Now it happened that while the crowd was pressing around Him and listening to the word of God, He was standing by the lake of Gennesaret; and He saw two boats lying at the edge of the lake; but the fishermen had gotten out of them and were washing their nets. And He got into one of the boats, which was Simon’s, and asked him to put out a little way from the land. And He sat down and began teaching the people from the boat. When He had finished speaking, He said to Simon, “Put out into the deep water and let down your nets for a catch.” Simon answered and said, “Master, we worked hard all night and caught nothing, but I will do as You say and let down the nets.” When they had done this, they enclosed a great quantity of fish, and their nets began to break; so they signaled to their partners in the other boat for them to come and help them. And they came and filled both of the boats, so that they began to sink. But when Simon Peter saw that, he fell down at Jesus’ feet, saying, “Go away from me Lord, for I am a sinful man!” For amazement had seized him and all his companions because of the catch of fish which they had taken; and so also were James and John, sons of Zebedee, who were partners with Simon. And Jesus said to Simon, “Do not fear, from now on you will be catching men.” When they had brought their boats to land, they left everything and followed Him.
After these things Jesus manifested Himself again to the disciples at the Sea of Tiberias, and He manifested Himself in this way. Simon Peter, and Thomas, and Nathanael of Cana in Galilee, and the sons of Zebedee, and two others of His disciples were together. Simon Peter said to them, “I am going fishing.” They said to him, “We will also come with you.” They went out and got into the boat; and that night they caught nothing. But when the day was now breaking, Jesus stood on the beach; yet the disciples did not know that it was Jesus. So Jesus said to them, “Children, you do not have any fish, do you?” They answered Him, “No.” And He said to them, “Cast the net on the right-hand side of the boat and you will find a catch.” So they cast, and then they were not able to haul it in because of the great number of fish. Therefore that disciple whom Jesus loved said to Peter, “It is the Lord.” So when Simon Peter heard that it was the Lord, he put his outer garment on (for he was stripped for work), and threw himself into the sea. But the other disciples came in the little boat, for they were not far from the land, but about one hundred yards away, dragging the net full of fish. So when they got out on the land, they saw a charcoal fire already laid and fish placed on it, and bread. Jesus said to them, “Bring some of the fish which you have now caught.” Simon Peter went up and drew the net to land, full of large fish, a hundred and fifty-three; and although there were so many, the net was not torn. Jesus said to them, “Come and have breakfast.” None of the disciples ventured to question Him, “Who are You?” knowing that it was the Lord.
Common aspects to these stories:
1. They are both stories about a fishing experience.
2. They are both stories about successful professional fisherman.
3. They are both stories about hard work and toil.
4. They are both stories about something that happened in the night season.
5. They are both stories of determination.
6. They are both stories about failure and an unsuccessful experience.
7. They are both stories about success that came after failure.
8. They are both stories about doing things without God.
9. In both stories the Lord arrives after the event.
10. They are both stories that include an instruction coming from Jesus.
11. They are both stories about a supernatural miracle.
12. They are both stories about a change of heart.
13. In both stories they recognised Jesus as God.
14. They are both stories about the presence of Jesus and the difference it made.
15. Both stories are stories in which all doubt is removed.
Differing aspects to these stories:
1. The first story occurred before the Disciples became Disciples and the other one occurred after they had been Disciples for some time.
2. The first story occurred prior to Jesus’ death and the second one occurred after His death and resurrection.
3. The first story had an unspecified great quantity of fish and the second had a specified great quantity of fish (153).
4. In the first story the nets broke and two boats were filled and almost sank, in the second story the nets were filled and they held and there was one small boat that made it to shore without problems.
5. In the one story Peter fell at His feet and asked Him to go away, in the second story Peter jumps out of the boat and swims to Jesus in an attempt to get close to Him as fast as possible.
6. In the first story we see a radical conversion and in the second story we see a radical response.
7. In the first story we see that people were amazed and in the second we see a realisation comes on the Disciples.
8. In the first story there was change in destiny (From now on you will be fishers of men) and in the second there was a change in understanding (revelation).
9. In the first story we see an instruction to be ‘fishers of men’ and in the second story we see an instruction to ‘feed my sheep’.
10. In the first story they followed Jesus and in the second story they sat and ate with Him.
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