Sunday, December 15, 2013

A Business Man's Impact (Luke 5:10)

and so also were James and John, sons of Zebedee, who were partners with Simon. And Jesus said to Simon, "Do not fear, from now on you will be catching men." (Luke 5:10 NASB)

The previous verse says that Simon "and all his companions" were seized with amazement because of the enormous haul of fish. This verse says that James and John, his partners, were also seized with amazement. The earlier verses indicate that there were men in the boat with Simon, but they were not his partners. Scripture uses their names here to clearly identify Simon's business partners. These three men worked together as equals and made business decisions together. They were close, and likely lifelong friends. Simon was probably the older of the three men. (We will see later that he and Jesus were the only ones who had to pay the temple tax).  The next few verses suggest that James and John looked up to Simon Peter and respected him. 

This is not the usual way they are portrayed. I've always considered Simon the less mature, less intelligent man, and somehow subservient to James and John. Now, because they were younger, I wonder if James and John had begun as apprentices to Simon and had excelled to become partners. 

You may think, "Who cares?"  The reason I mention it at all is because of the impact of one business man on those working for and with him. Hold this thought because we will look at it again tomorrow. 

Simon encountered Jesus in a life-changing way, experienced an astounding financial bonanza, and was frightened badly by those events. The first words out of Jesus's mouth are, "Don't be afraid." It seems fear is the expected and appropriate response to an encounter with Almighty God. 

Jesus went on to say, "From now on, you will be catching men." The call to follow was made with the certainty that Simon would obey, and he did. He did not ask the opinion of his partners or those working for him on the boat. Perhaps he looked at the haul of fish and realized fishing would never be the same again. Perhaps he realized he could choose the fish or the Source of the fish, but he couldn't have both. Regardless, Simon Peter chose Christ and his life was never the same again. 

Ponder the relationship between these three men. We will get back to it tomorrow. For today, consider the impact of your relationship to Jesus on the people at work and in your circle of acquaintances. What difference are you making?   Do your encounters with Christ leave you trembling in holy fear?  When Jesus calls you, is obedience your first response? 

Today, pray that our impact on those around us will be one that draws them to Jesus.  Pray that believers in our loved ones' lives will live in such a way that they will have a profound impact on them and draw them to Jesus by the clear results of Christ in their daily life.