We have probably all read the story about when the disciples went out fishing all night and did not catch anything. Then the next morning Jesus was standing on the shore and hollered out to them, "did you catch anything" They answered Him no. So He tells them to cast the nets to the right side of the boat, and they do so, and then they catch so many fish, they can not even pull the nets back into the boat.
Now I know this story is telling about Jesus showing Himself to the disciples for the third time since His death, but to me there was something different in this story. You see Jesus tells us all to be fishers of men. To bring them into the kingdom. When we go out fishing, what kind of bait do we use? Are we using any bait? And are we fishing in the right waters, are we fishing from the right side of the boat? And if you have ever been fishing, you know that fishing takes patience and time. You can not just throw your hook in and expect a fish to bite it and jump right into the boat with you. No, they are going to circle around and watch that bait, and see what that bait is going to do next, then if the bait is steady and doesn't make any sudden changes, then they will bite, but then they are going to give you a run for your money, they are going to twist, and swim with all they have trying to let go of that hook so they can be set free. You might end up with a fish, or you might end up with a half eaten worm. What are you going to do then? Are you just going to give up, or are you going to cast your line back into the water and try again?
You see when we are trying to witness to others about Christ, when we are fishing for men, we can not just give up every time our fish gets off the hook. No, we have to be steady in our walk with the LORD, so that person sees, that we are what we say, we are not just preaching at them, we are actually living what we preach. We have to be constant with our love for them, and when we show them the love of Christ, and they jump off the hook, we can't give up on them, we have to be persistent in our prayers for them. And when we are fishing in waters where no one is biting, then maybe we just need to change to the right side of the boat. Maybe we need to change lakes all together. But never do we need to give up and throw our pole in the water and just quit. We were told to be fishers of men, but now our fish have to be cleaned. And that is where Jesus comes in. He will clean our fish for us. Our job is just bringing in the nets full with fish. And when we have caught so many our nets are heavy and we are afraid of them breaking, God will mend them for you and have them ready for your next fishing trip. Next time you see people coming to the altar to receive the Lord, just think of that net being filled with a multitude of fish getting ready for Jesus to clean.
John 21 v 3-6....Simon Peter said to them "I am going fishing." They said to him, "We are going with you also." They went out and immediately got into the boat, and that night they caught nothing. But when the morning had now come, Jesus stood on the shore, yet the disciples did not know that it was Jesus. Then Jesus said to them, "Children have you any food?" They answered Him, "No." And He said to them, "Cast your nets to the right side of the boat, and you will find some." So they cast, and now they were not able to draw it in because of the multitude of fish.....
Matt. 4 v 19....Then He said to them, "Follow Me and I will make you fishers of men."......
So you see, you really have the easy part, fishing, Jesus has the part everyone dreads. Cleaning the fish. Isn't it amazing how easy He makes it for us? We just have to do our part. So, I say why don't we all take a day off from our busy lives, and do like Huckleberry Finn and Tom Sawyer and go fishing. (But let's go fishing for the Lord.) AMEN