Thursday, January 10, 2013

SIH’s Think On These Things: Catching Many Fish

The next miracle in our series is Catching Many Fish …This miracle is recorded for us in John 21:4-11

In this miracle, we see Jesus meeting His disciples physical needs by causing them to catch a large number of fish.  This brings to mind two similar miracles that we have already looked at found in Luke 5:3-10 and Matt 17:24-27. 

We see Jesus standing on the shore of the Sea of Tiberias, while His disciples were in their boats attempting to catch fish.  After being asked by Jesus if they had caught any fish, the disciples tell Him that they have been unsuccessful in their attempts.   The Lord instructs them to “, Cast the net on the right side of the ship, and ye shall find.”  They act on His suggestion with miraculous results… “They cast therefore, and now they were not able to draw it for the multitude of fishes.”  Later a count was taken with the total coming to 153 fishes. 

When they come to land they see a fire made with coals, fishes and bread prepared for them by Christ.  (Where did the coals, fish and bread come from?  We are not told.  Perhaps Christ miraculously produced these as well?)  This helps us to learn two basic principles concerning Christ’s relationship to those who are His disciples:

  1. He is concerned about their physical well-being.  We should never think that our Lord is oblivious to our physical needs.  On the contrary, He promises to meet our every physical need. Matt 6:25-32
  2. He has called us to take the gospel to the lost world around us. The fish and bread can be a symbolic representation of the calling He has given to His disciples.  The fish representing the lost world to whom His disciples are to be a witness (fishers of men) and the bread representing Christ (the Bread of Life) that is to be taken to the lost world.

But for this devotion, I would like us to center on a very interesting side note to this miracle. During the beginning exchange between Christ (on the shore) and the disciples (in the ship) we see that the disciples did not recognize who Christ was…  But when the morning was now come, Jesus stood on the shore: but the disciples knew not that it was Jesus”   It is only after the miracle is performed that they recognize that the One they have been speaking to is their Lord… “They cast therefore, and now they were not able to draw it for the multitude of fishes. Therefore that disciple whom Jesus loved saith unto Peter, It is the Lord.”

With only two more lessons in this series, what a fitting, wonderful truth is being shown to each one of us … It is through the performance of these miracles that His people can come to a knowledge of the identity of Christ.  That is what we have been trying to do through this series of devotions.  To show many different truths about Our Lord, our need to serve Him, and our need to develop a closer walk with Him.

Let’s not be like Peter who, because He was unprepared to see His Lord had to jump into the water out of shame and embarrassment… “Now when Simon Peter heard that it was the Lord, he girt his fisher's coat unto him, (for he was naked,) and did cast himself into the sea.”   Through application of the truths of His Word let us all be prepared to:

  1. recognize Him when He works in our lives
  2. serve Him as we seek to do His will and
  3. meet Him when He comes back to take us home ot be with Him.

We can do all three by taking heed to the many lessons we have seen on display in the many miracles that Christ has performed during His earthly ministry.

May the Lord bless each one of us as we “Think On These Things”.

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