Insanity

On one occasion, while the crowd was pressing in on him to hear the word of God, Jesus was standing by the lake of Gennesaret, and he saw two boats by the lake, but the fishermen had gone out of them and were washing their nets. Getting into one of the boats, which was Simon’s, he asked him to put out a little from the land. And he sat down and taught the people from the boat.

And when he had finished speaking, he said to Simon, “Put out into the deep and let down your nets for a catch.”

And Simon answered, “Master, we toiled all night and took nothing! But at your word I will let down the nets.”
Luke 5:1-5

Albert Einstein defined insanity as “doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results”.  By Einstein’s definition Simon’s response to Jesus was insane.  Not only had he fished all night without results but he was a professional fisherman while Jesus was a carpenter.  Logically he should have been the one telling Jesus how to fish.

In this case doing the same thing over again did produce different results.

And when they had done this, they enclosed a large number of fish, and their nets were breaking. They signaled to their partners in the other boat to come and help them. And they came and filled both the boats, so that they began to sink.
Luke 5:6-7

The large catch of fish was only the beginning.

But when Simon Peter saw it, he fell down at Jesus’ knees, saying, “Depart from me, for I am a sinful man, O Lord.”
Luke 5:8

The miracle opened Simon’s eyes to who Jesus really was.  He recognized both his sinfulness and Jesus’ sinlessness and realized that he didn’t deserve to be in the presence of Jesus.

He was now called Simon Peter, not just Simon.  When they first met Jesus had told him he would receive a new name.

Jesus looked at him and said, “You are Simon the son of John. You shall be called Cephas” (which means Peter).
John 1:42

The name Peter means rock and Jesus was foretelling that he would undergo a change in character that would make him stronger and more dependable.  The first step in that transformation had just taken place.

The greatest result of Simon’s decision was that he and his partners would leave the fishing business and adopt a completely new profession.

He and all who were with him were astonished at the catch of fish that they had taken, 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.”

And when they had brought their boats to land, they left everything and followed him.
Luke 5:9-11

Why did Simon’s first and second attempts at fishing produce different results? The first time he was doing what he wanted to do; the second time he was doing what Jesus told him to do. God often commands us to do things that don’t make sense to us but obeying him always produces good results.

The foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men.
1 Corinthians 1:25

And the insanity of God is more rational than men.

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Posted on August 23, 2013, in Bible study, practical lessons and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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