By Brooke Holt
“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, 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.’ And when they had brought their boats to land, they left everything and followed him.” – Luke 5:8-11
What is that most frightening thing about beholding the Lord? The invitation to behold perfect glory, perfect holiness, and perfect love leads one to see himself as he truly is—not perfect in glory, holiness, love, or anything else. Seeing one’s imperfections is not terribly popular or celebrated today. Yet, it is in seeing painful truths that one can move into healing and hope.
When Simon saw the miraculous catch of fish, he got a glimpse of the hidden glory in the person of Jesus. And that is all it took to bring Simon to his knees: “Depart from me, for I am a sinful man, O Lord” (verse 8). In seeing the divinity in Jesus, Peter recognized the sinfulness of himself. Why would a holy God want to associate with a sinful, dirty fisherman?
Undeterred, Jesus stayed with those sinful, dirty fishermen. Yes, Jesus saw and knew their sin, but he also knew who they were created and called to be—fishers of men. And that is just what they became as they followed Jesus and became disciples. They learned from Jesus, soaked in his love and truth, and then they were empowered to go out and do the work of building the kingdom of God.
The same will be true for you. As you see Jesus, as you grow in understanding of his character and his teachings, you also will see your sinfulness. The good news of the Gospel is that Jesus is undeterred by your sinfulness just as he was the disciples’. He is here, calling you to himself. He is here, ready to cleanse and heal you, ready to teach you, and then to send you out as his disciple.
Jesus came to reveal the heart of God to humankind. The Lord sees your sin, understands your impurities, and has made the way for you to be fully restored. The cross of Christ was enough to pay for all your sin. Now, you are invited to see Jesus, to recognize your sin, and then to surrender to the grace offered in him. Recognizing that you miss the mark of holiness is truly the gift that allows you to receive what you could never earn—the righteousness of Jesus Christ imputed to you. What a precious gift!
Do you struggle to see your sin or to acknowledge it to a holy God and to others? Recognition and confession are the gifts that lead to salvation, healing, and righteousness. Consider using this prayer of David: “Search me, O God, and know my heart! Try me and know my thoughts! And see if there be any grievous way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting” (Psalm 139:23-24). We would love to hear your thoughts in the comments.
Let's face it, the Christian life is hard. Relationships take work. Christians forget. Sometimes it is tempting to go back to the days when God was not the center of our lives - to backslide. We are all faced with tremendous pressures to drift away from intimacy with Jesus and the community of the Church. However, the Lord invites us to pay attention, to move forward, to draw near, and to live lives of worship. Draw Near: Hebrews on Christian Worship is a small group Bible study on the Book of Hebrews intended to lead participants into a deeper intimacy with the living God in the context of New Testament worship. Draw nearer to God in authentic worship today!
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