As with many stories in the Bible, there is meaning beyond what appears, literal and symbolic.
The two boats represent two phases of God’s kingdom. Jesus entered Peter’s boat which likely represents the Heavenly kingdom. The net in Peter’s boat clearly represents the Gospel and the fish represent those called by the word of God.
The Sea of Galilee is known for having a wide variety of fish, over 50 kinds. Commercial fishermen get paid based on the market value of each type of fish. While some brought in a premium, others less so, and some were discarded. The Lord’s apostles were catchers of fish but would now be fishers of men. Matthew 4:19, “And he saith unto them, Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men.”
The Gospel Age, the period of time beginning when Jesus was baptized until the Church is complete, has been the time for followers of Christ to be called and chosen if faithful. Not all those called are chosen to be members of the Lord’s true Church. Matthew 22:14, “For many are called, but few are chosen.”
Some who are caught/called in the Gospel net end up being of the highest value to God. By their faithfulness, they become kings and priests. Revelation 20:6, “Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection: on such the second death hath no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ and shall reign with him a thousand years.” These are given the privilege of judging and blessing mankind in the Millennial Age. Additionally, they receive immortality, the divine nature. 2 Peter 1:4, “Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature…”
Then there will be others who accept the good news of the Gospel, who give their life to the Lord. While valuable, they still fall short because they did not truly give their all in His service. They held back and had to go through great tribulation to become Christ-like. Revelation 7:9, “After this I beheld, and, lo, a great multitude, which no man could number, of all nations, and kindreds, and people, and tongues, stood before the throne, and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, and palms in their hands…” They receive a spiritual body in Heaven, but not the Divine nature. They serve before the throne, while the Church, the body of Christ, serves on the throne.
The next category of fish is those who hear the Gospel and have no use for it now. But in the resurrection, they will have the opportunity to develop Christ-like characters. Then, God says, “I will make a man more precious than fine gold; even a man than the golden wedge of Ophir.” Isaiah 13:12.
We must ask ourselves, what kind of fish are we?