Most of us have had some type of experience with fishing whether we have done it ourselves or have gone with others. Some fish for pleasure, others fish for their own livelihood, while others fish professionally in tournaments. While in Guam, one of the members of our congregation caught a 400-plus pound blue marlin that won him top prize as well as the money from selling it to a fish market. In scripture, Jesus used common everyday events to teach lessons and in the synoptic gospels He made a point of telling select disciples He would make them fishers of men. Examination of the elements involved in this practice makes for an interesting study.
Along the shores of the Sea of Galilee, Jesus called His first four disciples to follow Him. These men were in the fishing business so is seemed right that Jesus would tell them He would make them “become fishers of men”! Their response to follow was immediate. Some whom Jesus called requested delays in following Him and His response indicated that He is to be our priority (see Luke 9:59-62; Matthew 19:16-22).
One of the most important aspects of fishing involves preparation. In the case of James and John (Matthew 4:21), the mending of nets would enhance the success of their efforts. With regard to fishing for men, the gospel is both the lure and the net. It is what attracts and captures the hearts of men. That being the case we must be prepared to present the gospel to others, much like a bass pro would lead a trophy fish with his best lure. To do this we must have spent time with Jesus, as His disciples did after their calling. Our time with Him strengthens our faith in Him as well as the realization that all hope rests in Him.
Jesus later shared with His ‘fishers of men’ of the joy in the presence of angels in heaven over one sinner who repents… (Luke 15:10). Have you considered your response to those who have been caught by the Gospel of Christ? Check it against those we see in scripture, including Barnabas in Acts 11:22-23. Now, go fishing!!
Copyright © 2010, Nolan P. Rutter