“Most people are bothered by those passages of Scripture they do not understand, but the passages that bother me are those I do understand.” – Mark Twain
Jesus is Looking at ME!
I’ve been thinking about this passage for some time now. Jesus has finished teaching and decides to bless Simon, the owner of the boat He’s been using as a platform. Simon puts up a bit of an argument with the Lord but obeys in the end (Simon argues and finally obeys. This is not my point, but it does sound a bit like me!). The result is a tremendous catch of fish that almost swamps his boat – and this after a night in which Simon and his buddies caught nothing.
It is Peter’s response to this is tremendous catch of fish that I find disturbing. “Oh, Lord, please leave me – I’m too much of a sinner to be around you” (NLT). At first, I thought Peter said this because he had never been around a miracle or the power of God before, but this is not true. In Luke 4 Jesus healed Simon’s mother-in-law, and prior to that, Jesus cast a demon out of a man, and Simon was more than likely a witness to that miracle, too. Simon was accustomed to seeing the power of God, but still I wondered, Why did Simon react so strangely when God’s power was focused upon him?
I believe the answer is in Peter’s response: “I’m too much of a sinner to be around you.” When the power of God is pointed at our neighbor, or even our mother-in-law, we don’t have to react or deal with the results – we just observe. But when God’s power comes into our lives – and in Peter’s case, his business – then we must make a decision: Am I going to continue to allow this power to remain, or am I going to send it away, because if the power stays, then there is no more room for myself.
I wonder if Isaiah felt the same sensation upon seeing the Lord sitting on His throne, because his reply was similar to Peter’s, “It’s all over! I’m doomed, for I am a sinful man” (6:5 NLT). How does a mere mortal contain the miraculous power of God when it is focused upon his life? How quickly we go from feeling holy and just in God’s sight when He is looking at our neighbor, to searching for a hole in the ground to hide in because God is now focusing His attention upon us.
This attention of God upon my life used to bother me, until I read something in Song of Solomon. God the Lover is calling to His beloved to arise and go away with him. But she is hiding on the mountainside. So the Lover says, “Let me see your face; let me hear your voice. For your voice is pleasant, and your face is lovely” (2:14).
Yes, God enjoys looking at us and thinks that our voice is pleasant! Hey, who can know the ways of a man with a maiden (Prov. 30:19), much less unending and unconditional love of our God for His creation? I don’t. All I know is that when He looks at me my first response, like Peter’s, is to ask Him to go away. But then He invites me to travel with Him, tells me my face is lovely and my voice is pleasant, and somehow, someway, I can finish the story by leaving everything behind and following Him.
Great article. As Christians, we constantly pray for more of God in our lives. Then when He shows up, we ask Him to leave. I think it is the need to change when God’s light is shining on us that causes us to recoil. We know that change is needed yet we still resist.
I am with you, I need to surrender and follow, God help me.
Thanks for stopping by. You are right. We pray for more of God, and when He shows up and urges change, we want Him to leave. Someone once said that too many people want just enough of Jesus to save them from their sins, but not enough of Him to be delivered from them! I pray we are never caught up in that syndrome.
i’ve become more and more aware than in His presence, is where i see my sin. the glory and the releif one in the same. th e most amazing thing is…the sorrow is only sorrow of sin, but there is no condemnation…soooo amazing….
Thank you for leading me to your sight by commenting on mine. I appreaciate your honest musing on this wonderous, miraculous relationship that we are allowed to have with the Creator.
I’m glad you enjoyed it. I believe our relationship with God will be an ever-growing, “miraculous” relationship, even when we are in heaven. As finite beings, we will never comprehend the infinite God. Therefore, heaven will be an eternity of discovering the great, vast and wondrous Creator who is our God and Savior.
‘Someone once said that too many people want just enough of Jesus to save them from their sins, but not enough of Him to be delivered from them!’
That is unfortunately too true.