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Ears that hear equal eyes that see

John 21:4-

  “ But when the morning had now come, Jesus stood on the shore: yet the disciples did not know that it was Jesus. Then Jesus said to them, ;children, have you any food?’ They answered Him ’No.’ and He said to them, ‘Cast the net on the right side of the boat, and you will find some.’ So they cast, and now they were not able to drag it in because of the multitude of fish. Therefore that disciple who Jesus loved {ie John} said to Peter, ‘ It is the Lord!’...”

After the Lord resurrected from the tomb and was just about to ascend to Heaven, He went to the shores of the sea of Galilee to see His disciples. They had decided to go fishing - this was what they had done before they began to follow the Lord, so it was a very natural inclination for them to return to the familiar. Their ability to catch fish was apparently very rusty since all night they caught none. Early the next morning, they saw a man on the shore, but they did not know that the man was Jesus. They could see him, but He must not have looked as they knew Him to look. The mystery man asked them if they had any food. Notice He did not ask them if they had any fish. Fish are not always food incidentally. They responded with an abrupt “No” because in their hearts, they assumed this man just wanted to “bum” food from them. At once the strange man told them to cast their nets on the right side of the boat. These were experienced fishermen and as such, they know that you cannot cast a net into the sea in the day time if you want to catch anything because the fish can see the net coming and will swim away from it. They obeyed, however, against their better judgement and reaped immediate success. As soon as they caught the fish, they knew that the man was Jesus. How did they know? What, in particular had changed their ability to recognize the Lord? 

    There are two points of reference that the Lord uses to cause us to recognize His movement in our lives. The first is immediate success. This statement, of course requires some explanation. As in the study passage, what the disciples were being told to do went against their natural, “better judgement.” This is generally the first sign that God wants to move through us. When we hear an instruction or have an unction to do something that makes no sense in the natural. The result of this type of movement of God is always immediate success as it was with the disciples here. Generally, it is to be understood that God does things this way so that no flesh can receive glory. Many times we will attempt to do what we have always done, and we will fail at it. Then God will give us a word that is against our own judgement. If we follow that word, we succeed but God receives all of the glory because it was not done the way we would do it. 

    The second point of reference that God uses to illuminate our eyes to His presence in our situation is that He will repeat something that He has done before as long as we were faithful to follow instruction the first time. In Luke 5:5, Jesus was physically with the disciples prior to His crucifixion and they had been fishing all night with no yield whatever at that time. Jesus then told them where to throw their nets and they caught so many fish, the weight almost sank their vessel. Because they were obedient to this uncommon command the first time, God used it again here. Because the disciples were obedient this time, their eyes were opened to the truth of God’s involvement in their daily lives. It has been said that if you have ears to hear, then you will have eyes to see. That is most pointedly true when we are attempting to do things the way they have always been done yet yield no success. If we will hear God long enough to obey Him then we will see that it was He who was involved all along. He truly is the author and the finisher of our faith!

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