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  • Writer's pictureLarry Neville

Have you caught any FISH?

Jesus asks his disciples this simple question and it should be easy to answer. This is not a test. It is not a trick question. Jesus is not asking to this question to condemn them. Just a simple question, "Have you caught any fish?" Yet the answer to this question is critical for every follower of Jesus Christ.

After His resurrection, Jesus appeared to His disciples, but somewhere amidst this transformative period, Peter, one of the disciples, decided to go fishing. It’s important to understand that for Peter, fishing wasn’t a hobby; it was his profession. Despite witnessing Jesus after His resurrection, Peter found himself returning to his former trade. This wasn’t because he had forgotten the divine experience he had encountered; it was more likely because he was still processing the avalanche of events that had taken place over the past month.

` 1. Caught any Fish?

One day, after fishing all night without any luck, Peter and the disciples saw Jesus standing on the shore. In John chapter 21, verse 5, Jesus poses a simple yet powerful question to them: "Have you caught any fish?" This query is significant because it captures the essence of what it means to be a follower of Christ. It's not a test or a trick question, nor is it a form of condemnation. It's a straightforward inquiry into whether they are fulfilling their spiritual duties.

Understanding Jesus's question is vital for the church today, too. Whether it's church-planting, conducting worship, or holding conferences, everything we do boils down to how well we can answer this question: "Have you caught any fish?" It serves as a measure of whether we are indeed catching souls, making disciples, and expanding the Kingdom of God.

2. Cast your Net.

There's a paradox here: some people are so engrossed in the details of fishing—the gear, the techniques—that they never actually fish. It's similar to someone collecting cameras over the years without ever using them. These collectors know everything about the gadgets but never utilize them for their intended purpose. This is comparable to churches today that are equipped with the latest technology, conveniences, and strategies but are failing to grow by fishing for souls.

3. Are we Fishing in wrong Pond? Churches seem to be playing a game of musical chairs with believers, where the same folks just shuffle from one church to another. Where are the new faces? Where are the newly saved souls? We've got to stop simply 'recycling' believers and start bringing new fish into the boat.

We've got amazing tools these days to aid our 'fishing'—from swanky church programs to social media platforms. But are we actually using them for their intended purpose? It's like having a fishing rod, line, and bait but never actually casting the line into the water.

4. Cast your net on the Right Side.

John 21:6 NLT “. . .Then he said, ‘Throw your net on the right-hand side of the boat, and you will get some.’”

5. There is a timing to every Harvest.

Proverbs 10:5, A wise youth harvests in the summer, but one who sleeps during harvest is a disgrace.

John 9:4, NKJV, “I must work the works of Him who sent Me while it is day; the night is coming when no one can work.”

6. The harvest will be Reaped or it will Rot.

Jeremiah 8:20 (NKJV) “The harvest is past, The summer is ended, And we are not saved!”

Overall, Jesus's question serves as a lens through which we can assess our actions and their effectiveness in fulfilling our ultimate calling: making disciples. It reminds us that while the methods and circumstances may change, the mission remains the same. Regardless of the season we're in, our overarching duty remains—to fish for souls. If we can produce a good weekly Sunday service, we ought to be able to produce effective outreach and disciple-making efforts.

Let's go FISHING.

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