Summary: God will provide the fish. I will catch 'em. You clean 'em.
“Catch My Fish”
"Simon Peter went up, and drew the net to land full of great fishes, an hundred and fifty and three: and for all there were so many, yet was not the net broken." John 21:11 (KJV)
Intro: Every one of us has a story about fishing. Yours might be an early childhood memory of someone taking you fishing. The first fish I ever caught was (stretch out your arms as wide as they will go, then bring hands in and measure a very small fish with your fingers.)
Jesus often used stories about fishing to teach us about how to deal with people.
Some time ago I was counseling a guy who came to me because he was having trouble with his wife. After listening for a while he told me that they were constantly fussing and fighting. He said the biggest thing was that she always made them late. She took at least a couple of hours to get ready. So he was always trying to get her to hurry up so they would not be late. That never ended well. They would get mad and that would make them even later.
I shook my head and said, “I see…, I know exactly what your problem is.”
He was shaking his head, (YES.)
I said, “You are a control freak.”
The man’s jaw dropped. He stopped dead in his tracks. He asked, “What?” She is the one who is driving me crazy. It is her fault that we are always late.
I said, “No it’s not.” You already know your wife well enough…, you know her routine. You know what to expect. But instead of going along with her routine you want to be in charge and in control and so you tell her to get ready faster than she is willing to get ready in. You want to control her.
For a moment I could see the angry rising in him. I was afraid that what I said might even jeopardize our friendship.
It was almost a month later before he would even speak to me. You see most guys process things a little different. Men have to mull things over. We think about them. Then we forget about it. Then we remember it and start thinking about it again. Women did you know that?
Most men don’t accept criticism very well. We like to be in charge. We like to be told we are right. Especially when it is just two guys letting out steam. To not to take “his side” was a challenge to the “Alpha Male” in him.
But then I got the phone call. “Pastor. Thank you. We haven’t fussed or fought in almost two weeks.”
I said, great! How did you do it? He said, “You were right. I know how long it takes her to get ready. So now when we have to be somewhere at 7:00, I tell her we need to be there at 5:00 and she is ready in plenty of time. We both couldn’t be happier.” Seriously, you can’t make this kind of stuff up.
The bible tells us a story. It is a fishing story. But the bible wants us to know that it is not a made up story, because it gives us such great detail. It tells us the exact number of fish caught 153…
Here is the first point I want you to get.
I. God Will Provide the Fish
"And Simon answering said unto him, Master, we have toiled all the night, and have taken nothing: nevertheless at thy word I will let down the net." Luke 5:5 (KJV)
Think about the word “nevertheless.” It means “in spite of the facts.” The fact is there was no fish there. Simon said “we haven’t caught anything; the fact is there is no fish here.”
Remember, “God will provide the fish.” "Then saith he unto his disciples, The harvest truly is plenteous…" Matthew 9:37 (KJV)
There are enough people who live near here to fill this church. We could build a church ten times this large and there would be enough people to fill that church. God will provide the fish.
The book of Revelations proves this. Revelations is the book of “God revealing the truth when we don’t normally see it or God revealing the truth even when we don’t want to see it.”
"for the harvest of the earth is ripe." Revelation 14:15 (KJV)
There are people of every age. Eighty year old people live near this church. They are coming to the end of the cycle of their life and they need to know Jesus and they need this church. There are kids and teenagers who live near this church. If they were to get in a car and have a wreck and not live, some of them would die lost. They need desperately to hear the Gospel, they need to be in this church. There are people of race and nationalities, and different denominations, (We do not believe in proselytizing people out of other Christian churches but we all know people who say they belong to a church but we know they are not going anywhere. They need to be in church. There are people of different socio-economic groups, people who live on a fixed income or who live on a government assistance check who don’t come to church because they think that all we want from them is their money. There are single parents. There are drug addicts who need to be in this church. (They need to behave when they come here but we want the sinner to come and join us in church.) There are those who are victims of domestic violence and abused kids who desperately need to be in this church. God will provide the fish. God will provide the fish! God will provide the fish!!!