Depart from me, for I am a sinful man

When Simon Peter saw it, he fell down at Jesus’ knees, saying, Depart from me; for I am a sinful man, O Lord. – Luke 5:8

Isaiah 6:1-8

 1 I saw the Lord. He was sitting on a lofty throne, and the train of his robe filled the Temple.

 2 Attending him were mighty seraphim . . ..

 3 They were calling out to each other, “Holy, holy, holy is the LORD of Heaven’s Armies! The whole earth is filled with his glory!”

 5 Then I said, “It’s all over! I am doomed, for I am a sinful man. I have filthy lips, and I live among a people with filthy lips. Yet I have seen the King, the LORD of Heaven’s Armies.”

 6 Then one of the seraphim flew to me . . ..

 7 He touched my lips with it and said, “See, this coal has touched your lips. Now your guilt is removed, and your sins are forgiven.”

 8 Then I heard the Lord asking, “Whom should I send as a messenger to this people? Who will go for us?” I said, “Here I am. Send me.”

“Many of us are walking around in a ‘trance of unworthiness.’ It’s a gnawing feeling that we’re deeply flawed. It tells us we’re not worthy of love, happiness, success, or approval. And it follows us around like a shadow” (Gregg Vanourek). Such a sense of unworthiness is a “fear or shame – a feeling of being flawed, unacceptable, not enough. Who I am is not okay” (Tara Brach).

Research indicates multiple sources of low self-worth:

  • Parents or other authority figures who were disapproving or overly critical, often accompanied by intense pressure for achievement.
  • Uninvolved, distant, or preoccupied parents or other caregivers.
  • Frequent comparisons to siblings during childhood, leading to feelings of inferiority.
  • Excessive parental praises for performance or abilities rather than effort and process.
  • Too much unhealthy conflict in the home.
  • Childhood taunting, bullying, or ostracism.
  • Overprotective parents, leaving children unprepared for challenges.
  • Academic setbacks or failures, leading children to feel flawed or stupid.
  • Societal expectations and pressures, unrealistic portrayals of life and beauty.
  • Trauma and abuse (Gregg Vanourek).

Common signs of unworthiness:

  • Recurring feelings that something’s wrong with you, feeling insufficient.
  • Overly active inner critic and negative self-talk.
  • Perpetual busyness, constant multitasking, and frenzied action.
  • Preoccupation with achievement, obsession with success, or status addiction.
  • Avoidance of vulnerability and self-disclosure.
  • Chronic sense of shame, feeling flawed and unworthy of love and belonging.
  • Restless and perpetual pursuit of self-improvement.
  • Badgering yourself for mistakes you’ve made.
  • Difficulty accepting positive feedback.
  • Playing it safe to avoid risk or failure.
  • Reluctance to ask for what you want or need and to accept help.
  • People-pleasing.
  • Self-hatred (Gregg Vanourek).

Why did Peter react with such an admission of self-worthlessness? Was Peter living in a “trance of unworthiness?” Not!

Peter’s reaction is typical of people when they encounter the holiness and majesty of the living God in the Scriptures. Their sin and personal uncleanness are exposed in the consuming light of His glory.

REFLECT & PRAY

“Low self-esteem is like driving through life with your hand brake on” (Maxwell Maltz).

Father thank You that You caught me by kindness. Thank You that You have called me to serve you with my whole heart. Strengthen and embolden me to do just that.

INSIGHT

Luke 5:8 When Simon Peter realized what had happened, he fell to his knees before Jesus and said, “Oh, Lord, please leave me – I’m too much of a sinner to be around you.”

Why did Peter fall to his knees and cry out, “Depart from me, for I am a sinful man, O Lord”?

Peter suddenly had his eyes opened to the true identity of the Lord Jesus Christ. Peter had understood that the Father was working through the Lord Jesus Christ. Now he recognizes that He was no mere man. He was more than a prophet. He was more than the Messiah. He was God in the flesh! Peter responded, as did Isaiah when he encountered the glory of God’s magnificent holiness and majesty.

Isaiah 6:1-5

 1 I saw the Lord. He was sitting on a lofty throne, and the train of his robe filled the Temple.

 2 Attending him were mighty seraphim . . ..

 3 They were calling out to each other, “Holy, holy, holy is the LORD of Heaven’s Armies! The whole earth is filled with his glory!”

 5 Then I said, “It’s all over! I am doomed, for I am a sinful man. I have filthy lips, and I live among a people with filthy lips. Yet I have seen the King, the LORD of Heaven’s Armies.”

What did Peter mean? He was acknowledging his sinfulness and utter unworthiness in the presence of the living God. He suddenly knew how unfit he was to be in His presence. His words reveal something like “Lord, be merciful to me, a sinner,” or “Forgive me,” or something like, “What is a Holy One like you doing with a sinner like me?” (Stein) Peter recognized that he was totally unfit and unqualified to serve the Lord Jesus Christ.

The Father’s ways are totally unlike ours. God doesn’t call the prepared. He prepares the called. Peter was called to serve!

“Peter does not realize . . . that admitting one’s inability and sin is the best prerequisite for service, since then one can depend on God. Peter’s confession becomes his résumé for service. Humility is the elevator to spiritual greatness . . .. Jesus does not depart from nor reject sinners who feel conviction because of their sin. He draws them to Himself and sends them out to serve Him” (Constable).

The Lord Jesus Christ does not abandon nor reject sinners who feel conviction because of their sins. He beckons them to come and follow Him. “Peter and his three companions immediately abandoned their life as fishermen to become Jesus’ disciples full-time” (Constable). Peter was never called to be a mere fisherman. Peter was called to be a fisher of men.

“The call of Peter demonstrates what ‘fishing for people’ means: Jesus has ‘caught’ Peter by a miracle of grace, and he commissions Peter to ‘catch’ people likewise. Although Luke does not specifically say that Jesus ‘called’ Peter, the call is implied and inescapable, for when the boats reached land, Peter and partners left ‘everything’ and followed Jesus” (James R. Edwards).

There is no denying our unworthiness, but that realization is our basis for service. God is honored, and His grace and mercy are displayed.

1 Timothy 1:15-17

 15 This is a trustworthy saying, and everyone should accept it: “Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners” – and I am the worst of them all.

 16 But God had mercy on me so that Christ Jesus could use me as a prime example of his great patience with even the worst sinners. Then others will realize that they, too, can believe in him and receive eternal life.

 17 All honor and glory to God forever and ever!

¯\_()_/¯

© Dr. H 2023

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: