And he said unto them
Willing to make himself known by a miracle, since they knew him not by his person, nor voice:
cast the net on the right side of the ship, and ye shall find;
that is, a large multitude of fish, as they did. The ship was an emblem of the church in its present afflicted state; the right side of it points to the elect, and where they are to be found in this world; the casting of the net signifies the preaching of the Gospel; the promise of finding fish, the assurance Christ gives of the success of his word, which he owns and blesses for the conversion of elect sinners:
they cast therefore;
the net, willing to try what success they might have at the instance of this person, whom they knew not. The Ethiopic version reads the passage thus, "and they said unto him, we have laboured all night, and have found nothing, but at thy word we will let down"; which seems to be taken out of ( Luke 5:5 ) . However, they obeyed his orders and directions, as the faithful ministers of the Gospel do, and should, and, succeeded.
And now they were not able to draw it for the multitude of fishes.
The Syriac adds, "which it held"; being in number, as in ( John 21:11 ) an hundred and fifty, and three great fishes; which was an emblem and presage of that large number of souls both among the Jews and Gentiles, which they should be instrumental in bringing to Christ, through the preaching of the Gospel.