Luke 1 v 8 When Simon Peter saw this, he fell at Jesus’s knees and said “Go away from me, Lord, I am a sinful man!”
It is of course, important to read the whole story from Chapter 5 v 1 – 11, and to realize that Peter is responding to Jesus because of a miraculous catch of fish. All through the Gospels Jesus has to confront the so called “experts” in law and tradition.
Here surprisingly the expert was Peter for he was a master fisherman. According to Peter there were no fish around, read v 5.
As the story tells us, there was a miraculous catch of fish. This story is simply a miracle. It is not about fish but about Jesus and His utter uniqueness. These great Gospel stories remind us that with the coming of Jesus a new age has dawned. In this one miracle, Jesus of Nazareth is vested the authority of the ages. If He has authority over something as paltry as a school of fish, would He not have authority over the bigger issues of life, like sin and death. Yes of course. Each of his miracles declares that in this new age which He brings with him, a new way of dealing with the age old problem of sin and sinners has dawned.
But for now we look at the effect this event has on Peter. The effect of the big catch was to draw Peter’s attention to Jesus. Peter, who gave his expert opinion a moment ago, suddenly realizes that the Lord of Nature, of men and their daily work was right there in his boat.
However dimly Peter perceived it at this early stage of his relationship to Jesus, he understood enough to know that this man was the Holy One of God.
Peter feels so sinful and unfit for Jesus’s presence that he says, “Go away from me, Lord; I am a sinful man .” Jesus did not leave him, of course, but drafted Peter into his service.
Remember at this stage Peter knew nothing about Jesus’s birth, baptism or temptations, yet he obeyed Jesus.
We however, have got the whole story laid out for us thus far. Do we obey Him?
Remember also, that none of the disciples were perfect. Rather they were imperfect, slow learners, men of their day and creatures of their culture. How patient Jesus was with them. And so He is with us also.
He forgives our sins and overrules our mistakes. And although we do not always understand everything, he drafts us into his service, uses us to our great surprise and never abandons us.