Q. What is the significance of the number of fishes in Peter’s net? “Simon Peter went up, and drew the net to land full of great fishes, an hundred and fifty and three” (John 21:11).
A. Sometimes this net has been referred to as the “gospel net” for the following reasons:
The number 100 in Scripture often signifies complete salvation. For instance, “What man of you, having a hundred sheep, if he lose one…” (Luke 15:4).
The number 50 signifies the day of Pentecost, when the Holy Spirit descended fifty days after the resurrection the of the Lord, and the Christian era began.
The number 3 denotes death and resurrection. “Christ died…He was buried…He rose again the third day” (1 Corinthians 15:3-4).
So we learn that with the descent of the Spirit of God at Pentecost, the gospel began, telling of complete salvation based on the death and resurrection of the Lord Jesus. It is interesting to note that Peter was the instrument used to begin this work, in Acts chapter 2.
“Search the Scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of Me” (John 5:39).
A. J. Pollock states the following in his book, Why I Believe The Bible:
The whole of the Scriptures revolves around the Person of the Son of God. The Pentateuch (first 5 Books, written by Moses) gives us the figures of Christ, the Psalms, the feelings of Christ, the Prophets, the foretellings of Christ, the Gospels, the facts of Christ, the Epistles, the fruits of Christ, and Revelation, the final judgment of Christ.
Indeed, when we come to see that the Book testifies of this wonderful Person, and the Person testifies of the Book, and that these testimonies stand or fall together, it must be concluded that we either must receive both the Book and the Person, or refuse both the Book and the Person. There is not any middle ground. “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God” (John 1:1). It is shown in this verse that both the Book and the Person are interwoven, as they are one.
The lost are perishing all around us every day—boys and girls, young people, and adults who have never-dying souls, and who are on their way to eternity. Their cries go up from the flues of sin and vice where they suffer. Let’s hurry to bring them the way of salvation through the Lord Jesus Christ, the Saviour of sinners.
“How then shall they call on Him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in Him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher” (Romans 10:14).
When we were young people we used to sing a hymn, whose first verse went like this:
Throw out the life line across the dark wave; There is a brother whom someone should save; Somebody’s brother! O who then will dare To throw out the lifeline, his peril to share?
Have you thrown out the lifeline to someone today? Have you tried to rescue a perishing soul? Have you pointed an individual to Christ? Souls are passing into eternity even as you read these questions!
A Boston architect spent several hours devising a way to rescue a kitten which had fallen into a ventilating flue in the wall of a large post-office building, and had been imprisoned there for five days without food or water. The flue was forty feet deep from the ceiling level of the apartment above, and notice of the kitten’s plight was conveyed through its cries, which could be faintly heard.
The architect’s first impulse was to cut through the marble facing of the apartment, but the suggestion was made that perhaps the prisoner in its desperation might seize the end of a line weighted by a bulky shape at the lower end. The experiment was tried, and strange to say the nearly starved creature almost instantly took fast hold with its claws, while it was very carefully and slowly drawn up to safety the entire height of forty feet.
Every generous heart rejoices in this story of kindness to the tiny kitten, but if it is right and just and Christlike to do that to a helpless animal, how much more should we rouse ourselves to reach lost souls. We are told by the Lord Jesus, “Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature” (Mark 16:15).
Someone has well said, “Religion has man doing something for God; Christianity has God doing something for man.” Saul of Tarsus was a religious man before he got saved and became the Apostle Paul.
However, the Bible gives us the true meaning of religion: “Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world” (James 1:27). How religious are you…I mean in the true sense of this verse? There are all kinds of false religions in the world. Let’s show the world some true, Biblical religion as we go about this week.
The evangelist, Charles Spurgeon once said, “I would not give much for your religion unless it can be seen. Lamps don’t talk; they shine….So let your actions shine out your religion. Let the main sermon of your life be illustrated by all your conduct.”
“And he said unto Moses, Come up unto the Lord, thou, and Aaron, Nadab, and Abihu, and seventy of the elders of Israel; and worship ye afar off. And Moses alone shall come near the Lord: but they shall not come nigh; neither shall the people go up with him” (Exodus 24:1-2).
Here we have a classic example of Old Testament worship. Moses could go near the Lord, the rest couldn’t. How would we feel if only one brother could go into a special room to partake of the Lord’s Supper with the loaf and the cup on this morning, but the rest of us had to sit in another room? We would feel very distant from the Lord. The wonder of Christianity, though, is that we can ALL come near to the Lord. We can ALL gather around Him and enjoy His presence as we remember His death at Calvary. He invites us to “Draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience, and our bodies washed with pure water” (Hebrews 10:22).
This is a great privilege and one that we can enjoy until the Lord Jesus descends to call us to Himself in heaven.
“From a child thou hast known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus” (2 Timothy 3:15).
Impressions made on the mind in youth are not easily removed. There is a stone in the British Museum in London said to be as hard as steel, and no impression can be made on it. Yet there is an impression on it of a bird’s foot. There was a time when it was soft and pliable. Youth is the time when impressions are made, never to be erased.
The late Doctor Bonar once met a young girl named Christina, to whom he said, “You have Christ in your name; have you got Christ in your heart?” Christina never forgot that question! It was not long before Christ had a place in her heart, and she lived to serve Him faithfully for many years.
This account shows the importance of a godly spiritual influence in our youth. Many of our readers have had that, but do you value it? Have you made it good to your own soul? Do you know Christ as your own personal Saviour. Timothy had a godly upbringing under the guidance of his mother and grandmother…but he had to make it personal.
Sometimes we try to justify our reactions and responses by thinking that we were mistreated; or the person should have understood, or they shouldn’t have acted that way in the first place, or that wasn’t really what I said or meant. But here is the reaction of the Lord Jesus, who was the most misunderstood, mistreated, and misquoted person who ever lived on this planet. “Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow His steps: who did no sin, neither was guile found in His mouth: who, when He was reviled, reviled not again; when He suffered, He threatened not; but committed Himself to Him that judgeth righteously” (1 Peter 2:21-23).
What have others seen of Christ reflected in your life today? What have your reactions been to the things that have come your way, and the things that people have said? Here’s what the Apostle Paul’s desire for his life was: “As always, so now also Christ shall be magnified in my body…For to me to live is Christ” (Philippians 1:20-21).
If others saw something of Christ in his day-to-day life, Paul was content, and we should aspire to this too!
“That ye may be blameless and harmless, the sons of God, without rebuke, in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation, among whom ye shine as lights in the world” (Philippians 2:15).
We are here in this world to shine as lights for Christ. And remember we are studied every day by those around us as an “Epistle…known and read of all men” (2 Corinthians 3:2). As such, the believer is to reflect Christ in their life at all times: by what we say, what we do, and by our spirit and attitude.
Often it is our reaction to others and to circumstances that displays our true state of soul. How often have we reacted to something someone has said, or lashed back over something someone has done, and then realized that it was not the spirit of Christ? We are exhorted, “Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: who…humbled Himself” (Philippians 2:5-6,8). How much is that really true in your life? What will the world see and read of Christ in your life today, as you step out your door and take up the daily routine of school or work?
10 And the devil that deceived them was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are, and shall be tormented day and night for ever and ever.
11 And I saw a great white throne, and him that sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away; and there was found no place for them.
12 And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works.
13 And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works.
14 And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death.
15 And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.