He said, “Throw your net on the right side of the boat and you will find some.” When they did, they were unable to haul the net in because of the large number of fish. Then the disciple whom Jesus loved said to Peter, “It is the Lord!” As soon as Simon Peter heard him say, “It is the Lord,” he wrapped his outer garment around him (for he had taken it off) and jumped into the water.
— John 21:6-7 NIV

Read the entire chapter here.

John 21 starts out after the resurrection of Jesus. The disciples had been out fishing all night and hadn’t caught anything. The next morning Jesus asked from the shores if they had caught anything to which they replied “no.” They did not recognize Him. It wasn’t until Jesus told them to throw their nets on the other side of the boat that they knew it was Jesus. When they threw their nets on the other side of the boat their nets were filled with fish. They recognized his voice and obeyed when He spoke to them. I think that is what Jesus is trying to tell His followers, His disciples, His children. We will be most affective when we listen to Him—when we listen to voice and obey when he speaks. 

A lot of times we get caught up in our own work, our own classes, and just our own life. When we are focused on our own sufficiency we are blind to what is on the other side of the boat. As soon as the disciples listened to his voice and obeyed what He said, their nets were filled. They saw through His vision. We have the opportunity to see as He does. You probably aren't in a boat fishing that often, but apply it to your life. In class, when you feel like you are drowning //at home, if your siblings or parents are frustrating you// If you feel like your friends are excluding you—listen to what He says. He’s not whispering anxious thoughts, making you anger easily, or telling you that you are by yourself. I’m not perfect at hearing His voice—at all. But as I continue to say no to my selfish desires and yes to Him and His word it becomes easier for me to recognize when He is speaking or if it's the other voices in my head that I hear.

a god who speaks

My challenge for you is to ask yourself which side of the boat are you looking out of? Are you looking out of the side that has you blind to Him and deaf to His voice or the side where you see Him on the shore and you are in conversation with Him. No matter where your boat is—He still speaks to you. You are never too far from the “shore” for Him. You have the ability to hear His voice. He is a God who speaks. Think about your best friends voice—you could recognize it across a crowded room. But the first day you met that friend I bet you wouldn't be able to recognize their voice. It took being around, talking and listening to them. Same with God. It takes knowing Him. Talking to Him. Listening to Him. Knowing what He would say.


As we end the book of John, I personally just want to say thank you. Thank you for reading 1 blog or all 21 blogs of this series. My prayer for each and everyone of you is that you would continue to sit in His word—not because you are supposed to but because you want to. You would want to read about the healings/miracles so that you can fight for that and more. You would want to read His truth because you believe that will set you free. You would want to read His truth because you want to know your shepherd and follow His voice alone. He is worth it.

- Ashley Gibson