Simon Peter, no doubt, was tired and sleepy, having toiled all night and caught nothing. He might have said, "What does this young man from the city know about fishing? We are experienced fishermen and know that night is the best time to fish, and yet we failed, so you see it's no use trying."
But, thank God, in this, as in every case, perfect obedience brought perfect victory or success.
No wonder Simon fell down at Jesus' knees and cried out, "Depart from me for I am a sinful man.”
Sin always brings defeat, failure, weakness, fear, and all manner of excuses. This lake or sea contained fish in great abundance. This Jesus unquestionably knew, and He knew the cause and failure of Simon & Co., which is equally true in each and every individual case.
There is not and cannot be any excuse for us as God's children as regards the deep water experience of sanctification and holiness. It is simply a question of walking in the light, with cheerful heart obedience to God's call or command. I would not say that we must leave our boats and occupations in a literal sense as did the Apostles, but in the spiritual sense, which is the real sense, our consecration must be quite as definite, thorough, and complete. It must be heart transaction between us and God, as was that of the Apostles, and anything short of this only brings dismal failure.
Jesus wants and expects us to be fishers of men, and if we suffer anything to hold us back or anchor near the high and dry sandy or rocky shore, we will prove the proverb that little fish must keep near or in shallow water. For then must we remain small fish in our experience and also fail to catch men.
T.S. Mashburn, The Nazarene Messenger, May 17, 1906