The fisherman had worked hard all night with his companions. They were strong men, burly in size. They were the sort of men who weren’t afraid of a little hard work. But lately the fish had eluded them. The hauls were getting smaller and smaller and finally they had stayed out on the Lake all night raising the sail, steering the boat, lowering the sail, putting the nets out, pulling the nets back in, over and over to no avail. Hardly a fish to call a profit. Now they had decided to call it a day and try to get some rest before the next days work began.
There was a teacher on the shore with a large crowd surrounding him. He could hardly talk over them and be heard. The fisherman gestured toward his boat as if to say, “Go, sit here. Then they will all hear you.” So the teacher climbed into the boat and sat down and continued to teach the people about the Kingdom of God. The fisherman had heard this kind of teaching many times before, but he wasn’t a book-reading kind of guy and some of the teaching from Rabbis before were hard to understand. But this teaching was different. Here was a man who was expounding on the Word of God with authority and confidence yet it seemed so simple. The fisherman found himself listening and not getting lost in all the terminology . His friends were listening also as they all worked together laying the nets to dry and clean up their two boats.
When the teacher had finished his teaching he looked over at the fisherman. The fisherman looked into this teachers eyes. He expected to see haughtiness and arrogance, as he had so many times before when he looked into the eyes of those who were experts in the scriptures. But he found none of that here with this man, in fact he saw compassion and respect! When had the fisherman ever commanded respect from a teacher?! The teacher spoke to him saying, “Put out into the deep water, and let down the nets for a catch.” The fisherman responded, “Master, we have worked hard all night and haven’t caught anything. But because you say so, I will let down the nets.” The fisherman stood at once and raised the sail. He moved the boat out into the deep waters and with the help of the teacher, lowered the heavy nets back into the water.
As soon as the nets were completely lowered, they became so full that the fisherman called to his friends who at once sailed out to where he was to help them haul in the over-flowing nets. They filled both boats so full that the boats began to sink. At once the fisherman let out a big bellowing shout! He fell at the teacher’s feet crying, “Go away from me Lord! I am a sinful man!” The teacher reached down to the fisherman and with a curve on his lips and a twinkle in his eye, he said softly, “Don’t be afraid, from now on you will catch men!” The fisherman rose and maneuvered the boat onto the shore. The teacher helped them unload the catch and settle it with the others who were on the shore. He wasn’t about to leave them without helping them bask in the abundance of the blessing.
It’s only when we go deeper into the person of Jesus that we are able to receive abundant joy. It’s only when we take Him at His word and let it sink in deeper, that we can fully experience the joy that is waiting for us. So many times we work and work and work at our Christian walk and never seem to get anywhere. We go to Bible studies, we attend church, we fellowship with other believers, waiting for that revelation of Jesus to happen; that bright shining moment that knocks us off our horse and blinds us temporarily.
But Jesus shows us that the blessing and joy we desire aren’t that far away. We just have to go deeper. We have to delve heart and soul into His words and His teaching. We have to listen harder. The message is clear, simple and wonderful. We just have to be able to absorb it without all the distractions. Jesus is there with us every step of the way, He doesn’t abandon us when we set out to dive in head first into His word. He has a hold of us and is straining to make His message clear right along with us. He wants us to get it. He wants us to bring in the big haul. He wants to delight in our joy. He wants to bless us beyond our wildest dreams! Let Him! Dive in, get your hair wet, set sail for the deep water.