But when Simon Peter saw it, he fell down at Jesus’ knees, saying, “Depart from me, for I am a sinful man, O Lord.”
We sing that God is holy. We know that God is perfect and we are sinful. Yet, when we think of these concepts, we fail to tremble in fear. This is not good.
Peter, sitting in a boat next to the Lord of all Creation, recognizes something significant. He sees the power of Jesus, and realizes that Jesus is not like Peter. Jesus is different. Jesus is above and beyond Peter. And what is Peter’s reaction? Peter is terrified.
God’s holiness should make us tremble. In the Scripture, when people see the perfection or holiness of God, it scares them nearly to death. Daniel and John, when they get glimpses of God, pretty much pass out. Why then do we waltz into worship with barely a second thought?
I know, Ephesians 3:12 tells us that in Christ, we may approach God in freedom and confidence. We, if we are forgiven in Christ, have the freedom of access to our God. We are under Christ’s protection. But, and this is important I think, we are only safe because we are protected in Christ. We are only safe because of God’s grace and not because of anything in us. We should still have a little bit of trembling, a little shutter in our souls as we realize how much grace God has bestowed upon us.
Peter was terrified by the holiness of Christ. You and I are sinful. We too should have that terror. Then we can properly look at God’s grace, enjoy the freedom of Christ, and give him proper thanks for what he has done. God’s perfect love drives out our fear, but the fear should naturally be there if we realize the significance of being sinful creatures in the presence of a holy God.