In Part 1 of this blog, I wrote about the miracle that Jesus performed on the Sea of Galilee in the presence of Simon-Peter and other fishermen I ended by showing that Peter and his crew caught an estimated 5,000 lbs of fish per boat. Next, we’ll look into how many fish were possibly caught in total and the implications that it may have had on Peter’s understanding of his own calling.
What Type of Fish Were Caught?:
There were three types of fish that were commonly sought after by fishermen during the time of the story – Sardines, Barbels and Musht fish. The Musht fish, also known as “St. Peter’s Fish” is in the Tilapia family. The story doesn’t tell us which type of fish were caught, but the fact that the Musht is named after Peter and its larger size makes it a good selection in order to stay conservative in the estimate. Musht fish can weigh as much as 3.3 lbs, so to be safe we’ll assume that the average fish weighed about half of that, which equals 1.65 lbs.
Therefore, the total number of fish caught would equal……
Total Number of Fish Caught = 5,000 lbs * 1 Fish / 1.65 lbs ~ 3000 fish
However, this is only for one boat. The story tells that both boats reached the point of sinking. So, in that case 6,000 fish were caught in a day! It’s very possible that some of my assumptions above are flawed, but even if I’m off by a factor of 2, and only 1,500 fish were caught on that day per boat, it’s still difficult to fathom what that must have looked like. Personally, having fished for years and knowing how incomprehensible it would be to pull in that many fish in a short period of time, I’m pretty sure that I would have been more scared than anything had I been in Peter’s shoes.
The experience was obviously scary enough to Peter that he fell to his knees in repentance for his sin and said….. “Go away from me Lord!” Jesus calmed him by saying “Don’t be afraid; from now on you will fish for people.”
Now, I would assume that somebody came back to get all of those fish, but as the story goes they literally left everything behind, and went to follow Jesus – “11 So they pulled their boats up on shore, left everything and followed him.”
Again, my math could definitely be off since I made plenty of assumptions above, but wouldn’t it be cool if they really did catch about 3,000 fish per boat! Especially when you consider that Peter’s first big catch of men occurred on the day of Pentecost and 3,000 people found Christ
Peter experienced a genuine miracle from God that day on that boat– a miracle that shook him to his very core. Little did he know that what he witnessed in the boat that day foreshadowed what would happen to him on the day of Pentecost. He stood before thousands of people fulfilling a prophetic calling given to him by Jesus– that he would one day be a fisher of men (Acts 2). On that day he preached to a crowd of witnesses that had just witnessed a miracle of their own – where men spoke in foreign languages that they had no prior exposure to. Shortly after, Peter preached the good news to the captivated crowd and 3,000 men came to know the Lord.