It is biographical because it centers on the person of Peter who needs a lesson on fishing. This is ironic, because his profession was fishing. It is his boat, the conversation is with him. He is the central figure.
The basic idea of the miracle is “The Faith Needed for Fishing.”
The relationship that Jesus has been developing with the disciples. There are five callings or challenges to the disciples:
So the backdrop is the authority of Jesus.
Isa 9:1-2 says Galilee would be where Christ would demonstrate His Messianic authority.
The crowds are pressing in, so they move out to the water for some space. After He had finished teaching, He tells Peter to take the boat out into deeper water because he wants to teach Peter a lesson.
I don’t think so
Because you say so
I will do so
Peter catches himself in the middle of a bad response and changes to the right response. What does Peter respond to? The word of Jesus. “Because you say so...”
One application for us is what will we do because He says so?
Trench says that the best fishing in Galilee was before dawn. (p. 138). Also, Peter was a professional fisherman and Jesus was the son of a carpenter, so the initial response is understandable.
There is a fearful astonishment on the part of Peter. He gets a glimpse of who Jesus is and the result is a recognition of his own sinfulness. This is the proper response to the revelation of God. Cf. Isa 6:1f
There are many passages which show the response of fear to the revelation of God. Gen 15:1, Ex 20:20, Josh 8:1, Isa 41:10. Matt 1:20, Luk 1:13, 30, 2:10, 5:10, 12:32, John 6:23, ... Here we see that when Jesus say “Fear not...” in verse 10, there is more to it than what we would first think. The claim inherent in Jesus’ statement is that He is God.
“You will be catchers of men.” It literally means, “to take alive.” The irony is that they have been catching live fish to put them to death. Now they will be catching dead men to give them life.
In that context, speaking to fishermen, Jesus said that they would be fishers of men. Today, talking to a computer programmer, He might have said they would be programmers of men. If they had been construction workers, He might have said they would be builders of men.
There is a guarantee of results in the passage. He did not say that they would try to catch men.
The left everything and followed Jesus. I don’t know if it would be stretching to make this comparison to modern day, but what if you had been playing the lotto for the past two years and Jesus came to you and said, “Try these numbers.” Wouldn’t you’re initial reaction be that it’s no use. I’ll never win. And then you give the numbers a try and win the lotto. Would you leave “everything” and follow Jesus? Or would you go collect your money and think about how you were going to spend it?