I don’t know what Peter thought but I would suppose I would be thinking things like:
“I’ve been fishing here for years. I know what to do.
“I’ve already tried that side. It didn’t work.”
“I’ve always thrown my net on the left side of the boat.”
The disciples may have been skeptical but they were obedient and cast the net as Jesus said. The result was phenomenal: “they were unable to haul the net in because of the large number of fish (John 21:6b).”
Ministry is like that. When we are obedient to Jesus’ teachings the results are greater than we can imagine. Sometimes that means doing something different and sometimes it means doing it again. There was a church in an association up north that had a very large building in a downtown area. The neighborhood was growing but the church was declining. They concluded that the people in this urban area could not be reached so they moved to the edge of town where there was new growth.
They sold the building to another church. That church exploded with growth. They partnered with other groups to develop ministries that impacted the neighborhood. They preached the gospel (good news) of Jesus Christ. They worshiped as if they were glad to be alive in Christ and hope filled that building for the first time in many years.
People from the community joined the church because they got to know the people. People from the surrounding suburbs joined the church because they wanted to be a part of God’s work in transforming lives. People from other churches volunteered in the various ministries and contributed money to the work. They outgrew the large building and went to multiple services while purchasing other properties adjacent to the church. Their catch was bigger than their net!
The church that originally occupied the building struggled to connect with the community where they had relocated. They were still casting the net where they wanted. We need to drop the net on the side of the boat that Jesus tells us to.
When he had finished speaking, he said to Simon, "Put out into deep water, and let down the nets for a catch."Simon answered, "Master, we've worked hard all night and haven't caught anything. But because you say so, I will let down the nets."
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.
When Simon Peter saw this, he fell at Jesus' knees and said, "Go away from me, Lord; I am a sinful man!" For he and all his companions were astonished at the catch of fish they had taken, and so were James and John, the sons of Zebedee, Simon's partners.
Then Jesus said to Simon, "Don't be afraid; from now on you will catch men." So they pulled their boats up on shore, left everything and followed him.
- Luke 5:4-11 (NIV)Tweet