Fishing Lessons from the Master I
1And it came to pass, that, as the people pressed upon him to hear the word of God, he stood by the lake of Gennesaret, 2And saw two ships standing by the lake: but the fishermen were gone out of them, and were washing their nets. 3And he entered into one of the ships, which was Simon’s, and prayed him that he would thrust out a little from the land. And he sat down, and taught the people out of the ship.
4Now when he had left speaking, he said unto Simon, Launch out into the deep, and let down your nets for a draught. 5And Simon answering said unto him, Master, we have toiled all the night, and have taken nothing: nevertheless at thy word I will let down the net. 6And when they had this done, they enclosed a great multitude of fishes: and their net brake. 7And they beckoned unto their partners, which were in the other ship, that they should come and help them. And they came, and filled both the ships, so that they began to sink.
As Jesus walks down to the beach of the sea of Galilee, he sees more than fishermen washing their nets. He sees future fishers of men. He sees future water-walkers. He sees future writers of the best-selling book of all time. He sees future leaders and martyrs. He sees the roots of the entire Christian church on the banks of the Sea of Galilee.
As the crowds gather and begin pushing Him to the water’s edge by their sheer numbers, He also sees something else, an opportunity to give some “fishing lessons.
Verse 2 says, “2And saw two ships standing by the lake: but the fishermen were gone out of them, and were washing their nets.” After an unsuccessful outing on the lake, a waste of an entire night with nothing to show for it, the fishermen are not merely licking their wounds or updating their resumes to look for something else. They are mending nets; shoring up what is weak FOR THE NEXT TRIP! Fishing Lesson 1, the down time between your attempts is the time to fix what is not going to hold up for the next trip out.
Don’t miss the fact that they were undaunted by their lack of success on this past trip and immediately began making preparations for the next adventure. Don’t waste your downtime having a pity party for yourself. When the phone of opportunity is not ringing, spend your time preparing for how you will better answer it the next time.
While David, who has been rejected as a soldier in Saul’s army, waits, he prepares his sling skills for a giant he does not know he will face. When they do meet, Goliath is the underdog although he doesn’t know it!
Verse 4 has our next lesson. “Now when he had left speaking, he said unto Simon, Launch out into the deep, and let down your nets for a draught.”
Jesus seeks to thanks Peter for the use of his boat by providing him with the elusive catch that evaded him all last night. He also wants to teach him another important fishing lesson. Lesson 2, to get what you don’t have that you do need, you must leverage what you do have. Peter had a boat and needed fish. Jesus, the creator of all things, has the fish but would appreciate a boat. By being willing to let Jesus use his boat, he put himself into position to get what he needed. It is how business AND MINISTRY is done!
Too many people who recognize this principle in their work lives fail miserably when it comes to ministry, sitting with hands open waiting on God to provide the proverbial “cake” that we have been asking for and need when God has given us eggs, milk, flour, sugar and…you get my point.
Often times we have not properly assessed what we already have. The fact is if you don’t know what you have you will never know how to leverage it. God has made a promise to those who have decided to do His will. Whatever we are needing in order to do His will, He has ALREADY PROVIDED or it is ON ITS WAY TO YOU! Make room for it! Mend your net!
What powerful lessons from the hand of the Master. More fishing lessons from the Master next time!