The title of this blog post sounds so cliche doesn’t it?
You probably didn’t even want to read it because you feel like you’ve heard a sermon or advise on this before. “Jesus is all you need.” Blah, blah, blah.
Well during one of my Bible studies in the book of Luke. I came to a deeper revelation of the all-sufficiency of Jesus and I came to have a deeper understanding and appreciation for that phrase.
I will love to share it with you. So roll with me as the Holy Spirit takes us on a ride through the book of Luke chapter 5:1-11.
This is a story of the Bible you have most likely heard before. There’s even a song about it. This is the story of Jesus picking his first disciples who were fishermen.
The song about it goes like this:
“I will make you fishers of men
fishers of men (x2)
I will make you fishers of men, if you follow me.”
Do you have an idea of the story now?
Don’t worry, we are going to read it anyway.
One day as Jesus was standing by the Lake of Gennesaret, the people were crowding around him and listening to the word of God. 2 He saw at the water’s edge two boats, left there by the fishermen, who were washing their nets. 3 He got into one of the boats, the one belonging to Simon, and asked him to put out a little from shore. Then he sat down and taught the people from the boat. 4 When he had finished speaking, he said to Simon, “Put out into deep water, and let down the nets for a catch.”
Let’s pause here for a moment.
Notice that the boats were at the edge of the lake and the fishermen had left them to wash their nets. They had given up and were packing up to go home. But Jesus got there and caused a delay to their pack up. He asked Simon to pull his boat to the shore, even more, so he could seat and teach the people. And when Jesus was done, teaching, he gave Simon an instruction, “Put out into deep water and let down the nets for a catch.”
SPIRITUAL NEED BEFORE PHYSICAL NEED
A sister of mine pointed out the significance of the order in which Jesus attended to things. Notice that Jesus attended to their spiritual need before their physical need. He taught them the word before telling them to let down their net for a catch. Often we tend to think that the physical is so different from the spiritual but we would be extremely amazed to know that our spiritual life controls our physical. If we are weak spiritually it will be evident in our physical life. So let us fix our eyes on that which is eternal first (2 Corinthians 4:18). Seek the kingdom of God first (Matthew 6:23).
Let’s keep reading.
5 Simon answered, “Master, we’ve worked hard all night and haven’t caught anything. But because you say so, I will let down the nets.” 6 When they had done so, they caught such a large number of fish that their nets began to break. 7 So they signaled their partners in the other boat to come and help them, and they came and filled both boats so full that they began to sink. 8 When Simon Peter saw this, he fell at Jesus’ knees and said, “Go away from me, Lord; I am a sinful man!” 9 For he and all his companions were astonished at the catch of fish they had taken, 10 and so were James and John, the sons of Zebedee, Simon’s partners.
HARD WORK AND GRACE
Simon said, “We have worked HARD all night and caught nothing.” This right here shows me that hard work is not the only recipe for success. Don’t get me wrong, you need to and must work hard, in fact, there are many scriptures in the Bible that encourages hard work. However, the GRACE and Hand of God upon all we do makes our hard work successful. Many toils so hard, works so hard and yet no success. There is ease and grace-filled success that is poured unto you when you invite God into all you do. When we obey his instructions in all areas of our lives including our workplace, we see his hands, favor and grace move for us in dynamic ways.
And never should you think you do not need Jesus in certain areas of your life. Many of us tie Jesus’s hands. We unknowingly think to ourselves, “I only need Jesus in my spiritual life. I can handle the physical areas of my life by my own power.” Totally impossible. Jesus might not have been a fisherman, but he created the fishes and can call them out of their hiding places into your net, that you will not be able to contain it. He is all sovereign. Don’t put Jesus in a Box.
Let’s read the last verse
Then Jesus said to Simon, “Don’t be afraid; from now on you will fish for people.” 11 So they pulled their boats up on shore, left everything and followed him.
THE SURPASSING WORTH OF KNOWING CHRIST
A beautiful ending to a story right?
But this last verse is my very favorite one in this story. I usually read over it but I was forced to pause this time.
It says, “so they pulled their boats up on shore, left everything and followed him.”
“Left EVERYTHING and FOLLOWED Him”
Darling, I don’t know if you see what I am seeing. They toiled all night. They worked so hard all night. They suffered out in the cold on the sea trying to catch fishes and they finally caught so many fishes by God’s grace and they did WHAT!
“Left everything and followed him.”
I couldn’t wrap my head around why they would do that. Think about all the money they could have made selling that many fishes.
But, I love how the Holy Spirit works. Because a few days before I read this story in Luke 5, I had read another amazing one in Philippians 3:4-11 that was brought to my remembrance as I pondered on that last verse.
Read with me real quick.
If someone else thinks they have reasons to put confidence in the flesh, I have more: 5 circumcised on the eighth day, of the people of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew of Hebrews; in regard to the law, a Pharisee; 6 as for zeal, persecuting the church; as for righteousness based on the law, faultless.
7 But whatever were gains to me I now consider loss for the sake of Christ. 8 What is more, I consider everything a loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them garbage, that I may gain Christ9 and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ—the righteousness that comes from God on the basis of faith. 10 I want to know Christ—yes, to know the power of his resurrection and participation in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, 11 and so, somehow, attaining to the resurrection from the dead.
Again, I don’t know if you see what I see, hear what I hear and understand what my heart understands. But there is a person who is a priceless treasure and the surpassing worth of knowing Him is greater than any fish we could ever catch, any generational wealth we could ever have, any educational degrees, influence, status, popularity, fame, prestige, and material things. He is such as great treasure that those who find him and recognize him for who he is, joyfully lose everything for his sake, joyfully considers everything else garbage and FOLLOW HIM, so they may fully know him.
The disciples at this stage probably didn’t see everything that Paul saw in knowing Jesus when they decided to leave their boat, fishes and followed the one who can always command more fishes for them. You also probably did not know this joyful surpassing worth of knowing Christ when you heard that message of reconciliation, that good news of Jesus’s resurrection and you believed in it, gave your life to him and surrendered all declaring that you will follow him. But you were drawn to Jesus by God (John 6:44) and gradually you are beginning to find out that it was and is the best thing that could ever happen to you.
Jesus is all you need. Everything we could ever desire or want is found in him. While the disciples could have made so much money from selling the many fishes they caught, they would find much more unending permanent joy from catching and being fishers of men. Money is temporary but knowing and being found in Jesus Christ is eternal. We still remember the disciples today because they decided to lose their life and everything that was in it for the surpassing worth of knowing Christ. Losing their life, they found it and kept it forever. Jesus is their life. Jesus is all they needed.
Jesus is also all YOU need.
And He is all I need.
It’s not a cliche. It’s the truth.