A few weeks ago I had a yearning to go fishing. Being the great guy he is, my husband obligingly drove us out to Stanley, where we enjoyed a wonderful few hours in the sunshine, feeding the local fish!
No matter what bait we used, or how we rigged the lines, changed the hooks, or played with sinkers, not a nibble was felt! The day was not wasted of course, we enjoyed the sunshine, each other’s company, a bite of lunch, views of several local penguins swimming in the clear water, and what I like to call a ‘biblical insight’.
The phrase: ‘from now on you will be fisher’s (catchers) of men’ sprang to mind, and we discussed this while enjoying our day out together.
I was trying to imagine what it might feel like for our God, who does everything in His Mighty Power to lure us into his Kingdom. I guess I was only looking at it from a modern perspective, fishing with a rod and reel, hook and some bait. I kind of think I said it must be very frustrating for God. He has done everything possible, thru his Son Jesus, to save us (catch us).
Then I decided when we got home to have a proper look at the verse from scripture that this phrase came from…… and I rediscovered they were not using a fishing rod and reel, they were using nets.
Fishing with nets, should could and did provide much larger catches than you could hope for using a single rod and reel. I also rediscovered too, that they were far better fisher – people than we were on that day….. We did not get a single bite … ah yes, Peter complained about that too!
Luke 5:1-11 Now it happened that while the crowd was pressing around Him and listening to the word of God, He was standing by the lake of Gennesaret; and He saw two boats lying at the edge of the lake; but the fishermen had gotten out of them and were washing their nets.
And He got into one of the boats, which was Simon’s, and asked him to put out a little way from the land. And He sat down and began teaching the people from the boat. When He had finished speaking, He said to Simon, “Put out into the deep water and let down your nets for a catch.” Simon answered and said, “Master, we worked hard all night and caught nothing, but I will do as You say and let down the nets.”
When they had done this, they enclosed a great quantity of fish, and their nets began to break; so they signaled to their partners in the other boat for them to come and help them. And they came and filled both of the boats, so that they began to sink. But when Simon Peter saw that, he fell down at Jesus’ feet, saying, “Go away from me Lord, for I am a sinful man, O Lord!”
For amazement had seized him and all his companions because of the catch of fish which they had taken; and so also were James and John, sons of Zebedee, who were partners with Simon. And Jesus said to Simon, “Do not fear, from now on you will be catching men.” When they had brought their boats to land, they left everything and followed Him.
Further reading and trying to understand the real message in this scripture passage brought me to a commentary by Pastor John Piper from the Desiring God Ministry in the USA…….. he says:
The Point of This Text
I think Jesus, in the way he acted and spoke in this situation, and Luke, in the way he tells the story, are both intentionally turning a miracle catch of fish into a parable about catching people for the kingdom.
In other words, Jesus was not merely teaching the word of God as he sat in the boat (vv. 1, 3); he was showing something, by his actions and words, about how he means for his followers to win people to faith.
Here is the point that I think Jesus and Luke are making in this whole story.
“By Jesus’ power and authority multitudes of people will be caught for eternal kingdom blessings by the followers of Jesus who teach the word of God, obey the commands of Jesus, humble themselves, and treasure Christ above all.”
Oh what a narrow modernistic view point I had…. A single rod and line and hook….. A single fish maybe!
God on the other hand has a whole world viewpoint… not just one person… two or three, but the entire creation is His point of salvation!
God wants us all saved and living in His Eternal Kingdom.
inspiration: Pastor John Piper ©Desiring God. http://www.desiringgod.org/