[Note: Vacation, free tickets to a Cincy Red’s game, a new car, or the coming 1000th Interruption – which is more desirable?]
I do not fish. I do not hunt or play golf. I’m not your typical American male — I’m more spiritual!
In John 21, having been told by Jesus to go to Galilee, we find the apostles waiting for Jesus to appear (Matthew 28:10). Upon arrival in Galilee, did the apostles pray and fast, worship till late in the evening, or read the book of Isaiah?
As John 21:3 reads . . .
Simon Peter said to them, “I’m going fishing.” Some of the other apostles said to him, “We will also come with you” (OGV).
At this important moment in the apostles’ lives, just before they were to see Jesus again, and also an important moment in the history of the world since Jesus was soon to give them the Great Commission, what did the apostles do?
They went fishing.
I know there are some readers of Interruptions that are now saying, “Amen!” And being the merciful author of this blog, I give you grace.
What was the result of their night of fishing?
They went out and got into the boat, and that night they caught nothing (John 21:3, NASB1995).
What happened to the apostles happens to most fisherpeople.
They caught nothin’!
I stop at a bench by a pond for a rest stop in the middle of one of my bike rides. There is an older guy that I often see fishin’. He has three poles staked in the ground, sits in a chair listening to a battery-powered radio, and for the several years that I’ve watched him, has caught nothing. I look at him and think, “Why would he want to do such a thing?”
And I imagine he looks at me sitting on a bench trying to catch my breath, sweating, dressed in neon-yellow spandex, and thinks, “Why would he want to do such a thing?”
Okay, I’m losing my focus with this Interruption!
I think Peter and the other apostles, who were fishermen by trade, in a time of tension, went fishing to relax. I ride my bicycle to be alone, turning off my phone and just enjoying the ride.
I’m sure the old guy at the pond, who never catches any fish, believes the adage – a bad day fishing is better than a good day at work.
Peter and the rest of the apostles’ respite of fishing didn’t last long. In the morning, a man they didn’t recognize at first stood on the shore and said . . .
“Cast the net on the right-hand side of the boat and you will find a catch.” So they cast, and then they were not able to haul it in because of the great number of fish (John 21:6).
Peter and the other apostles knew it was Jesus.
When you read the rest of John 21, you’ll see an amazing story — as Jesus forgives the betrayal of Peter and restores him to his true calling as a fisher of men.
All things considered, John 21 contains the best “gone fishin’” story ever told. No exaggeration about the number or size of the fish. Peter found what we all experience when we meet Jesus . . .
His grace can’t be exaggerated!