“Now Jesus was standing by the Lake of Gennesaret, and the crowd was pressing around him to hear the word of God. He saw two boats by the lake, but the fishermen had gotten out of them and were washing their nets. He got into one of the boats, which was Simon’s, and asked him to put out a little way from the shore. Then Jesus sat down and taught the crowds from the boat. When he had finished speaking, he said to Simon, “Put out into the deep water and lower your nets for a catch.” Simon answered, “Master, we worked hard all night and caught nothing! But at your word I will lower the nets.” When they had done this, they caught so many fish that their nets started to tear. So they motioned to their partners in the other boat to come and help them. And they came and filled both boats, so that they were about to sink.”
After teaching from what is, honestly, a pretty cool setup (v.3), Jesus makes what could be considered a pretty crazy statement. He says, to fisherman that have worked hard all night and caught nothing,
“Put out into the deep water and lower your nets for a catch.”
Why would this itinerant teacher have anything to do with the places where fishermen fish? Yes, this was an agricultural and fishing culture and context, but Jesus was the son of a carpenter, not a fisherman, right? (Matthew 13.55, Mark 6.3).
Simon responds dutifully with obedience (v.5b) and they caught so many fish that their nets started to tear.
So, is the work of a liar, a lunatic, or the Lord?
Could a liar, just messing with the fishermen, have known where to score this rich catch and would he have told them? For that matter, could someone not in their right mind? A lunatic could, conceivably, have told the guys to “go fishing over there” and, by chance, have landed them a full catch. But just pause and think: would experienced fisherman have listened to a lunatic? Would they have listened, obeyed, and put their faith in what he was saying?
The point for you and for me is that Jesus knows. He knows. Here, He knows where to cast nets in order to catch fish and show His soon-to-be disciples that He is different, that there is something special about Him. In our lives, Jesus knows. He knows how you are feeling. He knows what you are going through. He knows the answers to the questions in your mind. Jesus knows.
Even if our first response is like Simon’s,
“Master, we worked hard all night and caught nothing!”,
let us make sure today that we follow up with this,
“But at your word I will lower the nets.”
Whatever Jesus is saying let us listen, let us obey, and lower the nets.