Pulpit Series Volume 17 Issue 14 04/15/2007
John 21 in the morning, Jesus stood on the shore: but the disciples didn’t know it was Him. Jesus said to them, Lads, catch anything? They answered, No. And he said to them, cast the net on the right side of the ship, and you shall find. They cast the net and now they weren’t able to draw it in, because of the large catch. John said to Peter, it’s the Lord....
This was familiar… it brought back memories of days gone by….
Luke 5:4-6 Jesus told Simon, Launch out into the deep, and let down your nets for a catch. And Simon said, Master, we’ve toiled all the night and have caught nothing: nevertheless at your word I will let down the net. And when they did that, they caught such a great number of fish that net began to break. They called their partners in the other ship to come and help them. They filled both ships to the point they began to sink.
Luke 5:10-11 Jesus said to Simon, Don’t be afraid from now on you shall catch men (fishers of men). And when they had brought their ships to land, they forsook all, and followed Him.
This miracle took place at the first encounter with the disciples and three years later in the first showing of the resurrected Christ. I believe it is far more significant than we may first imagine.
Two similar events: identical requests made by Christ, identical responses by the disciples, and the exact same results.
Now lets look at this event…
Did Jesus tell the disciples to try a different fishing spot? No.Did Jesus tell Peter to use a different net? No.Did Jesus tell the disciples to use a different boat? No.Jesus told the disciples to throw the net on the other side of the boat. Same sea, same boat, same net, just a different side.Now, I’m pretty sure they had cast their net on the “other side” of the boat before. I mean, come on? After a whole night of fishing to no avail, there is a really good chance that they had already tried this “other” side of the boat. Yet Christ was asking them to trust Him and do what didn’t make a lot of sense… and cast the net on the other side.
Think about you being out there - all night long. and nada, nothing, zip, zero catch. And you know from experience how long that night can be when you catch nothing. You thank God that its over and your heading back to shore… the last thing you need is some shore walker asking if you caught anything let alone telling you to try the other side of the boat.
Listen, the fact that Peter was unable to catch any fish had nothing to do with any of the surrounding circumstances.
There was nothing the disciples could blame their failure on.
They were doing what came natural, they were doing their own thing! Life it self can often hinder our success. Stuff happens.
I believe Jesus was trying to teach the disciples then and now, that it's not about boats, nets and lakes; it's about living our lives completely following the directions that He gives us.No matter how illogical. It was Christ's direction and Peter obeying it that brought Peter his success.
Now get this. Peter’s boat couldn't have been that big. It was a fishing boat after all... not an Ocean Liner. Which means those fish were probably down there the whole time.
I believe that God in order to stay true to His Holy nature is forced to withhold blessings from us until we OBEY His voice, actually DOING what He requires of us.
I find it very interesting that although the Roman Catholic Church has set the Virgin Mary in a high and lofty place, they neglect the one and only command she ever gave.
They’d do well to heed John 2:5 Jesus’ mother said, Whatever he tells you to do, do it.
OBEYING CHRIST IS EVERYTHING!
Luke 6:46-49 Why do you call me, Lord, Lord, and not do the things which I say? Whoever comes to me, and hears my sayings and does them, I will show you to who he is like: He is like a man which built a house, digging deep and laying the foundation on a rock: and when the flood waters rose the stream beat violently against that house, but didn’t shake it: because it was built on a rock. Jesus went on to say, he that hears my word and does not do it, is like a man built a house without a foundation, the flood stream beat against that house, and immediately it fell; and the ruin of that house was great.
John 15:14 You are my friends, if you do whatever I command
Let’s go back to the basics…. Mark 12:30-31 You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind, and with all your strength: this is the first commandment. The second is, You shall love your neighbor as yourself. There’s no other commandment greater.
So it is back in your ball park. What are you going to do with this message.
Are you going to keep fishing on the wrong side of the boat? How long before that gets old? May the church get what Niki promotes…. JUST DO IT!