But when Simon Peter saw it, he fell down at Jesus’ knees, saying, “Depart from me, for I am a sinful man, O Lord.” For he and all who were with him were astonished at the catch of fish that they had taken, and so also were James and John, sons of Zebedee, who were partners with Simon. And Jesus said to Simon, “Do not be afraid; from now on you will be catching men.” And when they had brought their boats to land, they left everything and followed him. – Luke 5:8-11 [ESV]

“My, ‘Yes,’ is on the table.” That was his way of saying that when God spoke to him, he and his wife would automatically default to saying yes. They did that with their finances and giving. They did that with their recreational pursuits. They did that with the invitations from their church to volunteer for ministry. They said yes.

Sometimes they ended up getting in over their heads. Think junior high and high school youth mission trips, or Sunday School Christmas party. Then they looked for others who had a yes on their table as well. They looked for other people who had an inclination to say yes to helping out. They realized that their “yes” wasn’t a call to be a solo act. It was a call to be a part of something bigger – and better- than themselves.

When Peter saw the miraculous catch of fish, he was overwhelmed at Jesus’ holiness. He knew he was in the presence of true holiness. His response was appropriate for sinners such as us: “Depart from me, for I am a sinful man.” But Jesus has a different attitude toward sinners. He called Peter, James, and John to follow him. They would be part of a team, who – inspired by the Holy Spirit – said “yes,” to Jesus’ invitation to follow him. He would occasionally get in over his head. He would sometimes need correcting. But he was not alone.

Sometimes we mistake our yes to be a solo performance that we alone are singing. And sometimes we act like we think it’s easier that way. If we do it all ourselves we don’t have to rub shoulders with those who are wired differently than we are, do things differently than we do, and require more relational capital than just pure work we ourselves do. And besides that, we can do it better ourselves, right?

Wrong. Jesus calls us into a fellowship. We are to follow him together. We have each other to help us along the path. In the fellowship of the “Yes Sayers,” we gain courage, strength, and joy. Those are gifts meant to be shared. Next time you are asked to do something for the sake of God’s kingdom, look around and see the others who are with you. The Holy Spirit has inspired them to say yes too. God has put you in each others’ lives to work together for his great glory and your neighbor’s and your own good. Yes!

By Rev. David Bahn, D. Min.
Congregation Support Specialist