Sermon for Epiphany 5 – 2.6.22

+ 5th Sunday after the Epiphany – February 6th, 2022 +

Series C: Isaiah 6:1-13; 1 Corinthians 14:12-20; Luke 5:1-11

Beautiful Savior Lutheran

Milton, WA


“Christ-Centered Word”


In the Name of the Father and of the + Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.


In the 1500’s, Nicolaus Copernicus proposed the theory that the sun was the center of the solar system, and everything else revolved in orbit around it. “In the middle of everything, is the sun.”


Now, what does Copernicus and the theory of heliocentricity have to do with our Gospel reading from Luke 5? The same thing as an axle and wheel, or a fixed pivot and a teeter totter…Once you know what the center is, everything else comes together.


If Luke 5 was a solar system, there are a lot of planets in orbit. The crowds gather and press in on Jesus. Jesus teaches and preaches. Jesus performs a fisherman’s dream of a miracle, filling the boats and nets with fish. Jesus calls his Peter, James, and John as his disciples, to be fishers of men.


And at the center of it all…Jesus, the Son of God, the enfleshed, incarnate Word of God who speaks and delivers His divine and saving Word. Jesus and his word the center and circumference, the sun and gravitational pull in today’s reading. Everything in Luke 5, and the rest of Scripture, orbits around its center: Christ Jesus. Scripture is Christocentric and logo-centric. Christ the word-centered.


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.


Why do the crowds come? Are they looking for Jesus to perform some miracles or healings like an attraction at the Puyallup fair? No. The crowds pressed in on Jesus to hear the Word of God. Here in Luke 5, The sea of Gennesaret becomes Jesus’ sanctuary. The crowds are his congregation. Peter’s boat becomes Jesus’ pulpit. And Jesus does what rabbis do. He sat down and taught them the Word of God. His Word. His sacred word which shines with his divine light and life.


Our surroundings may look different this morning, but what happens in Luke 5 is what happens here each and every Lord’s day. Like the crowds on the seashore, we press in to hear the Word of God. From the first word of the Invocation to the last word in the Benediction, everything we hear, say, sing, and pray is from God’s Word, centered on Jesus life giving, life-saving word. That’s why we call this divine service. That’s why we say and do the things that are done in the Lord’s house. Jesus’ word is at the center. Everything we do – from the potlucks to planning meetings, from board meetings to bible studies, and everything in between – it all orbits around and is centered upon Jesus’ word of life in his cross and empty tomb.


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


You have to appreciate the comedy of this moment. Peter and his fellow fishermen have been fishing all night with nothing to show for – sounds like fishing, huh? He’s exhausted. Takes all the energy he has left just to clean the nets. The last thing Peter wants to do is get back in the boat, go out on the water again, at the wrong time of the day for fishing and dirty up the nets he’s just finished cleaning…and for what? Nothing but net? No way, Jesus.


“Master, we have toiled all night and caught nothing; but at Your word I will let down the net.” 


Before Jesus fills the nets, Jesus works his miracle of faith in Peter. Simon trusts Jesus’ word, even as Jesus is teaching Simon to trust His Word. That’s the point of this miracle. Trust the Word of Jesus. “At your word I will let down the nets.” Simon trusts the Word of Jesus over and against his own experience as a fishermen. He has no good reason to let out the nets in the daylight in deep water except for Jesus’ Word.  Jesus’ word is at the center of it all.


But what happens whenever we place something other than God’s word at the center of our lives – whether it’s our thoughts, emotions, or good works or whatever? The same thing that happens when you remove your axle from your car wheel, or the center pivot of your teeter totter. Everything comes crashing down. Contrary to the ways of the world, the lies of the devil, and our selfish, sinful flesh, we are not the center of the universe. And nothing, save Jesus’ word, will hold our lives together.


How different, and unexpectedly gracious Jesus’ Word is. Before long, the nets Peter was cleaning, were soon bursting with so many fish, Peter had to call for help. And that’s the way it is with Jesus’ word. More than we expect or deserve.


Peter gets it instantly. Simon Peter looks at the flopping fish in the boat; he looks at Jesus, and this big tough fisherman falls to his knees in humility, “Depart from me, for I am a sinful man, O Lord.”


That is faith talking – recognizing that we stand in the presence of a holy God, recognizing that in Jesus this holy God has become one of us and stands in our midst, that He is the Lord of creation whom the wind and waves and even the fish obey. Simon knew his sinfulness. It wasn’t just a matter of sins, the coarse word here, the fights with his brother, the bickering with his wife, his greed for gain, his discouragement over a fruitless night of labor, or whatever. He doesn’t simply say “I have sinned,” but “I am a sinner.” That’s what he is. That’s what you and I are as well.

Peter’s right. He’s a sinner. And so are we. So what does Jesus do? Toss us back in the drink? No. Do not be afraid, Jesus says to Simon Peter. And to you. For Jesus performs the same miracle for us as he did for Peter.


Faith and trust in his Word. Despite what we may think or feel or see around us or know. Jesus’ Word is trustworthy. In fact it’s the only trustworthy word. And he gives you his Word freely. Graciously. Abundantly. You thought that net full of fish was good…just wait till you see his crucifixion where he catches all your sins, throws him onto his body and buries them in the deep water of his tomb. You thought the miracle of a boat load of fish was good, just wait till you see his empty tomb and his risen body come forth from the grave for you.


At the center of this story, of the disciples’ story, of your story is the same Lord Jesus and his same, divine, saving, life-giving word. Yes, Jesus’ word is authoritative. Powerful. Creative. But don’t forget that Jesus’ word is also gracious beyond what we expect or deserve. Do not be afraid, Jesus declares to you as well. Jesus speaks his word of life to you. Jesus washes away your sin with water and his word. Jesus feeds you his body and blood in bread and wine by his word.


In his church, in your daily life, Jesus is the Sun, and we live as his people in the gracious gravitational pull of his death and resurrection. Jesus puts himself at the center for you. And once the center is known, everything else comes together.


In the Name of the Father and of the + Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

Beautiful Savior

is a traditional Lutheran Church, faithful to God's Word and His Sacraments. We equip God's people to serve, love, and encourage one another as we grow in our personal relationship with Christ. We reach out to the community as beacons of light, sharing the love of God in Christ Jesus, our Savior.

Church Office Hours

Monday - Thursday 8:30am-3:30pm

Friday 8:30am-11:30am

The office is closed on Fridays during the summer months of June, July, and August.

Preschool Office Hours

August - May
Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday

By appointment only June and July


2306 Milton Way
Milton, WA 98354
(253) 922-6977
(253) 922-6977