“But when the morning had now come, Jesus stood on the shore; yet the disciples did not know that it was Jesus. Then Jesus said to them, “Children, have you any food?” They answered Him, “No.” And He said to them, “Cast the net on the right side of the boat and you will find some.” So they cast, and now they were not able to draw it in because of the multitude of fish.
Therefore that disciple whom Jesus loved said to Peter, “It is the Lord!” Now when Simon Peter heard that it was the Lord, he put on his outer garment (for he had removed it), and plunged into the sea.”
This week’s message is a blessing from Papa to His kids. It is a reminder that when we have Him, we have everything!
Last week we looked at how Simon Peter and his friends went back to their old life of fishing when they were demoralized and discouraged. They waited all night but caught nothing. They were tired, frustrated and even more discouraged than they had been when they set out. It had been a fruitless, wasted night, but Jesus had been in the picture all along, waiting on the shore for the men to come back to where they should be. He had been waiting for the ones He loved to see and recognize Him.
In the same way Jesus asked His disciples “Children, have you any food?” He is asking you what you need today. These were the “close friends” who ran away from Him when he was up against a wall. Here was the friend who swore to stand by Him but betrayed Him three times on the night of His crucifixion, and still, Jesus was looking out for them, lovingly seeking to fill their need. He addressed them with tender affection, using a word which means “beloved children”. God never sees us for the many times we have failed Him, denied Him or disobeyed His Word. He sees us as complete and righteous, through the holy blood of Jesus. He calls us His precious and beloved children, and whatever need you have in your life today, Jesus seeks to fill it.
Dear friend, the Lord wants you to know today that if you have Jesus, you have everything you could ever need. Sometimes things may not work out for us simply because (like the disciples) we are not where we ought to be. If these disciples had sought the help of Jesus, they would not have wasted a night in fruitless fishing. Jesus was there all along and they never knew! You may have been toiling at your job, ministry or relationships without any result, and maybe you have been feeling weary and sad that things are not working out the way you planned. The loving Lord is waiting for you to come to Him and seek His help and guidance. He will turn everything around!
Today the Lord is asking you to seek Him and know that He will be found by you. (Deuteronomy 4:29 and Jeremiah 29:13). He is asking you to draw near to Him and see Him draw near to you (James 4:8). He is saying to you “Come to Me you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.” (Matthew 11:28). Whatever you feel you lack in your life is found in Jesus. There are some of us who claim Jesus as Lord, but we live life from day to day, trusting in our own strength and our own wisdom, when God has said (Proverbs chapter 3) “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding”.
Jesus told his friends to cast their nets on the right side of the boat, and when they did, they had such a huge catch of fish that they struggled to draw their net in. They had been fishing all night and knew those waters well. They could have said that they had already tried fishing in that part of the ocean. Or they could have cast their net on the left side of the boat instead. However, after three years with Jesus, they knew that they needed to do things just the way Jesus asked them to, and they were wonderfully surprised!
Although these men had not recognized Jesus as He stood on the shore, this miracle opened their eyes, and revelation suddenly came, as they remembered other times when the supernatural became natural when their Lord was around. Peter was so excited to see Jesus that he would not wait till the net was dragged into the boat and the boat sailed to the shore. We are told that he put on his outer garment and dived into the water to swim ashore. He had taken his outer garment off because that was a fisherman’s garb when at sea. When he donned his tunic on again before swimming to Jesus, it was symbolic of the fact that he was coming back to the life he had been called to live. He was a fisher of men. He was no more in fear or discouragement. He was covered and protected. He was a friend and servant of Jesus!
Beloved child of the King of kings, Jesus is calling you to do what John did. Cast aside all your reservations and inhibitions and dive into the life He has called you to live. Dive into His love and into His Word. He has called you to peace, joy, and thankfulness. He has called you to health, strength and prosperity of body, soul and substance. He has called you to a life of victory and overcoming, and to be a fisher of men. Seek the Lord and find Him. He has wisdom and revelation for you. He will direct and guide you. Follow all of His Word, and see the prosperity it brings. Your fruitless night is over, and the dawn is here! This is the day that the Lord has made, so rejoice and be glad in it! God has a wonderful season of harvest for you, and it all begins when you look to Him and hear His voice saying “this is the way, walk in it” (Isaiah 30:21). I pray that as you turn to Jesus and lean on Him, He will meet your every need and answer all your prayers for the glory of His mighty name. God loves you!
Minoli Haththotuwa, 30 January 2012