Faith and Fishing

One was a carpenter and one was a professional fisherman named Simon.  They had been friends for a while, especially since the carpenter displayed a lot of knowledge and wisdom and regularly taught  groups of people.  That day, the people were gathering on the shore, and Simon’s friend got into his boat and asked him to put out from the shore a little bit.  Having moved out, as the crowd lined the shore, he began to teach them from the boat.  Then after he had finished teaching, He told Simon to “put out into deep water and let down their fishing nets.”

Simon had been up all night, he and his partners, trying different spots, shallow and deep, dropping their nets, hauling them back up, and they had come up with nothing.  They were tired and disheartened.  If there were fish here, they were hiding!

But Simon said, because this was his friend, “Because you say so, I will let down the nets.”  He might have been thinking, “He’s been a carpenter all his life, what does he know about fishing?”

But he threw the nets into the water.

And suddenly the nets were full of fish!  Not just full, but so full as they worked to haul them into the boat, the nets began to break.  Simon (also called Peter) shouted at his partners in the other boat, James and John (the sons of Zebedee).   They came over and together they grabbed and pulled the bulging nets into the boats.  Imagine their excitement at the greatest catch they had ever had in their lives!  They were amazed, overjoyed!  They caught so many fish it filled both boats so full they were in real danger of sinking!

Simon Peter realized that only Jesus (the Carpenter) could have caused this to happen.  After all, they had fished for hours and came up empty-handed.  Simon became overwhelmed with the realization that indeed before him in the boat was the Master, the Son of God, Who created all things, controls all things, and is the Author of Grace and Mercy and Redemption.

Simon dropped to his knees and said “Lord, go away from me;  I am a sinful man.”  Simon recognized he was not worthy to be in the presence of Jesus, and could only hope for grace and forgiveness.  Simon realized that Jesus was not just his Friend, but his Master and Savior and Teacher, and in this momentous miracle he was shown what a life following Christ would be like.

“Don’t be afraid;” Jesus said.  “From now on you will fish for people.”  

Now get this:  They pulled their boats up on shore, left everything and followed Jesus. (Luke 5)

Peter, James, and John walked away from their boats, the greatest catch that had ever happened to them, and followed Jesus.  Peter had seen Jesus do miracles; he saw Him heal his mother-in-law a few days before; what was different about catching all these fish?

It happened to him, not someone else.

The most wondrous miracles are the ones that happen to you, right in front of your face.  Why some people experience miracles and other don’t only God knows for sure, but remember how often Jesus said “Your faith has made you whole.”

The greatest miracle is the miracle of redemption, asking Jesus to forgive us, and believing He does, accepting Him as the Master of our life, and then He gives us our faith along with His spirit to guide and comfort us in this life.  It is truly a miracle of rebirth.

Then, we need to “let down our nets” and tell others about Him by word and action, and wait for Him to fill those nets.

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