The Convicting Aspect
In Luke chapter five we have the incident of Jesus instructing Peter to set out again in the morning after a night of futile fishing. A number of possible interpretations have been offered for Peter's response: 'Lord, we have been at this all night to no avail; nevertheless at thy word we will launch out.'
The extraordinary yield of fish which followed caused Peter to say "Depart from me, for I am a sinful man." Here is the rabbi, obviously inexperienced in the ways of fishing, showing some supernatural knowledge or authority concerning the fish.
Perhaps Peter had responded in sarcasm or in doubt as to Jesus' prospects of success. The Lord's calm, sincere and hopeful demeanour had a convicting effect. It is likely that anyone who got within range of the Master's words or extraordinary deeds would respond in like fashion.
In am reminded of one of the Psalms which states, "But there is forgiveness with thee, that thou mayest be feared." (Psalm 130: 4)
Later in the same chapter of Luke Jesus has healed and forgiven the palsied man lowered through the roof, has incurred the wrath of the scribes and Pharisees for absolving sin, and has gone to dine at the house of Matthew, straight from the publican's bench. His comment is very revealing as to his mission:
31And Jesus answering said unto them, They that are whole need not a physician; but they that are sick.
32I came not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.
These days I hear a lot of talk about mimimizing doctrine and right orthodoxy and maximizing the winsome nature of the Man of Galilee. (See the appended You Tube video with Jan Sjoerd Pasterkamp. His point is that the quest for truth should never surpass the quest for unity. But what about the quest for intimate knowledge of the real Jesus and the real love which only He imparts?)
Man hopes to behold the totally righteous One and yearns for an opportunity to unload his sin. Time and again it is shown that Messiah attracts, wounds by the evident contrast of His nature and then ministers healing and a fresh start. In one place in Acts the Gospel is described as "repentance unto life" (chapter 11:18).
See the previous post "The Bell-Weather" dated July 19, 2009.