Depart from me; for I am a sinful man, O Lord

Luke 5 7 and they beckoned unto their partners in the other boat, that they should come and help them. And they came, and filled both the boats, so that they began to sink. 8 But Simon Peter, when he saw it, fell down at Jesus’ knees, saying, Depart from me; for I am a sinful man, O Lord.

Did Peter not want Jesus around? Why would he say this to the Master? A shocking statement from Peter this appears to be, at first glance.

But he still calls him Lord.

Did he, at this time, come in contact with the full weight of the power Jesus had at his command? Did he feel his own sinfulness and Jesus’ magnificence here?

Certainly, he did.

But looking a little deeper, maybe we can get at the “rest of the story”, as the late Paul Harvey used to famously say.

Jesus is gracious. Indeed, grace came through Him (John 1:17).

What would 2 boatfuls of fish mean…to fishermen? The boats were sinking, they were so full. Obviously, this was quite a catch.

Fishing was Peter’s livelihood. It would be like giving a cabinet draftsman (which I happen to be) 2 months worth of work, in a few minutes. Of course, I’m not freelance, but stay with me here.

If I was, I could make A LOT of money from that.

Perhaps it was not the power of Jesus that awed him so. Maybe it was the fact that Jesus had just given them months’ wages worth of fish to sell. And Peter had to give him nothing in return.

It was freely given.

Heck, it wasn’t even asked for.

Paul says it like this, in Romans 2:4: Or do you despise the riches of His goodness, forbearance, and longsuffering, not knowing that the goodness of God leads you to repentance?

Did the kindness of Jesus – giving Peter so much, and freely – have anything to do with Peter’s declaration? Did he feel worthy of such an awesome gift? Would you feel worthy of such a gift?

When God gives, He does so richly.

“He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, how will he not also with him graciously give us all things?”

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