Friday: 26th April, 2019
Reference text: John 21:1-14
John 21:3 Simon Peter saith unto them, I go a fishing. They say unto him, We also go with thee. They went forth, and entered into a ship immediately; and that night they caught nothing.
In high school, while preparing for a section of my English language Exams involving the identification of synonyms, the key tips we were given as students included:
- 1. Read more because that exposes you to more words
- 2. Always look at the context in which a word is used as that impacts its meaning.
The latter remains an important tip which I journey with till date because for the very same situation, the context and outcomes can be very different. The events described in Luke 5:4ff are compared with that in John’s Gospel today.
When a section of the disciples, including the two sons of Zebedee decided to join Peter when he said ‘I am going fishing’, there was no reason to question this decision. This was because prior to joining the ‘Jesus wagon’, fishing was their profession. So if we recall the circumstances surrounding their call, an all nighter without catching anything comes to mind (Luke 5:5ff), and that was not for want of trying.
A similar situation is seen today with the same outcome, although the context varies greatly. Fishing is the intersection between the two accounts, but the people who went fishing were in different minds. The first group was composed of ‘men who fished for their livelihood’ and the other, ‘disciples whose who went fishing because they had yet to find a way to deal with the loss of their master’.
Peter’s call to go fishing was one probably made out of desperation, boredom and confusion not because that was what he really had to do. So the lack of any catch should not be a surprise us. It is also in that state of mind that Jesus appears to them and they recognised him saying – ‘It is the Lord’ – they had experienced this before.
Beloved, in our state of confusion and desperation, we can make hasty decisions. These are the times when the presence of the Lord reminds us of who we are and the paths to follow lest we lose our focus.