Filled with Fishes
Originally written by Charles H. Spurgeon, published in “Mornings & Evenings,” entry for October 8th, AM.
Updated to modern English by Darren Hewer, 2008.
Please open your Bible and read Luke 5:1-11.
We learn about the necessity of human action from the story of the fish and nets. The catch of fish was miraculous, yet the fisherman wasn’t ignored, and neither was his boat or his fishing tackle. All were used to catch the fishes as part of God’s miracle.
When people come to know the saving grace of God, He works through our ordinary methods. While people are not saved by our own efforts and are saved by God alone, God will be pleased by the “foolishness” of preaching to save anyone who might believe. God has selected a plan by which He is magnified all over the Earth through His work in us.
Human effort by itself is utterly futile: “Master, we’ve worked hard all night and haven’t caught anything,” said Peter (Luke 5:5) Why was their labor unproductive? These were fishermen plying their trade. They were not rookies, they understood the work. Did they labor unskillfully? No. Were they slacking off? No, they “worked hard”. Did they lack perseverance? No, they worked through the night. Were there no fish in the sea? There certainly were, for as soon as the Master came, they swam in great numbers to the nets.
Then what is the reason? It’s because there is no power in their actions apart from the presence of Jesus. “Apart from me,” Jesus says, “you can do nothing.” (John 15:5) But with Christ we can do all things.
Christ’s presence confers success. Jesus sat in Peter’s boat, and His will mysteriously drew the fish to the net. When Jesus is lifted up in His Church, His presence is the Church’s power. It’s the shout of the king. “I, when I am lifted up from the earth,” Jesus explains, “will draw all men to myself.” (John 12:32) Let’s go out today on our work of soul fishing, both looking up in faith and around us in solemn reverence. Let’s toil until night comes, and we know we won’t labor in vain, for He who admonishes us to let down the net will fill it with fishes.
Questions: Have you been struggling for success lately? Have your nets been found empty?