Nets of Grace: One morning, Jesus was being followed by a crowd near the lake of Gennesaret. He happened to come across two boats by the lake that belonged to some fishermen who were out washing their nets after a long night. The fishermen had been casting nets out all night, but they did not catch any fish. Imagine your most frustrating day at work and not getting paid for it. That was the situation of the fishermen that Jesus met that eventful morning. Seeing the opportunity to teach the crowd, Jesus gets into one of the boats and asks Peter to push him out to sea. Peter although perplexed, obliges Jesus’ request and pushes the boat out so as to allow Jesus to talk to the crowd. Notice Peter didn’t respond how you or I might, but rather he says, “Master, we toiled all night and caught nothing! But at your word, I will let down the nets.” Something incredible happened. The nets became filled with fish! More than breakfast and an unexpected payday, Peter recognized that Jesus made the impossible possible. The fish that were still jumping around in the nets were not there by accident. Jesus brought the fish into the nets to be caught by Peter. Peter only had to let down the nets in faith upon hearing Jesus’ word. The instruction to let down the nets was a conditional promise. If Peter let down the nets, Jesus would provide the fish. That doesn’t mean that Peter was ultimately responsible for the catch or even the faith to believe Jesus’ word. Jesus was ultimately responsible for both the faith and the fruit. But by embracing the conditional promise, he unlocked what only Jesus could provide.
Jesus’ instruction to us is a conditional promise that we must embrace; let down the nets and I will bring the fish! We are called to preach the gospel and make disciples. Ultimately Jesus is going to bring the fish – the people. He is the great Fisherman. We must hear his word and let down the nets of grace by faithfully proclaiming His Gospel!