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Monday, August 3, 2020

Great Catch of Fish -- John 21:1-14


The Great Catch of Fish in the Dragnet in the Gospel of John – John 21:1-14

        Some of Jesus’ disciples were fishing in the sea of Galilee at night. In the natural way, the greatest catch of fish is usually caught at night. Jesus’disciples were fishing the “natural” way, but Jesus is the opposite of the natural way because He operates in the spiritual. Jesus will use this earthly fishing expedition to teach supernatural truth and tie the parable of the dragnet with the great catch of fish by His disciples.. This is the only miracle Jesus performed after His death and resurrection. The message of this miracle is that it is by the resurrection power of Jesus that many people symbolized by the fish will be brought to Him.
          At the break of day (in the light), Jesus stood on the beach; yet the disciples did not know that it was Jesus. John 21:4 It is in the light that we see Jesus, but Jesus was far enough off that His disciples did not recognize Him. Jesus spoke to them. “Children, you do not have any fish, do you?” They answered Him, “no.” v5 Their boat was empty because Jesus and His Word were not with them. Jesus calls them “children” because even though they were grown men in the natural, they were still children in their spiritual walk with Him and their spiritual growth. 
           Jesus then gives them a command. “Cast the net on the right-hand side of the boat and you will find a catch.” V6 The right side is the place of power, authority and strength because it is the place of Jesus who sits at the right hand of God. They were on the wrong side of the boat. Without Jesus, they can catch nothing. So, they cast the dragnet on the right-hand side of the boat in obedience to Jesus’ Word. They caught so many fish that they couldn’t drag the filled net to shore. (see John 21:6b) When they heard and obeyed Jesus’ Word, they brought in a great catch. When His disciples tried to fish on their own power, they caught nothing. When they obeyed Jesus’ Word, they caught a great catch of fish. Fish symbolize people in the Word.
         The first to recognize Jesus was “the disciple whom Jesus loved” – John. John had a deep love for Jesus and drew near to His heart. John shared his revelation knowledge with Peter that the man on the shore was Jesus. Peter had stripped almost naked to do the work of fishing.  Jesus wants His followers to be naked (honest) before Him about our condition and sins. We must be cleansed and taught through the water of the Word and Holy Spirit. This will draw us closer to Jesus.
        Immediately upon learning that it was Jesus, Peter put on his outer garment (clothed himself) and threw himself into the sea (water) for cleansing before he came into the presence of Jesus. The other disciples were in a little boat not far from land dragging the catch of fish through the water to Jesus but courageous Peter through himself into the water and swam to Jesus.
          The other disciples not far from land were in the shallower water. But John and Peter were in the deep waters. Jesus wants us to go into the deep waters of His Word to truly know Him and the ways of His Kingdom. 1 Corinthians 2:10 says, “But God has revealed them to us through His Spirit. For the Spirit searches all things, yes, the deep things of God.” The Spirit reveals the deep truths of scripture to the humble, teachable and contrite heart. Believers need spiritual eyes and ears to go deep into the heart of the Father to understand the Word and the mysteries of His Kingdom.
         When these disciples got out of the boat and onto the land, “they saw a charcoal fire already laid and fish placed on it, and bread. Jesus said to them, “bring some of the fish which you have now caught.” John 21:9-10 The fish that were caught through faith and obedience to Jesus’ Word must now go through the refining fire of God. God said through Zechariah in Zechariah 3:10, “I will bring the one-third through the fire, will refine them as silver is refined. And test them as gold is tested. They will call on My Name. I will say ‘This is My people.’ And each one will say, ‘The Lord is My God.’” And, to the compromised church at Laodicea who sought after worldly possessions and didn’t know their wretchedness, Jesus said in Revelation 3:18-19, “I advise that you buy from Me gold refined by fire so that you may become rich, and white garments so that you may clothe yourself, and the shame of your nakedness will not be revealed; and eye salve to anoint your eyes so that you may see. Those whom I love, I reprove and discipline; therefore be zealous and repent.”  Jesus tells this lukewarm church that they should allow Him and His Word to refine them so their sins will go away and they will have spiritual eyes to see the Truth. This church was satisfied with a little knowledge of Jesus and didn’t see that they were wretched, miserable, poor, blind and naked. Because Jesus loves them, He is telling this church what they must do.
            Peter threw himself into the water. He was so anxious to get to Jesus that he swam to shore while the others came by a little boat. Peter was courageous and willing to take risks for Christ as he did when he walked on water to Jesus, while John had a deep, spiritual knowledge of Jesus because of his love and nearness to Jesus. John and Peter were leaders even though different. The others who came to Jesus in the little boat are ordinary believers who plug along, are faithful and serving but come to Him at their own pace.
            Peter drew a net of 153 fish by himself to Jesus on the shore, and the net did not tear – no division. Not one fish was lost.  153 is the Hebrew number for “sons of man.”  Breaking down this number and its spiritual meaning is as follows:
            #1 is the Source of all -- God
            #5 is the number of grace -- Jesus
           #3 is the number of the Godhead – the fullness of God – and the fullness of Truth (Old, New and Revelation – what was, and is and is to come”)
            Add these numbers together and they add up to 9, the number of the Holy Spirit.
            Peter, the leader,  will make other leaders. These 153 leaders will be full of grace and truth and led by the Holy Spirit of God.

“Come and Eat.”

Jesus put the fish and the bread on the fire and told the fishermen to come and eat. The fish became food and provision for Jesus and the others. Jesus and the Holy Spirit will prepare those we bring to Him by His grace and the fullness of His truth. We are to share the truth and knowledge that Jesus has given us with others so they too will become a source of spiritual food for others.

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