Thursday, March 3, 2016

Bill Dance Got Nothing On Jesus


John 21:6
And He said to them, "Cast the net on the right side of the boat, and you will find some......."

I love this story about Jesus and the disciples.
Jesus has been crucified and has been raised up from the dead.
He has spent the better part of forty days popping in and out of the disciples lives.
Remember, this is  the same bunch that scattered to the wind the night Jesus was arrested. They are such a devoted bunch that they decided to go fishing so they chunk the whole disciple thing and strike out to do a little night catching. But this little venture didn't turn out so well.

They caught zero...
Nothing....
Bupkus.....
Nile.....

Zilch....
Here we have a lesson within a lesson. Your effort minus Jesus equals nothing. I won't go there.

Anyway, day breaks, the rugged, tired, non-productive fisherman are now making their way to shore, when a voice rings out...
"Yo! You in the boat.....Got any food?"

A collective "NO!" rang out from our fishing expedition. The guys in the boat didn't recognize the voice as coming from Jesus.
Then came the kicker. Jesus gives them some instructions that really don't make much sense.

"Cast the net on the right side of the boat, and you will find some."
Really? The right side of the boat? These guys have been fishing all night, caught nothing, and now they've been told that if they would pull up their nets, walk to the other side of the boat, lower the net...they would catch fish. How great is the distance between one side of the boat to the other? My guess would be somewhere around 12 feet.
Twelve feet is going to make the difference between nothing....and something.
Twelve feet is going to mean the difference between eating, and going home with empty bellies.

Isn't that just like us when it comes to life.
The difference between success and failure can be a very short distance.
The difference between following Jesus' instructions, and choosing to reject so we can exercise our own will is less than 12 feet, but we embrace our own will anyway.

We continue to spiritually let out net down where Jesus tells us to, and we go away with empty bellies (as well as empty hearts).  Then we complain because we always seem to be on the fuzzy end of the lollipop.

Spiritually, the "12-foot" scenario is literally the difference between saying "Yes" to Jesus, or turning away saying "NO".  I know that it didn't make sense to the disciples to pull the nets from one side of the boat to the other, but you have to take into consideration as to who gave the instruction. They could have balked at this suggestion. After all, they have been fishing all night, day was breaking and they were tired. They could have come up with a million reasons as to why they shouldn't throw the net on the opposite side of the boat. We do that don't we? Come up with a few million excuses as to why we can't get sober. Why we can't chase this new life with Christ ever one has told us about. Sure we do!


Life is like this scripture from John....
Like the fish, the answer to our problem lies out of sight.
The fish were there all alone....

The disciples had the means to catch them...
They just needed to be pointed in the right direction.

When they were told where the fish were, there was still some hesitation because they couldn't see the fish. We hesitate when we're pointed to where the blessings of God are.
We can't see them, and it seems like lowering our nets is a futile exercise in religion. But it isn't. It is an obedient act unto God. Keep in mind who it is that is giving the disciples instructions from the beach......It is Jesus...the same One who spoke creations into existence. The One who stood up in that same boat the disciples are in, and spoke to a storm telling it to "SHUT UP!"...and it did. 


This Jesus we read about in John 21 is the same Jesus who has called us to follow Him through life by listening and simply "lowering our nets" where He tells us to.
I think He might be a tad better at this journey than me.
I will follow...
I will listen...
I will obey....
And I will catch fish.


God on you...
mb

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