Devotionals

Fishing Tales and Miracles in the Bible

6 Mins read

Jesus loved to fish. Though He was a carpenter by trade, He was often found on the Sea of Galilee fishing with the disciples. Something about the lake is peaceful and calming, but Jesus almost always used His excursions as a teaching lesson for those around Him.

The Sea of Galilee was a famous fishing spot for more than 5,000 years. It was until April of 2010 that local authorities banned fishing. The fish in the area were infected with a virus, and the tilapia in the lake were tainted and unable to be consumed.

To save the stock in the lake, officials released over a million healthy fish into the sea in 2013. While it’s called a sea in the Bible and today, it’s nothing more than a lake. However, it’s a very fierce lake as it’s shallow, and storms pop up quickly. Another interesting fact is that this is made of fresh water and not salt. The 13-mile-long area is also called Lake of Gennesaret by the locals.

Fishing in Bible Days

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The significance of these waters is that it’s been a huge source of food for the area since Biblical times. Fishing was a favorite pastime, and it’s a profitable industry. You might recall that Peter, Andrew, James, and John were all fishermen by trade, and they made a good living by selling their catch.

They lived in Capernaum and went out continuously on their boat to fish for profit. Though it doesn’t seem much to you today, it was quite an accomplishment back in these days, as most of the people in the land did menial labor to pay the bills. Though most lakes today are populated with numerous types of fish, the apostles were only interested in catfish, carp, and tilapia.

It’s only natural that Jesus used fishing and the sea to teach others. These waters often became the location of great miracles in the Bible. Interestingly, the word fishing is used 68 times, so it certainly was important to the Lord.

Empty Nets Equals Desperate Fishermen

It’s devastating to spend a day out on the water and not bring in anything. However, that’s precisely what happened to the disciples. Peter, Andrew, James, and John were having no luck, and they were getting desperate as they didn’t have one fish in their nets.

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It should be noted that they haven’t met Jesus up until this point, and they weren’t His disciples yet. However, Jesus is about to call them to His service after showing them how He can change their lives. Jesus saw them hauling in their nets and noticed that they hadn’t caught anything. The men were fishing all night and didn’t catch one thing.

Jesus told them to go out again and cast their nets on the other side of the boat. The men were reluctant because they were tired and didn’t have any luck with all the time they had already spent on the lake. Disgruntled and having nothing more to lose, they tried what they were told to see what would happen.

They cast down their net and brought it back up. The net was so full of fish that the net nearly broke as they tried to get it into the boat. They knew then that there was something special about this man, and they were intrigued.

Jesus asked these four guys to come and follow Him, as He desired to make them fishers of men. From this day on, they become His disciples. How often do you face financial hardships and don’t turn to God for help.?

It would have been so easy for these men to go home defeated and not take a chance on this man, but something in them told them to trust Him. Their story became different when they learned that he was the Master of the Sea, and the winds, waves, and even the fish obeyed His every command.

Peter Walks on the Water

It was another lovely day on the Sea of Galilee fishing, and the disciples were fishing. They saw something out on the water walking toward them. Naturally, they were afraid as nothing should be out walking water. They were sure they saw a ghost, but it was the Master.

Jesus told them not to be afraid because it was only Him. Peter wasn’t buying that explanation. So, he told Jesus in Matthew 14:28 that if he was indeed the Son of God, He should bid him to also walk on water. Peter stepped over the edge of the boat, and to his amazement, he was able to walk towards Christ without sinking.

Soon, his nerves got the best of him, and he got his eyes off Jesus and saw the waves crashing around him. As Peter began to sink, He cried out for the Lord to save him in Matthew 14:30-3. Jesus came to him and pulled him out of the water, and He helped him get safely into the boat.

The moral of this story is that when you get your eyes off Christ and put it on the things around you, you will surely sink. Peter was doing fine as long as He kept his goal of getting to the Master, but once he lost focus, he started drowning.

When What You Have Isn’t Enough – God Will Still Use It

Another miracle surrounding fish occurred in Matthew 14:13-21. Jesus was teaching a crowd of people of about 5,000 men, which didn’t include women and children. It was late in the afternoon, and Jesus had compassion for the crowd because they had gone all day without anything to eat.

So, Jesus asked the disciples if they had anything that could be used to feed the people. A little boy from the crowd came to Jesus and volunteered to share his lunch with the group. The only problem was that he only had five loaves of bread and some fish, which wasn’t nearly enough for two people, let alone such a crowd.

Jesus saw his faith, and he took his lunch and blessed it. He began breaking the bread and fish and told his disciples to hand them out to the people. The bread and fish multiplied, and the people ate until they could eat no more.

Twelve baskets of leftovers came from the five loaves and two little fish. God can increase whatever you offer Him and put into His hands. Though you might think it’s nothing, it’s something to the Master. You must be broken so that God can multiply in use you in ways you never dreamed possible.

Jesus Has a Fish Fry with His Friends

Jesus died, was buried, and rose again. He walked the earth a second time for 40 days before He ascended. The disciples found the resurrected Christ on the seashore, kindling a fire.

Jesus asked them if they had anything to eat, and they didn’t have anything to give. So, Jesus told them to go into the sea and cast out their nets. Once again, the nets were full, and Jesus fried fish seaside with His friends.

He took this opportunity to tell them what would happen and of His Father’s plan. This was a turning point as He opened the disciples’ eyes to the scripture. The disciples were weary as they just watched Jesus go through all this suffering, and now He is telling them that he’s going to leave again.

However, Jesus promised that He would send a comforter in His name that would come to walk with them. In Acts 2:1-38, the Holy Ghost fell in the upper room on all who inhabited the house. Once again, Jesus uses fish to usher in another significant part of His life story, but this time He was cooking it for his friends.

Isn’t it amazing that fishing is still a favorite pastime and primary industry today? Though you’re unlikely to see anyone walking on water or turning five loaves and some fish to feed a crowd, there’s something magical about the water. Is it any wonder that so many people go to the water’s edge for vacation? Even the Lord felt passionate about it.

Prayer to be Fishers of Men

Lord, help me have a burden for those who wander aimlessly on the seas of life. Help me cast out my nets to a lost and dying world that desperately needs to know You. Remind me, dear Lord, that You will supply all my needs no matter how grim things look. You will always multiply what I give to You in faith. Let me be a light to others of Your love and kindness all the days of my life. Amen

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