Along Lake Gennesaret three fishermen are washing their nets. Jesus steps into one of two boats that have been left. He steps into the boat of Simon, who is one of the fishermen washing nets. Jesus walks past the three men, and steps into the boat. Jesus plans to preach to the crowds from a distance the boat affords Him.
Jesus calls out to Simon, asking the fisherman to “put out a little from the land.” (Luke 5:3, ESV)
Presumably, Simon gathers his net and gets into his boat with Jesus. Perhaps Simon starts to question this man, but likely one look into Jesus’ eyes stops him from any meaningful interrogation. Simon simply obeys, putting his boat out a little from shore. From there, Jesus proceeds to teach the crowds.
At some point, Jesus finishes speaking. He tells Simon to put out to deep waters and cast his nets “for a catch.” (Luke 5:4) Here Simon thinks, ‘I know fishing. I’ve fished all night long. I’ve worked hard; so have my colleagues and we’ve caught nothing.’ He tells Jesus so, but adds, “But at Your Word, I’ll let down the nets.” (Luke 5:5) Of course, once Simon casts his nets, he catches such a large number of fish that the “nets begin to tear.” (Luke 5:6) Simon signals the other boat to help; together Simon, James and John fill the boats to the verge of sinking!
Simon falls at Jesus’ knees, crying out, “Go away from me, because I’m a sinful man, Lord!” And Jesus tells him to have no fear. ‘Have no fear, follow Me.’