Obedience over insanity
1 Afterward Jesus appeared again to his disciples, by the Sea of Galilee.[a] It happened this way: 2 Simon Peter, Thomas (also known as Didymus[b]), Nathanaelfrom Cana in Galilee, the sons of Zebedee, and two other disciples were together.3 “I’m going out to fish,” Simon Peter told them, and they said, “We’ll go with you.” So they went out and got into the boat, but that night they caught nothing.
4 Early in the morning, Jesus stood on the shore, but the disciples did not realize that it was Jesus.
5 He called out to them, “Friends, haven’t you any fish?”
“No,” they answered.
6 He said, “Throw your net on the right side of the boat and you will find some.”When they did, they were unable to haul the net in because of the large number of fish.
7 Then the disciple whom Jesus loved said to Peter, “It is the Lord!” As soon as Simon Peter heard him say, “It is the Lord,” he wrapped his outer garment around him (for he had taken it off) and jumped into the water. 8 The other disciples followed in the boat, towing the net full of fish, for they were not far from shore, about a hundred yards.[c] 9 When they landed, they saw a fire of burning coals there with fish on it, and some bread.
10 Jesus said to them, “Bring some of the fish you have just caught.” 11 So Simon Peter climbed back into the boat and dragged the net ashore. It was full of large fish, 153, but even with so many the net was not torn. 12 Jesus said to them, “Come and have breakfast.” None of the disciples dared ask him, “Who are you?” They knew it was the Lord. 13 Jesus came, took the bread and gave it to them, and did the same with the fish. 14 This was now the third time Jesus appeared to his disciples after he was raised from the dead.
In my blog post entitled, I don’t like Sundays I referred to the famous Einstein quote, indicating a definition of Insanity is; doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.
In our scripture reading today that is exactly what Jesus asked Simon to do.
He had just cleaned his nets having been out in deep water fishing all night with no success. Now Jesus invites the experienced fishermen to try again in the same place to go back into the deeper part of the lake . Peter says, We’ve been fishing in that spot all night and caught nothing,
Nevertheless, if you say so, I’ll put the nets down again. The challenge for the church today is if you keep on doing the same thing over and over again, make sure you’re doing it out of obedience to Jesus. When we do what we are told, we should expect a harvest. It’s knowing the importance of timing and obedience. There are at least two lessons for us to learn today from this story. The first is echoed in Psalm 127 where the psalmist says, Unless the Lord builds the house they labour in vain that build it. The second is a reminder that we are called to work in teams. When revival comes we will require to share in the fishing.
I was thinking about
The two empty boats
The empty nets
And the washed-out fishermen
Who had given up
They had nothing to see for their work
They had become dispirited
I pray to day
About the empty churches
I’ve even seen two cheek by jowl
Like fishing boats from your past
Revive your people
Visit our buildings
Teach us - we’re listening
So many of us have hung up our nets
Left our boats
Decided the church is in the wrong place
You could surprise us again?
Come into our boat
Come into our church
Speak your word
Teach us how to fish
We’ll push back out into the deep
If you will come with us
We’ll cast the net
Click the mouse
Swipe the pad
Write the tweet
When you say the word -
Lord, You don’t need
To hook a life on a tweet
Just one character who is obedient.