And when he had finished speaking, he said to Simon, “Put out into the deep and let down your nets for a catch.” And Simon answered, “Master, we toiled all night and took nothing! But at your word I will let down the nets.” And when they had done this, they enclosed a large number of fish, and their nets were breaking. —Luke 5:4-6
“Do not be afraid; from now on you will be catching men.” —Luke 5:10
How many times had they thrown out their nets out the night before? They had thrown the nets out, let them settle for a while and then pulled them in— empty. Again, the same process and again empty. All night long they had thrown out their nets only to pull them in… empty again and again… Now they were back on land washing their nets— finishing up their work day.
Jesus said to Simon, “Put out into the deep and let down your nets for a catch.” Now think about that. It was the end of their work day and they were finishing up by washing their nets and then they would go home. Now Jesus is asking them to go back out and let down their nets… for a catch! Jesus is expecting them to catch fish after coming up empty all night long? But, Simon answered, “Master, we toiled all night and took nothing! But at your word I will let down the nets.”
What was the result of their obedience in letting down the nets at Jesus’ Word? “And when they had done this, they enclosed a large number of fish, and their nets were breaking.” They had caught nothing all night. And yet at the direction of Jesus they caught a net full of fish to the point of breaking their nets! This would not have happened if they had allowed their tiredness and disappointment in the previous night of empty nets guide them. Instead, they listened to the Word of Jesus, obeyed, let down the nets and the results were miraculous.
Jesus used that experience to guide Peter and the others by saying, “Do not be afraid; from now on you will be catching men.” This is the same direction that Jesus has given us as well as we follow Him— “Come, follow me,” Jesus said, “and I will send you out to fish for people” (Matthew 4:19). Will we be like Peter and his companions and keep fishing at Jesus’ direction? Or, will we allow the toiling and empty nets discourage us from obeying Jesus’ Word and trust that He has sent us “out to fish for people” and at His Word there will be a catch? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rztlKhO1xig
Dear Father, please help me to keep fishing even when the nets come up empty. Be pleased to guide the “fish” to be caught to me or me to the “fish.” May this be so by the power of Your Holy Spirit and in the authority of Your Precious Son Jesus. So be it!