The Right Side of the Boat

“Throw your net on the right side of the boat and you will find some.” John 21:6

Standing on the shore of the Sea of Galilee stood Jesus’ disciples. The very men that stood on that shore just a few years prior to Jesus saying, “follow me, and I will make you fishers of men” (Matthew 4:19). The ones who put down their nets to step into a world of the miraculous and undeniable hope. They saw Jesus heal the sick and raise the dead to life. They saw a sinless man, fully God and fully man teach them His ways. They saw Jesus over-rule religion and cultural norms, when Jesus knelt to wash their feet or dine with the sinners. Then, they bore witness to the Messiah, their Jesus beaten, scorned and crucified to conquer death once and for all. Three days later He rose again and had appeared to his disciples two times prior to this scene on the shore of the Sea of Galilee.

The disciples had tasted and seen the glory of the Lord, His power, kindness, and love, yet there they stood, back on the same shoreline they once dropped their nets, only to pick them up again. After a whole night of fishing, the nets kept coming up empty. The next morning a man on the shore yelled to them, “Throw your net on the right side of the boat and you will find some” (John 21:6). The disciples did as they were told and caught so many fish, they could hardly haul them in because of the abundance. When they discovered it was Jesus who gave them such wisdom, Peter jumped into the water to get to Him as fast as He could (John 21:1-7).

Have you been casting your nets, only to pull them back up empty? Have you been using your own strategies and understanding to do it your way, and all you feel left with is disappointment and emptiness? The disciples spent an entire night fishing without trying the right side of the boat. Are we so set in our ways doing things out of habit and comfort, that we forget that God might have a different strategy? There was one voice that changed the entire outcome of the disciples fishing experience, THE VOICE OF GOD. Jesus’ voice gave direction and guidance, the disciples response was obedience and through obedience, came the abundance. 

Sometimes, as our Pastor Paul has been reminding us, we need to pause and listen. God is always speaking, but if we are always doing the speaking and performing our own agendas, we miss His voice. Are we willing to put our nets on the other side of the boat in obedience, even when the obedience might be a heavy load? Some of us need to just leap out of the boat all together like Peter, and swim to Jesus. Get to His loving arms and let Him hold you for a while; back to the place of intimacy and trust. And some of us need to get off the same shore of familiarity, as God might be calling you to something new. Sometimes it’s easier to step back into the familiar instead of stepping forward into the unknown, but if God calls you to it, He will be with you every step of the way. 

Are you willing to throw your net where God says to throw it? If you are willing, He is able. “….able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to His power that is at work within us” (Ephesians 3:10). Let your faith arise today and open your ears to the voice that changes everything, The voice of God. Responding in your best yes in obedience and trust to His will and His plan. 

Keys to Take aways from the Book of John 21:1-7

  • Are we listening to God’s voice, or doing things in our own understanding?
  • When God speaks, sometimes we don’t even realize it is Him, but after the obedience comes the realization, that was Jesus “it is the Lord” John 21:7!
  • When we seek God, are we seeking Him with our all-in, jumping into the water just to get to Jesus, as close as we can. Are we willing to get our clothes wet to get to Him with fervor and desperation….no matter what?
  • Stepping back to the familiar doesn’t always catapult you into the destiny that God has planned out for you.
  • Through Jesus’ voice, He gave direction and guidance and it was through the response of the disciples that obedience lead to abundance. 

In Simple Terms

  • Get to Jesus
  • Quiet your own ways and listen to His voice
  • Respond in obedience
  • Anticipate Abundance (His love, His Presence, His heart for you)

Published by Emily Rodewald

Emily is a writer and worship leader. She has written several worship songs, she is a co-author or two children's books and has begun writing about the light of Jesus in her blog at She is a co-founder of Parallel Ministries and a mom of two boys, George and Oliver. She has been married for 13 years to the man of her dreams, Daniel. She and her family live in beautiful Montana where they enjoy taking the boys fishing, going on adventures, and renovating their new home.

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