They went out and immediately got into the boat, and that night they caught nothing.
It was a familiar scene. The disciples had been fishing all night, but caught nothing. Then they hear a voice from the shore call out, “Children, have you any food?” (John 21:5).
The word “children” used here could also be translated “boys.” Both terms would normally be used by a parent or an authority figure. I wonder if Peter thought, Who is he calling boys? We are men. Why is he even talking to us? It’s not his business.
But John, always the perceptive one, recognized that it was Jesus. But why did the Lord ask them this question? The point was to show them their own need. He wanted them to admit their failure: “We caught nothing.” It isn’t that this was the biggest failure you could ever have. After all, we have all had this happen when we have gone fishing. But Jesus was using their empty nets to illustrate a larger point.
God will do the same with us. Before we can find restoration, before we can find forgiveness, we have to admit our failure. That is really hard for some people. We don’t like to admit we have failed. It seems like more people are willing to say, “I’m sick” than “I’m sorry,” or “I have sinned.” We have become a nation of dysfunctional victims with all kinds of imaginary diseases. It seems like no one wants to take responsibility for their actions any more.
So to the disciples, the Lord said, “Did you catch anything?”
Before we can find God’s forgiveness, and indeed, His restoration, we must first admit our need. No excuses. No blaming others. Instead, just honest confession as we take responsibility for our own actions.
For more relevant and biblical teaching from Pastor Greg Laurie, go to www.harvest.org.
Copyright © 2006 by Harvest Ministries. All rights reserved.
Scripture taken from the New King James Version. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved. Bible text from the New King James Version is not to be reproduced in copies or otherwise by any means except as permitted in writing by Thomas Nelson, Inc., Attn: Bible Rights and Permissions, P.O. Box 141000, Nashville, TN 37214-1000.