Let’s go fishing! I can remember going fishing a few times as a child and although I probably wouldn’t admit it as a kid, but I enjoyed it. I especially enjoyed reeling the fish in. Baiting the hook was not my favorite thing to do. I usually tried to get someone else to put the worm on the hook and clean the fish for me though. Then when my kids were little we took them fishing a few times until we got busy with school and other commitments. I remember my boys thinking it was great fun to reel the fish in too. And of course, it’s exciting when you actually catch something. It can be a bit disheartening when you fish and fish and the fish just aren’t biting! We always fished with fishing poles, never nets. I wonder what it would have been like to fish with a net as Jesus’ disciples did? Poles or nets, if you don’t catch anything, it’s not much fun.
Jesus‘ disciples had been fishing all night and caught nothing. Absolutely nothing! I would have quit after an hour or two, but they persisted. Of course, at least a few of the disciples were career fishermen. They knew how to fish! Still after fishing all night, they were ready to call it quits. The fish were just not there that day. Do you ever feel like that? You get your fishing pole or net out. You put out the bait trying to lure the fish and yet you have nothing to show for your efforts. At some point, it’s time to say, “Enough!” Then Jesus calls from the shore, “Put your nets on the other side.” And miraculously, when the disciples did, they had large catch of fish. So many fish that they were barely able to get the catch to shore. Jesus made the difference.
Like the disciples, our own efforts often fall short, even when we think we know what we’re doing. The disciples were certainly not newcomers to fishing. They knew how to fish. However knowing how to fish and catching fish aren’t the same thing. It took Jesus‘ presence to change the outcome.
I wonder, “Why did the disciples decide to listen to the man on the shore and put their nets in the water again?” They didn’t know yet that it was Jesus and yet they obeyed. Did they have an idea that it was Jesus? Had they learned from the miracles they had witnessed in their years with Jesus that it never hurts to trust and try again? After all as the saying goes, “Nothing ventured, nothing gained.” So they did. They cast their nets out one more time with an amazing results. How about you? Are you in? Come fishing with me. Let’s go fishing for people. Maybe like me, you’ve been trying to “fish” and feel like you haven’t caught much, but don’t stop now. Ask Jesus to help you. Ask Him where He wants you to cast your net and then do it. Bathe your “fishing” in prayer and see what happens. When we fish with Jesus, the results are amazing.
PARENT OR GRANDPARENT PRAYER: Dear Jesus, I do sometimes become discouraged with my catch of “fish.” I try so hard in my own efforts and fall short. I want to try your plan. Show me where to throw in my nets. Show me how to fish for people. Like the disciples, may I not become discouraged when it seems that the fish are just not biting, but remind me that you are there with me and if I try just one more time, there will be a catch. It’s not my efforts that make the difference. It’s you, Jesus. It’s your presence in my life that attracts the “fish”. Teach me to listen for your voice and respond. Maybe it’s that nudge to call a friend and invite him/her to church or when I hear someone say they are having a rough time, that inner voice that says, “Pray for them.” Wherever I go, help me to not ignore your promptings, but to listen and obey. I don’t know what prompted the disciples to listen to your voice and respond. They responded before they were sure it was you. Then they knew. They knew that only you could give them the miraculous catch. Teach me to respond Jesus, even when I’m not sure, even when my reasoning questions, “Is that really God speaking or is it me?” Teach me to be brave, to get my nets ready even when I’m tempted to give up. Who knows, today might well be the day that I make that catch. Show us Lord, how to fish for people. Amen.
- FISHING WITH JESUS
Ask Jesus where to put your nets – Who can you talk to about your faith? Where should you concentrate your efforts? Who are you influencing? Who has crossed your path recently? Jesus is a master fisherman. he knows where the fish are biting, which bait is working and how to cast the nets.
Sometimes the best bait is your own story. What has Jesus done for you?
Jesus was relational. He met the disciples where they were at – the shore, fishing. He told them where to cast their nets and fixed breakfast for them. The disciples knew who He was by what He did. ‘Fish’ (people) gravitate to relationships.
- FISHING WITH KIDS
Kids are eager to share their good news. Listen to them. Encourage their sharing. Be excited when they share Jesus.
Do things to help others with your kids – let them see you giving and encourage their giving in the name of Jesus.
Invite your kids friends over for a play date and as you can, let Jesus be a part of that. It can be as a simple prayer at lunch or snack time or even how your react to the squabbles, owes, etc, that might arise. Let your kids invite their friends to listen to Kid’s Church online or even tell someone that Jesus loves you. Just let your light shine!
What Can You Do With Your Child?
Fishing With Jesus – John 21 – Share A Story
One day some of Jesus’ friends decided to go fishing. They fished and fished and fished, but they didn’t catch anything. They fished all night long and still when they pulled their nets in, there was nothing in them, not even one tiny fish.
Early in the morning, Jesus stood along the shore and called out to them, “Friends, do you have any fish?” “No!” they said. They didn’t know it was Jesus. Jesus told them, “Throw your nets out again on the right side of the boat; then you will find some fish.” They threw their net into the water one more time and… guess what happened? Their net was so full of fish, they couldn’t even pull it into the boat! Then they knew it was Jesus on the shore.
Peter was so happy that he jumped into the water and swam to shore. When they got to shore, Jesus was cooking breakfast. He said, “Bring some fish and come, have breakfast with me.” Peter climbed back into the boat and pulled the net onto the shore. They had caught 153 large fish! That’s a lot!
Jesus cooked fish and bread for breakfast because He wanted to spend time with His friends. After they finished eating, Jesus asked Peter, “Do you love me?“ Peter said, “Yes!“ Three times Jesus asked Peter and three times, Peter said, “Yes!“ Jesus wanted Peter to take care of other people who loved Him too. He wanted Peter to take care of His “lambs, His sheep.” He loved Peter and had a job for Peter to do.
Jesus wanted His friends to know that He was alive and that He loved them. He wanted them to know that He would be their forever friend. Jesus wants to be your friend also. He loves you and has things that you can do as you follow Him. If you want to follow Jesus and have Him as your forever friend, all you have to do is ask.
MEMORIZE: Matthew 4:19 NIV (Hold hands as though holding a book.)
Come – (Beckon with hands)
Follow me – (Walk in place)
Me – (Point upwards.)
Jesus said – (Touch finger of one hand to palm and then do
the same with the other hand. For said, touch fingers to mouth.)
THE MAIN IDEA
KNOW: Jesus wanted Peter to know that He was His friend. Jesus wants to be my forever friend.
TALK ABOUT: Jesus loves me!
ASK: Who is my forever friend? Jesus is my forever friend.
AND DO: I can follow Jesus. He has something for me to do.
FUN THINGS TO DO WITH YOUR CHILD:
* Talk to your friend Jesus everyday.
* If you have a plastic boat, talk about the story as your child plays in the bathtub. For more bath time fun, cut some simple fish shapes out of fun foam and give your child a piece of netting or a colander to fish with.
I’m happy because you are alive and want to be my friend forever. Thank you for loving me so much. I love you too. I want to tell others that you are alive and want to be their friend. I want to follow you. Amen