When He had finished speaking, He said to Simon, "Put out into the deep water and let down your nets for a catch." (Luke 5:4 NASB)
Simon had already been in deep water, and likely shallow water too, in a vain attempt to catch fish. Jesus didn't care about his previous efforts or his previous casts at depth. Jesus was sending him back. "Head to the deep," He said. Certainly there are more fish in deeper water than in the shallows, but there is something amazing about the deepest water.
Scientists long believed that the deepest ocean waters were void of life. Without light, no plants could grow, and, it was believed, there would be nothing to support life. In 2009, the Nereus, a research vessel from Woods Institute, made a series of dives to explore the deepest areas it could reach. At more than 10,000 meters below sea level, they found that pressure and darkness are greatest, while the food supply is rich and comes in the form of "marine snow", consisting of organic matter than drifts down from above. (Now that's a nice manna analogy, isn't it?) In the darkness, many of the creatures that live in the depths exhibit phosphorescence. They glow in the darkness. Wow! Pretty amazing!
Jesus had more than fish in a net on His mind that day. Simon didn't know it yet, but Jesus was inviting him to cast his net into deep water spiritually, as well. Simon would soon experience utter dependence upon provision from above, the battle against the darkness of Hell itself, and the incredible pressure of Christ's mission to bring truth and light to a dark and perishing world. Simon was about to go into deep water with Jesus in more ways than one, and he would be changed forever. Eventually, he would have a spiritual glow of his own. It is too soon in Luke's gospel to see that now, but we will.
Jesus was not just inviting Peter into the deep water. His words still resonate today. "Put out into deep water." The deeps are the least explored, but the place of greatest adventure. It's where the fun really begins. Are you willing to move out to the deeps? Are you ready to experience the grand adventure that Jesus longs to share with you?
Today, pray that we and our loved ones will stop holding back. Pray we will boldly go where Jesus leads, even when it is into the deepest water. No more holding back.
Come on in! The water's really nice out here!