Updated: Feb 15, 2022
In the Gospel of this 5th Sunday in Ordinary Times (Luke 5:1-11), Peter was awestruck when Christ turned from preaching to the people to asking him to cast his net into deep sea for a huge catch, for He knew that Peter and his colleagues had fished all night in futility. Peter knew that Jesus had healed the sick and driven out demons, but he was amazed that Jesus would care about his day-to-day routine and understand his needs as a fisherman. Yes, God is interested both in saving us spiritually and in helping us with our daily needs.
Sometimes, we have the tendency to separate salvation from our everyday worries, as though, our day-to-day anxieties are not God’s problem. The truth of the matter is that they are. In the Gospel of Mark, we read about the disciples saying to Jesus, “Don’t you care if we drown?!” (Mark 4:34-41). In the Gospel of Luke, Martha asked Jesus, “Lord, do you not care that my sister has left me to serve alone? Tell her then to help me.” Many a time, it seems to us that Jesus doesn’t care simply because He isn’t reacting to the situation the way we are. Sometimes, we are even like that with each other. But here is what Scripture says: “Cast all your cares [anxieties, excessive worry over circumstances which one does not know how to handle] upon Him for He cares for you.”
We deal with all kinds of anxieties on a daily basis—anxieties about our family, parents, children, wife, husband, finances, the future, job security, health, world conditions, etc. Scripture says that we need to cast every anxiety unto the Lord. The verb “cast” means “to throw upon” and indicates a decisive action to put something down and leave it there; a determination to trust God enough to come through in the situation. Scripture says that Jesus was “a Man of sorrows and acquainted with grief” (Isaiah 53:3). This reference is also repeated in Hebrews 4:15: “For we do not have a high priest who is unable to empathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are—yet he did not sin.” As the Psalmist says, “You know my reproach and my shame and my dishonor; my foes are all known to you” (Psalm 69:19). Jesus knows our every weakness. He knows we need help. He cares that we are tempted and cares about our struggles because He knows what it’s like to struggle through temptation. What He needs is our obedience to His commands. He knew Peter and his colleagues had caught nothing all night and yet His first instruction to Peter was to pull off the shore a little so that He could teach the people and Peter did. Then, at the appointed time, He told Peter to cast the net into the sea for a catch, and Peter did. It is all about obedience to the Word. Many a time, we want Christ to react to our situation the way we are reacting to it. Yet Scripture says, “My ways are not your ways and my thoughts are not your thoughts”.
God doesn’t want us to carry our burdens around all by ourselves. He knows we will eventually collapse under the weight and pressure of it. He invites us to hand them over to Him in obedience. We just need to trust Him to know what to do with our situation and be mindful that delay in His response is not a denial to our request. As Scripture says, “If it delays, wait for it. It will not disappoint; it presses forward unto fulfilment” (Habakkuk 2:3).