“When Simon Peter saw this, he knelt in front of Jesus and said, ‘Leave me, Lord! I’m a sinful person!’” Luke 5:8 (God’s Word Translation)
Although I identify with Peter’s statement, I didn’t pay much attention to this verse until I read a little further and noticed Jesus’ response was lacking. In verses 17-26, four men bring a paralyzed friend on a mat and lower him through the roof. The first thing Jesus says to him is “Sir, Your sins are forgiven.”
Peter declares and confesses his sinfulness, but Jesus doesn’t tell him his sins are forgiven. The paralytic doesn’t make a confession or a profession, but Jesus pronounces forgiveness.
Perhaps the need for physical healing generates a response of forgiveness because those seeking physical healing aren’t fully aware of their need of forgiveness or their sinful state. Absorbed in their physical state, they aren’t concerned with their spiritual condition. So Jesus turns the paralytic’s attention to his sinfulness.
Peter, on the other hand, was fully aware of his sinful state and therefore what he needed was a call to discipleship and service. Jesus provided what Peter needed – a way and the opportunity to repent and turn his soul life around.
So then, we can count on several truths. God and Jesus know our deepest needs much better than we do. What we think our needs are and what our needs really are, are probably two very different things, opposites perhaps. God and Jesus will always meet our true needs and most likely in ways we never expect.