In Luke Chapter 5 from the very first verse, we see once again, the preaching, teaching and healing ministries of JESUS. People were pressing to hear from His newer messages about God and His kingdom. For some reason, JESUS needed a platform to use, and requested to use Simon/Peter’s ship. Simon and his team obliged JESUS. The ship was used to minister to the multitude, after which JESUS decided to minister specifically to Simon’s need to catch fishes.
Jesus gave instructions to Simon to launch out into deeper waters where he should use his net to harvest a net-breaking catch. Peter was an experienced fisherman whose sense of reasoning gave him a better judgment of time, means and ways of catching fishes. He wasted no time to let JESUS know about how he spent all night doing what he knew best to do. He may have been indirectly asking JESUS not to bother him. He understood that JESUS could preach and teach a crowd about “esoteric”, superstitious, or spiritual, matters. But, since fishing was a learned skill, that should be left to experts to practice by human training and experience. He may have also reasoned that there were some things that people needed not be super-spiritual about. There are things that should be left to experts and not priests or spiritual leaders.
It is good that Simon, later named Peter, quickly got over himself. He added to his initial reluctance that, nevertheless, at JESUS’s word, he would obey the naturally “unreasonable and ridiculous” instruction. To his utter surprise, a miraculous, net-breaking, catch ensued, after he let down the net as instructed.
Peter was so astonished and shocked at the miracle that he got on his knees, in sign of ego-less submission. He asked JESUS to “depart from me: for I am a sinful man, O Lord.” Fishermen were rural people with a lot of stubbornness & egoistic habits. Simon’s conscience-stricken request from JESUS could be read as another way of him saying “please do not bother me any further!” I have had enough pull into deeper spiritual levels, as it is already. I am not sure I can go on, or handle any more, any further. He may have been asking indirectly if it was possible for him to be left alone with his past. His questions could be summarized as “why bother me any further?”
The work of true ministers of the gospel of our LORD JESUS Christ is basically cut out for them to go around bothering people, for the people’s own good. Witnessing Christ to people require some level of readiness to intrude into unwanted territories, spaces and stubbornly rigid, minds of people. Many who are approached with Christ’s gospel and the associated discipleship follow-up do not want to be bothered. Many church-goers and regular attendants, do not like to be drawn beyond peripheral, sin-imbibing, compromise-laden, levels.
Many rationalize as follows:
I have my fathers’ religion already, why bother me? I have attended church all my life, why bother me with new insights? I always read my Bible and I am satisfied with my understanding of it so far, why bother me? I have been practicing certain beliefs all my life, why bother me with need for change to better truth?
I can relate with those kinds of mindsets? As an apostle, by calling, and one who regularly challenge religious status-quo people, to remember Bible fundamentals, I get that feedback a lot. Why bother me? I have a good pastor who knows it all already, why bother me? I have been a leader with many proofs and results, even better than you, why bother me? I am even better skilled in rationalizing life matters, why bother me? The false prophets who practice extra-ordinary anti-Bible doctrines that you insinuate stuffs about, have huge crowds, that you do not have. Why bother them or why bother me about them?
Peter followed JESUS even after his talks seemed to insinuate the question WHY BOTHER ME? He adjusted himself and allowed himself to be further bothered. He accepted to move on to becoming fisher of men, better than remaining fisher of fishes.
The same Simon accepted to be bothered by a name change. JESUS changed his name from Simon (reed) to Peter (rock). The same Peter alongside John, bothered a man who had been lame all his life, from his mother’s womb, in Acts 3, after being empowered by the Holy Spirit. The man received their outstretched hands by faith, and had his lifestyle miraculously changed and adjusted. He must have ceased from being a poor beggar, who was essentially dependent on other human hands, for most of his natural life & needs. He was bothered to start a new and better way of life after more than 40 past years of demonic bondage. He received his deliverance without being bogged down by a mental, rationalizing, question of WHY BOTHER ME?
In the same book of Luke, chapter 5 from verse 16, some religious zealots gathered around JESUS. They included sophisticated religious leaders and “church” practitioners. They were so consumed in the physical and mental sides of JESUS’ ministrations that they would not be bothered to receive “the power of the Lord” that “was present to heal them.” They probably had WHY BOTHER ME questions at the back of their minds. None of them was healed of anything. Remember the scripture in verse 17, said the power was there to heal THEM! It was someone else whose friends were keen enough to be bothered that broke the roof above the space-occupiers, who were more intent on being religiously entertained, than receiving spiritual ministry. Those are the ones who bothered JESUS. The man was thereafter healed from his paralyzing disease, right in the faces of those who were silently questioning JESUS’ preaching & teaching? They had WHY BOTHER ME mindsets that robbed them of the power of God that was present to improve them.
Some have become so used to God that they do not have room for further Godly changes and adjustments. Even Peter went back to fishing after JESUS was crucified and buried. His why BOTHER ME sense of reasoning must have prevailed again. Why did JESUS bother me, when He knew he would leave us physically? Why did He bother training me to be fisher of men, when He would not physically remain on earth to direct the kingdom operations?
The older, people get in the things of the kingdom, the more WHY BOTHER ME questions that buffet their minds. JESUS had to physically appear to Peter in order to encourage him to remain bothered to bother God’s sheep by endlessly feeding them. John 21:16-18.
We all need to consciously check out & overcome our mental, and, sometimes demonically influenced, attitudes of WHY BOTHER ME?
My own prayer is; LORD help me accept to receive all your nudges for change and adjustments, every time you desire to bother me, on all that you require of me. I pray that you continue to bother me and all your children/servants who managed to read this post to this end, until we satisfy all that you seek, or desire of us. In JESUS name I prayed!
Bishop Olan Elujoba is a preacher, teacher, publisher and broadcaster of God’s words, in obedience to a calling he received to pursue the GREAT COMMISSION. He heads Worldwide WORD Missions, a global initiative to torch lives by God’s words, by the power of the Holy Spirit, till millions of lives shine as lights for JESUS Christ, Our LORD!
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