Google+ 04/10/13 Fruitless Fishing!

John 21:4-7

 

At dawn Jesus was standing on the beach, but the disciples couldn’t see who he was.

He called out, “Fellows, have you caught any fish?”

“No,” they replied.

Then he said, “Throw out your net on the right-hand side of the boat, and you’ll get some!”

So they did, and they couldn’t haul in the net because there were so many fish in it.

Then the disciple Jesus loved said to Peter, “It’s the Lord!”

When Simon Peter heard that it was the Lord, he put on his tunic (for he had stripped for work),

jumped into the water, and headed to shore. 

 

This is Number 2 in a three-day series of devotions, so if you did not read yesterday's entitled, "If You Do, He Always Will,"  you might want to read that first!  After appearing to the disciples and witnessing to Thomas, Jesus appears again to seven of the disciples at the seashore.  Remember, that it was very natural for Jesus to be by the sea.  Much of His ministry was spent teaching around the water.  After all, the sea was a congregating place for large numbers of people, daily, for food and commerce.  There would have always been people for Jesus to talk with as they executed their daily routine.  On this day, it seems that the disciples have been fishing most of the night with no success.  Jesus appears at sunrise, and the disciples can't see who it is that is speaking to them.  Jesus asks if they have caught any fish.  This would be a logical question to ask fisherman!  They, apparently in unison say "no!"  Without telling them who He is or what "fishing credentials" He might have, Jesus simply tells them to throw their nets into the water on the right side of the boat.  Ask yourself if you would have been so willing to do this if you had been fishing all night and caught absolutely nothing.  Would we have still been fishing, or would we have "called it a day" out of frustration, proclaiming that the fish simply weren't biting today?  When they respond to the suggestion from this unknown stranger,  they catch more fish than they are able to bring into the boat.  Then, the disciple that Jesus loved, told everyone else who had been speaking to them, and that it was Jesus.  This disciple was John.  Peter being Peter, immediately jumped into the water to get to Jesus.  No thought of how far it was or if he could make it to shore.  No thought about how he was dressed, throwing on his tunic as he jumped into the water.  No thought about how cold the water must have been.  All Peter could think of was that Jesus was on shore and he needed to get to Him, right now!  Isn't that what we love about Peter?  Well, there is a "boat-load" of things for us to discover in our Scripture today!  First and foremost, don't give up.  We must have the tenacity to serve God.  Most times, God's timing is not ours.  We can become easily frustrated and non-productive when we try to control God's timing in our lives.  Secondly, don't "fish" where there are no fish!  Sometimes, we are faced with a very important decision which requires our careful discernment.  If we are doing God's will for our life, but doing it on "the wrong side of the boat," we are simply not going to catch any fish.  Our lack of success is probably NOT because we are not supposed to be fisherman.  We must examine not only what God's will is in our lives, but where and when we should do it!  Often our reward in Christ comes right before dawn, after an entire night of "fruitless fishing."  Finally, when our "nets are full," don't fear.  If God provided the "catch," He will help us "haul it in."  Churches would be well-served to heed this advice.  When we, as churches, cast our nets on the right side of the boat, the catch will be plentiful.  Many churches "don't fish," for fear of how much or what they might catch.  They literally consider the question of what would happen if they fish and catch a bunch of fish!  God will always provide to the "fishermen" who cast their nets on the right side of the boat.  When we realize how much God has provided, we must put on our "tunic" and swim to Jesus as quickly as we can, to praise Him for what He has done.  Tomorrow, we will discover what happens when we find Jesus on the shore and recognize Him.  Until then, Beware of Fruitless Fishing!