The Miracles of Jesus
April 6, 2021
The Second Miraculous Catch
Luke 5:4-10; John:1-14; 15-17
It’s an old saying. “History repeats itself.” The expression is right up there with the definition of insanity. “Doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.”
There are times in the Bible history seems to repeat itself. To some extent, it does, but always for a perfectly good reason.
In chapter five of Luke’s Gospel, Jesus told some of His soon-to-be disciples to put into deeper water to catch fish. This was their response in what is called “The first miraculous catch.”
“Getting into one of the boats, which was Simon’s, he asked him to put out a little from the land. And he sat down and taught the people from the boat. And when he had finished speaking, he said to Simon,
“Put out into the deep and let down your nets for a catch.”
And Simon answered, “Master, we toiled all night and took nothing! But at your word, I will let down the nets.” And when they had done this, they enclosed a large number of fish, and their nets were breaking. They signaled to their partners in the other boat to come and help them. And they came and filled both the boats so that they began to sink. But when Simon Peter saw it, he fell down at Jesus’ knees, saying, “Depart from me, for I am a sinful man, O Lord.” For he and all who were with him were astonished at the catch of fish that they had taken, and so also were James and John, sons of Zebedee, who were partners with Simon.
And Jesus said to Simon, “Do not be afraid; from now on, you will be catching men.”
Now let’s take a few moments to read the story of “The second miraculous catch,” as a comparison:
“After this, Jesus revealed himself again to the disciples by the Sea of Tiberias, and he revealed himself in this way. Simon Peter, Thomas (called the Twin), Nathanael of Cana in Galilee, the sons of Zebedee, and two others of his disciples were together. Simon Peter said to them, “I am going fishing.” They said to him, “We will go with you.” They went out and got into the boat, but that night they caught nothing.
Just as day was breaking, Jesus stood on the shore; yet the disciples did not know that it was Jesus.
Jesus said to them, “Children, do you have any fish?”
They answered him, “No.”
He said to them, “Cast the net on the right side of the boat, and you will find some.”
So, they cast it, and now they could not haul it in because of the quantity of fish. 7That disciple whom Jesus loved, therefore, said to Peter, “It is the Lord!” When Simon Peter heard that it was the Lord, he put on his outer garment, for he was stripped for work, and threw himself into the sea. The other disciples came in the boat, dragging the net full of fish, for they were not far from the land but about a hundred yards off.
When they got out on land, they saw a charcoal fire in place, with fish laid out on it and bread.
Jesus said to them, “Bring some of the fish that you have just caught.”
So, Simon Peter went aboard and hauled the net ashore, full of large fish, 153 of them. And although there were so many, the net was not torn.
Jesus said to them, “Come and have breakfast.”
Now [none of the disciples dared ask him, “Who are you?” They knew it was the Lord. Jesus came and took the bread and gave it to them, and so with the fish. This was now the third time that Jesus was revealed to the disciples after he was raised from the dead.”
As I’ve mentioned in several of my Lenten devotions, living on this side of history, so much of the Bible makes sense when we read it in context. The Bible explains itself. In this instance, this miracle in Luke set up the miracle of the second miraculous catch in John’s Gospel.
There are several differences between the two miracles.
- In Luke’s Gospel, the disciples barely knew Jesus
- John’s Gospel story occurs after Jesus had died and risen.
- In Luke’s story, Peter complains that the men are tired and had been fishing all night with negative results.
- In John, there is no indication that Peter or the disciples hesitated.
- In Luke’s story, Peter fell to his knees and begged Jesus to depart from him because he was a sinful man.
- In John’s story, Peter couldn’t get out of the boat fast enough to see and be with Jesus.
There are also several similarities between the two miracles
- The men caught a lot of fish both times after listening to Jesus
- In Luke’s story, Jesus tells Peter to follow Him because from now on, he’d be catching men
- In John’s story, Jesus calls the seven men who have been following Him for three years to “Come and have some breakfast.”
- Later in the story, Jesus would also call upon Peter to feed His sheep several times, thus forgiving him for disavowing Him on the night He was betrayed. And re-establishing him (Peter) as His follower and the leader of the disciples.
“When they had finished breakfast,
Jesus said to Simon Peter, “Simon, son of John, do you love me more than these?”
He said to him, “Yes, Lord; you know that I love you.”
He said to him, “Feed my lambs.” He said to him a second time, “Simon, son of John, do you love me?”
He said to him, “Yes, Lord; you know that I love you.”
He said to him, “Tend my sheep.” He said to him the third time, “Simon, son of John, do you love me?”
Peter was grieved because he said to him the third time, “Do you love me?”
and he said to him, “Lord, you know everything; you know that I love you.”
Jesus said to him, “Feed my sheep.”
Everything Jesus did during His earthly ministry was done for a specific reason. Every word he spoke, every action He took or didn’t take, fulfilled His reason for being here. He was here as a living sacrifice. And His disciples were to continue to carry on His message of repentance, grace, and faith to the next generation.
That, too, is our job. To answer the call and bring the Gospel message of Jesus Christ to the world, so all might be saved.
Dear Jesus. Help us to always follow your instructions, heed your call, and to follow in your footsteps. We are here to serve you and bring your Gospel message to the world. Amen.