If I were to ask you “What is your net worth?” How would you respond? Would you begin to rattle off your assets? Of course you would likely need to make a few deductions because of debt. But I think most of us consider net worth to be our financial worth.
In Luke 5:1-10 we read an interesting story. Basically Jesus sees some fishermen working. I imagine them to be a little rough around the edges as we might stereotype fishermen. They were probably a bit grimy and sweaty. They were wet and well, they had worked a long hard night with no results.
If you were to ask them what their net worth was, they would probably respond with “Zero.” They had fished all night and caught nothing.
But along comes Jesus who tells Simon (Peter) to “launch out into the deep and let down your nets for a catch.” I imagine Peter thinking to himself, “Obviously He has no idea how this works. He doesn’t understand fishing. We haven’t caught a thing.”
His actual response was, “Master, we have toiled all night and caught nothing.” Here is where it gets good. You see, I believe most of us would have stopped right there. Or we might have gone to say the things I imagined Peter saying in his mind. But instead he continues with, “Nevertheless at Your word I will let down the net.”
What have you been fishing for all night long? For the past several months or even years? Have you been without a job? Struggling in a relationship? Waiting for a family member to give their heart to the Lord?
When you have been facing what feels like an unending battle without success it can become discouraging. So how you would respond if Jesus asked you to cast your net out one more time? Would you tell Him its no use? That you have tried that already?
Jesus was going to use this situation to build Peter’s faith. He was going to show Peter that the Lord can be trusted even in those impossible situations. As a result of Peter obeying, he caught so much fish that the net began to break. It became necessary to fill more than one boat with the abundance of fish they had caught.
It was at this moment that Peter saw the true state of his heart. He fell on his knees before Jesus and told him that he wasn’t worthy to be in Jesus’ presence, that he was a sinful man. He began to see that his net worth wasn’t in the income he made by the fish he caught. It was in obeying and trusting Jesus.
Jesus told Peter that he didn’t need to be afraid for now on he would be a fisher of men. His net worth wouldn’t be in the work of fishing but in ministry and fishing for men. While we equate our net worth to our financial situation, Jesus looks at our net worth differently.
Now ask yourself the question again with a new perspective, “What is your net worth?”
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Cute turn of a phrase. It’s not so much “What is your worth after subtracting liabilities,” but rather “of how much worth is your net?” 🙂