Psalm 121:5 (NLT)
5 The Lord himself watches over you! The Lord stands beside you as your protective shade.
Luke 5:8-11 (MSG)
8-10 Simon Peter, when he saw it, fell to his knees before Jesus. “Master, leave. I’m a sinner and can’t handle this holiness. Leave me to myself.” When they pulled in that catch of fish, awe overwhelmed Simon and everyone with him. It was the same with James and John, Zebedee’s sons, co-workers with Simon. 10-11 Jesus said to Simon, “There is nothing to fear. From now on you’ll be fishing for men and women.” They pulled their boats up on the beach, left them, nets and all, and followed him.
I can just imagine. James and John were nicknamed “Sons of Thunder” by Christ. I imagine as they were fishermen that they were very strong, boisterous, probably a bit on the crude side, very tough. Both were what could be called a man’s man. They weren’t going to take crap from anybody and would fight and win if challenged. And they were partners with Simon, so I think it’s safe to assume that Simon was a bad ass too. So what?
The Lord watches over you as a protective shade. As three tough men are getting ready to fall into bed after a bad day and night casting nets – imagine casting large, heavy nets, soaked with water, all night after a full day, when they should have been sleeping, not catching anything – I’m sure their moody was anything but pleasant. I imagine they were pretty freaking touchy. And probably desperate. Why would they be out all night after a full day? They were fishermen and depended on the fish to make their living. If they were out for that long, they must have been getting low on funds, low on food, low on living. Sounds like a nasty emotional cocktail.
And here we see the measure of who Christ is. He walks up and says to Simon, James and John – “Hi! There are way too many people here for me to stay on the beach so take me out in your boat so I can teach a message about love, peace, tolerance, forgiveness, joy, patience and all things good.” And three tough men in foul moods say “OK, sure!” and hustle to do. When it’s done, Christ pushes them farther to fish where they know there are no fish because they’ve just been there for a long time with no success. I’m sure the discussion, had it been anyone but Christ, would have been pretty spicy.
Luke 14:11 (NIV)
11 For all those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.”
Is Christ special? Is He who he claims to be? If he can tame the roughest of the rough, whether the Sons of Thunder and Simon or the Centurion, simply by his presence, do you stand a chance? Not if you seek Him out. He’s God, amazingly powerful, amazing love.
Simon, James and John all humbled themselves to Christ because of who He is. They were rewarded for their hard work and trust. How about you? Can you humble yourself to Christ?