Luke 5:8 – But when Simon Peter saw it, he fell down at Jesus’ knees, saying, “Depart from me, for I am a sinful man, O Lord.”
In Luke 5, we see a glorious miracle of Jesus, and we see a proper human response from Peter. What has my attention is that Peter’s response is so very different than the response of most people today.
When Peter saw the power of the Lord Jesus, he bowed before Christ and said what we see above, “Depart from me, for I am a sinful man, O Lord.” Peter saw the power of Jesus, and he recognized that he was in the presence of the Holy God. Peter was terrified.
Think about the conversations that you have with those who do not know God. If you talk about God, many of them assume that they are standing pretty well before the Lord. They assume that God is just so darn nice that he would not ever be upset with them for who they are or what they do. The one thing that you never hear in these conversations is fear that being in the presence of the Almighty might lead to their doom.
Now, think about the conversations that you have with Christians. You know what is missing? The same fear that Peter had before Jesus is missing. Yes, as children of God, we have been forgiven and have been made clean in Christ. Yet, is it not appropriate for us to also recognize that we are forgiven sinners, not forgiven good people. We deserved God’s wrath. We are allowed to enter the presence of God in Christ with freedom and confidence (Eph 3:12), but we also must come into God’s presence with right reverence and gratitude for being welcomed as unworthy but graciously forgiven sinners.
People are not saved by God’s grace without first grasping that they were worthy of and in danger of God’s wrath. It is this holy fear that drives us to our knees, crying out to God for mercy. Once we are saved, however, let us not forget. Let us remember that God is holy and we, by nature, are not. Yes, we have been made holy in Christ, but we still have done nothing and will never do anything that would make us earn God’s favor. We are sinful. Christ is holy. Let us love his grace as we remember his greatness and our need.