Summary: Jesus and the fisherman: A study on Obedience

I. The Failure of the Fishermen (verses 1-5; note 3 things)

A. They experienced failure despite honest endeavor.

1. These were skilled fishermen (not hobby; trained).

2. They had had success in the past.

3. They were fishing in familiar waters.

4. They had been working hard . . . all night

B. There was no explanation for their failure.

1. Why were these fishermen unsuccessful?

2. They were using the right equipment

3. The fish just weren’t biting.

C. Although they had failed, they weren’t about to quit.

1. They were seen washing and mending their nets in preparation to go back out again.

2. Fishermen don’t quit!

3. Fishermen are patient.

4. Fishermen know that they have to keep at it if they are going to get the job done.

D. Sometimes it’s easy to become discouraged and the temptation is there to throw in the towel.

1. It’s a rare person who doesn’t get discouraged.

2. Look at past successes.

3. Use what seem to be the right methods and tools – things that have worked before or have worked for other people.

4. Labor intensely.

5. Seemingly, do everything right with little or no results.

6. Temptation is to make excuses for our failures -

a. We’ve tried but it’s impossible to get people to come to church in this area.

b. They’re all this or that denomination.

c. People aren’t open and responsive to the Gospel anymore.

d. There is too much competition from entertainment, sports, etc.

e. Look at what we have to work with.

f. The list could go on.

7. Don’t Quit!

8. 2 Thessalonians 3:13 "But ye, brethren, be not weary in well doing."

9. There is an old saying that is right. "It is always to soon to quit!"

II. The Command of Christ (verse 4).

A. Jesus’ command likely seemed foolish to Peter.

B. Note what He asked them to do – to do the very thing they had been doing all night with no results.

C. Remember that Peter was a fisherman by trade; he had been a life-long resident of the town by this lake. He knew how to fish; he knew the lake; he knew where the fish usually were, where they spawned. Peter knew all about fishing, for he was a successful fisherman. He also knew that on some days, even the best of fishermen could catch nothing.

D. Here comes this man, not a fisherman, but a carpenter, who is going to tell him how to fish. What do carpenters know about fish? Now, if you want your boat repaired, you go to a carpenter.

E. Experience tells you, you don’t catch fish on Chinneroth in the day time in deep water." On this lake, you catch fish at night in shallow water.

F. 1 Corinthians 1:18-19 "For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God. [19] For it is written, I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and will bring to nothing the understanding of the prudent." 1 Corinthians 1:25 "Because the foolishness of God is wiser than men; and the weakness of God is stronger than men."

G. The things Jesus demands are entirely foolhardy--until you begin to share His view of things.

H. Hebrews 11:1 "Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen."

III. Obedience against human logic. (Verse 5)

A. Peter was reluctant but obeyed.

B. The essence of faith is obeying even when you don’t feel like it and it doesn’t make sense to you.

C. Peter’s response was not just a blind stab in the dark.

D. He was beginning to grasp that Christ was not just another man but that He was the Messiah – Peter’s had seen Christ heal his mother-in-law (Luke 4:38-39).

E. Reluctance should give way to obedience.

F. Based on the testimony of the Word of God and the work of God in the lives of others.

G. Watchman Nee preached that we are not to be consecrated to Christian work, but to the will of God, to be and to do whatever he requires.

H. If Christ is Lord over us, we must yield Him universal obedience in all things – not just in those things which seem logical to us, but we must obey Him in everything.."

I. Luke 6:46 "And why call ye me, Lord, Lord, and do not the things which I say?"

IV. The results of taking Christ at His Word (Verses 6-11)

A. Unexpected Returns (verses 6-7)

1. Simon Peter and the others put the boats out, though they were not likely greatly excited about the prospects.

2. When they cast out their nets, they caught so many fish that they had to call for help from the other boat. There were too many fish to handle.

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