Simon Peter said to them, “I am going fishing.” They said to him, “We will go with you.” They went out and got into the boat, but that night they caught nothing. Just as day was breaking, Jesus stood on the shore; yet the disciples did not know that it was Jesus. Jesus said to them, “Children, do you have any fish?” They answered him, “No.” He said to them, “Cast the net on the right side of the boat, and you will find some.” So they cast it, and now they were not able to haul it in, because of the quantity of fish. That disciple whom Jesus loved therefore said to Peter, “It is the Lord!” When Simon Peter heard that it was the Lord, he put on his outer garment, for he was stripped for work, and threw himself into the sea. The other disciples came in the boat, dragging the net full of fish, for they were not far from the land, but about a hundred yards off. When they got out on land, they saw a charcoal fire in place, with fish laid out on it, and bread. Jesus said to them, “Bring some of the fish that you have just caught.” So Simon Peter went aboard and hauled the net ashore, full of large fish, 153 of them. And although there were so many, the net was not torn.
The disciples were going back to work they knew, they were blue collar guys. They spent the night fishing, and they caught nothing but rubber tires and candy wrappers. Then they hear someone who they have never met before yell at them from the shore to move the net just a few feet and try fishing again. They listened, and instantly the net was filled with large fish to the point that they could hardly haul it in. John knew that it was Jesus right away because this had happened before (Luke 5:1-11) and exclaimed it because he could not contain himself.
Could Jesus have intervened sooner? And couldn’t he have snapped his fingers and made the fish appear in the net without the disciples going through the fishing process again?
Yes, Jesus could have done both of those things. But he didn’t. They needed to spend the night in futility. They also needed to have faith. Jesus worked a miracle in their working and faithful obedience.
He can miraculously transform and redeem any tough experience we have in a split second. Sometimes he does. But he often doesn’t. It is our job to stay faithful knowing that he is able to do anything at any time.
And when he does act, we will know he is the Lord and we will throw ourselves into the ocean to chase after him.