A new strategy & 153 fish

fishOn Sunday morn, our pastor used John 21: 1-7 for his message. I stood and followed along as he read then sat with my small Bible journal for sermon notes and focused on the passage. While Bro. Keith went on to preach a fine sermon, I kept getting stuck in a detail in verse 6 I’ve never stopped to really mediate on before.

Peter & 6 other disciples had gone out to fish but caught nothing. Jesus, unrecognized by them, called out a question about their catch then told them to cast their nets on the right side. What happened next has me perplexed… not their big catch they brought in but the fact that they listened to and followed the advice of a stranger.

At this point, the disciples had seen Jesus twice since his resurrection but I wonder if they were still struggling to sort out all they had experienced in recent days. On Good Friday, they lost all hope. On Easter, their hope was renewed in a great way. Now days later, they were still processing… still thinking about it all… still wondering what the new plan of action would be.

Maybe that was why they were open to listening to and following the advice of a stranger. For his part, Jesus was about to change their strategy for fishing for men but first he started with a change in their strategy for fishing for actual fish.

The disciples had been brought low by recent events but Jesus was about to lift them back up and equip them with a new game plan. He knew His Father would soon send the Holy Spirit who would guide and move these men to change the world with the gospel message.

Perhaps this is why I too go through struggles and sometimes feel like I’ve hit rock bottom in some situations… so that God can set the stage for something new… a new game plan… a new strategy.

John, one of the disciples on this fishing expedition and author of the book with this event, included a most interesting detail… they went from zero fish to 153 fish! I think John wanted to make it clear to all that trying something in a different way or applying a new strategy is sometimes just what we need… provided Jesus is doing the directing.

Lord, I admit I sometimes get stuck in a rut of doing the same thing the same way day after day… Change my direction & strategy when I need to do so. May my heart be moldable to your Potter’s hand. Direct my course! Give me a heart that seeks you even when that means change is coming! Amen!

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