So, Peter and his crew have been fishing all night. They know what they’re doing. They do this for a living. But despite their best efforts, they haven’t caught anything and you can imagine the way their wheels are spinning. They’ve got bills to pay and mouths to feed. This isn’t bragging rights they’re pursuing, this is their livelihood.
They’re wrapping things up. It’s morning and they’re already rehearsing what they’re going to be telling their wives, I’m sure. “Sorry, baby…we didn’t catch anything.”
They’re washing their nets, when here comes Jesus. He’s got His typical crowd following Him and He asks Peter if he would be willing to let Him get into one of his boats and speak from a position just off shore. “Sure,” says Peter. It’s not like they’ve got anything pressing going on now, in light of last night’s epic fail.
The man is brilliant, there’s no doubt. Peter listens and then He’s done. But rather than rowing back to shore, Jesus tells Peter to row out into deeper water and let down their nets.
Jesus is a carpenter, Peter is a fisherman. Had it been anyone other than Christ telling Him what to do, Peter would’ve probably laughed. But to his credit, Peter doesn’t laugh. He merely qualifies what he’s about to do by saying that this is a potentially pointless endeavor, given the fact that they’ve been fishing all night and nothing’s biting. But he then goes on to say that “…because you say so, I will let down my nets.” (Luke 4:5).
The number of fish they catch is enough to put a deal breaking strain on the nets, there’s that many!
That’s the morning where Peter makes a career change, in part because of the impact this one event has on him. It wasn’t just the amount of fish that was caught, it was the fact that Jesus was able to demonstrate His Absolute Authority over things that we can only hope to influence.
We’re pretty clever, we are. As human beings, we can reason our way into areas of accomplishment and learning that are nothing short of impressive. Still, we are surrounded by a universe we can’t measure, an intricacy we can’t explain and a world we can’t control. It’s in the midst of this ocean of question marks that we need an Exclamation Point that transforms our existence into a life characterized by Purpose, Peace and Power.
Higher Education. That’s what we need. An intentional exposure to a Source of Perspective and Wisdom that defines the difference between living and existing, working and producing, thriving and enduring. It’s not always logical. You’re going to raise your hand and ask questions more than once. We view our circumstances according to a human paradigm – an infrastructure that was created by God and therefore subordinate to God. Consequently, He can command that which we can only observe.
So, like Peter, we need to listen and then lower those nets – whatever the equivalent to those nets may be – and benefit from the Higher Education that is being offered to us. We may not always understand, but we will always be better for it. And rather than having to concede defeat after having done all we know to do, we can bask in the glow of a net-breaking win!