Recently Mit Romney was discussing the safety net for the poor. He said that there is a net, and if the net has holes then he will fix the holes as President. This got me to thinking about nets in general. (There are plenty of places on the web that discuss politics, but that is not what I want to do here.)
Jesus had friends who were fishermen. He invited them to drop their nets and become fishers of people. Another time the nets of Jesus’ friends were empty. They had been fishing all night. Jesus invited them to cast their nets to the other side of the boat. Both of these were unusual invitations. In both cases people responded to Jesus. In both cases miraculous things happened.
In the first instance, Simon Peter and Andrew were in the process of mending their nets. We do that. We work to make sure that we have a safety net. We mend our lives so that we are secure. We tend to our finances so that we can provide for ourselves and our families. Yet, Jesus called the brothers to take a step of faith. Jesus called them to be disciples first and worry about their careers second. When they did, lives were changed.
The second incident happened after Jesus’ resurrection. Jesus told the disciples, including Simon Peter, to cast their net to the other side of the boat. The net was overflowing with fish. Simon Peter responded with exuberance. Lives were again changed.
In both of these instances, God needed people to respond to God’s call in their life. God needs us to put God first, rather than our careers or families. God needs us also to listen to direction. Are we listening as well as we should? Are we making God our first priority? What are you doing with your net? What does God want you to do with your net? By listening to God we know that lives, including ours, will be changed.
Matthew 4:18-21: 18 As he walked by the Sea of Galilee, he saw two brothers, Simon, who is called Peter, and Andrew his brother, casting a net into the lake—for they were fishermen. 19And he said to them, ‘Follow me, and I will make you fish for people.’ 20Immediately they left their nets and followed him. 21As he went from there, he saw two other brothers, James son of Zebedee and his brother John, in the boat with their father Zebedee, mending their nets, and he called them. 22Immediately they left the boat and their father, and followed him.
John 21:4-14:4 Just after daybreak, Jesus stood on the beach; but the disciples did not know that it was Jesus. 5Jesus said to them, ‘Children, you have no fish, have you?’ They answered him, ‘No.’ 6He said to them, ‘Cast the net to the right side of the boat, and you will find some.’ So they cast it, and now they were not able to haul it in because there were so many fish. 7That disciple whom Jesus loved said to Peter, ‘It is the Lord!’ When Simon Peter heard that it was the Lord, he put on some clothes, for he was naked, and jumped into the lake. 8But the other disciples came in the boat, dragging the net full of fish, for they were not far from the land, only about a hundred yards off.
9 When they had gone ashore, they saw a charcoal fire there, with fish on it, and bread. 10Jesus said to them, ‘Bring some of the fish that you have just caught.’ 11So Simon Peter went aboard and hauled the net ashore, full of large fish, a hundred and fifty-three of them; and though there were so many, the net was not torn. 12Jesus said to them, ‘Come and have breakfast.’ Now none of the disciples dared to ask him, ‘Who are you?’ because they knew it was the Lord. 13Jesus came and took the bread and gave it to them, and did the same with the fish. 14This was now the third time that Jesus appeared to the disciples after he was raised from the dead.
- Mending Your Nets (brokenbelievers.com)