What a Catch!
Jesus calls his disciples to fish for people.
Then Jesus said to Simon, "Don’t be afraid; from now on you will fish for people." Luke 5:10 (NIV)
Have you ever wondered why so many people like to go fishing? There are many reasons why people go fishing. Some people go fishing because they like to eat fish and catching the fish yourself might be less expensive than buying it at the grocery store. For others, fishing is just a hobby. It gives them a chance to get away from their daily routine for a time of rest and relaxation. I have even heard some people say they don't even care if they catch any fish — they just enjoy going fishing. I would never fit in that last group. If I am going to go fishing, I want to catch fish. I want to catch a lot of them and I want to catch them right now!
You know, the Bible has a lot to say about fishing. The reason for that is that the first disciples that Jesus called were fishermen. They didn't fish for fun and relaxation and it wasn't a hobby. They fished because that is how they made their living. Do you think they cared whether they caught any fish or not? You had better believe they cared.
Our Bible lesson today is about one of the disciple's fishing trips. The story begins with Jesus preaching on the shore beside the sea of Galilee. There was a huge crowd of people gathered around him and they kept pressing closer so that they could hear him better. Jesus noticed two empty boats at the water's edge where the fishermen were washing their nets. Jesus stepped into one of the boats and asked Simon, the boats owner, to move it out a little further from the shore. Then Jesus sat down in the boat and preached to the people from there.
When Jesus had finished teaching, he said to Simon, "Move on out into the deep water and let down your nets to catch some fish."
Simon answered him, "Master, we have fished all night without catching a thing, but if you say so, I will let down my nets again." This time the nets were so full of fish that they began to break. A call for help brought their fishing partners in the other boat, and soon both boats were so full of fish that they were about to sink.
When Simon saw what had happened, he was filled with awe and perhaps with fear to be in the presence of someone with so much power. He fell on his knees before Jesus.
Jesus said to him, "There is nothing to fear. From now on you’ll be fishing for men and women."
When they reached the shore, they pulled their boats up on the beach, left them, nets and all, and followed Jesus.
What did Jesus mean when he told them they would be fishing for men and women? Obviously, he didn't mean that they would go out and throw a net over them. What he meant was that just as they had been bringing the fish into their boats, they would now be bringing people into the Kingdom of God. Jesus wants you and me to be fishers of people too. That means that we will tell the people we meet about Jesus so that they can know him and become his followers too.
Heavenly Father, just as Jesus called his early disciples to fish for people, he has called us to tell others about his love so that we might bring them into the Kingdom. Help us to be faithful to become fishers of people. Amen.