A transformative learning experience

Negros Theological Seminary (NETS) gets its inspiration from the significant encounter of Jesus with ordinary folks at the sea. Thereafter, transformation takes place which eventually brought them into greatness in service.

NETS fellowship at the sea

Using the acronym of the seminary (NETS) as framework of the analysis, the story in Luke 5: 1-11 captures the vision, mission and goals of the institution.


1 One day as Jesus was standing by the Lake of Gennesaret,[a] the people were crowding around him and listening to the word of God. 2 He saw at the water’s edge two boats, left there by the fishermen, who were washing their nets

The first two verses present the   needs of people and Jesus, as     well as that of the fishermen.    Jesus needs a pulpit to satisfy   the cravings of the people for  God’s words.

In finding a boat,  Jesus ably meet the needs both  of the people and the owner of    the resources. For Jesus also  knows the needs of Simon and  company. He understands that  Peter and his coworkers are capable of bringing in a huge catch. But the problem is that they are absolutely convinced nothing is there to catch, having spent the whole night. There’s a need to overcome their pride.


3 He got into one of the boats, the one belonging to Simon, and asked him to put out a little from shore. Then he sat down and taught the people from the boat. 4 When he had finished speaking, he said to Simon, “Put out into deep water, and let down the nets for a catch.” 5 Simon answered, “Master, we’ve worked hard all night and haven’t caught anything. But because you say so, I will let down the nets.” 6 When they had done so, they caught such a large number of fish that their nets began to break. 7 So they signaled their partners in the other boat to come and help them, and they came and filled both boats so full that they began to sink.

Such is the encounter of Jesus with the veteran fishermen. After the paradigm shift of using the boat as pulpit, Jesus moves on to the next level of change. In the guise of gratitude for the favor, he encouraged Simon to resume fishing for a compensated catch. With reservation grounded on experience and expertise, Simon dared to risk another attempt. Surprisingly, the cycle has been broken by such paradigm shift. An overwhelming catch rocked their boats.


8 When Simon Peter saw this, he fell at Jesus’ knees and said, “Go away from me, Lord; I am a sinful man!” 9 For he and all his companions were astonished at the catch of fish they had taken, 10 and so were James and John, the sons of Zebedee, Simon’s partners. Then Jesus said to Simon, “Don’t be afraid; from now on you will fish for people.”

Humbled by the encounter, the veteran fisherman bowed to the carpenter’s son. It is safe to presume that Simon might have under estimated Jesus. A transformation takes place in Simon’s heart. But it was just a prelude of the real transformation in the lives of the fishermen. Thereafter they become fishers of men.


11So they pulled their boats up on shore, left everything and followed him

It seals off the transformation process. Instead of savoring the gains of their catch, they forsake all and follow Jesus. Rather than advancing their needs and interests, they serve the interests of Christ – advancing the Kingdom of God.

True service is a by product of transformation resulting from a personal encounter with Someone who knows our needs.

It is observable that they left all to follow Christ, when their calling prospered in their hands more than ever it had done and they had had uncommon success in it. When riches increase, and we are therefore most in temptation to set our hearts upon them, then to quit them for the service of Christ, this is thank-worthy. “Launch out into the deep, and let down your nets for a draught.”            Luke 5:4


You know now what NETS stands for- A theological institution where Needs are met by a meaningful Encounter resulting to Transformation with a holistic perspective of Service (NETS). You can be a part of this ministry by linking with us.

About philnets

Never ending training and service institution that caters the needs of ministers through personal learning encounter towards transformation and service.

Posted on July 8, 2011, in Biblical Reflections and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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