When they had done this, they caught so many fish that their nets were beginning to break. So they signaled their partners in the other boat to come and help them. And they came and filled both boats, so that they began to sink. But when Simon Peter saw it, he fell down at Jesus’ knees, saying, “Go away from me, Lord, for I am a sinful man!”
Luke 5:6-8 NRSV
They heard Jesus but it was that catch of fish that convinced Peter.
In Corinthians we hear…
For I handed on to you as of first importance what I in turn had received: that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the scriptures, and that he was buried, and that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the scriptures,
1 Corinthians 15:3-4 NRSV
The phrase, in accordance with the scriptures , stands out; which scriptures? Jesus speaks of himself as the fulfilling of the scriptures (Luke 4). I see in Christ the embodiment of Israel; the enfleshing of the temple. The resurrected one is the one on the cross, the one who brings all people into the promises of the Law and the Prophets. In Jesus, God’s kingdom comes and in Jesus sin is forgiven: the promise of the scriptures.
Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, “Whom shall I send, and who will go for us?” And I said, “Here am I; send me!” And he said, “Go and say to this people: ‘Keep listening, but do not comprehend; keep looking, but do not understand.’ Make the mind of this people dull, and stop their ears, and shut their eyes, so that they may not look with their eyes, and listen with their ears, and comprehend with their minds, and turn and be healed.” Then I said, “How long, O Lord?” And he said: “Until cities lie waste without inhabitant, and houses without people, and the land is utterly desolate; until the Lord sends everyone far away, and vast is the emptiness in the midst of the land. Even if a tenth part remain in it, it will be burned again, like a terebinth or an oak whose stump remains standing when it is felled.” The holy seed is its stump.
Isaiah 6:8-13 NRSV
This scripture, quoted by Jesus, points to the coming of the new resurrection age Paul speaks of. Isaiah does not plead with God in the way Abraham and Moses pleaded for mercy for the people. He accepts the commission to do nothing, to not save the kingdom. Jesus does the same.
Then the disciples came and asked him, “Why do you speak to them in parables?” The reason I speak to them in parables is that ‘seeing they do not perceive, and hearing they do not listen, nor do they understand.’ But blessed are your eyes, for they see, and your ears, for they hear. Truly I tell you, many prophets and righteous people longed to see what you see, but did not see it, and to hear what you hear, but did not hear it.
Matthew 13:10, 13, 16-17 NRSV
So how are people to be saved? Paul has taught that in those gathered to Christ we find his body. The work of the Spirit in the church is the witness that is good news to the poor, releases the bound, opens the eyes of the blind and frees the oppressed.
Where this is evident, Jesus is present; Jesus is working; Jesus is embodied, and true worship happens.