When He had stopped speaking, He said to Simon, “Launch out into the deep and let down your nets for a catch.” But Simon answered and said to Him, “Master, we have toiled all night and caught nothing; nevertheless, at Your word I will let down the net.” And when they had done this, they caught a great number of fish, and their net was breaking. So they signaled to their partners in the other boat to come and help them. And they came and filled both the boats so that they began to sink. (Luke 5:4-7)
Fill Your Life With Jesus
Commercial fishing can be exasperating when the family’s livelihood depends upon success. From the beginning of the world, men have found ways to catch the creatures of rivers, lakes, seas, and oceans with great success. Four of the apostles of Jesus were commercial fishermen. One day when Jesus was walking by the Sea of Galilee, He saw two brothers, Peter and Andrew, casting a net into the sea. Nearby were James and John, mending their nets in their father’s boat. Peter and Andrew were in partnership with Zebedee, the father of James, and John, who also had hired men working for him. Calling the four men to His ministry, Peter, Andrew, James, and John became early disciples of the Lord and then called to be apostles.
Multitudes thronged to Jesus to hear Him teach about the Father. Coming to the Sea of Galilee, Jesus sat down in one of Simon Peter’s boats and taught the people. After Jesus taught the multitude, He told Peter to launch into the deep and let down his nets for a catch. The night before, the fishermen had toiled all night unsuccessfully, and Peter told Jesus of their empty nets. Obedient to the voice of Jesus, the fishermen launched into the deep to set their nets. What happened next astonished the seasoned fishermen.
As the nets were put into the sea, a great many fish filled the nets. There were so many fish the nets began to break. Calling to James and John, and the other fishermen, Peter struggled to bring the nets into the boat. The catch of fish was so large the boats were sinking. This was a miracle that stunned the fishermen. Peter recognized he was in the presence of deity. The night before, the fishermen worked all night without any fish. When Jesus came into the picture, their boats nearly sank for the weight of the abundance of fish.
The Holy Spirit records the miracles of Jesus to prove the man from Nazareth is the Son of God. When the fishermen saw the incredible catch of fish, they could see the power of God. There was a more subtle lesson that is taken from the efforts of the fishermen the night before and how things change when Jesus comes into the story. Fishing is a tedious and arduous job, often leading to empty nets, as the fishermen experienced that night. The labors of men are empty and fruitless when they try to fill their lives through their own wisdom. Men strive through the darkness of the night to find happiness, joy, satisfaction, and answers to life. As the morning breaks, they find empty nets without answers. All the strivings of men will be fruitless. It is not in man to know how to find real joy.
Lives change when Jesus is accepted into the will of man. Everything changes. What was an empty night of fishing becomes an overflowing catch of blessings. Jesus could have filled the nets with a few fish to satisfy the work of the fishermen, but the catch was so great the boats began to sink. The blessings of God do not come in small measure but overflowing. Putting the word of God into the heart does not make a man religious; it fills him with the glory and power of God. Intimately knowing the Jesus of scripture will change the life of the one who allows the blessings of God to flow through him.
There are two kinds of people in the world. Those who fish all night without Jesus and those who come to the Son of God for salvation and find blessings overflowing. The grace and mercy of God are not given in small portions. It breaks the boat. Trying to find happiness apart from God will always fail. Believing Jesus is the Son of God and asking for His power to work in your life will change everything. The blessings will overflow. And then eternity comes, and those blessings will never end. Who are you fishing with?