
    A Living Stone, Advocate, Alpha and Omega, Anointed, Author and Finisher of Faith, Author of Salvation, Bread of Life, Brightness of His Glory, Chief Shepherd, Counselor, Deliverer, Emanuel, Eternal Life, Everlasting God, Faithful Witness, Gift of God, God my Saviour, God with Us, Great Shepherd, High Priest, Holy, Holy One of God, Horn of Salvation, I AM, Image of God, Jesus, Judge, Lamb of God, Light of the World, Lion of the Tribe of Judah, Lord, Lord God Almighty, Lord of All, Lord of Glory, Lord of the Sabbath, Man from heaven, Master, Mediator, Messiah, Mighty God, Morning Star, Power of God, Prince of Peace, Prophet, Redeemer, Savior, Seed of Abraham, Servant of the Father, Son of Man, Son of the Most High, The Amen, Highest, Life, Just, Resurrection and the Life, Sacrifice, Truth, Vine, The Way, The Word, True Bread from Heaven, True Vine, Who Was and Is and Is to Come, Wisdom of God, Wonderful, Word of God.
    If you and I take time to consider who it was that Jesus called, it is easier for us to accept that He calls us. He called a fisherman. I don’t know if you’ve hung around many dock workers, but let’s just say their common word choice wouldn’t be considered proper dinner conversation. It was likely no different in Jesus’ time.
    As we approach tax season, it’s appropriate that we find Levi in our passage today, sitting in His tax booth. Tax collectors were hated among the people. We know Levi more commonly as Matthew. He is a quiet man, apparently, he is the only one among the disciples never quoted as having said anything.
    And notice the Pharisees’ charge: Luke 5:30
    Luke 5:30 ESV
    And the Pharisees and their scribes grumbled at his disciples, saying, “Why do you eat and drink with tax collectors and sinners?”
    Jesus’ answer should give us all hope:
    Luke 5:31 ESV
    And Jesus answered them, “Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick.
    Luke 5:32 ESV
    I have not come to call the righteous but sinners to repentance.”
    We are in the season of Lent as we journey through this series,

    From Where You Sit

    It is a period of reflection of self-examination. A time of fasting which in our common era has become a period of denying oneself one of the pleasures of our modern age and taking on a discipline of self sacrifice. For some that might be giving up soft drinks for this season, for others, it might be sugary foods, or I even have heard of young people in the past giving up television - though today they’d probably be more apt to try and give up video games, or a social media platform.
    Whatever your choice we are constantly dying to ourself that Christ might live in us.
    Paul wrote to the church at Corinth:
    2 Corinthians 5:17 ESV
    Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.
    Paul wrote to the Philippian church,
    Philippians 1:21 ESV
    For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain.
    Passed away, die is gain. It’s all about Christ living in us to the Glory of God.
    Let me pray for you.
      • Luke 5:30ESV

      • Luke 5:31ESV

      • Luke 5:32ESV

      • 2 Corinthians 5:17ESV

      • Philippians 1:21ESV

  • We Are An Offering
  • The Lord Bless You And Keep You (Benediction)
      • Bible Trivia

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