With God, things never go backward, never get worse; only forward and better.
John 21:6 – And he said unto them, Cast the net on the right side of the ship, and ye shall find. They cast therefore, and now they were not able to draw it for the multitude of fishes.
Today we continue looking at the covenant shift between the Old and New Covenants that is beautifully revealed in comparing our Text for Today and the Luke 5 passage dealing with the first draught of fish. In both instances, we find that Peter, along with a group of disciples had fished all night and caught nothing. Let us look more deeply today and consider the issue of NETS.
In the Luke 5 passage, the fishermen were ashore washing their nets after the nights failed fishing. After Jesus had used one of Peter’s boats as a teaching platform, He instructed Peter to “launch out into the deep.” You see, at this time, neither Peter nor any of his partners had been engaged in ministry at all. They had not gone into the “sea of humanity to become fishers of men.” Note closely in the Luke 5 passage that Jesus, upon instructing Peter to “launch out into the deep,” also said “let down your NETS.” What is so significant about this command is the fact that Peter only let down ONE NET. Is it possible that Peter’s failure to be fully compliant here caused the problem of “broken net” and fish getting away? When you consider that in the Old Covenant, there were more than 600 laws to be obeyed, and how easy it would be to fail in one of them, thus causing broader failure, it certainly seems so. Note, too, that Peter was commanded to “let down” his nets, not cast them out as in the John passage. At the time of the first draught of fish, Jesus had not been sent unto the world, but only unto the lost sheep of the house of Israel; thus, a very limited scope of what the net of the Old Covenant could encompass.
But in the John passage, things were different. The boat in question was already about 100 yards from shore; this AFTER the resurrection of Jesus. Peter and his companions had already been engaged in the work of being “fishers of men.” Note, too, that on this occasion, Jesus commanded them to “cast the net.” To “cast” goes far beyond “let down.” No longer was the message to the house of Judah alone, but is now to “all the world” and “every creature.” And look once again at the “broken net” of the first draught, but a net that held under that load of the second draught. What a beautiful example of the power of the New Covenant that surpasses the power of the Old Covenant. Where the Old Covenant could not hold safely and for eternity those who entered into it, those who will come into the open net of the New Covenant can rest assured of being held safely, eternally, and with full blessing.
Manna for Today – John 21:1-14; Luke 5:1-7; Matthew 4:19; Mark 1:17