Summary: After 3 1/2 years they are back at the same fishing hole and with the same results.
Simple Truths from Peter’s Fishing Adventures
We have almost identical details in these two passages. Both events take place on the Sea of Galilee or called the Sea of Tiberias or the lake of Gennesaret (these different names describe the same place but called by different names due to the cities that surround this body of water). Both stories have some of the same characters involved. Both events involve the same occupation. Both record the same failure.
However, there is time difference of about 3 1/2 years. In Luke 5 Peter, James, and John were on the shore washing their nets after fishing all night and catching nothing. The Lord appears and borrows their boat as a platform to preach from, and after He is finished He commands Peter to launch out into the deep for a haul of fishes. After doing so we find in verse 10,11 a call to be fishers of men.
Three and one-half years later we find some of the same men on the same sea doing the same thing and having the same results as before. If one is not careful, you might make the mistake of making the two narratives the same because of their similarities. However, the main difference among other things is the TIME element.
NOW LISTEN CLOSELY CAUSE HERE IS THE THOUGHT I WANT TO EXPOUND UPON. After 3 1/2 years some of the disciples of the Lord were back where they had started from.
For three and 1/2 years these men had heard Jesus teach, seen His miracles, observed His life, and witnessed the Father’s verbal approval of the Son on the mount of transfiguration. Isn’t it strange that they are found 3 1/2 years later back at fishing, and that after 3 1/2 years of input from Jesus. They are right back where they started.
After 3 1/2 years they are back at the same fishing hole and with the same results.
Let me share with you some reflections about these two events.
I. There is no experience sufficient enough to protect one against backsliding.
Think of the experiences James, John, and Peter had. They had behold the glory of the Son of God on the mount of transfiguration. They heard a voice from heaven that declared that this was the beloved Son.
They had seen the risen Christ in the upper room, and yet here they are right where they started.
See Luke 8:49-56.
You can forget having an experience so large that will enable you to never have to fight the temptation to backslide.
Consider David who had slain a giant and had experienced over and over again God’s protection from Saul. And still later we find him committing adultery with Bathsheba and plotting to murder Uriah.
II. There is no exposure that can prevent one from backsliding.
Peter was around the Lord for 3 1/2 years, and yet he returned back to fishing. He was exposed to the greatest teacher, greatest preacher, greatest example, and the greatest miracle worker who ever lived; yet, he denied the Lord and went back to fishing.