Sunday, April 6, 2014
“And he said unto them, Cast the net on the right side of the ship, and ye shall find. They cast therefore, and now they were not able to draw it for the multitude of fishes” (John 21:6 KJV).
Today’s Scripture foretells the greatest fishing trip Israel’s apostles will ever enjoy!
Let us read verses 1-3: “After these things Jesus shewed himself again to the disciples at the sea of Tiberias; and on this wise shewed he himself. There were together Simon Peter, and Thomas called Didymus, and Nathanael of Cana in Galilee, and the sons of Zebedee, and two other of his disciples. Simon Peter saith unto them, I go a fishing. They say unto him, We also go with thee. They went forth, and entered into a ship immediately; and that night they caught nothing.”
Post-resurrection, seven of Israel’s 12 apostles—Simon Peter, Thomas, Nathanael, the sons of Zebedee (James and John; Matthew 4:21), and two unknown persons—are assembled in Galilee (possibly an allusion to Jesus’ instructions in Matthew 28:16). Evidently, the four remaining apostles (Judas the fifth had expired days earlier) were late, so when Peter says he wishes to go fishing, the apostles with him agree to accompany him (John 21:3, quoted above).
Israel’s apostles go fishing on “the Sea of Tiberias,” the Gentile name for “the Sea of Galilee” (see John 6:1). Jesus Christ began His ministry there some three years earlier (Matthew 4:12; Luke 4:14). Just three short years prior to today’s Scripture, and at the same seaside, Christ had selected brothers Simon Peter and Andrew, fishermen, telling them, “Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men” (Matthew 4:18-20; Mark 1:16-18). Christ had also selected James and John sons of Zebedee, fishing partners of Peter and Andrew, and they too forsook their fishing business and followed Him (Matthew 4:21,22; Mark 1:19,20). (Later, Luke’s account of their calling will help us better understand today’s Scripture.)
When Israel’s apostles returned to their fishing businesses in John chapter 21, and without Christ, that night of fishing “they caught nothing.” They returned to their old life (human wisdom and will, fleshly living), and in their own strength, they were unable to accomplish God’s will for them….