BOOK-ENDS OF A 3 ˝ YEAR MINISTRY, AND A WONDERFUL STORY ‘TWEEN
(1 Sam 15:22) And Samuel said, Hath the LORD as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, as in obeying the voice of the LORD? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to hearken [Heb: give heed, mark (well), regard] than the fat of rams.
TWO WOODEN SHIPS ARE SENT FORTH BY GOD TO CATCH MEN
(Luke 5:1-3) And it came to pass, that, as the people pressed upon him to hear the word of God, he stood by the lake of Gennesaret [Heb: harp-shaped] [the sea of Galilee], And saw two ships [the Old Testament & the New Testament] standing by the lake: but the fishermen were gone out of them, and were washing their nets [i.e., preparing]. And he entered into one of the ships, which was Simon's [Heb: hearing], and prayed him that he would thrust out a little from the land. And he sat down, and taught the people out of the ship [the Old Testament].
(Luke 5:4-7) Now when he had left speaking [to the unsaved people standing on dry land, and the newly saved people standing in shallow water], he said unto Simon, Launch out into the deep [Gk: profundity; mystery: deep (-ness, things)], and let down your nets for a draught [Gk: a catch (of fish)]. And Simon answering said unto him, Master, we have toiled all the night, and have taken nothing: nevertheless at thy word I will let down the net. And when they had this done, they enclosed [rather than “caught”] a great multitude of fishes: and their net brake. And they [the brothers Simon and Andrew] beckoned unto their partners [the brothers James and John], which were in the other ship [the New Testament], that they should come and help them. And they came, and filled both the ships, so that they began to sink [i.e., both ships (testaments) have the capacity to save abundantly].
(Luke 5:8-11) When Simon Peter [Gk: a (piece of) rock] saw it, he fell down at Jesus' knees, saying, Depart from me; for I am a sinful man, O Lord [Simon Peter repented that he did not believe Jesus for the fish, and thus, for anything: John 3:3]. For he was astonished, and all that were with him, at the draught of the fishes which they had taken: And so was also James, and John, the sons of Zebedee, which were partners with Simon. And Jesus said unto Simon, Fear not; from henceforth thou shalt catch men. And when they had brought their ships to land, they forsook all, and followed him.
GREAT SUCCESS IS ACHIEVED ONLY THROUGH OBEDIENCE
(John 21:1-4) After these things [His death, burial, and resurrection] Jesus showed himself again to the disciples at the sea of Tiberias [Lat: so named after a Roman emperor] [the sea of Galilee]; and on this wise showed he himself. 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 [i.e., seven disciples altogether]. 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. But when the morning [Gk: day-dawn] [the “morning star” Rev 2:28; 22:16] was now come, Jesus stood on the shore: but the disciples knew not that it was Jesus.
(John 21:5,6) Then Jesus saith unto them, Children, have ye any meat [Gk: something eaten in addition to bread, i.e. a relish (spec. fish)]? They answered him, No. 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.
(John 21:7-11) Therefore that disciple whom Jesus loved [John referring to himself] saith unto Peter, It is the Lord [love recognizes love: Lot in the gate and the two angels]. Now when Simon [hearing] Peter [piece of the rock] heard that it was the Lord, he girt his fisher's coat unto him, (for he was naked,) and did cast himself into the sea [reminiscent of Jonah]. And the other disciples came in a little ship [the Epistles]; (for they were not far from land, but as it were two hundred cubits,) dragging [Gk: trailing] the net with fishes. As soon then as they were come to land, they saw a fire of coals there, and fish laid thereon, and bread. Jesus saith unto them, Bring of the fish which ye have now caught. Simon Peter [obediently] went up, and drew the net to land full of great fishes, an hundred and fifty and three: and for all there were so many, yet was not the net broken.