I Go A Fishing
A Devotional thought from John 21:1–14
1 After these things Jesus shewed himself again to the disciples at the sea of Tiberias; and on this wise shewed he himself. 2 There were together Simon Peter, and Thomas called Didymus, and Nathanael of Cana in Galilee, and the sons of Zebedee, and two other of his disciples. 3 Simon Peter saith unto them, I go a fishing. They say unto him, We also go with thee. They went forth, and entered into a ship immediately; and that night they caught nothing. 4 But when the morning was now come, Jesus stood on the shore: but the disciples knew not that it was Jesus. 5 Then Jesus saith unto them, Children, have ye any meat? They answered him, No. 6 And he said unto them, Cast the net on the right side of the ship, and ye shall find. They cast therefore, and now they were not able to draw it for the multitude of fishes. 7 Therefore that disciple whom Jesus loved saith unto Peter, It is the Lord. Now when Simon Peter heard that it was the Lord, he girt his fisher’s coat unto him, (for he was naked,) and did cast himself into the sea. 8 And the other disciples came in a little ship; (for they were not far from land, but as it were two hundred cubits,) dragging the net with fishes. 9 As soon then as they were come to land, they saw a fire of coals there, and fish laid thereon, and bread. 10 Jesus saith unto them, Bring of the fish which ye have now caught. 11 Simon Peter went up, and drew the net to land full of great fishes, an hundred and fifty and three: and for all there were so many, yet was not the net broken. 12 Jesus saith unto them, Come and dine. And none of the disciples durst ask him, Who art thou? knowing that it was the Lord. 13 Jesus then cometh, and taketh bread, and giveth them, and fish likewise. 14 This is now the third time that Jesus shewed himself to his disciples, after that he was risen from the dead.
When Simon Peter said, “I go a fishing” I don’t believe he was simply saying that he was taking time for a relaxing hobby. I believe that he was quitting the ministry. He had walked away from his family fishing business when Jesus called him to follow him, but now he was going back. Why was he quitting? The Bible doesn’t say for sure, but I think we can take an educated guess. I think Peter felt unworthy of his calling. I think he felt like he had disqualified himself, after all, at the moment his Lord was in most need of a friend Simon had denied even knowing him. The anger of those that hated Christ had no doubt begun to turn toward his disciples. I imagine that the combination of frustration with himself and the fear of those that were against him drove him back to his former occupation.
I can relate.
I have held two jobs my entire adult life. I became an electrician’s helper right out of high school but my boss liked to work with the power on. I got shocked so many times that I can’t count. I decided that jittery Jason was not cut out for slow electrocution so I went to work for an electrical supply company. I figured it was better to sell the stuff before they put the power to it. I haven’t been shocked once since. Well, I have not been shocked by electricity, people shock me just about everyday! The same year that I got into the electrical business the Lord put a burden on my heart to brag on him and encourage folks from his Word. My personal slogan now is, “I promote power, electric supplies and the gospel of Jesus Christ!” Not bad huh? There has been many a time that I have said, “I go a selling wire and conduit” or “I go a pushing automation products”. I have given up on the ministry too many Sunday nights to count but I keep coming back. What brings me back? The same thing that brought Simon Peter back.
The most saddening thing about Peter‘s resignation is that the Scripture tells us that others followed. Our lives are much like a drop in water, ripples are always created. If you think your resignation is just between you and the Lord then you are sadly mistaken. Someone is watching and they will use your example as an excuse to follow. Peter had denied the Lord, quit his calling and now he has led others astray. As he is out on the boat, Jesus comes to him and the other AWOL apostles. He invites them to the morning fire that he has started and cooks them breakfast. As I imagine his nail scarred hands preparing their meal, a tear came to my eye. He has never made me breakfast but he has come to me the morning after my resignation and fed my soul. He has been more than faithful to me even when I have been least faithful to him. My feeble tongue and pen could never convey the gratitude I feel for the steadfast love I have found in him.
Why do I keep coming back, the same reason Peter returned to his calling, the answer is Jesus!