Mature Class Study, teacher Josh Olmsted.

After Jesus was crucified, the apostles went back to what they knew about doing.

John 21:3-6 Simon Peter saith unto them, I go a fishing. They say unto him, We also go with thee. They went forth, and entered into a ship immediately; and that night they caught nothing. But when the morning was now come, Jesus stood on the shore: but the disciples knew not that it was Jesus. Then Jesus saith unto them, Children, have ye any meat? They answered him, No. And he said unto them, Cast the net on the right side of the ship, and ye shall find. They cast therefore, and now they were not able to draw it for the multitude of fishes.

What we know. Peter and his friends had fished all night and caught nothing. Jesus gave them directions to cast their net to the other side and they caught a multitude of fish. What changed? The only thing that changed was they took directions from Jesus. They heard his voice and obeyed so they caught many fish. Hearing and obeying was the only thing that changed. Their relationship with Jesus was the most important thing for their success. Following rules to stay within certain standards we know isn’t the key to staying faithful and having a good relationship with the Lord.

Our ability to hear. In our path of hearing, we must humble ourselves to obey. Being broken is important so we can be what God wants us to be. We must be broken to hear. Was Jesus talking about the fish or his friends that were there when he asked Peter, “lovest thou me more than these?” (John 21:15). Doing what is right is based more on the closeness of our relationship with the Lord than what we know. The rice portion for a regular prisoner in a prison camp is about half a handful. A laborer’s portion was a handful. If you were a prisoner that got into the kitchen and had opportunity to take a handful of rice, would you steal it? What we would do greatly depends on our relationship with the Lord.

Combining hearing with what we know. There’s a difference between hearing and listening. Hearing is the perception of sound. Listening involves processing information you hear. If we don’t do something with what we hear, we’re still responsible. When we have a a relationship with the Lord, it’s still ok to ask why we’re doing something. Just doing what everyone else does is because of fear, not because we have a relationship with the Lord. We come to an intersection with God and we must have conviction for what we decide to do – not just following everyone else. If not, something will come up and we will not be in close relationship with the Lord. If we think about what we hear, it’s more than just going through the motions. If we do things for God, he’ll be directing us. If we’re doing things for others, it will only be the people directing us. We need to be challenged and make sure we’re ready when God calls the end to our life.