As our Lord began His earthly ministry, He looked for disciples He could transform into fishers of men. Significantly, He called hearty, faithful fishermen to this task. Many natural qualities and techniques for successful fishing are similar to the spiritual qualities needed to serve Him.
Jesus goes fishing for certain fishermen in Matthew 4:18-22:
As Jesus was walking beside the Sea of Galilee he saw two brothers, Simon called Peter and his brother Andrew. They were casting a net into the lake, for they were fishermen. “Come, follow me,” Jesus said, “and I will make you fishers of men.” At once they left their nets and followed him. Going on from there, he saw two other brothers, James son of Zebedee and his brother John. They were in a boat with their father Zebedee preparing their nets. Jesus called them and immediately they left the boat and their father and followed him. —NIV
This is the second time Jesus called Simon Peter and his brother Andrew. After the first time in John 1:35-42, they returned to fishing, but continued to hang around Jesus to observe Him. Jesus demonstrated patience and interest in their everyday lives, giving them the time and opportunities to check Him out.
As we follow the Master Fisherman,He provides preparation.
It’s a tedious job. Fishermen sit for hours going over their nets, looking for places to repair and untangle to prepare them for the next day of fishing. The word “preparing” in the expression “preparing their nets” is noteworthy in the original Greek language of the New Testament. “Katartizo” means to prepare, repair, mend, arrange, adjust, complete, furnish, equip and perfect.
These various thoughts are seen where the writers of Scripture use the word. As nets must be prepared to catch fish, we must be ready to catch people. We need to be arranged, adjusted, repaired and equipped before providing helpful spiritual service to others (see Ephesians 4:12). In other words, the change begins with us. The Word of God and the Spirit of God work together to transform us from the inside out.
It takes work to prepare our nets; but ultimately, it depends on someone other than us. It results from yielding to the Lord’s adjustments. Then, as clay in His hands, we are used by Him as His instruments, by His power, for the “mending” of others.
How do you need to be mended, healed, prepared and equipped? What holes do you see in the nets of the Canadian church? What can you do to fix these nets to help catch fish
As we follow the Master Fisherman, He provides partners.
Fishermen in Palestine could make good money 2,000 years ago—particularly those who worked together. Luke 5:1-11 includes a team of fishermen, including Simon’s partners James and John noted in verse 10. The words: partners, companions or associates come from the Greek word “koinonoi.” This word comes from the same root as “koinonia,” which is translated as “communion” or “fellowship” in 1 John 1:6-7, where John describes our fellowship with the Lord and with those who follow Him with us.
This adds much more to our understanding of “communion” or “fellowship.”When we think of “fellowship” with other followers of Christ, we typically think of visiting or having a meal together. Fellowship is all this and more!Fellowship includes partnering to fulfill the Great Commission. Fishing with nets is much more effective when done with partners. Fulfilling the Great Commission is much more attainable when we work together.
As we follow the Master Fisherman, He provides power.
We started by reading an invitation and a promise in Matthew 4:19, “Come, follow me,” Jesus said, “and I will make you fishers of men.”Jesus is constantly fishing for people. As we follow Him, we catch who He is, what He is saying and what He is doing. As we spend time with Him, we become like Him.
The God of the universe is inviting you and me to be His fellow workers! The term “fellow workers” in 1 Corinthians 3:5-9 comes from the Greek word “sunergoi,” from which we get the word “synergy”. Synergy, in general, may be defined as two or more agents working together to produce a result not obtainable by any of the agents independently. (Source: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Synergy)
The words “energy” and “works” come from the same Greek root word, “energeia,” from which we get the English word “energy.” In other words, the Master Fisherman provides the energy or the power for us to catch the fish. This power is given so that you and I might present others to Him one day as perfect, complete or mature. As followers of Jesus Christ, we have within us a power plant—an incredible energy source called the Holy Spirit.
Having a desire to catch fish is essential, but we don’t have to catch fish with our strength. The Lord provides the power. I am sure He wants to catch fish more than we do. Do you want to catch fish? Do you really want to see people come to know Jesus Christ as their Lord and Saviour?If so, ask Him for the power to fulfill this task.
Jesus Christ wants to use us to lead others to Him.