Summary: Don't be disilluioned or give up the faith. Jesus will always be there in our hour of need. Don't be so super spiritual that you retreat away from the realities of daily life.
When Paul the Vicar told me what passage I was to preach on, at first glance I though it could be an early night and I’ll get home to see the start of Heartbeat! However as I spent time with the Lord & meditating on the passage I realised there is a lot more to it than just Jesus cooking breakfast for some of his disciples after showing them the best place to fish.
In my youth I used to go fishing, normally with my best mate at the time, Des. Des was very good at angling and later in life he became a semi pro. Even as a kid he knew the best places to fish. Often we would be sitting on a riverbank, me catching nothing and him with a keep net full. However on numerous occasions it was strange how when he reeled in to change his bait or go to the loo my float would end up where he had been fishing. Let’s be fair you should be able to take the odd liberty with a best mate shouldn’t you! Although doing so never made me a great angler, I did catch more fish when I poached on his territory!
In our reading this was no leisure trip Look at verse 3 again. Peter said, “I’m going out to fish” The Greek translation of the word Peter used is “hupago.” It’s pronounced (hoop-ag’-o), and literally means, “I retire.” That’s right. Peter, the one who jumped out of the boat to walk on water, the one who told Jesus he would never deny him, although he did 3 times, now feels like giving up, retiring from being a disciple and going back to being a fisherman! To be fair who could blame him. Although Jesus had shown himself to the disciples twice before this event in the upper room where the disciples locked themselves away not wanting the same fate as Jesus, neither would I especially having seen the film The Passion, they must all have been downcast.
Although I have never though much about it in the past, Jesus had for 3 years provided their every need, they didn’t have to work anymore as fisherman, tax collectors etc. Even with Judus being in charge of the family purse, there was sufficient means, even after he had taken his perks as he probably called it! Although there is no mention to my knowledge in the Bible about people financially supporting the ministry of Jesus, I’m sure there were many grateful people about who would have supported him. The selection of recorded miracles he did was just the tip of the iceberg, we are told in Johns Gospel. Now the disciple’s leader, Jesus had gone, they had to think about the future. We don’t know much about the disciples families but I’m sure they would have some family responsibilities. Unfortunately money doesn’t grow on trees does it! I gather from what I have read and studied over the years that Simon Peter before he followed Jesus was like my mate Des a very good fisherman and probably had a successful business. However like we all do occasionally, he was having an off day. Out all night and nothing caught, they must have all had the right hump! Then this bright spark who none of them recognise at first, tells them to cast their nets on the other side of the boat. Can you imagine it, hey Simon Peter was an expert and not only that but in those days fishing boats were designed to pull nets up only on one side. I think if it had been me I would have called back with a rather rude remark. None of us like being told how we should be doing our job do we, especially when we think were good at it! However part of the miracle as far as I can see is that Peter actually did it, after all he had a reputation for being very strong headed and single minded. Maybe in his sub conscious he remembered the last time someone had told him where to drop his nets.