Morning, October 8, edited from Spurgeon’s Morning and Evening
“Put off into the deep and let down your nets for a catch.” — Luke 5:4
We learn from this narrative the necessity of human agency. The catch of fish was miraculous, yet neither the fisherman. nor his boat, nor his fishing tackle were ignored; all were used to take in the fish. So also, in the saving of souls, God works by methods; and while the present system of grace shall stand, God will be pleased by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe. When God works without instruments, it is doubtless true he is glorified; but he has himself selected the plan of using instruments as that by which he is most magnified in the earth. Methods of themselves are utterly unavailing. “Master, we have toiled all the night and have taken nothing.” What was the reason of this? Were they not fishermen plying their special calling? Indeed, they were no novices; they understood the work. Had they gone about the work unskillfully? No. Had they lacked industry? No, they had labored much. Had they lacked perseverance? No, they had worked all the night. Was there an absence of fish in the sea? Certainly not, for as soon as the Master came, they swam to the net in shoals. What, then, is the reason? Is it because there is no power in the methods of themselves, apart from the presence of Jesus? “Without him we can do nothing.” But with Christ we can do all things. Christ’s presence grants success. Jesus sat in Peter’s boat, and his will, by a mysterious influence, drew the fish to the net. When Jesus is lifted up in his Church, his presence is the Church’s power–the shout of a king is in the midst of her. “I, if I be lifted up, will draw all men to me.” Let us go out this morning on our work of fishing for souls, looking up in faith, and around us in solemn concern. Let us work until night comes, and we shall not labor in vain, for he who calls us to let down the net, will fill it with fishes.