In John 21:1-14, some of the disciples go back to the job they had before becoming a disciple of Jesus.
They reverted to their old ways.
Perhaps this was more out of self-preservation rather than disobedience to Jesus telling them that they were sent.
Throughout Jesus’s ministry, they all lived off the goodwill and kindness of others. But now, after Jesus’s controversial death, they found themselves without support. So it makes sense they would go back to their old jobs in order to survive.
When Jesus found the disciples on their boat fishing, he met them where they were. He didn’t rebuke them. Rather he directs their ways in order to make their work fruitful. They fished all night with their net on the left side of their boat, and they caught nothing.
Then Jesus tells them to cast their net on the right side, and they catch so many fish that the net can barely hold them. On their own, they caught nothing, with Jesus’s guidance they had an abundance.
This story is indicative of our own need for divine guidance.
In Plummer’s words…
“There is no need to seek symbolical meanings for the right and left side. The difference is not between right and left, but between working with and without Divine guidance.”
Without divine guidance, our efforts are futile, but with divine guidance, our work will be fruitful.
How have you been fishing…
- Are you casting your net wherever it may fall?
- How are you deciding where to go fishing in the first place?
- Are you struggling?
- Feeling defeated or burned out?
Think on these questions and then ask yourself, “Am I working with or without God’s guidance?”
Sometimes we start with God’s direction and then turn off the navigation and try to pave our own path, but how often does that really work out?