John 21.1-3 cont.
1 After these things Jesus showed Himself again to the disciples by the sea of Tiberias, in addition He showed Himself in this way.
2 Simon Peter and Thomas (the one called Didymus, twin) and Nathanael, the one from Cana of Galilee, the sons of Zebedee, and two other disciples of Him were together.
3 Simon Peter said to them: “I’m going to fish”. They said to him: “We are also coming with you”. So they went into the boat, but that night they caught nothing.
That night they caught nothing. We know that there is another incident where this happened when the disciples went fishing:
5 And Simon answered Him: “Master we have worked hard throughout the whole night and caught nothing; but at Your words I will let down the nets.
On both occasions the hard work of the disciples had proved fruitless. Perhaps these were not isolated incidents. Fishermen still have those days and nights when they catch very little, or nothing at all.
It is a common experience to us all to work hard at something and achieve very little, perhaps even nothing at all.
This can be particularly true within Christian ministry. Many have worked hard amongst people; faithfully sowing the word of God; diligently pasturing the flock in their care. Yet it appears that there has been no fruit for their labours, no harvest that they have reaped.
This may happen to many of us, working all night, but apparently to no avail.
However, the word of God always achieves what He sends it out to do.
It is the same with My word. I send it out, and it always produces fruit. It will accomplish all I want it to, and it will prosper everywhere I send it – Isaiah 55.1 (NLT).
In the economy of God all things produce the harvest that He desires. There is nothing that we do in the service of Jesus that is meaningless or fruitless. It is true that we may not reap that harvest, but somebody will. We can be assured of this through these words of Isaiah.
37 For in this is the saying true that one sows and another reaps.
38 I have sent you to reap for what you have not worked hard for; others have worked hard for it and you have benefitted (entered into) from their hard work – John 4. 37-38.
The disciples may have worked hard all night, but under the direction of Jesus they reaped a haul of fish, turning their disappointment in to joy.
Let us not be disappointed when we work hard yet see little or no reaping. Let us know that we do reap what we have not sown, and others will reap what we have sown. This is God’s guarantee.