As the crowd was pressing in on Jesus to hear God’s word, he was standing by Lake Gennesaret. He saw two boats at the edge of the lake; the fishermen had left them and were washing their nets. He got into one of the boats, which belonged to Simon, and asked him to put out a little from the land. Then he sat down and was teaching the crowds from the boat.
When he had finished speaking, he said to Simon, “Put out into deep water and let down your nets for a catch.”
“Master,” Simon replied, “we’ve worked hard all night long and caught nothing. But if you say so, I’ll let down the nets.”
When they did this, they caught a great number of fish, and their nets began to tear. So they signaled to their partners in the other boat to come and help them; they came and filled both boats so full that they began to sink.
When Simon Peter saw this, he fell at Jesus’s knees and said, “Go away from me, because I’m a sinful man, Lord!” For he and all those with him were amazed at the catch of fish they had taken, and so were James and John, Zebedee’s sons, who were Simon’s partners.
“Don’t be afraid,” Jesus told Simon. “From now on you will be catching people.” Then they brought the boats to land, left everything, and followed him.Luke 5:1–11
Isn’t it ironic that after getting the biggest catch of fish in his career, Peter left it all behind to follow Jesus? Peter recognized that what Jesus was doing wasn’t about the fish at all. Jesus was revealing who He is to Peter, James, and John. And so in response, they left all of it behind to be with Jesus.
Sometimes in our lives, Jesus gives us gifts that are meant to draw us closer to Him, but instead, we get so distracted by the gift that we end up neglecting Him more. The point is never the gift. The point is always the Giver of gifts. Peter, James, and John recognized that the gift they were given wasn’t actually the amazing catch of fish. The real gift was getting to see Jesus more clearly and getting the opportunity to be with Him forever.
Tips for Teaching This Week’s Session of The Gospel Project for Adults
Every week for Volume 4: From Captivity to the Wilderness, Ken Braddy, Lifeway’s director of Sunday School, will offer guidance to help leaders prepare to lead and teach each session of The Gospel Project for Adults.
Tips for Teaching This Week’s Session of The Gospel Project for Students
Every week, student ministry leaders offer guidance to help leaders prepare to lead and teach each session of The Gospel Project for Students. Listen in as he shares:
- The main point of the session
- Any challenges and opportunities for additional discussion that may arise during this session
- Encouragements for leaders
A Final Reminder
Don’t forget, you can find tools to help you prepare and lead the discussion in the Additional Resources for this volume. We hope these are a blessing to you as you walk through this session together.
*This week’s leader devotional is written by Dhati Lewis. It is adapted from the daily devotions for Unit 20, Session 4 from The Gospel Project for Adults’ Daily Discipleship Guide.