“Bring some of the fish you have just caught.” . . . It was full of large fish, 153, but even with so many the net was not torn. - John 21:10-11
Here’s an intriguing account of seven disciples catching 153 fish on Jesus’ orders. Why report 153 fish? Scholars aren’t agreed. Many meanings have been proposed, but I think it’s better to admit we don’t know why 153 fish are reported rather than to try to put our own thoughts into this. Perhaps it’s just a record catch.
Early one morning after His resurrection, Jesus finds His disciples back on their fishing boat. Having grown up on a lake where they fished often, I know Jesus’ question made the disciples cringe: “Haven’t you any fish?” They’d caught nothing after fishing all night. “Cast your net on the right side.” What difference would that make? Fish don’t hide on one side of a boat. Yet immediately the net filled with 153 “keepers.” And... the net did not tear. Remember, Jesus had drafted Peter and Andrew, as well as James and John, from the ranks of professional fishermen. Instead of catching fish for a living, He said, they’d become fishers of people for eternal life. (Mark 1:16-20) Whatever 153 means, it tells us God would draw a great number of sinners to salvation through Christ. How do we know? That original band of twelve disciples has become a worldwide church of billions! Now, that’s a haul!
It is our great joy today to enter into this great commission of calling people to Jesus Christ and being His hands, feet and voice in this world. What a privilege to send our young people to Flint to minister there as servants of Christ – and then to honor the work of Jim and Deb Cartwright who were commissioned by this church 39 years ago and served in the ministry of Bible translators with Wycliffe. Then to have Matt Long, a product of our school and church, deliver the Father’s Day message. We have much to be thankful for – but our prayer should always be Lord Jesus make us Your fishers and fill our nets with all whom You are bringing into Your boat.
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