Luke 5:1-11


So it was, as the multitude pressed about Him to hear the word of God, that He stood by the Lake of Gennesaret,


and saw two boats standing by the lake; but the fishermen had gone from them and were washing their nets.


Then He got into one of the boats, which was Simon’s, and asked him to put out a little from the land. And He sat down and taught the multitudes from the boat.


When He had stopped speaking, He said to Simon, “Launch out into the deep and let down your nets for a catch.”


But Simon answered and said to Him, “Master, we have toiled all night and caught nothing; nevertheless at Your word I will let down the net.”


And when they had done this, they caught a great number of fish, and their net was breaking.


So they signaled to their partners in the other boat to come and help them. And they came and filled both the boats, so that they began to sink.


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 which they had taken;


and so also were James and John, the sons of Zebedee, who were partners with Simon. And Jesus said to Simon, “Do not be afraid. From now on you will catch men.”


So when they had brought their boats to land, they forsook all and followed Him. Luke 5:1-11

Behold the words of the Lord. In some circles today there is a belief in a thing called the Prosperity Gospel. According to our friends at Wikipedia:

Prosperity theology (sometimes referred to as the prosperity gospel, the health and wealth gospel, or the gospel of success) is a religious belief among some Christians that financial blessing and physical well-being is always the will of God for them, and that faith, positive speech, and donations to religious causes will increase one’s material wealth. It is based on interpretations of the Bible that are traditional to Judaism (with respect to the Hebrew Bible),[1]though less so in Christianity. Prosperity theology views the Bible as a contract between God and humans: if humans have faith in God, he will deliver security and prosperity.

In brief, this is a very antho-centric idea in which man puts such emphasis and importance on material wealth and is quite contrary to Orthodox teaching, which teaches us to be meek and humble, emulating our Lord in all things.

Sunday’s Gospel lesson from the Fifth chapter of St. Luke show us the true ” Prosperity Gospel”. This lesson demonstrates that our Lord knew the secret of Peter’s heart. The Lord chose the most profitable time to encounter Peter, James, and John, who would become the foremost of the apostles. 

Any good fisherman knows the best time to catch fish is the evening. These men were tired and undoubtedly frustrated, having spent the whole evening applying their trade with little result. Our Lord tested their patience and obedience and commanded them to launch their boats. Further, the Lord directed them where to cast their nets. Peter complied. Within moments Peter was converted. Never had he seen such a draught of fish! He immediately understood the miracle and fear and awe came upon him, as he beheld his Lord, the fashioner of all things, standing before him.  

What happens next? Peter does not gloat or celebrate his new wealth and good fortune. He confesses to God to depart from him for he “came to his senses” and acknowledged his sinfulness.  The Lord restored him, then Peter, followed by James and John, abandoned his wealth and his very livelihood and followed Christ.

 The Lord knew the way to Peter’s heart. He gave Peter short term wealth to lead him to the kingdom of heaven. This is true prosperity-when we abandon all things-we gain Christ.