Main Interrogative: What lessons can we learn from Jesus that will help us to win souls for the kingdom?
Introduction: Jesus says: Launch-out into the deep and let down your nets for a catch.”
I never did get to go fishing much when I was a kid. I was what’s called a Jonah! (Or joner as my dad used to say.) I was always getting tangled up with someone else. I never learned how to tie a hook on the line. I was always getting a bird-nest in the reel. Have you ever been fishing with someone like that? Even if it wasn’t my fault, I’d get blamed for it!
I cannot recall ever getting any fishing lessons. For some reason, everybody in the family expected me to know how to fish and how to do all the things related to fishing. I needed someone to sit down and teach me about the basics of fishing. Consequently, I didn’t get invited on too many trips because of my lack of fishing skills and I lost all interest in fishing.
Many churches are like that. They haven’t had too many fishing lessons and consequently have lost all interest in fishing for men. Last year alone, 11,000 Southern Baptist churches reported NO baptisms. Think about that – one out of every four SBC churches reported no baptisms.
Let’s do some figuring on that for just a minute. If each one of those churches had two services on Sunday and preached 2 messages, in a year’s time, that would be 1,144,000 messages and no salvation’s. Let’s give the benefit of the doubt and say that only half of those preached 2 sermons and the rest only 1-- that would be 858,000 messages and no salvation’s.
Let’s say that the average offering in those churches was $300 per week. (Excluding special offerings) That means that each church is taking in an average of $171,600,000 per year – and no one is getting saved!
Sounds like to me that we need to go back and take some fishing lessons from the Master Angler! That is what we are going to do this morning. When I look at this passage about fishing, I have to ask what can I learn that will help catch people for Jesus.
What lessons can we learn from Jesus in this account that will help us to win souls for His kingdom?
I. GET OUT THERE WHERE THE FISH ARE (v. 4)
A. What did Jesus tell Simon Peter to do? (Launch-out into the deep…)
B. This was contrary to what Simon Peter knew about fishing.
1. Net fishing was normally done at night and they had been fishing all night without success.
2. They were using a drift net and that was usually used near the shoreline and not in the deep.
3. What a strange time and place to catch fish!
C. Peter had a choice: either obey the master OR say, “I ain’t never done it that way before!”
D. Church, we got to get out there where the fish are!!! We can’t just sit here on the shore and wait for them to come to us! “Well, they know where we are, they know they ought to be in church.” NO NO NO! We have got to launch-out into the deep!
1. Trailer parks, housing projects, schools…Get out our spiritual fish finders and GET OUT there where the fish are!
2. “Well I don’t know about that I like Rockfish, and if we go out there INTO THE DEEP we might catch some catfish and I don’t care for those catfish.”
3. JESUS SAID, YOU’VE GOT TO LAUNCH-OUT INTO THE DEEP!
II. LET DOWN THE NET (v. 4-5)
A. What did Jesus tell Simon Peter to do? (Launch-out into the deep and let your nets down…)
B. Peter said, “Lord, do you realize that just got off’n graveyard shift. I’ve been here 12 hours and hadn’t caught a single fish AND I DON’T GET PAID OVERTIME!” (Loose translation of the Greek)
1. This man was ready to call it a day – Remember, they were cleaning and packing up the nets when Jesus came.
2. Something about what Jesus said caught his ear.
3. Peter said, “Nevertheless, at Your word I will let down the net”
C. Peter had a choice: either go out into the deep and let down the net, or row back to the shore and call it a night.
D. Church, if we expect to catch anything, we have got to launch out into the deep and let down the net! It is the net that catches the fish, and IT IS THE GOOD NEWS OF JESUS THAT CATCHES MEN! (That Jesus -- born of the virgin -- lived a sinless life, died for our sins according to the scriptures and on the third day rose from the grave!)