Caught Anything Lately?
While meditating upon the resurrection of my Lord Jesus and what He means to me during this Easter season, my mind takes me to the scene where Jesus appeared to the dejected disciples by the Sea of Tiberias. I am struck by the consideration and concern Jesus has for His disciples.
With their Lord crucified, Peter and several other disciples returned to their vocation of fishing.1 On this particular evening, they had fished all night and caught nothing. Just when they were physically exhausted and emotionally discouraged, Jesus appeared and appealed to them according to their needs.
Across the water a man (who is actually Jesus) calls to them, "Friends, haven't you any fish?"2 This is more of a reminder than a question. Jesus is reminding them of something He told them before: "Apart from Me you can do nothing."1 After they answer no, the stranger tells them to throw their nets on the right side of the boat.
These were professional fishermen who had been fishing all night moving from shallow to deep water and fishing from port to starboard and bow to stern. They tried everything to catch fish and still caught nothing. Now someone they did not know asked them to throw their net on the right, and they did what He told them.
Isn't it strange that they would do as the man said? Why did the disciples listen to the man and cast their net on the right? Perhaps they vaguely recognized the voice, the same voice that had called them years ago to become fishers of men.4 Or perhaps the instruction to cast their net on the right reminded them of a similar instruction they'd heard on a previous occasion when Jesus asked them to "put out into deep water, and let down the nets for a catch."5 Whatever the reason, they followed the man's instruction and they caught "a large number of fish."
The successful result in following the man's instruction triggered something in the mind of the Apostle John. His memory of another abundant catch after following Jesus' command must have flashed through his thoughts as he looked at the large number of fish in the net.6 Almost without thinking, he said to Peter, "It is the Lord!"
The assertion of John found immediate agreement in Peter's mind. With the recognition that the man was Jesus, his spirit was revived; his passion rekindled, and he jumped into the water swimming toward Jesus.
After Jesus helped them solve their problem, He invited them to share in the fruit of their labor by asking them to "bring some of the fish you have just caught,"7 and "come and have breakfast."8
It is a great comfort to me to know that Jesus not only knew the hardship the disciples were facing, but He was ready and willing to help them solve their problem. Moreover, Jesus included them in the process of meeting their needs while allowing them to enjoy the product of their labor.
The resurrected Jesus helped the early disciples with their daily problems and He is ready to do the same for you and me today.
Have you caught anything lately?
Want to try the RIGHT side?
1 John 21:3
2 John 21:5
3 John 15:5
4 Matthew 4:18-22<
5 Luke 5:4
6 Luke 5:6
7 John 21:10
8 John 21:12