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Unstoppable Purpose: The Calling of Simon Peter

Unstoppable Purpose: The Calling of Simon Peter

Sermon Transcript

I am drawn to the life of Simon Peter…

  • Passionate & Bold…Raw & Real…like so many of us > driven
  • Full of potential...but full of shortcomings
  • Fear…falls apart when the pressure is on
  • Ready, Fire, Aim...gets so many things right!

Gospels – The Life of Jesus (shows us who God is – love, power, holiness, sacrifice)

Peter - shows us who we are (literary term – Peter is the foil)

I need to hear this sermon this morning…why?’s too easy to just “do” life

Peter encounters Jesus in Luke chapter 5 and discovers an Unstoppable Purpose (that reorders his life and puts everything else in perspective). Want that for my life…for your life.

Turn to Luke Chapter 5 - Simon Peter: Flawed but faithful disciple–Adam Hamilton 


I. Setting

5  1Now it happened that while the crowd was pressing around Him and listening to the word of God, He was standing by the lake of Gennesaret; 2and He saw two boats lying at the edge of the lake; but the fishermen had gotten out of them and were washing their nets.

  • “Lake of Gennesaret”
    • Sea of Galilee
    • Size of D.C. > without the city > surrounded by rolling hills
    • Bethsaida > el-Araj
  • “Washing their nets”
    • Had fished all night (when fish can’t see the nets)
    • necessary to clean so they don’t break
  • They were no doubt tired…and no doubt disappointed (caught no fish)


II. Disruption

3And He got into one of the boats, which was Simon’s, and asked him to put out a little way from the land. And He sat down and began teaching the people from the boat.

  • Jesus just gets into his boat!
    • Story: person moving neighbor’s bike
    • Jesus clearly has no issue with disrupting Simon’s morning plans!
  • Have you ever been asked to do something you didn’t want to do, but you did it anyway?
    • VBS?
    • Sunday mornings?


Peter learned right away that Jesus disrupts our plans…and it wouldn’t be the last time!


  • Jesus gives him something to do!
    • Didn’t say – “Simon, come sit on the shore and listen to my teaching.”
    • Said – “Simon, can you take me out in your boat?”
  • Call to Action – the call to discipleship is a call to action (not informed…transformed)
    • Come to the men’s breakfast > Come help me set up chairs for the…
    • Let’s grow our leadership together > Would you host a table with me for GLS?
    • Outreach > don’t just serve others…serve with others (i.e. prayer)
  • Teaching just off of the shore
  • Simon takes Jesus out...and then has nothing to do but listen, zone out, or nap


Sometimes we just need a little disruption in our life!

Where is Jesus trying to disrupt your life?



III. Disappointment

4When He had finished speaking, He said to Simon, “Put out into the deep water and let down your nets for a catch.” 5Simon answered and said, “Master, we worked hard all night and caught nothing…


  • Nets were cleaned, dried and folded by this point – had listened to a whole sermon!
  • More than ready for bed!
  • Net fishing is not good during the day
  • Lots of legitimate excuses (what are yours?)


So often, our disruptions and our disappointments lead to disobedience


That’s for you today (not…I know someone who needs to hear that)


  • “…but I will do as You say and let down the nets.”


Illustration: Helping communicate giving changes…disruption…challenged with giving



IV. Encountering the Divine

6When they had done this, they enclosed a great quantity of fish, and their nets began to break; 7so they signaled to their partners in the other boat for them to come and help them. And they came and filled both of the boats, so that they began to sink.

  • Great success (more than they could have hoped for) that threatens their livelihood
    • Nets began to break
    • Boats began to sink


8But when Simon Peter saw that, he fell down at Jesus’ feet, saying, “Go away from me Lord, for I am a sinful man!” 9For amazement had seized him and all his companions because of the catch of fish which they had taken; 

  • Reverence, awe, sense of unworthiness (“fear of the Lord)
  • Saw something that only God could do
  • In that moment, overwhelmed by the presence of God


Video: Ameenah’s Story

  • “Even though I had achieved all the things I said I was going to do, I just felt like there was something more to life than achieving.”
  • “This is the best story of the ages and you have the chance to participate in that story.”


V. Unstoppable Purpose

10bAnd Jesus said to Simon, “Do not fear, from now on you will be catching men.” 11When they had brought their boats to land, they left everything and followed Him.

  • Only logical response…”they left everything and followed Him.”
  • Observation
    • Jesus wasn’t out to catch fish, but men
    • Jesus caught a few men that day (Simon Peter, James, John (sons of Zebedee)
    • Jesus said…”from now on you will be catching men.” > do what I did
  • Let’s Look at Jesus for a moment...
    • Teaching his crowd of followers
    • Surely plenty of qualified people in that crowd
    • The one Jesus was looking for wasn’t in his crowd of followers
    • Immediately asks him for something and involves him in ministry
    • Then says to him...


Jesus has an Unstoppable Purpose for you...

  • He will allow you to be disrupted
  • He will allow you to be disappointed
  • So He can step in and who you what life was meant to be