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Daniel of Doulogos Name:Daniel
Home: Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada
About Me: I used to believe that evolution was reasonable, that homosexuality was genetic, and that people became Christians because they couldn't deal with the 'reality' that this life was all there was. I used to believe, that if there was a heaven - I could get there by being good - and I used to think I was more or less a good person. I was wrong on all counts. One day I finally had my eyes opened and I saw that I was not going to go to heaven, but that I was certainly going to suffer the wrath of God for all my sin. I saw myself as a treasonous rebel at heart - I hated God for creating me just to send me to Hell - and I was wretched beyond my own comprehension. Into this spiritual vacuum Jesus Christ came and he opened my understanding - delivering me from God's wrath into God's grace. I was "saved" as an adult, and now my life is hid in Christ. I am by no means sinless, but by God's grace I am a repenting believer - a born again Christian.
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Tuesday, May 13, 2008
Fishing for truth
In the gospels we read about Christ ministering to a crowd on the shore of the lake of Gennesaret. Recall that Simon (Peter) had been fishing all night long on one of the boats present at the time, and hadn't caught a thing, and now the boats stood empty on the shore, as the men who made their living fishing these waters were on the shore washing their empty nets.

Recall that Christ got into one of the boats (Simon's) and asked to be set out a little from the land. Christ then preached to the people gathered there, and when He had concluded He turned to Simon and bade him to put down his nets into the deep and pull in a catch of fish.

What a picture. Simon, with all the authority of a [1] a professional fisherman, [2] a man intimately familiar with the lake, and [3] someone who had spent the whole night fruitlessly fishing these very shores,, Simon began to explain to this Rabbi the unlikelihood of them catching any fish at this time.

Yet when Simon decided to humor the request something happened: Every fish in the lake of Gennesaret spontaneously decided to jump into Simon's net.

Question: Did Christ have anything to do with the fish jumping into Simon's net, or was it just that Christ had knowledge that a bunch of fish would jump into Simon's net?

Can you picture the impact this would have had on Christ saying, "I will make you a fisher of men?" I mean, Christ tells him to let the net down after a night of nothing - and suddenly, even though Simon has fished these waters all his life and knows that this is not the time to be fishing - even though Simon knows that they will not catch anything - yet he obeys and the nets are full to bursting - then Christ hits him with the "I will make you a fisher of men" line... I mean, I don't wonder that Simon (Peter) said, "Depart from me, for I am a sinful man, O Lord!" - I think Simon was saying, I can't be a fisher of men, I am a great big sinner. I mean Moses had his excuses when God commissioned him, so here I think we are seeing Simon's reaction. What me?? Um, I can't!

Yet the fact that the fish had filled the net, not according to Simon's fishing prowess, but according to the sovereign authority of God - it stood to reason that if Christ could fill that empty fishing net he could certainly make a sinner like Simon into a fisher of men. Do you see how that would have been an undeniable impetus?

Simon was a fisherman, but the fish didn't fill his net because of his great fishing ability. In fact, all his fishing wisdom counted for nothing in this catch. The lesson, for Simon at least, was that it wasn't his fishing ability that would catch the fish, it was Christ who would put the fish in the net (metaphorically speaking of course).

Did the fish have free will? Of course they did. But they used that free will to respond in exactly the way Christ intended them to respond to his call. They came, they jumped in the nets, and filled them to bursting - not because they were zombies, but because when God calls, who can resist?

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posted by Daniel @ 12:37 PM  
5 Comments:
  • At 8:29 AM, May 14, 2008, Blogger Chris said…

    I read your posts all the time Doug.
    They are discerning, insightful and inspiring.

    Keep it up!

    Chris

     
  • At 8:53 AM, May 14, 2008, Blogger Daniel said…

    Chris, my name is Daniel... lol.

     
  • At 8:36 AM, May 15, 2008, Blogger Chris said…

    Opp's .... sorry daniel

     
  • At 11:42 AM, May 16, 2008, Blogger Jim said…

    Why do I get the feeling this post is not really about fish jumping into a net? ~:)

    Interesting angle however, I appreciate the background surrounding Peter's response to Jesus here. It should be a comfort to us in knowing that Christ is more than able to accomplish His purposes.

     
  • At 12:20 PM, May 16, 2008, Blogger Daniel said…

    Jim, that is an excellent way of stating it. For we are called for a purpose.

    Sometimes people wonder why God calls some and not others - as though grace was something that God was obliged to give everyone (in which case grace would not be grace), but they needn't wonder, scripture makes it very plain - we are called according to His purpose.

    God's choice is not arbitrary, but purposed. He has a plan, and the choices He makes are made to bring that plan into perfect fruition. We do well to teach that man in no way merits God's choice - but that doesn't mean that God's choice is random or without design. It means that His choice is not founded upon anything we've done, are doing, or will do - but is founded upon his own design and purpose.

    You are correct Jim, the post is not entirely about fish jumping into the net. It is about [1] our reliance on God's sovereignty in all things, and [2] God's sovereignty in election. :^)

     
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