Gone Fishing.

“Jesus said to them, ‘Children, do you have any fish?’ They answered him, ‘No. ‘ He said to them, ‘Cast the net on the right side of the boat, and you will find some.’ So they cast it, and now they were not able to haul it in, because of the quantity of fish.” (John 21:5-6)
This appearance of Jesus to His disciples occurred some time after His Resurrection. He found His disciples fishing and so used the opportunity to teach some vital messages about the gospel, using fishing as a metaphor for spreading the gospel. First of all, they will no longer be fishing for fish, but for human beings to bring them into the kingdom of God. The gospel is like the fishing net that is cast out. This means that the same message of salvation in Jesus is to be preached to all men and women everywhere on earth regardless of any linguistic or cultural differences. There are no complicated stories, intricate theological logic, or flashy gimmicks. No matter what kind of people we may be dealing with they can all be caught in the one gospel net. Of course not all who hear the message will believe and the Lord takes into His kingdom all those who accept it. Those who reject it, however, He casts into eternal damnation.

The fact that Jesus causes the miraculous catch indicates that no amount of human effort apart from God’s will can accomplish His work. The full catch will come in regardless of our efforts, because God brings the increase but He uses us to carry it out. He commands us to cast the net, when and where, to preach the gospel and to live it. But it takes the whole church working together to throw out the net and bring it in to shore. In the work of evangelizing the world, God himself is working with us and will supply far more than we ever dreamed. And when that catch is brought in, we can look forward to sitting down to eat the wedding feast of the Lamb in the presence of the Lord, just as the disciples sat down to eat with the risen Jesus.


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