Simon Peter said to them, I go a fishing. They say to him, We also go with you. They went forth, and entered into a ship immediately…
I. A PERSONAL DETERMINATION — "I go." The Church and the world need such men. Men with will and energy, who dare to strike out a course of action for themselves and face opposition. Where would the Church be to-day but for such men as Luther, and Knox, and Wesley? And where the world? We especially need such men now. We have got into the lazy, slovenly habit of waiting for one another. We see things that need to be done, but we wait until some one should take the lead. And so our Church life has little vitality and force.
II. THE FORCE OF EXAMPLE. "We also go with thee." These men were not prepared for anything, they had no plans, but were just waiting for some one to "break the ice." You have no idea how much good you would do if you would speak decidedly for Jesus; many would be prepared to listen, and to follow. Men are always influenced by truth, spoken with calmness and determination.
III. IMMEDIATE ACTION. "They went forth," &c. They did not talk about going, and stand still after all. This again is a want. We meet with men who have plenty of directions to give, but they never act. "Ah!" says one, "there ought to be more teachers in that school." Quite right; but do you teach? "What a pity there are not more tract distributors." So it is; but are you one? Let us learn to act as well as speak.
IV. THE FISHERMEN'S FAILURE. We determine; we sometimes act upon the determination; and the result is simply — failure. "Night and nothing." I have said, "I will preach from such a text; I will give my soul to it," and then, what a failure it has been, and I have gone home and vowed I would never preach again. Has it not been so with you, teacher? Christian worker?
V. THE FISHERMEN'S SUCCESS. Throughout the darkness do we toil until the morning comes — and we see Jesus. Then success attends all we do, and our souls are filled with joy.
1. Jesus is often near to us when we little think it. We have only to stretch out our hand through the darkness, and we shall find Him.
2. We often see Him, but yet we do not know Him. Love only can recognize and realize the Lord.
VI. WHAT IS IT THAT MAKES ALL THIS DIFFERENCE BETWEEN FAILURE AND SUCCESS?
1. The presence of Jesus.
2. Listening to the voice of Jesus (ver. 5).
3. Obeying the command of Jesus (ver. 6).
(A. F. Barfield.)
Parallel VersesKJV: 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.