“Then He got into one of the boats, which was Simon’s, and asked him to put out a little from the land. And He sat down and taught the multitudes from the boat. When He had stopped speaking, He said to Simon, “Launch out into the deep and let down your nets for a catch.” But Simon answered and said to Him, ‘Master, we have toiled all night and caught nothing; nevertheless at Your Word I let down the net.’ And when they had done this, they caught a great number of fish, and their net was breaking.”
The Lord shows us in this sequence what I, as a believer in Jesus Christ must do. From the start, we ought to have an obedient heart. We wait till He finishes speaking, whether as a group but more importantly, individually. Let Him speak completely, not in parts, this is what I must do, and allow Him to finish speaking through His Word.
There were two boats, why He chose one over other is clear, it belonged to Simon (Peter). He knew beforehand the heart of Simon. There is no wasted motion or action in how our Lord conducts His affairs. It was from Simon’s boat that Jesus “taught the multitudes.”
Am I willing to surrender what I have to be used by God, are you willing? Are we willing pulpits from which the Word of God is spoken? Will Jesus be at ease on “my boat”? All that I am, all that I have is His, for God’s glory.
“When He had stopped speaking…”
Can you picture our Lord taking a glance at Simon and the rest of his fellow fishermen? Him knowing that they had not caught anything the night before. Our Lord knows how they depended on the fish caught, the cost of operating a boat, and the number who depend on the livelihood of fishing. He knows that there are bills to pay, families to feed, and other responsibilities to meet.
“He said to Simon, ‘Launch out into the deep and let down your nets for a catch…”
Why the deep? He could have simply asked Simon to simply move a few hundred yards from shore, or even simply go to the shallow portion of Lake Gennesaret (also known as the Sea of Galilee and Lake Tiberias). According to records, the deepest part of this inland body of water is 141 feet, not really deep, and yet our Lord told Simon to launch out to the deep.
Before he did, Simon, in a moment of the flesh and “common sense”, reasoned to Jesus;
“Master, we have toiled all the night, and have taken nothing…”
How many times have we done the same thing when doing the Lord’s work? Simon displayed his knowledge as a fisherman, he reasoned out in one sentence the futility they experienced the night before, that they were rewarded with…nothing. At the end, he conceded, “nevertheless, at thy Word I let down the net.”
Through all this, Jesus did not to try to reason with him and say, “Look, you have to do what I say, launch to the deep and let your nets down!” No. Our Lord does not do that, He is silent, allowing His countenance, the tone of certainty in His instructions sink deep into the heart of Simon.
Has that happened to you? It’s happened to me. Before I consider what the Lord is saying, I already have an answer. Ask my wife.
Listen and read His Word carefully. James 1:19 reminds us of this very thing, “swift to hear, slow to speak…”
When we take the time, we should ask Jesus for discernment and wisdom in everything we do, hear, and say, this allows us to be more in-tune with the Spirit.
Simon obeyed. We see the result of that obedience, “…they caught a great number of fish, and their net was breaking.” They had to call in the other boats in the fleet to help accommodate “the catch.” Look at the nets, they were breaking! They had more fish than one boat could handle. Simon, perhaps at the start of the launch was ready to give Jesus the, “I told you so.” But instead, he see’s his own lack, his sinfulness, confessing “…for I am a sinful man.”
Without a doubt, the catch was the work of God. Only He is able to do such things.
Oh how beautiful it is when we come to the end of ourselves and face to face with our Risen Lord, to be able to see how much we need Him, the Grace that He gives so generously and reassures us, “Fear not…”
Will you allow to be used by Jesus Christ? Will you be a walking, talking pulpit speaking His Word, His Truth? Will you be obedient to His call on your life, no matter how ridiculous it may sound?
I do long to be reunited with my wife. While waiting for me, Nenita has been used by the Lord to bring more than fifty people to Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior.
The net was cast in the deep, the distance between us. Do you not see the net breaking? We must needs to call the rest of the fleet, the body of Christ to come alongside that the “catch” may be brought to the shore at our Lord’s feet.
Pray how you might be a part of God’s work, His Harvest, His Catch, through “My Father’s House Bible college.”