In the miraculous catch described in John 21:1-14 Yahooshua (Jesus) now begins the disciples real fishing ministry - "Fish-finder."
How do we "do evangelism?" We talk a lot about being witnesses, sharing the faith, introducing people to Yahooshua. Yes, we say, we want to do that, Jesus wants us to do that, we're not against it. But what exactly do we do? What words do we say? Do we need to preach? Do we need to teach? Do we pray with them?
Show us how
It would help a lot, wouldn't it, if someone showed us how. Anything Is easier when someone shows you how, when someone points out where and how and what to say.
In John 21, Yahooshua (Jesus) shows us. This is the third meeting between Jesus and His disciples after He came back to life. Now Yahooshua meets them on the shores of the Sea of Galillee.
Back to where it all began
This is where it all began. For three years the work of the disciples was to follow Yahooshua (Jesus) to learn from Him and to copy Him. But He keeps disappearing. So they go back to the beginning where it all began, to the shore of Galilee where they had first heard the voice they loved so much call out to them, "Come follow me and I will make you fishers of men."
But what exactly are they supposed to be doing. Yahooshua is gone, so they go back to what they know. Verse 3: "I'm going out to fish," Simon Peter told them, and they said, "We'll go with you."
It's something familiar, something known. Granted it's not casting out demons, or walking on water. They kind of miss that, you know. But you have to earn a living.
So they went out and got into the boat, but that night they caught nothing.
They are striking out. They are lost without Yahooshua. They are not hiding, shaking behind locked doors anymore. Seeing Yahooshua, seeing those scars took care of that. But what do they do? Yahooshua isn't around giving them command. And fishing isn't working out so great either!
Or so they thought. Verse 4:
Early in the morning Yahooshua stood on the shore, but the disciples did not recognize that it was Yahooshua.
But He knew them, and verse 5:
He called out to them, "Friends, haven't you any fish?"
Don't you love when Yahooshua ask questios? You don't think He was watching them the whole night, watching them throw those nets out again and again in the deep darkness, having nothing to show for it.
"Friends, haven't you any fish?" "No," they answered.
Discouraged, frustrated, not really knowing what to do, they ended up empty handed. The thing is, they didn't know where to look. Don't mistake John 21 as a fishing lesson. Yahooshua is not concerned about them making a successful career out of being commercial fishermen. There is more, so much more happening.
Yahooshua says, in verse 6:
"Throw your net on the right side of the boat and you will find some."
When the Maker of fish and the Maker of lakes and the Maker of tides and currents and algae and bait tells you to throw your net over there, and you'll find some fish there, here's some free advice.....listen. The disciples did:
When they did, they were unable to haul the net in because of the large number of fish.
And there's only one person who could have made this happen. The light clicks on for the disciples and they know it. Verse 7:
Then the disciple whom Yahooshua loved said to Peter, "It is the Lord!"
Peter's so excited jumps into the water and swims for it. It is Yahooshua. Finally some direction. Finally the mission starts.
But first, Yahooshua says in verse 12:
"Come and have breakfast." .....Jesus came, took the bread and gave it to them, and did the same with the fish.
Yahooshua is saying come and spend some time together, and I'll make sure you're doing what I want you to do, where I want you to do it.
How do we do evangelism? Where are we fishers of men and women? How do we say what we are supposed to say? Do we explain the books of the bible? Talk about soteriology and Christology and ecclesiology?
Good questions, but questions we really don't need to worry about. What happened all night, as the disciples tried to find those fish. They did their best based on their own knowledge and expertise. And they came up absolutely empty.
And then they listened to their Lord and you saw what happened. The harvest was plentiful. The nets were full. Now the question is, are we listening? If you listen, if you watch, if you come and have breakfast with Yahooshua and go where He is pointing, you will see people knowing Yahooshua better. You will be a fisher of men and fisher of women and your nets will be full.
If we become quiet and listen we will hear Him speak, we will hear Him bringing certain people to mind, that neighbour, that co-worker, that acquaintance pops into your mind. You are talking to Yahooshua, listening to Him and something about a health need that they struggle with, something about a hardship they are going through. It is just a nudge, it is Yahooshua pointing, showing you who needs your words, your kindness, your friendship.
"They will know we are Christians by our Love." John 13:35
He will get you to the right person and He'll get you to witness the right way. Without Yahooshua pointing the way, we'll spend a long, dark night of a life and have nothing to show for it.
My prayer is that you will draw closer to Him, Listen to Him, follow His directions and that your harvest will be plentiful.
Please feel free to comment and ask questions as I will be sure to read and respond.