One unusual Bible story gives us good reason to believe that all prophecy points to God.
““I’m going out to fish,” Simon Peter told them, and they said, “We’ll go with you.” So they went out and got into the boat, but that night they caught nothing.
Early in the morning, Jesus stood on the shore, but the disciples did not realise that it was Jesus. He called out to them, “Friends, haven’t you any fish?” “No,” they answered.
He said, “Throw your net on the right side of the boat and you will find some.” When they did, they were unable to haul the net in because of the large number of fish.
Then the disciple whom Jesus loved said to Peter, “It is the Lord!” As soon as Simon Peter heard him say, “It is the Lord,” he wrapped his outer garment around him (for he had taken it off) and jumped into the water.
The other disciples followed in the boat, towing the net full of fish, for they were not far from shore, about a hundred yards. When they landed, they saw a fire of burning coals there with fish on it, and some bread.”
All Prophecy Points To God
Regardless of the actual words of a specific prophetic utterance, the core message is always to point people to God.
This central meaning is illustrated in chapter 21 of John’s gospel. It’s an interesting scene, added at the end almost as an afterthought, seemingly after all the action has happened:
Jesus has died and been resurrected, but his disciples have gone back to their old lives. They’re doing ordinary things again and have gone out fishing. It’s curious because it’s not that long since the risen Jesus first appeared to them.
“The core message of any prophecy is to point people to God.”
So, they’re busy fishing from their boats, when they see a man in the distance on the shore. He’s preparing a barbecue.
Perhaps they would have carried on with their work and thought nothing of it. But the man shouts out to them and asks if they have any fish.
It’s The Lord!
They say they have none and he tells them to put their nets down into the water one more time. They obey and the result is a supernatural catch, overflowing with fish!
As we look back on this event with the benefit of hindsight, we know exactly who the man is. We may also realise this scene echoes a similar miraculous catch when Simon Peter was first called to be a disciple.
For the disciples themselves, the penny still hasn’t dropped. However, they’re now wondering what’s going on, so John peers a little closer and realises that it’s Jesus.
“It's the Lord!”, John exclaims ...and Simon Peter, never one to stand on ceremony, throws off his shirt and jumps into the water, so he can be first to see his old friend.
All Prophecy Points To God: A Prophetic Statement
While John may, or may not, have intended to make a prophetic statement, this story highlights the core truth of prophecy: it points to the Lord. It’s a signpost that leads us back into his presence, reminding us who he is and how we can relate to him.
We may chuckle to ourselves about the impulsive nature of Peter, but in reality what John did was a prophetic act that drew everyone’s attention to God.
John’s words had an electrifying effect, causing Peter to focus the full attention of his heart, mind and body towards Jesus. Ultimately, this led Peter into an encounter with Jesus, one which changed the course of his life.
“Many other signs therefore Jesus also performed in the presence of the disciples, which are not written in this book; but these have been written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing you may have life in His name.”
All prophecy points to God, so it always reveals something about his character, including his great love for us and for those around us.
Prophecy and prophetic statements may not mention future events in every instance, but they always make us aware of who God is and our relationship to Him.
And whenever prophecy is shared in a culture of love, the name of Jesus is lifted up.
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