Jesus Knows More about Your Job Than You Do


Wake up, sleeper, rise from the dead, and Christ will shine on you. 

Jesus, I belong to you.

I lift up my heart to you.
I set my mind on you.
I fix my eyes on you.
I offer my body as a holy and living sacrifice to you. 

Jesus, We belong to you. 

Praying in the name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit, amen. 

Luke 5:1–11 (NIV)

One day as Jesus was standing by the Lake of Gennesaret, the people were crowding around him and listening to the word of God. He saw at the water’s edge two boats, left there by the fishermen, who were washing their nets. He got into one of the boats, the one belonging to Simon, and asked him to put out a little from shore. Then he sat down and taught the people from the boat.

When he had finished speaking, he said to Simon, “Put out into deep water, and let down the nets for a catch.”

Simon answered, “Master, we’ve worked hard all night and haven’t caught anything. But because you say so, I will let down the nets.”

When they had done so, they caught such a large number of fish that their nets began to break. So they signaled their partners in the other boat to come and help them, and they came and filled both boats so full that they began to sink.

When Simon Peter saw this, he fell at Jesus’ knees and said, “Go away from me, Lord; I am a sinful man!” For he and all his companions were astonished at the catch of fish they had taken, and so were James and John, the sons of Zebedee, Simon’s partners.

Then Jesus said to Simon, “Don’t be afraid; from now on you will fish for people.” So they pulled their boats up on shore, left everything and followed him.


I’d say most of my reading of this spectacular passage of Scripture has found me focusing on the big payoff, also known as “the great catch of fish.” It is astonishing. Here are these four men, commercial fishermen no less, who have fished all night and caught nothing. They are tired and doing their last task (cleaning and mending their nets) before getting some sleep so they can do it all again the next night. Off to the side, Jesus is waxing eloquent with the Word of God as the crowd of people listened intently. As he makes his last point, he says to Peter:

“Put out into deep water, and let down the nets for a catch.”

In those days, they didn’t fish during the day with those kinds of nets a fish could see from a mile away. And they sure didn’t fish in the deep water when the fish would come near the shores to feed and spawn. Yet Peter is familiar with Jesus by now. He’s not a follower just yet, but he can’t get that scene of the whole town gathering at his door out of his head. 

Simon answered, “Master, we’ve worked hard all night and haven’t caught anything. But because you say so, I will let down the nets.”

What happens next tends to get all the air time—as they pull the nets back in it is so filled with fish the nets begin to break. They fill up one boat with fish. It begins to sink under the weight and the second boat trolls over. It too gets so full of fish it begins to sink. I can replay that reel endlessly and never tire of it. 

I’m getting a deeper sense of revelation or epiphany this time around; so obvious I’ve never noticed it before. Jesus is not in the regular place we might expect to see a rabbi—the synagogue. Sure, he’s there every week, on the Sabbath, but every other day he’s in the workaday world of the marketplace. He’s in the field talking about seeds, sowing, and the harvest. He’s by the lake talking about fishing. He’s at the hospital (i.e. pool at Siloam) engaging with healing. He’s in and out of the homes of people sharing food and faith and family. He is only in the “church” facility around 5 percent of the week. Okay, I’ll put my encouragement to pastors in the notes.1

The bigger epiphany for me is how Jesus helps fishermen with their work. I mean ,what does Jesus know about fishing? Apparently everything! What does he know about farming? Apparently everything! What does Jesus know about your job as a mother or a father, as an accountant or a truck driver, as a pharmacist or a bank president, as an architect or a construction worker, as a financial advisor or a wealth manager or a school teacher? Answer: Apparently everything. 

Jesus is not a Sunday God. He is the Lord of every single day. Because he knows everything about you and your job, he can help you do it and often in extraordinary ways. So many people have Jesus locked up in a religious category or a Sunday box. If he somehow gets into Monday it is for the purpose of you telling someone at work about him or some otherwise spiritual activity. What if Jesus actually wants to be about your actual work? What if he wants to tell you to throw your nets into the deep waters when it seems absurd to do so? What if he wants to help solve that complex organizational problem no one can even wrap their mind around? What if he wants to help the out-of-control child in your classroom with whom no one can seem to connect? What if he has wisdom about an investment? What if he has guidance about a search or a hire? 

With Jesus, there is no sacred and secular divide. It all matters deeply because it’s all deeply holy. This is my Father’s world—all of it—he seems to say every single day in every single way. When Jesus gets involved, the outcomes can be so astonishing they will undo you. 

When Simon Peter saw this, he fell at Jesus’ knees and said, “Go away from me, Lord; I am a sinful man!” 

At times, though it is nothing to fear, it can completely change the course of your life. 

Then Jesus said to Simon, “Don’t be afraid; from now on you will fish for people.” So they pulled their boats up on shore, left everything and followed him.


Our Father, we keep praying that the eyes of our hearts may be enlightened in order that we may know you better, that I might become truly humble; which is to awaken to the person you imagined when you fashioned my inmost being and that I might rise up into the real life for which you created me. Forgetting what is past, I press on toward this high calling. But for today, let me find myself next to Peter as he watches the fish come in and the nets tear and the boats start to sink. Let me find myself on my knees next to him, marveling at you and responding with all I am and have; even my everyday work. Show me the next small thing. Come Holy Spirit, I am ready to move with you. Praying in Jesus’s name, amen.


Have you tended to keep Jesus in the Sunday box? Even in the workaday world, have you tended to keep him in a religious or spiritual category? Have you realized that Jesus knows more about your work/job than you do? 


I want us to interrupt our “Shine Jesus Shine” plan today with one of the old classics I sang as a child every week in Sunday School. It fits. Let’s sing “This Is My Father’s World.” It’s hymn 19 in our Seedbed hymnal, Our Great Redeemer’s Praise.


1. There is a teaching floating around among preacher types that one should spend one hour in the study for every minute of the sermon. (i.e. a thirty minute sermon should get 30 hours of preparation). I personally regard this as an absurdity. While preaching is a central responsibility of a minister, it is hardly three-fourths of the job—nor even half of it. I remember Eugene Peterson saying something like, “The pastor who is absent from the people during the six days of the week will surely be absent on the seventh.” What must change is not the depth of a preacher’s preparation but the nature of it. Preparation must take on a different character. The preparation of the person of the messenger must become more paramount than the preparation of the message itself. And part of the preparation of the person of the preacher is his or her immersion among the people. The bulk of the hours of a preacher’s life must be spent with and among the people to whom he or she is preaching. All of the sermon preparation and polish in the world will never make up for this deficit. 

For the Awakening,
J. D. Walt

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WHAT IS THIS? Wake-Up Call is a daily encouragement to shake off the slumber of our busy lives and turn our eyes toward Jesus. Each morning our community gathers around a Scripture, a reflection, a prayer, and a few short questions, inviting us to reorient our lives around the love of Jesus that transforms our hearts, homes, churches, and cities.

Comments and Discussion

5 Responses

  1. Although I’m not clergy, I do believe that your advice applies to all of us who would earnestly attempt to faithfully serve the Lord. There’s an old saying around that I’m sure you’ve heard before: “The shepherd should smell like the sheep.” I’m sure that it applied to Jesus as well.

  2. I woke at 02:00 this morning with “What now Jesus?” thoughts floating through my head because yesterday I found out I will probably soon lose most of my main source of income. I lay in bed over an hour trying to meditate on scripture rather than problem solve. All the sudden, I leaped out of bed and ran for my computer because it felt like I was getting a download from Jesus. After recording those ideas for an hour, I checked my email inbox and saw today’s posting title. I chuckled and basked in the confirmation. Thank you for doing the hard work of Seedbed!

  3. I’ve always wondered…Did Jesus know where the college of fish was hanging out, or did Jesus call the fish to the boats? Probably both. I suspect Peter and the other fishermen had never, ever, seen a school of fish of that magnitude. I’d venture to say they were jumping into the boats.
    A friend and I teach a program called FREE INDEED (from John 8:36) at two rehabs, and in the local jail, we have found that too much preparation can stifle the Holy Spirit. Many times God changed the direction of the class. How much preparation did Peter do before his sermon after Pentecost? Yet, about three thousand people were baptized.
    Staying 💪’n Christ

  4. Don’t Toss Boss Jesus!

    The boxed-up Jesus.
    He’s been too long confined
    And entwined
    By the human mind.
    His presence is
    Too often declined
    And removed
    From life’s daily grind.
    As humankind
    We are designed
    To be continually defined
    And refined
    By Him
    And aligned
    With His presence.
    Don’t toss
    Your Boss.
    Mae Jesus your daily Lord!

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