And Jesus said to Simon, “Do not be afraid; from now on you will be catching men.” Luke 5:10
Jesus did not give up on Peter, and He will not give up on you. Jesus knows you and what He can make of you. This is why Jesus moves toward sinners.
Jesus called him Simon, which was Peter’s old name. Most likely, Jesus called him by his old name, because Simon was behaving like the person he used to be. The whole story is about how Simon becomes Peter—the man Christ was calling him to be.
Since Peter’s first response to the presence of Jesus was fear, Jesus said, “Do not be afraid.” Peter knew himself, and he just could not see himself as a disciple of Jesus. “Me? Your disciple? You can’t be serious. You don’t know me!”
But Jesus did know him, and Jesus called Peter, not because of who he was, but because of who he would become. Why should Peter not be afraid? Because Jesus said: “I have not come to call the righteous but sinners to repentance” (5:32).
Jesus was saying, “Peter, I cannot use people who feel that they have made it. I don’t call people who feel they are on the right side of God. The people I call are the ones who know their sin and feel their need. They are the ones who are most useful in my kingdom.”
When Jesus called Peter the first time, He said, “Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men” (Matt. 4:19). Now Jesus was reminding Peter of the promise: “I told you that I would make you a fisher of men. You did not think I could do that with you. But what I said will come to pass.”
“From now on you will be catching men” (Luke 5:10). This was the turning point for Peter. From now on things will be different. From now on what Jesus said will happen. From now on Peter would be catching men and women.
Are you afraid that Jesus will give up on you? Do you see a glimmer of hope in Peter’s story?