«And so also were James and John, the sons of Zebedee,
who mere partners with Simon [frightened]. And Jesus said toSimon,
‘Do not be afraid. From now on you will catch men’ «
After a night of unsuccessful fishing, Peter and his friends listened to Jesus’s sermon and loaned Him their boat so He could speak from it without being crushed by the throng. Always offer your resources for theadvancement of God’s work, and you will be abundantly rewarded.
Peter, an expert fisherman, decided to obey Jesus’s suggestion: “Launch out into the deep and let down your nets for a catch” (Luke 5:4). During the day, fish see nets and avoid them. But more than experience, obedience to God is the secret of success. Diligence and effort are only effective when they are combined with divine power. If the men had not cast out their nets, they would not have seen the miracle of the fish. Throw out your net in deep waters in the name of Jesus, and allow Him to fill it!
With Jesus, a night of scarcity is followed by a morning of abundance; a disappointment can turn into a great blessing. Could it be that the same divine power which brought the fish into the disciples’ net kept the fish from coming during the nights When things go wrong, remember that God intervenes in your plans and your efforts. This makes our need to cooperate with Him more evident and meaningful.
Now the net was breaking. Those boats could carry up to 10,000 pounds of cargo; if each fish weighed 4 pounds that would be between 4,000 and 5,000 fish! God is a God of abundance. Success is not in the net, the boat, the circumstances, or the fisherman, but in the One who says to throw out the net. A reverent fear overcame Peter, and he understood the message: if the fish submitted to the voice of their Maker he should do so also. Humility is key in God’s service. Reverent fear is part of worship. When Peter said, «Depart from me,” he did not want to be separated from Jesus; it was an expression of his unworthiness, of not deserving to be in God’s presence. These are necessary qualities for those who desire to serve Him.
There were the four companions, owners of the most abundant catch that they had ever brought to shore, and instead of running to sell the fish; in the moment of their greatest material success, they abandoned their business (see verse 11). They left their trade to live an apparently precarious life as followers of an itinerant teacher.
That is why Jesus showed them His power in the face of their needs.