And when they had this done, they inclosed a great multitude of fishes: and their net brake. ~Luke 5:6
Commercial fishing is perhaps one of the hardest and most-demanding occupations in the world. This kind of fishing is done mainly at night when it is dark and cold. It is rewarding work when the evening catch is very good (filled nets) and very disappointing when the catch is dismal to nothing. Cleaning the nets and the boat is a daily necessity in order to be ready for the next night’s expedition. I imagine that most fishermen suffer from insomnia due to sleep deprivation. Next, to not catch any fish is to discover that you have a broken net while fishing. This morning, let us see the lesson from a broken net.
We see the directive.
“Now when he had left speaking, he said unto Simon, Launch out into the deep, and let down your nets for a draught.” Jesus gave a big command to Simon Peter. He told him to launch out, or thrust out, his ship to the deepest part of the Sea of Galilee for a large catch of fish. This command involved the use of Peter’s ship, his fishing nets which he had just tediously cleaned, and his effort. It was an understandable command: this was something Peter did all the time. It was an unexpected command: Jesus wanted him to do it at that moment. It was an unusual command: Jesus said that Peter would have a large catch of fish. All of God’s commands are to be obeyed and not questioned.
We see the doubtfulness.
“And Simon answering said unto him, Master, we have toiled all the night, and have taken nothing: nevertheless at thy word I will let down the net.” Peter was weary, irritable, and annoyed. He knew that Jesus commanded him to do something that was part of his profession. However, he had just returned a couple hours earlier from a fruitless night of fishing. In his heart, he had doubts that this command would result in any catch. Peter was doubtful, but Peter was also disobedient. He told Jesus, “Nevertheless at thy word I will let down the net.” He agreed, but half-heartedly. Instead of all his nets, he said he would let down one net.
We see the demonstration.
“And when they had this done, they inclosed a great multitude of fishes: and their net brake.” Peter and his colleagues went to the deepest part of the lake, let down the one net, and, to their great surprise, they had a draught of fish as Jesus said they would! The catch is described as a great multitude of fishes, and was so great that both ships were sinking from the weight of this catch. As we pause and think about this, the weight of this catch was substantially more than each ship. What a demonstration of the power of God! There was no planning needed on Peter’s part: all he had to do was obey the Lord. The greatest demonstration of God’s power in our lives always occurs when we are at our weakest, when our plans have failed, when our resources are inadequate, and when we have faith in His Word.
We see the disappointment.
“When Simon Peter saw it, he fell down at Jesus’ knees, saying, Depart from me; for I am a sinful man, O Lord.” Peter realized that he had failed in his faith and obedience. The broken net taught Peter many valuable lessons. First, Jesus could have broken him instead of the net. Second, the broken net taught him that Jesus did not need Peter to perform this catch. Third, the broken net taught him that he should never lack faith in God’s commands. Fourth, Jesus gave him a draught of fishes in spite of a broken net. Fifth, if Peter had let down all the nets he had, the catch would have been even bigger. Sixth, the broken net testified of God giving us more than we deserve. The spiritual lessons in the broken net far outweighed the catch itself. God always does a better job with what we place in His hands than when we try to do it ourselves. Be faithful in whatever God tells you to do, and let Him take care of the results.
Have a faithful God Morning!
Bible Reading: Luke 10-11