So it was, as the multitude pressed about Him to hear the word of God, that He stood by the Lake of Gennesaret, and saw two boats standing by the lake; but the fishermen had gone from them and were washing their nets.
Then He got into one of the boats, which was Simon’s, and asked him to put out a little from the land. And He sat down and taught the multitudes from the boat.
When He had stopped speaking, He said to Simon, “Launch out into the deep and let down your nets for a catch.”
The shore of the Lake of Gennesaret has two peculiar things: It is the place where a lot of commercial activities take place - fishing and selling of fishes. It is more or less a market centre. Secondly, it is the place where Jesus Christ started his first open air preaching.
Although there were a lot of activities in progress at the place, the people were with Jesus. They followed him and pressed on him to hear the Good News. You must remember life is empty without Christ. And life is also full of crises without Christ in it.
I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing.
When we do something without Christ, it is difficult to succeed. When we walk with Christ and ask him to take the centre stage in our life, we will never labour in vain.
Unless the LORD builds the house, they labour in vain who build it; unless the LORD guards the city, the watchman stays awake in vain. It is vain for you to rise up early, to sit up late, to eat the bread of sorrows; For so He gives His beloved sleep
Simon answered and said to Him, “Master, we have toiled all night and caught nothing; nevertheless at Your word I will let down the net.”
It could be observed that, Simon Peter and his brother and friends have toiled all night without a catch. But after Jesus’ preaching, he asked them to launch out into the deep for a catch. Jesus at this time was calling them to duty – to do extra work despite their tiredness and frustrations.
I must work the works of Him who sent Me while it is day; the night is coming when no one can work.
We must listen to Christ and do his work rather than giving excuses. Recent Christians like excuses and they will always have it if that is their wish. People do not want to work for the Church of God. They give excuses like I am tired; I have done some before so let another people do it – all forms of frenzy excuses.
Launching into the deep is a call to duty. We must work more and harder. We need to go an additional mile.
You did not choose Me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit, and that your fruit should remain, that whatever you ask the Father in My name He may give you.
Every Christian is called to be a disciple of Christ; regardless of tiredness and consequences. How can we God’s disciples? T be an effective disciple of our Lord Jesus Christ, there are certain things that we need to do:
1. We must change our garments or clothes and do away with smaller gods.
And Jacob said to his household and to all who were with him, “Put away the foreign gods that are among you, purify yourselves, and change your garments.
Therefore put to death your members which are on the earth: fornication, uncleanness, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry. Because of these things the wrath of God is coming upon the sons of disobedience, in which you yourselves once walked when you lived in them. But now you yourselves are to put off all these: anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy language out of your mouth.
Now the works of the flesh are evident, which are: adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lewdness, idolatry, sorcery, hatred, contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions, dissensions, heresies, envy, murders, drunkenness, revelries, and the like; of which I tell you beforehand, just as I also told you in time past, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.
Brethren, the need to put down the above clothes is a necessity. Anger can be a good master and a bad master. The desire by some people to do evil – always planning evil for others must be stopped. There is lots of moral decadence in our society. People plan evil in the highest to the extent of raping, defiling and mounting all forms of brutalities on other people. These things must be done away with so that we can have an atmosphere free from moral corruption. No one who is involved in these activities can go escort free without being punished.
‘Cursed is the one who makes a carved or molded image, an abomination to the LORD, the work of the hands of the craftsman, and sets it up in secret.’ “And all the people shall answer and say, ‘Amen!’ ‘Cursed is the one who treats his father or his mother with contempt.’ “And all the people shall say, ‘Amen!’ ‘Cursed is the one who moves his neighbor’s landmark.’ “And all the people shall say, ‘Amen!’ ‘Cursed is the one who makes the blind to wander off the road.’ “And all the people shall say, ‘Amen!’ ‘Cursed is the one who perverts the justice due the stranger, the fatherless, and widow.’ “And all the people shall say, ‘Amen!’ ‘Cursed is the one who lies with his father’s wife, because he has uncovered his father’s bed.’ “And all the people shall say, ‘Amen!’ ‘Cursed is the one who lies with any kind of animal.’ “And all the people shall say, ‘Amen!’ ‘Cursed is the one who lies with his sister, the daughter of his father or the daughter of his mother.’“And all the people shall say, ‘Amen!’ ‘Cursed is the one who lies with his mother-in-law.’ “And all the people shall say, ‘Amen!’ ‘Cursed is the one who attacks his neighbor secretly.’ “And all the people shall say, ‘Amen!’ ‘Cursed is the one who takes a bribe to slay an innocent person.’
“And all the people shall say, ‘Amen!’ ‘Cursed is the one who does not confirm all the words of this law by observing them.’ “And all the people shall say, ‘Amen!’”
To the pure all things are pure, but to those who are defiled and unbelieving nothing is pure; but even their mind and conscience are defiled. They profess to know God, but in works they deny Him, being abominable, disobedient, and disqualified for every good work.
2. Some women and men alike do put drugs and concoctions of all kinds in food for their partners. These things are evil and we must turn away from them. You cannot put on these clothes and launch into the deep. You will sink! There is therefore the need for a change of attitude toward God and humanity.
Now godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out. And having food and clothing, with these we shall be content. But those who desire to be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and harmful lusts, which drown men in destruction and perdition. For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil, for which some have strayed from the faith in their greediness, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.
3. Embezzlement of funds at our work places and even in the Church is nothing good to talk. But these things are seen among most celebrated Christians.
4. In launching into the deep, we must be bothered about our utterances. Some parents curse their children who only grow to pose to them and the society at large. The tongue must be tamed.
Even so the tongue is a little member and boasts great things.
See how great a forest a little fire kindles! 6 And the tongue is a fire, a world of iniquity. The tongue is so set among our members that it defiles the whole body, and sets on fire the course of nature; and it is set on fire by hell.
5. It is very unacceptable to see a Christian return from Church and the next moment enter the chamber of a “mallam” or “goddess priest” for consultations. This is a mockery of God and the time has come that we shun these things and live for God alone.
Now therefore, fear the LORD, serve Him in sincerity and in truth, and put away the gods which your fathers served on the other side of the River and in Egypt. Serve the LORD!
We must remove all these clothes and put on new ones to be able to launch into the deep.
Beloved, I know by now the question you will be asking yourself is, what clothes do I then need to put on if I want to launch into the deep? Consider the scriptures below:
Do not lie to one another, since you have put off the old man with his deeds, and have put on the new man who is renewed in knowledge according to the image of Him who created him,
For we can do nothing against the truth, but for the truth.
2 Corinthians 13:8
I say then: Walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh.
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law. And those who are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit. Let us not become conceited, provoking one another, envying one another.
See then that you walk circumspectly, not as fools but as wise, 16 redeeming the time, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be unwise, but understand what the will of the Lord is.
We must listen to God’s word and be obedient to it. With this we will be able to launch into the deep.
Brethren, we don’t have anywhere to go. Our only hope is Christ and we must be with him always. To be with Christ always:
1. We must have only one master and follow him to the latter.
No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or else he will be loyal to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon.
2. As disciples, we must commit ourselves completely to our master – Jesus.
Commit your way to the LORD, Trust also in Him, And He shall bring it to pass.
3. A true disciple is the one who is dedicated to his master.
“For the kingdom of heaven is like a man travelling to a far country, who called his own servants and delivered his goods to them. And to one he gave five talents, to another two, and to another one, to each according to his own ability; and immediately he went on a journey. Then he who had received the five talents went and traded with them, and made another five talents. And likewise he who had received two gained two more also. But he who had received one went and dug in the ground, and hid his lord’s money. After a long time the lord of those servants came and settled accounts with them. “So he who had received five talents came and brought five other talents, saying, ‘Lord, you delivered to me five talents; look, I have gained five more talents besides them.’ His lord said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant; you were faithful over a few things, I will make you ruler over many things. Enter into the joy of your lord.’ He also who had received two talents came and said, ‘Lord, you delivered to me two talents; look, I have gained two more talents besides them.’ His lord said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant; you have been faithful over a few things, I will make you ruler over many things. Enter into the joy of your lord.’ “Then he who had received the one talent came and said, ‘Lord, I knew you to be a hard man, reaping where you have not sown, and gathering where you have not scattered seed. And I was afraid, and went and hid your talent in the ground. Look, there you have what is yours.’ “But his lord answered and said to him, ‘You wicked and lazy servant, you knew that I reap where I have not sown, and gather where I have not scattered seed. So you ought to have deposited my money with the bankers, and at my coming I would have received back my own with interest. So take the talent from him, and give it to him who has ten talents. ‘For to everyone who has, more will be given, and he will have abundance; but from him who does not have, even what he has will be taken away. And cast the unprofitable servant into the outer darkness. There will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’
And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Amen.
Brethren, been able to do all these things are an attempt of launching into the deep.
© Ebenezer M. K. Koranteng-Green, Launching Into The Deep; 2009