John 21:6 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

John 21:6, NIV: 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.

John 21:6, ESV: He said to them, “Cast the net on the right side of the boat, and you will find some.” So they cast it, and now they were not able to haul it in, because of the quantity of fish.

John 21:6, KJV: And he said unto them, Cast the net on the right side of the ship, and ye shall find. They cast therefore, and now they were not able to draw it for the multitude of fishes.

John 21:6, NASB: And He said to them, 'Cast the net on the right-hand side of the boat, and you will find the fish.' So they cast it, and then they were not able to haul it in because of the great quantity of fish.

John 21:6, NLT: Then he said, 'Throw out your net on the right-hand side of the boat, and you'll get some!' So they did, and they couldn't haul in the net because there were so many fish in it.

John 21:6, CSB: "Cast the net on the right side of the boat," he told them, "and you'll find some." So they did, and they were unable to haul it in because of the large number of fish.

What does John 21:6 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

Early in His earthly ministry, Jesus rode out on a boat with Peter, who had just come up empty after an entire night of fishing. Peter cooperated with a seemingly petty request from Jesus, resulting in a massive haul (Luke 5:3–7). Peter reacted to this in faith (Luke 5:8). More recently, Peter and six other disciples are waiting for Jesus in Galilee (Matthew 28:9–10; John 21:1). They've decided to go fishing once more. This is either out of boredom or to resume the trade (John 21:1–3). This night, like the other, has been a failure. Due to the early light (John 21:4), they don't recognize the person on shore calling out. His question is casual (John 21:5), something like a modern English speaker saying, "you kids didn't catch anything, did you?"

What Jesus says is much like His advice in their earlier encounter, and with almost the same results. This is not a chance occurrence, as if they caught only a few fish, or continued with a successful night. If catching fish was simply a question of casting the net a few feet away, these experienced men (John 1:35–42) would have done it already; there's a good chance they already had. Yet now the net is so full they can't pick it up. Peter will once again grasp the significance and immediately react (John 21:7).