But when Simon Peter saw it, he fell down at Jesus’ knees, saying, “Depart from me, for I am a sinful man, O Lord.” Luke 5:8
Peter was happy to lend his boat to Jesus. He called Him “Master” (5:5). When Jesus told him to throw out the net, he was ready to do what Jesus said.
Peter probably would have described himself as a good person, a hard worker, a man devoted to his family—a man who believed in Jesus. But when Peter saw the glory of Jesus, he saw himself in an entirely different light: “Depart from me, for I am a sinful man, O Lord.”
Why did Peter feel like this? It could be that there was a particular sin in his life, something he was ashamed of, which made him feel he must stay at a distance from Jesus. Perhaps this is why he was on the edge of the crowd. Maybe you also feel you need to keep your distance from Jesus, because of who you are or what you have done.
Nonetheless, most likely Peter was not thinking of just one sin. Instead, Peter felt like a complete failure, sinful through and through. Why? He had tried being a disciple before and failed.
When Peter’s brother, Andrew, first introduced him to Jesus, Peter made a commitment to Jesus. He left his nets to follow Him. But something went wrong, and Peter went back. That is why he was on the edge of the crowd, telling Jesus to leave him. “I tried being your disciple, and I couldn’t keep it up. The life you are calling me to is beyond me. I don’t have what it takes. I’m not your man, Jesus. You need to choose someone else.”
Have you tried to live the Christian life, only to find you could not do it? It was too hard, so now you are on the edge. You know Jesus has something to offer, but you feel that it is not for you.
Are you trying to keep Jesus at a distance today? If so, can you identify why?