You Want Me To Do What?
…”Throw your net on the right side of the boat and you will find some.” – John 21:6a
The disciples were fishing. It was after Jesus had been crucified. Peter had gone through his most agonizing moment in which he had denied Jesus three times. He had lost a friend. No doubt he probably wondered whether the last three years were a dream. What now?
Peter had been prepared three years, but he was not going out to preach; he was going fishing. He had returned to his trade of days gone by. He had a level of experience with Jesus that no other human on earth can boast. This was the third encounter he was about to have with Jesus after His resurrection. Jesus looked to Peter and John in their boat and made a suggestion.
“Friends, haven’t you any fish?”
“No,” they answered.
He said, “Throw your net on the right side of the boat and you will find some” (Jn. 21:6a).
Now, if you are as seasoned in your fishing as these guys were, wouldn’t you be a bit irritated if a stranger suggested that you simply put your nets over the other side to catch some fish? Yet we find that they took this stranger’s advice. Once they were obedient, the Lord revealed Himself.
When they followed Jesus’ advice, the catch was enormous – 153 fish in total. In most cases such a haul would have broken the net. Jesus invited them to have breakfast with Him – fish and bread; He had already started the fire. I can only imagine that this scene would resemble some buddies going out and camping together.
There is so much that we are to learn in this passage about God’s ways. As a workplace believer, we must understand that after we have spent years with Jesus, this does not always mean we must leave our professions in order to fully follow Jesus. Peter went back to his profession – fishing. It was here that Jesus asked him a simple question: Do you love Me and will you feed My sheep? He didn’t say to Peter, “Fishing is a waste of time for you now, Peter.” This recommissioning was in the area of his original calling – his work. We need not feel that we must go to the “mission field” to please Jesus. Our work is our mission field. We must, however, make a paradigm shift in our thinking about our place in the work world. We must have an overriding sense of mission and ministry that comes out of that work. This is what is meant when we say that we must all be circumcised before we can enter the Promised Land. When this happens, we can expect to see God fill the nets with His blessings. He wants to do this because He now owns the net, and He can trust us to manage it.