When Jesus had finished speaking, he said to Simon, “Now go out where it is deeper, and let down your nets to catch some fish.” “Master,” Simon replied, “we worked hard all last night and didn’t catch a thing. But if you say so, I’ll let the nets down again.” And this time their nets were so full of fish they began to tear! Luke 5:4-6
People have fished in the Sea of Galilee for thousands of years. There are 27 types of fish found in the fresh water lake, the most famous being the Tilapia Galiliea. When it is mature, the fish can be up to 40cm long and 1.5kg in weight. It’s often known as the St Peter’s fish.
Jesus’ ministry was largely based around Capernaum, one of the main fishing communities on the lake and so, from the beginning, he had a lot to do with its fishermen.
On this particular day, Jesus decided that a boat would make a convenient pulpit. Spotting an empty fishing vessel, he asked its owner, Simon, to push out from the land. At the time, Simon was mending his nets after an unsuccessful fishing trip. Once Jesus had concluded his preaching, he told Simon to head out into deep water to make a catch. Simon pointed out that their last trip had been a complete failure, but he took Jesus at his word – and the result was incredible. He landed such an enormous catch that his nets were on the verge of breaking.
This amazing event began Simon’s relationship with Jesus, and it taught him a crucial lesson. Through the years to come, he needed to remember to trust Jesus completely, even when he asked him to do really surprising things.
It’s interesting that Simon had a very similar experience after Jesus’ resurrection. The disciples had returned to Galilee and gone back to fishing but had had a fruitless night. A stranger asked them how they were doing, and they admitted that they hadn’t caught anything. He then told them to throw their net on to the right side of the boat, and they brought in a huge haul of fish.
It was then that John identified the stranger as being Jesus himself and, in his excitement, Simon, now called Peter, jumped into the water and headed for the shore to greet Jesus. As Jesus’ earthly ministry came to an end, he reminded Peter of the fundamental need for him to obey his commands, and of the incredible blessings that would follow if he did so.
What is Jesus calling you to do for him today?
Lord Jesus, thank you for the amazing blessings which flow when we are obedient to you. Help us to be obedient to you today. Amen