Summary: As we wait on the Lord, HE wants us to learn the lessons of obeying HIm completely, Loving Him implicitly and following Him wholeheartedly.
GOING FISHING WITH JESUS
I think by now you know that I am not much of a fisherman.
That does not mean I dislike fishing. It only reflects the lack of opportunities I had growing up. And unfortunately, not many of those experiences were very positive.
As I thought about it, I do believe that the source of my reticence of fishing goes back to my growing up years in a Swedish household.
Every year, like clockwork on Christmas day, my father and grandfather would get up early Christmas Day morning, to attend the Swedish Lutheran Church in toronto and then come home for a ‘yummy plate of LUTEFISK.
What is LUTEFISK, you may ask? Well, let me tell you what it is.
ILLUSTRATION: Lutefisk every Christmas
It is said that about half the Swedes who immigrated to America and Canada came in order to escape the hated lutefisk, and the other half came to spread the gospel of lutefisk's wonderfulness.
Lutefisk (pronounced LEWD-uh-fisk) is dried cod that has been soaked in a lye solution for several days to rehydrate it. It is then boiled or baked and served with butter, salt, and pepper. The finished lutefisk usually is the consistency of Jello. It is also called lyefish, and in the United States and Canada, Swedish/Norwegian-Americans traditionally serve it for Thanksgiving and Christmas. In many Swedish homes, lutefisk takes the place of the Christmas turkey.
Believe me, once a year was quite enough. It usually took until Easter for the smell to leave the house.
In the last chapter of John's Gospel, Simon Peter and several others of Jesus' disicples decide to go fishing. All night they fish and catch nothing. Then Jesus appears on the shore and calls out, "Throw the net out to right and you'll find something" (Jn. 21:6). They follow the instructions and immediately catch more fish than they can handle, at which point, John cries out, "It is the Lord." Then Peter jumps into the water and rushes to Jesus. When the other disciples come ashore, they see that Jesus has some bread there, and a charcoal fire with fish cooking on it. Jesus says to them "Come and have breakfast" (Jn. 21:12).
Let’s read the story together and watch as the story unfolds
Read John 21
In our first few verses, we see it was time to…
I. GET BACK TO WORK! (1-3)
The story begins with the disciples obediently waiting for the Lord in Galilee.
Waiting and waiting and waiting—just as they were told to do.
Nothing was happening. No one seemed to know exactly how long they were supposed to wait there. Some may have begun to wonder if they had misunderstood the instructions. Surely he would have come by now. These disciples are no longer depressed and defeated as they had been right after Calvary. The tragedy of the cross had been turned to the triumph of the resurrection. They have seen the resurrected Christ. Their recent experiences with the Lord had been wonderful. But what exactly did all this mean? What were they supposed to do? I think they were very uncertain as to what they should do next.
Have you ever been in a place like that when it seemed like something needed to be done? You waited and waited for an open door but it seemed as if the Lord had forgotten about you. You have to do something, even anything.
Back in 1992 I was briefly without a job. We had completed a challenging season of ministry, and had moved in with my parents in Belleville. I had no idea what the Lord was wanting me to do, so I took the first job that came along…THE SEARS Plant.
This is the state of mind of the disciples. They really have no idea what is next, even though Jesus has already revelaed to them that He was sending them out to preach the gospel. So they do what came natural.
Peter just blurts it out, “I can’t take this sitting around any longer. Do whatever you want to do but I’m going back to work. At least something productive will be going on. I’ve got a family to feed and I’m going to feed them. So, I.m going fishing”
There were at least six others feeling the same thing so off they went.
The place they is the Sea of Galilee—13 miles long and 7 miles wide. These disciples knew this lake very well. James and John had probably grown up helping their dad fish on these waters. If they could do nothing else they could fish. And they certainly knew how to fish in these waters.
Then what you could call “a miracle in reverse happened”. To their absolute amazement they were catching nothing at all. They were fishing during the night, which was the best time to fish. They were working hard at what they had done successfully many times in the past. But nothing is working.