Luke 5:1-11Master of All Trades

On one occasion, while the crowd was pressing in on him to hear the word of God, he 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.” And when they had done this, they enclosed a large number of fish, and their nets were breaking. They signalled 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. But when Simon Peter saw it, he fell down at Jesus’ knees, saying, “Depart from me, for I am a sinful man, O Lord.” For he and all who were with him were astonished at the catch of fish that they had taken, 10 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.” 11 And when they had brought their boats to land, they left everything and followed him.

Master of All Trades

I sat with a student today who is gifted.  Ben can perform drama, organise groups, play bass guitar, relate to people and burn out.  Because he has developed talents he has tried to help more people than he has capacity to help and he has at times burned himself out.  God is growing him in many areas and to have capacity to become who he must be, he needs to have margin in his life.  Jesus had capacity far in excess of Ben’s.  It seems he could have been many things, he focused on being a teacher, but he had a supernatural ability to fish.  Peter, in the narrative, was the fisherman and Jesus was the teacher.  However, Peter knew he was in the presence of someone exceptional who, without years of training, could be a fisherman with skills far in excess of Peter’s.  Peter’s only response was to throw himself on his knees and become a disciple.

How are you responding to Jesus?  Do you let him tell you how to do your job?  Do you let him decide for you which job you should be doing?  Jesus teaches us powerfully through the practical situations that we engage every day.  Are you an accountant?  Jesus has ideas for how to manage money.  Are you a machinist?  Jesus has ideas for production and efficiency.  In changing the environment where we work, Jesus communicates to us about who we are meant to be.  Primarily we are meant to live in awe of his expertise in every area.  We are meant to allow him to mold our lives.  He takes us from working with our minds numbed from the daily grind to those who work with our minds alive with a sense of purpose and calling.  Has Jesus taken a hold of you?  Are you functioning in line with your calling?


Jesus, you know all of our jobs better than we do.  Help us to seek guidance from you as to our calling and how we should live that out.


  1. What was Jesus’ job at the beginning?
  2. What was Jesus’ change of career?
  3. How is Peter’s response remarkable?
  4. What is your calling?
  5. How can Jesus enhance your work and use it to develop you as a disciple?

About Plymothian

I teach at Moody Bible Institute in Chicago. My interests include education, biblical studies, and spiritual formation. I have been married to Kelli since 1998 and we have two children, Daryl and Amelia. For recreation I like to run, play soccer, play board games, read and travel.
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