The Unbroken Net
Simon Peter went up, and drew the net to land full of great fishes, an hundred and fifty and three: and for all there were so many, yet was not the net broken. ~John 21:11
Commercial fishermen use nets in order to maximize their opportunities for a good day of fishing. On a very good day, they could have a substantial catch that would test the strength of the net. If the net was not sturdy and broke, a great deal of profitability would be lost. Our passage today tells us of a substantial catch that our Lord gave to Peter and the fact that the net did not break.
We see the decision.
“Simon Peter saith unto them, I go a fishing. They say unto him, We also go with thee. They went forth and entered into a ship immediately.” Peter was discouraged from his denial of the Lord a few days earlier. He immediately reverted back to his old self and decided to go back to what he thought he knew very well: fishing. His choice was a blinded decision. He was blinded to the facts that the Lord loved him and that his calling was to the ministry. His choice was also a backslidden decision. He was running from the Lord when he should have been running to the Lord.
We see the disappointment.
“And that night they caught nothing.” That night, seven well-experienced fishermen worked the Sea of Galilee very hard. Yet, they caught nothing. There is frustration when you catch nothing. There is failure when you catch nothing. God will allow a major disappointment in our life to tell us that we cannot succeed at anything without Him. He will also allow us to fail miserably so that we are delivered out of delusional thinking that we can make it by ourselves.
We see the directive.
“And he said unto them, Cast the net on the right side of the ship, and ye shall find.” Jesus asked them from the shore if they had caught anything, and they sadly answered no. What Jesus told them next was a directive, or a command. Remember, they had just spent an entire night fishing with nothing to show for it. They were exhausted and heading back to shore. The command Jesus gave them was of authority and certainty. It is when we are depleted, defeated, and at the end of ourselves that we realize we need help. The Lord gave them a command that would change their day.
We see the divine.
“They cast therefore, and now they were not able to draw it for the multitude of fishes.” In a few moments, they experienced a substantial catch! Later, we are told that they caught 153 fishes. The Lord wanted us to know this because this was a record catch for the Sea of Galilee. We are also told that the net did not break. God gave them that catch! God gave them a catch that could not have happened without Him. The divine is when God’s hand, anointing, and power are on you to accomplish much for Him. God’s work must always be done in God’s power.