“Simon Peter said unto them, ‘I go a-fishing.’ They said unto him, ‘We also go with you.’ They went forth and entered into a ship immediately—and that night they caught nothing.”
Once we’ve met the Risen Lord, everything else will leave us high and dry—or, is that “down-and-out”?
“I go a-fishing.”
These were the first words that sprang from Peter’s lips after the Resurrection. Nowhere in any of the Gospels do we find this usually talkative, braggadocios, salty-tongued former sailor saying a word.
And, then when he does it’s “I go a-fishing.”
Back to his old way of life before he met Jesus fishing.
And, six others go with him (v.2).
Guess it’s the ‘ole adage “Misery loves company.”
Now, think of it, Pilgrim:
You’ve just been visited by Someone from the dead (Jn. 20:19-23). Eight days later He shows up again for a repeat performance to one of your own who’d been absent the first time around (vv.24-29).
But, now you’re going back out on your family’s fishing boat you’d left to follow Jesus over three years before (Lk. 5:11).
Those nets you’d mended many times are still there. The planks in the deck and sides that’d weathered many a storm are still there, with the paint still peeling off in the same places. Those makeshift sails that’d helped you find the good fishing holes in the Sea of Galilee are still flapping in the breeze.
It’s just like old times.
Except you’ve just spent three years with One with healing in His Hands. You’ve walked with Him. You laid beside Him on the cold, hard ground at night because you had “no place to lay your head” (Lk. 9:58). You’d accompanied Him up to the top of the mountain and witnessed His visiting with two saints of old. You’d gone out to meet Him by walking on the water (before you took your eyes off Him and starting sinking down to Davy Jones’ Locker).
Yes, you’d “been there, done that.”
But, now you’ve “gone a-fishing.”
That’s always what happens when guilt reigns instead of Grace. And, we shouldn’t be surprised that they “fished all night and caught nothing.” This was déjà vue—a repeat performance from when they first met Him (Lk. 5:1-11).
Thankfully the Savior is merciful and quite patient. Just as He ministered to them that morning after a dry run. . .and reminded Peter he was still useful to Him (Jn. 21:15-17; Lk. 22:31-32). . .so does He come to us with abounding Grace, “cleansing our conscience from dead works so we can serve Him, the living God” (Heb. 9:14). Aren’t you glad? If so, prove it by finding others today who are living barren lives and point them to the Risen Lord.
By Tom Smith Morning Manna Dated April 7, 2010