The Miraculous Catch

by Jesse Lyman Hurlbut

One morning while Jesus was walking on the beach, he met some of his followers. Having now come to their own home, these men had gone back to their old work, as fishermen, and their boats were lying upon the shore.

The men had been fishing in the night before, and they were now
washing their nets upon the beach. Jesus spoke to one of his followers, Simon Peter, to push his boat a little way out into the water. He did so, and then Jesus sat down in the boat, while a great crowd stood on the shore, but within reach of his voice. Then from the boat as a pulpit he talked to the people on the shore.

What he said at that time was not
written down; but it was very much like his teachings as given in the Sermon on the Mount, which may be read in the fifth, sixth, and seventh chapters of the gospel by Matthew.

There is no doubt that in his talks
in many places to different crowds, Jesus often gave the same teachings over and over again.

After Jesus had ended his speaking to the people, he said to Simon, who with the other fishermen was standing beside him:

"Push out into the deep water, and let down your nets for a catch of fish."

"Master," answered Simon, "we worked all last night and caught not a single fish. However, if you tell us to try again, I will let down the nets."

They did so, and now their nets took in a great shoal of fish, so large a number that the nets began to break. Then they beckoned to their partners in the other boat to come and help them.

They came, and helped
to pull up the nets and to empty the fish into the boats. So many were the fish that they filled both the boats so full that they began to sink.

When Simon Peter saw all this, he was struck with wonder and with
fear, for he felt that this had been done by the power of God. He fell upon his knees in the boat to Jesus, saying:

"O Lord, I am full of sin, and am not worthy of all this! Leave me, O Lord!"

But Jesus said to him and to the other three men with him:

"Do not be afraid; come after me; and from this time you shall be fishers of men."

He meant that they were now to leave their nets and their boats, to stay with him; and after learning from him, they were to go out and show men the way out of sin into the Kingdom of God.

As soon, therefore, as they had brought their nets and their fishes to the land, they left them with Zebedee, the father of James and John, and with the hired men.

From that day these four men stayed with Jesus and went with him on all his journeys, listening to his words, until from hearing them often, they learned them and could repeat them to others.