A Sinful Man
In Jesus’ early ministry, He taught in Galilee by the Lake. The shore made for a natural amphitheater. Jesus used Simon Peter’s boat as a speaking platform. After He taught, Jesus told Simon to let down his nets for a catch. At first, Peter objected because they had caught nothing all night. Then he decided to listen. He caught so many fish a second boat was necessary. Luke records Peter’s response: “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). Contrary to Peter’s statement, Jesus desired to be with Peter. He said to him, “Do not be afraid. From now on you will catch men” (Luke 5:10). So, Peter followed Jesus.
Why did Peter say, “Depart from me, for I am a sinful man?” Was Peter’s pride offended because Jesus showed him up? Did he envy Jesus thinking, “I wish I had found that spot on the lake?” Did he get angry because Jesus’ knowledge was greater? Peter had a foul mouth and a bad temper (Mark 14:71), and he was an immodest at times (John 21:7), but Peter wasn’t trying to pretend to be something that he wasn’t. He didn’t rationalize his sinful behavior to make it acceptable. He admitted His sinfulness, and confessed that he wasn’t worthy to be in Jesus’ presence. This made Peter the exact kind of person Jesus wanted to be with. David wrote, “The Lord is near to those who have a broken heart, And saves such as have a contrite spirit” (Psalm 34:18). Jesus can work with the honest person who knows his sin. He can’t work with someone who rationalizes their sin or will not admit it. God bless you, and I love you.