Summary: God placed a calling upon Peter’s life that never left him---even when he tried to leave the calling.
Before the Lord Jesus had called Simon Peter to be a disciple he was a successful fisherman. Now, after the events recorded in chapters 18, 19 and 20, he returns to his first love. Some Bible scholars have suggested that he did this as a result of discouragement and despondency. Others say he and the other disciples simply returned to their former occupations as a means of supporting themselves until they moved on to the next phase of their ministries. A case could be made for either one. Something happens in the text, though, that causes me to wonder…Jesus shows up on the scene!
Preachers down through history have used this text as a means to point out the fact that we must give Christ the priority that He deserves in our lives---and that’s true! But Jesus, as He does so well, uses this opportunity and these surroundings to teach the disciples a lesson---He’s not finished with them yet. His calling still remains on their lives. He wants them to be fishers---not of fish---but of men:
· Matthew 4:19 “…I will make you fishers of men”
· Mark 1:17 “I will make you to become fishers of men.”
· Luke 5:10 “…from henceforth thou shalt catch men.”
I want to see from the text today that God has given each of us a calling. We must be true to that calling and not waver when we get discouraged, or angry, or weak, or tired, or lonely, or when circumstances come that we don’t understand. We must be faithful to do what God has called us to do. Notice several things from the text:
A. “That night they caught nothing” Why?
B. They were fishing for the wrong meat—John 6:27
C. If we’re not doing what God called us to do we’ll fail at whatever we try. Even if we’re doing “the wrong thing for the right reason”, we’ll fall flat on our faces. We may have the purest of motives and be as sincere as we can be, but we can be sincerely wrong and God won’t bless us.
A. “Jesus stood on the shore”.
B. He was there to guide, and teach them.
C. The Lord will help us do what he has called us to do.
A. “Cast the net on the right side…”
B. They had the right idea but the wrong side
C. Jesus was telling them to trust Him.
A. “They were not able to draw it for the multitude…”
B. They obeyed and were blessed for their faith
C. The will of God may be on the other side of the boat.
D. ILL} John R. Rice—“called” to preach
A. “Come and dine.”
B. Someday we’ll dine with the Saviour
C. What “meat” will we bring to the table? (John 4:31-34)
Is God calling you to do something and you’re running from that call? It may not be something “great”. You may not have much to offer but, as I always say, “Little is much when God is in it!” God HAS given you something to do for Him and, just as Peter and the other disciples learned, you cannot outrun God. He’s always there and He’ll wait for you to surrender to His will. He won’t make you serve but He will make you willing.
ILL> "John R. Rice---’called’ to preach" Dr. John R. Rice, the great Pastor, Author, Evangelist and Founder and long-time editor of "The Sword of the Lord" once said, "I don’t know if God ever called me to preach or not. I just started doing it and I told God if he didn’t want me to preach He’d have to stop me."