They had expected so much and walked away with so little. They had thought that by now they would be cabinet members in a new administration, wrecking Rome’s rule and restoring Israel’s independence. Instead, they were jobless, and Rome was having her way.
With heavy hearts and sluggish steps, they had come home to Galilee. “I’m going fishing,” Peter said. Six of his pals said, “We’re going with you.”
Fishing had been their occupation before they joined Jesus’ crew. That’s what they were doing the day he showed up and said, “Follow me.” And they did—they berthed their boat, abandoned their nets, and became his disciples. He taught them, inspired them, and seeded their dream for a never-ending kingdom.
Never-ending? The campaign collapsed before the kingdom commenced! He was arrested, convicted—and now he was dead!
So, they unpacked their nets, boarded their boat, and started rowing. Out in familiar water, they tossed the net. Bad throw. They hadn’t fished for three years and were out of practice. When they finally got the hang of it, they threw it over and over, all night long, without netting a single fish. Not only had their hopes for position and power been dashed, they’d even lost their job skills.
Peter looked at John. “Did you say something?”
Cupping a hand behind his ear, John said, “Shh. Listen! Hear that voice? It’s coming from the beach.”
“Throw out your net on the right-hand side of the boat, and you’ll get plenty of fish,” said the voice.
John’s stomach turned flips! He could barely breathe. He was having a flashback: it was as vivid as if it had happened yesterday, though it had occurred three years ago. They had fished all night and come back with an empty boat. They were putting away their nets when Jesus walked by and said, “Put out into deep water, and let down the nets for a catch.” So they did—and caught so many fish their nets started ripping.
John recognized the familiar voice coming from the beach.
“It is the Lord!” he said.
And sure enough, it was!
Does this have a familiar feel? Have I caught you at a time when you’re feeling down? Disappointed because things haven’t worked out the way you hoped they would? Are you tempted to go back to your old life—fishing for whatever it was you fished for before you met him?
Listen for his voice. Is he telling you to throw your net on the other side of the boat—telling you to do something different than what you’ve been doing? What do you think he wants you to do differently? What does he want you to change?
Listen for his voice.