The Jesus Effect, Part 1 (Just Jesus Evangelistic Campaign, Day 361)
TEXT: John 21:1-8:
1 After these things Jesus shewed himself again to the disciples at the sea of Tiberias; and on this wise shewed he himself.
2 There were together Simon Peter, and Thomas called Didymus, and Nathanael of Cana in Galilee, and the sons of Zebedee, and two other of his disciples.
3 Simon Peter saith unto them, I go a fishing. They say unto him, We also go with thee. They went forth, and entered into a ship immediately; and that night they caught nothing.
4 But when the morning was now come, Jesus stood on the shore: but the disciples knew not that it was Jesus.
5 Then Jesus saith unto them, Children, have ye any meat? They answered him, No.
6 And he said unto them, Cast the net on the right side of the ship, and ye shall find. They cast therefore, and now they were not able to draw it for the multitude of fishes.
7 Therefore that disciple whom Jesus loved saith unto Peter, It is the Lord. Now when Simon Peter heard that it was the Lord, he girt his fisher’s coat unto him, (for he was naked,) and did cast himself into the sea.
8 And the other disciples came in a little ship; (for they were not far from land, but as it were two hundred cubits,) dragging the net with fishes.
Today, I am continuing the daily Just Jesus Evangelistic Campaign sermon series, which is aimed at sharing the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ with unbelievers and reminding Christians, in this important election year, to keep the main thing the main thing — and that is reaching unbelievers with the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ and praying for their salvation, for the problem in America is not only disobedient presidents, politicians, and people, but disobedient pastors, preachers, and parishioners who have refused to obey the Lord’s Great Commission which is to, “Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.” and who have refused to obey God’s repeated commands to “pray without ceasing” for unbelievers, believers, and political leaders. Yes, you should pray for the right candidate to win; yes, you should vote for the candidate that the Lord gives you peace about voting for. But, don’t get caught up in it like the world does. Nothing much is going to change until people get saved and get their hearts right with the Lord.
This campaign is inspired by the following three verses: 1 Corinthians 2:2 which says, “For I determined not to know anything among you, save Jesus Christ, and him crucified.” Acts 5:42 which says, “And daily in the temple, and in every house, they ceased not to teach and preach Jesus Christ.” And 2 Timothy 2:4 which says, “No man that warreth entangleth himself with the affairs of this life; that he may please him who hath chosen him to be a soldier.”
This series is not for Christians necessarily. However, I do hope you are one of those saints who still loves to hear the “Old, old story of Jesus and His love” — As another hymn says, “For those who know it best Seem hungering and thirsting to hear it like the rest.” This series is primarily for unbelievers, so they can hear and understand the Gospel and be saved from sin and the punishment of sin which is hell. This is message number 361.
Alfred Plummer said, “There is no need to seek symbolical meanings for the right and left side of the disciples’ boat. The difference is not between right and left, but between working with and without Divine guidance.”
In the final chapter of the book of John, the post-resurrection narrative shifts to Galilee, specifically the Sea of Tiberius. It is significant that Jesus would appear to His disciples here because this region is where most of them came from and also where most of Jesus’ followers came from. As you may recall, the Galileans were seen as being of a lower class than the Jews from Judea. But Jesus found His most receptive audience among these people who were looked down on. This appearance of Jesus is also significant because the angel at the tomb, and later Jesus Himself, stated that He would appear to His disciples in Galilee. The first two appearances that John recorded took place in Jerusalem as far as we know.
While the other disciples are waiting for Jesus to arrive, Simon Peter announces, “I go a fishing.” No preamble, no talking it over with the other guys. Just, “I go a fishing.” Six of the other disciples decide to go with Peter — Thomas, Nathanael, James, John, and two others who are unnamed. The disciples are frequently criticized here for their willingness to go back to their former occupation so soon. But the Bible does not tell us that what they did was wrong or that they intended this as a way of turning their back on the ministry. Rather, it is just as likely that Peter, who had a wife and children, and the other disciples needed to make some money to take care of their earthly needs.
The Bible tells us that the disciples were out fishing on the boat all night, but caught nothing. In the morning, they are understandably frustrated. When a man appears on the shore asking, “Children, have ye any meat?” their response is terse. “No.” The man’s question is not unusual. Those interested in purchasing from fishermen would often call out from the shore to find out how the catch was going.
What is unusual, however, is what happened next. The man on the shore tells the disciples, “Cast the net on the right side of the ship, and ye shall find. They cast therefore, and now they were not able to draw it for the multitude of fishes.” First, it should be stated that there is nothing significant about the right side versus the left side of the ship. What is significant is the fact that the disciples found success when they did what Jesus told them to do.
This is important to them because they needed to be reminded of their need to rely on God. It is human nature to think that one is invincible following a great victory such as the one the disciples experienced with Jesus’ resurrection. But the days and months ahead would cause the disciples to look to Jesus for guidance and deliverance many times. Dr. Warren Wiersbe writes, “Had they forgotten the Lord’s words, ‘For without me, ye can do nothing’? Perhaps [in this fishing expedition], Peter’s impulsiveness and self-confidence were revealing themselves again. He was sincere, and he worked hard, but there were no results. How like some believers in the service of the Lord! They sincerely believe that they are doing God’s will, but their labors are in vain. They are serving without direction from the Lord, so they cannot expect blessing from the Lord.”
Much of what we do in life may not be working out simply because we are not following the direction of the Lord in the matter or because we are doing things that He has not commanded us to do. The test for us is whether or not we will change our tactics when we hear His voice and begin doing things according to His will. God wants to bless us. He wants to give us the abundant life. He wants our fishing nets to be overflowing. But it is up to us as to whether we will receive the blessings that He offers us. Peter and the other disciples would not have gotten a huge catch if they had not obeyed the Lord.
Daniel Whittle wrote:
There shall be showers of blessing:
This is the promise of love;
There shall be seasons refreshing,
Sent from the Savior above.
There shall be showers of blessing;
O that today they might fall,
Now as to God we’re confessing,
Now as on Jesus we call!
There shall be showers of blessing,
If we but trust and obey;
There shall be seasons refreshing,
If we let God have His way.
Get on the path to showers of blessings by receiving Jesus Christ as your Savior today.
First, accept the fact that you are a sinner, and that you have broken God’s law. The Bible says in Romans 3:23: “For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.”
Second, accept the fact that there is a penalty for sin. The Bible states in Romans 6:23: “For the wages of sin is death…”
Third, accept the fact that you are on the road to hell. Jesus Christ said in Matthew 10:28: “And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.” Also, the Bible states in Revelation 21:8: “But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.”
Now that is bad news, but here’s the good news. Jesus Christ said in John 3:16: “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” Just believe in your heart that Jesus Christ died for your sins, was buried, and rose from the dead by the power of God for you so that you can live eternally with Him. Pray and ask Him to come into your heart today, and He will.
Romans 10:9 & 13 says, “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved… For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”
If you believe that Jesus Christ died on the cross for your sins, was buried, and rose from the dead, and you want to trust Him for your salvation today, please pray with me this simple prayer: Holy Father God, I realize that I am a sinner and that I have done some bad things in my life. I am sorry for my sins, and today I choose to turn from my sins. For Jesus Christ sake, please forgive me of my sins. I believe with all of my heart that Jesus Christ died for me, was buried, and rose again. I trust Jesus Christ as my Savior and I choose to follow Him as Lord from this day forward. Lord Jesus, please come into my heart and save my soul and change my life today. Amen.
If you believed in your heart that Jesus Christ died on the cross, was buried, and rose again, allow me to say, congratulations on doing the most important thing in life and that is accepting Jesus Christ as your Lord and Saviour! For more information to help you grow in your newfound faith in Christ, go to Gospel Light Society.com and read “What To Do After You Enter Through the Door”. Jesus Christ said in John 10:9, “I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture.”
If you accepted Jesus Christ as your Savior today, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and let us know. There is some free material that we want to send you. If you have a prayer request, please e-mail that to us as well, and we will pray for you until you tell us to stop.
God loves you. We love you. And may God bless you.