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Tuesday, April 18, 2023
"A Fishing Story (Part 2)"
Message summary: Let us, like the disciples in today's story, obey the voice of the Lord when He speaks to us. Our attitude should be, "I'll follow You anywhere, wherever You lead me, whatever it costs me, all I want is You".
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“So they went out and got into the boat, but that night they caught nothing. Early in the morning, Jesus stood on the shore, but the disciples did not realize that it was Jesus. He called out to them, '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'. When they did, they were unable to haul the net in because of the large number of fish" (John 21:3-6).
Today, cameras are everywhere. A study from 2020 wrote this, "It seems no matter where we go throughout the day, there’s a camera close by. While passing by a security camera may not shock many people, a new study finds the average person is being filmed more often than they think. From walking the dog to driving into work, researchers say Americans are being caught on security cameras at least 238 times every week." Most people have cell phones that include the ubiquitous phone camera. We’re accustomed to seeing scores of people at any large event snapping photos or videotaping.
Fishermen have long enjoyed taking photos of their prized fish catch. In fact if you google the phrase “man holding fish” you will get 129,000,000 photos in the image search!
The photo to the left shows our friend Rick Steudler holding a Palomino Trout he caught in Pine Creek in northern Pennsylvania. When I ran into him he "just happened" to be carrying a photo in his front pocket ready to share!
I enjoyed fishing when I was younger but I need to be reeling them in pretty regularly to enjoy the experience. Problem is, I was never very good at getting them to bite so it’s extremely rare that I go fishing. The photo to the right shows me holding a striped bass caught in Chesapeake Bay. It really is much larger than it looks!
Today we continue the fish story we began in yesterday's message that took place after Christ's resurrection when some of the disciples went fishing.
The disciples had fished all night and caught nothing. Anyone who’s ever been on a fishing expedition knows the frustration that Peter and the other six disciples must have felt in our daily text after fishing all night and catching nothing.
Christ saw them from the shore and called out, 'Friends, haven’t you any fish?' 'No', they answered. Of course the resurrected Lord knew they had a long, dismal, and unproductive night!
Jesus had some specific fishing advice for the disciples even though at this point they did not recognize it was Him calling out. “Throw your net on the right side of the boat and you will find some.” This advice didn’t make much sense. Surely they had plied the waters through the night and fished from both sides of the boat. I just wonder if Peter had recalled an earlier occasion when the Master had some fishing advice.*
But this time Peter didn’t hesitate, and catch fish they did! “It was full of large fish, 153, but even with so many the net was not torn". Perhaps there was a count given after every fishing trip along with the poundage so that fish could be sold at the market. If only cameras were available at that time we could look at the photos of this fishing story as the grinning disciples snapped photos of each other and the bulging net with fish of all sizes, shapes, colors and patterns.
Let me issue a spiritual lesson and fresh challenge to our readers today. Let us, like these disciples, obey the voice of the Lord when He speaks to us, instead of arguing, “It didn’t work before!” or “That’s not what the experts in fishing recommend!” or any of hundreds of other excuses for disobedience.
Rather, our attitude should be, "I'll follow You anywhere, wherever You lead me, whatever it costs me, all I want is You".
Be encouraged today, (Hebrews 3:13)
Stephen and Brooksyne Weber
Daily prayer: Father, You awakened me one night with the thought, "Ponder anew what the Almighty can do" from the classic hymn, "Praise to the Lord, the Almighty". A strong sense of Your Spirit was upon me and it brought me to my knees in prayer. There are so many ways that You show us what You can do through Your teaching, Your healing, Your companionship, Your provision, Your guidance, and Your everlasting hope and faithfulness. I pray that You would revive the hearts of our readers today as they ponder anew Your mighty works, Your miraculous ways and follow Your leading in the big and small stuff of life. Just as the angel told your servant Mary, “Nothing is impossible with God” who are we to limit Your power, wisdom or provision. Help us not to limit Your power by our disobedient attitude or actions. We want to fully trust You to guide us accordingly. Amen.
* Several years earlier during His earthly ministry Jesus had been teaching from Peter’s boat and when He had finished speaking, He said to Peter, “Put out into deep water, and let down the nets for a catch” (v.4). (This account is found in Luke 5:1-11). Similar to today's post-resurrection account Peter and his friends had worked all night with no success. They were likely now weary from the long night and the morning of teaching. They didn’t want to go out again and Peter forthrightly expresses his feelings, “Master, we’ve worked hard all night and haven’t caught anything". But he added, “But because you say so, I will let down the nets". Do you recall what happened next? “When they had done so, they caught such a large number of fish that their nets began to break! So they signaled their partners in the other boat to come and help them, and they came and filled both boats so full that they began to sink".
Today's Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources
"Follow You Anywhere" Click to listen on YouTube Calvary Church closing song from this last Lord's Day, includes Pastor's prayer.
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