21:4 morning was now come. Continuing with the symbolic theme, the disciples can fish all night long in the sea (which represents the world at large), without success, because Jesus, the light of the world, is not with them during the world’s dark night. “Without me, ye can do nothing,” He had said (John 15:5).
21:6 multitude of fishes. This remarkable change of fortune would remind them immediately of their experience three years earlier, when Jesus had similarly given them a miraculous catch of fishes, and told them they would “catch men” in the future (Luke 5:1-10). They recognized that it was Jesus, and, most likely, would understand His presence and the miracle as a rebuke and a reminder that they must soon be fishing for men instead of fish.
21:8 two hundred cubits. Possibly John was led to note the distance of two hundred cubits in recollection of the “two hundred” penny’s worth of bread which the disciples had once thought was needed to feed a multitude (John 6:7—the only other reference to “two hundred” in the gospels). Just as Christ provided more than the needed two hundred penny’s worth of bread to feed a multitude, so here He provided a multitude of fish (representing a multitude of people), when they ventured two hundred cubits from the shore. Jesus had once said that “the kingdom of heaven is like a net, that was cast into the sea, and gathered of every kind” (Matthew 13:47). The disciples may also have remembered that parable, concluding that the Lord would have them make disciples of all nations (Matthew 28:19), just as the net in the parable had gathered every kind of fish.