The Jesus Effect, Part 2 (Just Jesus Evangelistic Campaign, Day 364)
TEXT: John 21:4-11:
4 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.
9 As soon then as they were come to land, they saw a fire of coals there, and fish laid thereon, and bread.
10 Jesus saith unto them, Bring of the fish which ye have now caught.
11 Simon Peter went up, and drew the net to land full of great fishes, an hundred and fifty and three: and for all there were so many, yet was not the net broken.
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 364.
Charles Spurgeon said, “Christ’s presence, if He would but come among us in the fullness of His strength, would do so much more for us than anything that we have ever seen that we would be just as astounded by the increase as the apostles were by the great draught of fishes. Christ had but to will it, and the fish came swimming in shoals to the net, and he has but to will it, and souls will be converted by millions to Himself and His gospel.”
In our last message, we saw that Peter, John, and five of their fellow disciples decided to go fishing while they were waiting for Jesus to come to them in Galilee. This was not necessarily a shameful or sinful action in that they were not abandoning Jesus or the ministry. It was most likely simply one of necessity. Unfortunately, the disciples fished all night and did not catch one fish. When a Man appears on the shore and tells them to cast the net on the other side of the boat, they do so, and they haul in a marvelous catch. What can we learn from the aftermath of this miracle?
First, we must recognize and rejoice in the presence of Jesus. When the disciples received the incredible haul of fish, they knew that God had intervened. Perhaps, they were reminded of a similar miracle that Jesus had performed some time before. The Bible says John was the first to recognize that it was Jesus on the shore. He “saith unto Peter, It is the Lord.” And when “Simon Peter heard that it was the Lord, he girt his fisher’s coat unto him, (for he was naked) [not completely naked, but ‘stripped for work’] and did cast himself into the sea.” These two disciples, who were also the first at the tomb on the morning of the Resurrection, recognized that this was not just a Man on the shore, but the Savior Himself. Perhaps with the scarcity of Jesus’ presence, and His frequent coming and going, they were all the more glad that He had shown up as He said He would. It appears that they were more excited that Jesus was there than they were about the miracle that He had directed them to receive. This ought to be our attitude as well. We ought to crave Jesus’ presence in our personal life, in our family life, in our churches, in our workplace, and in our communities. When Jesus is in the midst, great things will happen.
Second, we must understand that the service we render to Jesus is a privilege, not a necessity. Verse 9 says, “As soon then as they were come to land, they saw a fire of coals there, and fish laid thereon, and bread.” Jesus did not need the disciples to catch any fish. He already had fish; He already had bread; He already had breakfast prepared. He is self-sufficient and all-sufficient. Yet, He says to the disciples, “Bring of the fish which ye have now caught.” This tells us that Jesus invites us to participate in His work. It is a privilege for us to work alongside Him. Jesus could have finished making breakfast all by Himself, but He invited the disciples to participate in the blessing of service. We ought to want to serve in whatever capacity the Lord has placed us in. We have received salvation and an inheritance from Him, and we ought to want to give back to His kingdom through our service to fellow believers and the unsaved world. Just as the disciples were to take of their catch of fish in order to make a meal, we ought to take of the blessings that God has bestowed upon us in order to bless others.
Third, we must realize that if we want spiritual success, we must obey Jesus. Notice verse 11: “Simon Peter went up, and drew the net to land full of great fishes, an hundred and fifty and three: and for all there were so many, yet was not the net broken.” This miraculous catch of fish is just a microcosm of what happens when we obey Jesus and tap into the abundance that is in Jesus Christ. Apparently, 153 fish caught in one net at the same time was far more than the fishermen-disciples were used to seeing. On top of that, they were “great,” that is very large, fish. The spectacular catch was so great that the fishermen expected the net to break under the strain, but it did not. As Solomon wrote, when the Lord blesses, He “adds no sorrow to it.”
Many commentators have speculated as to what the meaning of this event was. Was John simply telling us what happened? Or was there some deeper meaning that we are intended to grasp? Almost all commentators agree that this miracle of an abundant catch of fish served to prepare and remind the disciples of what was most important in the days ahead. After Jesus’ ascension, we never hear of the disciples fishing again. Instead, they truly became fishers of men. Their full-time job was catching souls in the net of the Gospel, hauling them out of the Sea of Sin and onto the Shore of Salvation, so that they might dine with the Savior.
In this new employment capacity, they (and us) need to remember the three lessons we have learned from this miracle. First, that no matter what is happening — whether we have made a ‘great catch’ or not — our joy, abundance, and vitality is found solely in the person of Christ, not in anything that is going on around us. Second, that service to Christ and service with Christ is a blessing and a privilege not a right or a necessity, thus we should never become discouraged or bitter when bad things happen or when things do not work out the way we might have planned. Third, that any true spiritual success can only be found in Jesus Christ, thus we must do things His way. So, when He tells us to cast the net on the other side, we do so eagerly, knowing that great things happen when we obey the Lord.
As Fanny Crosby wrote:
To God be the glory, great things He hath done,
So loved He the world that He gave us His Son,
Who yielded His life our redemption to win,
And opened the life-gate that all may go in.
Great things He hath taught us, great things He hath done,
And great our rejoicing through Jesus the Son;
But purer, and higher, and greater will be
Our wonder, our transport when Jesus we see.
God has great things planned for you as well. You can join the ranks of those who sing, to God be the glory,’ by believing on Jesus Christ and the great work He has done on the cross.
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.