There are some interesting elements in the John story seen when it is compared with the Luke story. These stories are not in parallel; they are different stories but each serves to highlight the other. There is much significance in the fact that the net did not break. It is interesting, years ago I read or heard comments about Luke 5 and the fact that the net broke in the King James text. The claim was that Jesus told them to cast out nets and they caste out a net. Hence the reason the net broke. But the original text in Greek doesn’t support this idea.
Do you notice something else? In both Luke and John there is a progression from fishing for fish to fishing for souls – in other words the reason why the Son of Man came. (Luke 19:10) The purpose of Jesus coming to earth was to seek and save the lost. That should be our focus too. Notice how both of these stories of fishing move from fishing to evangelism or to “catching men”. It is found within the story in Luke’s account. In John’s account it is in the segment that follows. Feed my lambs. Jesus also asks Peter, “Peter do you love Me, more than these?” More than what? Friends, work mates, his boats, family business etc. It is similar train of thought to what we find in Luke 5:11 – “and they left everything and followed Him.” // Peter do you love me more than these? – all of these trappings of life? If you do then catch His fish -i.e. lost souls. Feed His lambs. Fish, lambs: they are all representative of people who need saving, feeding and nurturing.
There is much more to comment on in all of this. It is a deep, symbolic section of scripture but it will suffice for us to focus on the matter of nets broken or not. Have a look at the Gems I wrote about the meaning of 153 fish from Gem 121 – Gem 125. In Gem 125 I listed the summary of what I talked about in the previous Gems.
- the Gematria of the sons of God adds up to 153,
- the sum of ordinal and divine perfection, Σn17, the factors of which are 17 x 9, [ordinal and divine perfection] x [finality, judgement, last days]
- fish represent Christians
- none of them were lost.
Do you see from this symbolism why it is important in the John fishing story that the nets are not broken? Because no one God earmarks for salvation will be lost. Therefore symbolically the net is not broken so no fish escape. In the Luke story the elements are arranged to emphasize the size of the catch; this catch was extraordinary so much so that ordinary measures could not contain it. Notice the following statements in Luke’s story.
And this time their nets were so full of fish they began to tear!
A shout for help brought their partners in the other boat, and soon both boats were filled with fish and on the verge of sinking.
Simon Peter . . . was awestruck by the number of fish they had caught, as were the others with him.
The nets breaking in this case emphasize the enormous number of fish they caught. In the John story the emphasis is on the final number of the redeemed at the end time judgement and that fact that all who God intends for redemption will be redeemed. I recommend you read through the series of Gems from 121 to 125 and ponder it some more. I haven’t included everything. There is more there to find. I have to leave something for you to find on your own. Oh you want another clue do you? Oh alright then, here is one – what is the significance of the “right side”?
The most important skill to acquire is learning how to learn.John Naisbitt
Success is not counted by how high you have climbed but by how many people you have brought with you.Casey Treat
Ask God each day: Here I am Lord. What can I do for You today? Who can I bless, who can I encourage?Joyce Meyer
You’ll find your LIFE’S CALLING at the intersection of your gifts & the needs around you that God wired you to care about.Rick Warren