My husband loves to fish. Several times each year, he heads out with his fishing buddy for several days of adventure on the lakes. He comes home sore and exhausted but contented. His sunburned face lights up as he recounts the fish tales to me. I would venture to say fishing is one of his happy places.
Because my husband fishes, it helps me relate to the fishermen of the Bible who later became some of Christ’s disciples. Fishing was their profession, but I think they also enjoyed the call of the water. They fished with friends and helped out each other when the nets became overloaded. They shared life on the water.
John 21:3 (NIV) “I’m going out to fish,” Simon Peter told them, and they said, “We’ll go with you.” So they went out and got into the boat, but that night they caught nothing.”
After Jesus’ resurrection, the disciples are in hiding. Peter announces that he is going fishing. Peter wanted to return to the comfortable, and his friend went with him. I imagine they are sad and tired after a night of unsuccessful fishing. All the events of the previous weeks probably are weighing on their souls. What did the future hold for them?
It is in that moment that Jesus calls out to them. From the shore, He tells them to cast their nets on the other side of the boat. Unaware of who this person was, they obeyed anyway. The caught a significant amount of fish. They quickly realized it was Christ on the shore and everything started to make sense for them as they ate breakfast together.
Matthew 13:47 (NIV) “Once again, the kingdom of heaven is like a net that was let down into the lake and caught all kinds of fish.”
I find it so interesting that the disciples listened to this voice to throw their nets on the other side of the boat. I think they were ready to give up and go home, but they tried it anyway. I would have thought the man was crazy and ignored him. Many times, God calls us to action even when life feels overwhelming. Can we respond in faith to God’s direction even at the low point in our lives?
The disciples obeyed. They reaped the rewards of their faithfulness with a net full of fish. They also got to sit down and enjoy breakfast with Jesus. For me, this story demonstrates how Christ calls to each of us. Many things in our world will crowd out the voice of Christ. If we are faithful to follow, despite how we feel in the moment, then we too will reap a reward. Christ’s call will never be convenient or make sense to the world. But the results of following the call might be enormous.
Matthew 4:19 (NIV) “Come, follow me,” Jesus said, “and I will send you out to fish for people.”
Yvonne – blogger, speaker, and author
Matthew 28:19 “Therefore, GO and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit.”