Sunday, September 11, 2011

His Nets ~

After Jesus was crucified and buried, He rose on the third day to the total shock and disbelief of His disciples. Never mind the fact He told them He was going to be killed. Never mind the fact He promised to rise again. They just couldn’t fathom it.
           --Can you blame them?

So when it happened, they were surprised --surprised He was killed and awed that He rose again. And today, this disciple is equally surprised and awed!

But that is not the only thing on my mind right now. This morning, I can’t help thinking about nets. “Why nets?” You ask. Why indeed!

“Simon Peter climbed aboard and dragged the net ashore. It was full of large fish, 153, but even with so many the net was not torn”
(John 21:11)

In the 21st chapter of John we read a story of defeat and confusion turned to success because of Jesus. In it we learn that the very disciples who three and a half years before cast their nets aside to follow Jesus, turned back to them in the confusion after His death and resurrection.

Floundering in uncertainty they returned to what was comfortable. And Peter, James, John, Thomas, Nathanael, and two others hopped in a boat and fished all night.

They caught nothing.

But as they were about 100 yards out from shore they saw a figure on the sand asking if they had caught anything.

-- “Friends, haven’t you any fish?” He asked.
-- “No,” they answered.
-- “Throw your net on the right side of the boat and you will find some” (v. 5-6).

Experienced fishermen will tell you fish are not normally so close to shore, nor are they moving at dawn. The best catch is always at night out in the deep. But none of that mattered because it was Jesus doing the fishing through His disciples this time.

When they obeyed, they caught 153 large fish!

Only then did Peter recognize it was his Master and impulsively swam to shore, leaving the nets to be hauled in by the rest (v. 7-8).

But the nets... the nets... that is what blesses my heart the most. The nets didn’t break. They were able to bring 153 slimy, flopping fish to shore and the nets didn’t tear even a little! (v.11)

This comforts me.

At times I feel like I’m ready to tear --my heart rips; my body burns-- forcing a moan from my lips. “Lord, the strain is too much for this net of Yours,” I complain.

But when the fish are ashore and the fire warms my skin, search as I might I can find no holes in this net.

When Jesus is directing the work, his instruments are always preserved. So remember if you are feeling the stain of the load today, rejoice!         --His nets do not tear.

We are called to be fishers of men.      
             --Are you fishing? Are you even in the boat?