In previous chapters Luke portrayed Jesus as the Son of God with absolute authority to repel the temptations of the devil and command the unclean spirits to release their captives - and having the power to heal physical diseases.
In these few verses Luke shows Jesus having power even over the fish of the lake. Also this event convinces his disciples to give up their vocation and follow Him.
Verses 1-3. From what we learn from the other gospels, Jesus had already met Peter, John, Andrew, and others - and called them to be disciples (Matthew 4:18, Mark 1:16). They had followed Him but part of the time they still went fishing - their previous trade.
On this morning, Jesus was on the shore of Lake Gennesaret near Capernaum. A great multitude had already turned out to hear Him speak. In order to more effectively talk to such a throng, Jesus asked Peter, whose boat was nearby, to push out a little from shore, and from there He taught the crowd.
Verses 4-7. After He finished speaking, He told Peter to go into the deep water and put out the nets. Peter reveals that they had been fishing all night and caught nothing. It was traditionally at night that the best fishing was done - the worst in the morning, when the sun was reflecting on the water. Though exhausted after a frustrating and tiring night, Peter trusts Jesus enough to do what He suggested even if everything pointed against it.
Contrary to all expectations, so many fish are caught that they call for their partners to come with their boat to help. They end up filling both boats to the brim with the netted fish.
Verses 8-10. All were amazed at the unexpected results of following Jesus’ counsel - that He could cause the fish to come into the nets at the most unlikely time.
Peter - ever impulsive - falls at Jesus’ feet exclaiming, “Depart from me; for I am a sinful man, O Lord!” Though Peter had observed many powerful and miraculous things, this single event struck him especially because of Peter’s lifelong pursuit of being a fisherman. Thus he was awestruck by the supernatural event. This also brought to his mind how utterly sinful and undeserving he was in the presence of the Saviour. This became a dramatic turning point in Peter’s life. Peter felt unworthy of even being in the presence of the Holy One, even saying “Depart from Me, O Lord. ”
Jesus, however, understood Peter’s heart and reassured him, “Fear not, from henceforth though shalt catch men. ” Peter will be His follower and will reach others for Christ. What a promise!
The author taught from the Gospel of Luke at Paran Baptist Church on Highway 341 / Johnsonville Hwy in Lake City, South Carolina. This commentary is based on the notes he took in preparation for the lessons. He now enjoys spending his time with his family, and at his art studio on 118 Sauls St. , Lake City, South Carolina. The above lesson was excerpted from his online Holy Bible Commentaries .