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Summary: A change in how we do ministry can bring results we never expected.

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ONE HUNDRED AND

FIFTY-THREE FISH

John 21: 1 – 14

We are creatures of Habit or Habits. We tend to do the same things over and over again because they are what we are used to doing--- it feels comfortable--- and many of us do not like CHANGE…

Oh, we may try something new for a time, but most usually we will --- in the end revert back to doing whatever we tried to change--- the old way--- after all--- it’s what we are used to.

The same is true for the Disciples of Jesus--- After His death--- they were LOST--- they were very unsure of what to do next. They were afraid for their own safety and their lives as well. They tried to stay hidden from the time of Jesus’ arrest through the crucifixion and burial. They were very content with people NOT knowing where they were or how they could be found.

Then on Easter Morning we know that after Mary and the other women went to the tomb and found it empty—they ran and told the disciples what they had found and what the Angels had told them… And the Bible tells us that Peter and John ran back to the tomb, and they too found the Stone Rolled away and the Tomb of Jesus empty.

**** READ SCRIPTURE ****

We remember that Jesus told the disciples to remain in Jerusalem until the Power of God, the Holy Spirit came upon them. However, John tells us that Peter became restless and decided to go back to Capernaum and do what was comfortable for him and some of the others. Peter was going Fishing. It is what he knew--- it was part of his life that he could control---

Although Fishing was a business for Peter, it was also a place where he could go and escape the problem of the day--- He could relax and be comforted by the work it took to cast out the net and bring it in again---- All of this was helping Peter, and the others cope with the Loss of Jesus as their Master--- and their uneasiness about the future.

We are told the disciples had been fishing ALL NIGHT---and had caught nothing--- each time the net went out—when they drew it in each time it was empty--- One can only begin to imagine the frustration that was building as with each draw of the net---- there were not any fish.

As the sun rose and the light of the new day glistened on the sea, Peter’s night of fishing was over, and it had ended as empty as when it began.

As they look toward shore, there they see a figure standing at the shoreline. The stranger calls to see if they had caught any fish during the night--- If they had caught any fish--- this man may be in hopes of purchasing them from Peter----but with an empty boat there would be nothing to sell.

Reluctantly Peter tells the man they have caught nothing--- the night’s work is over and all they have to show for their efforts are tired acing muscles and sore hands from working the rigging and the nets. Peter and the others are very tired after a night of hard work, and although they had done this for many years before they became followers of Jesus, it had now been more than three years since they last worked like this and each of them was exhausted.

I know that each of us have had some similar experiences in life. We stayed up all night to accomplish a task or to prepare a meal for family or friends only to have the final product not come together as we had hoped. Maybe you had a report due in the morning for your boss---- and you worked all night, but did not get finished or some other problem arose and you did not complete the assignment and therefore, you were in deep trouble with your superior.

Guess what? We’ve all been there--- and at times in our lives, it seems the harder we try to accomplish a task or an assignment the more difficult it becomes to complete it. Just like Peter—you too have faced frustrations and failures in life--- And Like Peter---- you too reverted back to some old habits or customs because the OLD WAYS made you feel good about yourself---- Just as Peter was trying to feel good about himself--- but the empty NET kept him from feeling good.

When LIFE throws us a CURVE or when it seems to be crashing in on us from every side--- we all go back to where we feel the most comfortable--- the most in control--- For a man--- it may be working out in the yard, or a work shop building something, or for me it could be playing a round of Golf. For a woman it could be fixing a meal, doing some small job around the home to give you a since of accomplishment and the feeling that you do have control over some things in your life….

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