Today’s Reading: John 21:11 (NIV)
11 Simon Peter climbed aboard and dragged the net ashore. It was full of large fish, 153, but even with so many the net was not torn.
One of my favorite and most memorable Vacation Bible Schools was the summer we focused young hearts on becoming fishers of men. The children in my class learned to tie perfect square knots, and together, we created a beautiful, large net to use as a part of our Bible storytelling time. The net hung as a backdrop in the closing play; it is our focal point for the work we are called to do.
What made Simon Peter’s net so strong? The author makes a point by telling the reader just how many big fish were in the net: 153. That’s a lot of large fish! When you fish at a state park, there are contests for the fisherman who can reel in the biggest catch of the day. Pictures of fisherman with their prize 12-pounders are proudly displayed at the store, where one goes to purchase bait, a fishing license and daily tags. My father proudly pinned his fishing tag on top of the hat he wore in the water. He was a true fly fisherman, and loved to wade out into the deep to cast his line. Sometimes, Daddy would stand waist deep in the water. The only dry place for his fishing tag was on top of his head.
153 big fish at 12 pounds (or more) per piece is lot of weight for one man to lift all by himself. Think about it – Simon Peter must have been extremely strong to be able to drag the net ashore. As he heaved the catch toward the campsite, the net didn’t break. Could this be another miracle in the making?
God’s love is stronger and bigger than the sins that will try to pull us away from Him. His net keeps us ever in His care, even as we flail around, longing to somehow escape His watchful eye and disappear into deep water. His Holy Ghost net hangs on and doesn’t let us go, even if we try to turn back. If we are honest, we know that it is human tendency for many to come to Christ kicking and screaming until they meet Him face to face at the foot of the cross. Do you know what I’m saying?
The net we weaved at Vacation Bible School was strong, but not nearly strong enough for a big catch. As we seek to answer Christ’s Great Commission, to go into the world and make disciples of all the nations, we often wonder if we’re going to be strong enough to hoist the catch onto heaven’s shore. The answer completely depends upon whose net you choose to use.
There are just some things we cannot do on our own. When you find your strength is not enough in the eternal fishing expedition of life, be sure to choose the very best net – pray for Holy Spirit help to bring all the big fish to Jesus, for every heart is precious and important to God.
Grace and peace,
Faith UMC - St. Charles, MO
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