A Miraculous Catch of Fish

A story has been told how a priest who had spent a fruitless day fishing picked out three fat fish in the market. “Before you wrap them,” he said to the store manager,” toss them to me, one by one. That way I’ll be able to tell the monsignor I caught them and I … More

Fishing

At “the Lake of Gennesaret,” which is another name for the Sea of Galilee, Jesus uses Peter’s boat as a pulpit from which to preach to the crowd on the shore (vv. 1-3). Dr. J. Vernon McGee said, “Every pulpit is a fishing boat, a place to give out the Word of God and attempt to catch fish” (souls for Christ). Fishermen often used bell-shaped nets with lead weights around the edges. A net would be thrown flat into the water, and the lead weights would cause it to sink around the fish. Then the fisherman would pull on a cord drawing the net around the fish.

Peter and the other fisherman had fished all night and caught nothing and were washing their nets while Jesus preached. Dr. Warren Wiersbe says, “If I had fished all night and caught nothing, I would probably be selling my nets, not washing them to get ready to go fishing again!” But true fisherman don’t quit. We should have that same kind of determination in our Christian life as we go fishing (witnessing), even if people may not respond to us in a positive way.

After Jesus finishes His message, He commands Peter to “launch out into the deep” water (vv. 4-5). Peter must have been surprised when Jesus asked them to go to the deep water. It was a well known fact that, in the Sea of Galilee, you caught fish at night in the shallow water and not in the daytime in the deep water. What Jesus was asking Peter to do was contrary to all of his training and experience but Peter still obeyed and let down his nets. The result was a “big catch,"which points out the fact that no matter what may seem right it is always best to follow the Lord’s direction (vv. 6-11). Mary had learnt this lesson a few days before when she said to the servants at a wedding in Cana, ‘Whatever he says to you, do it’ (John 2:5). However uncomfortable the commands of Christ may sound, we who know and claim to follow Him should be swift to obey his voice.

Application

The idea of “going out into deep water and letting down your nets” to reach souls for Christ should be a possibility in each of our lives. If the Lord asks me to go out into some deep water (an area of ministry I have never been involved in before) I just need to obey and leave the results up to Him.

Luke 5:1-11 (English Standard Version)

On one occasion, while the crowd was pressing in on him to hear the word of God, he was standing by the lake of Gennesaret, and he saw two boats by the lake, but the fishermen had gone out of them and were washing their nets. Getting into one of the boats, which was Simon's, he asked him to put out a little from the land. And he sat down and taught the people from the boat. And when he had finished speaking, he said to Simon, "Put out into the deep and let down your nets for a catch." And Simon answered, "Master, we toiled all night and took nothing! But at your word I will let down the nets." And when they had done this, they enclosed a large number of fish, and their nets were breaking. 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. But when Simon Peter saw it, he fell down at Jesus' knees, saying, "Depart from me, for I am a sinful man, O Lord." For he and all who were with him were astonished at the catch of fish that they had taken, and so also were James and John, sons of Zebedee, who were partners with Simon. And Jesus said to Simon, "Do not be afraid; from now on you will be catching men." And when they had brought their boats to land, they left everything and followed him.

View this passage in NIV (Bible Gateway) »