What it was that Peter saw

Luke 5:8  When Simon Peter saw it he fell at Jesus’ knees, saying, Depart from me

To understand the action and the words of Simon Peter, we must know what it was that he saw.
The place was the shore of the Lake of Galilee, and the time was early in the first year of the ministry of Christ. Already men were talking of the great prophet, and wondering who and what He was; and no doubt the fishermen had thought and spoken much of Him. One day Christ came; He went straight to Simon’s ship, and from it He taught the people, while Simon Peter listened. And then followed that great wonder of the miraculous draught of fishes, which astounded all beholders. That was what Peter saw. But he saw more; he saw in all this what was like a call to him; not yet a direct one, but one which he could not help but understand. When you see a grand action, it is a call to you to imitate it; when you hear of a noble deed, it is a call to you to correct whatever of littleness or meanness may be in your own soul; when you see others walking with God, it is a call to you to join them, and to walk even as they. Sympathetic natures need no explanation at such times; they take in at once the meaning of the voices which they hear as they go on through life. Simon Peter felt what he saw; he felt how it bore on him; and feeling it, instantly and profoundly, his first motion was to draw back in alarm, and to pray the Lord to depart from him.

(Morgan Dix, D. D.)