The Great Presentation
John 21:1 “After these things Jesus
shewed himself again to the disciples at the sea of
Tiberias; and on this wise shewed he himself.
2 There were together Simon Peter, and Thomas called Didymus, and Nathanael of Cana in Galilee, and the sons of Zebedee, and two other of his disciples.
3 Simon Peter saith unto them, I go a fishing. They say unto him, We also go with thee. They went forth, and entered into a ship immediately; and that night they caught nothing.
4 But when the morning was now come, Jesus stood on the shore: but the disciples knew not that it was Jesus.
5 Then Jesus saith unto them, Children, have ye any meat? They answered him, No.
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.”
1. Old Men Old Ways
2. The Fruitless Run
3. The End Of Self
4. Under Full Power
1. Old Men Old Ways
The first part of verse three: “Simon Peter saith unto them, I go a fishing. They say unto him, We also go with thee.”
The disaster in the garden [when Judas sold out the Lord] resulted in the disciples scattering and being “locked in the dungeon of the Castle of Despair”.
Now, the “Castle of Despair” is right out of John Bunyan’s book: The Pilgrim’s Progress.
Whenever a true Believer “loses his footing” or “walks out of the way”, he, or she, becomes vulnerable to Giant Despair [the wiles of the Devil]. [Ephesians 6:11] “Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.”
The normal conditions in the Christian’s life [while in spiritual warfare] can result in him, or her, being “troubled” or “perplexed”, yet all the while, not “distressed”, or “in despair”. These two sets of conditions are different! The Christian stands victoriously “against the wiles of the devil” [even while “troubled” or in “perplexed”].
This TRUTH is shown [by the Spirit of God through the Apostle Pau]l in Second Corinthians chapter four, verse eight: “We are troubled on every side, yet not distressed; we are perplexed, but not in despair;” [2 Corinthians 4:8].
When a Christian succumbs to the wiles of the Devil, he becomes DISTRESSED, or worse, he falls into DESPAIR, it can be fatal. It behooves us to remember what Jesus said in Luke nine, verse sixty-two: “And Jesus said unto him, No man, having put his hand to the plough, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God.” [Luke 9:62]
Jesus is saying, in other words: once you are “saved” don’t look back longingly for the OLD MAN’S life.
Now, you may be asking yourself this: what does he mean by this “old man”?
Well, let me explain to you. We must, as believers in Jesus Christ, remember that “the old man” [old nature] is still within us. The “old man” did not die when we got saved [and got new life]. We need, therefore, to ever be on watch for any SLIPPAGE, for “the old man” inside of us will have us revert to his old ways!
Do you want the Holy Spirit’s chapter and verse for this? Read with me now in Ephesians chapter four, starting with verse twenty-two: “That ye put off concerning the former conversation the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts; And be renewed in the spirit of your mind; And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness.” [Ephesians 4:22-24]
We are to “put off” the old man and put on “the new man”.
When Peter said: “I go a fishing”, he was already in distress and already in total despair, which caused him to revert to his old life and his old interests.
When a believer in Jesus Christ is distressed, and gets entrapped [in despair], he will end up in with the OLD MAN … taking the OLD WAYS back to himself. This is a sad … sad story, but things can only go downward in a fruitless run from here for that Christian.
2. The Fruitless Run
The second part of verse three brings us to this: “They went forth, and entered into a ship immediately; and that night they caught nothing.”
Do you remember Israel’s forty years of the fruitless wanderings in the wilderness? Listen to me! They could have gone in to the land of PROMISE … only if they had believed in the PROMISES of GOD. Their UNBELIEF resulted in their going back [backsliding] to their old ways of murmuring and complaining about everything in life [which thing is the “old man” in us].
This brought the people of God to a condition of a virtual “lock-up” … to endure a fruitless run in a dry wilderness, just as it says in the book of Numbers chapter fourteen, verse thirty-four. Now, look with me there: “After the number of the days in which ye searched the land, even forty days, each day for a year, shall ye bear your iniquities, even forty years, and ye shall know my breach of promise.” [Numbers 14:34]
Now, the Spirit of God has something for all of us all here today … by way of a warning.
Brethren, we need to learn from the examples of those who have gone before us.
Now, open your Bible to the book of First Corinthians chapter ten, and we will read verse eleven. “Now all these things happened unto them for ensamples: and they are written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the world are come.” [1 Corinthians 10:11] The things that have happened to Israel … have become for us as examples to AVOID.
Further, we need to take this as our very own ADMONITION … so as to avoid all “the pitfalls” that are waiting all along the way to make the Christian FRUITLESS as he walks through this old world.
To sum it up, we need, brethren, to benefit from examples of others who have gone on before us, and avoid the mistakes they have made. We have been afforded by the illumination [by the Holy Ghost] of God’s Holy words … the very path we need to take in order to please HIM with WHOM we have to do. [Hebrews 4:13]
3. The End Of Self
Verse five: “Then Jesus saith unto them, Children, have ye any meat? They answered him, No.”
Jesus is saying here to HIS disciples: “Have you HIT the bottom yet … with all these SELF efforts?”
Do you not yet realize that ye can do nothing without me? [John 15:5] “I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.”
“Children, have ye any meat?”
Now, can you hear it? How these words must have sounded to these to these poor fruitless fishermen that day who were “down and out” in despair over the seemingly discouraging historical events of the last several days. The memories of their Lord and Savior being crucified on the cross, and being buried, was all too vivid I their minds.
The last forty-two months of their lives of walking with the LORD of GLORY seemed so forever gone to them. Peter’s “let’s go fishing” was the knee jerk reaction of the old flesh “in the bump in the road” for all these men … for “that night they caught nothing”.
For Peter, James, John, and company, the chickens had come home to roost so-to-speak, that night. They had come to the very end of themselves! Self accomplishes exactly nothing … at the end of the day. When will we all learn?
4. Under Full Power
Verse six: “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.”
Now, when we get to “the end of ourselves”, and realize, how fruitless we are without the LORD, then we are ready to give up our old ways [and all our vain efforts and plans], and to listen, and then, obey the LORD of Glory.
Do you see the lesson, here. We learn that Jesus has the best plans for us in order for us to “find” the fruitful way [“and ye shall find”].
Please turn in Bible to First Thessalonians chapter five, and let’s look at verse twenty-four. Are you ready for this? “Faithful is he that calleth you, who also will do it.” [1 Thessalonians 5:24]
Now, do you understand what this is saying to us?
This is the GREAT PRESENTATION to you!
When Jesus Christ is made known to you [“Faithful is he that calleth you”] you will be made aware of HIS PRESENCE in a moment by moment relationship whereby HE will accomplish the things in your life [“who also will do it”] that will reveal Jesus Christ in you. “To whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you, the hope of glory:” [Colossians 1:27].
We need to call to mind:
1. That we should not give place to the Devil [“the wiles of the Devil”].
2. That we should not give room for the “old man” to operate. Not one inch!
Or, the OLD MAN will only be too willing to go back to his OLD WAYS, and we will end up wasting our time wandering around “in the wildness” and totally unfruitful.
Now to review! The LORD wants to us learn from the BOOK that we need to live day to day as Christians abiding in the VINE.
The secret to this is to ABIDE within HIM. [John 15:4] “Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me.”
Do you truly KNOW Jesus Christ?
This is the great presentation to you! Amen!