Fishers of Men
Jesus commanded his apostles to be fishers of men.
But what did that mean to them?
And what does it mean to us?
In the end, the meaning is pretty similar.
Fishermen In The Times Of Jesus
Jerusalem and the surrounding lands of the New Testament were located near the Sea Of Galilee. And a lot of people made their living as fishermen. In fact, many of the miracles Jesus did were related to fish.
There was the
Fishes and the loaves
The calming of the tempest
Walking on water
The miracle of the fish
These are just to name a few.
Fishing was such a common part of life that Jesus used fishing symbolism in many of his conversations and parables with others to help convey his point.
Here’s an example from Chapter 4 of the Book of Matthew.
17 From that time Jesus began to preach, and to say, Repent: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.
18 And Jesus, walking by the sea of Galilee, saw two brethren, Simon called Peter, and Andrew his brother, casting a net into the sea: for they were fishers.
19 And he saith unto them, Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men.
20 And they straightway left their nets, and followed him.
21 And going on from thence, he saw other two brethren, James the son of Zebedee, and John his brother, in a ship with Zebedee their father, mending their nets; and he called them.
22 And they immediately left the ship and their father, and followed him.
23 And Jesus went about all Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, and preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing all manner of sickness and all manner of disease among the people.
24 And his fame went throughout all Syria: and they brought unto him all sick people that were taken with divers diseases and torments, and those which were possessed with devils, and those which were lunatic, and those that had the palsy; and he healed them.
25 And there followed him great multitudes of people from Galilee, and from Decapolis, and from Jerusalem, and from Judaea, and from beyond Jordan.
(Matthew 4 as found in the KJV)
As Jesus chose his apostles and found other followers, he prepared them to be fishers of men. To find others like them, who were willing to follow Jesus like they were.
They understood that, although they were simply fishermen, they were going to be called to a higher calling to fish for men and women.
He prepared them to serve in his ministry.
Today, it’s much less common to work as a fisherman.
Even if you live near the ocean, chances are good that you probably don’t make a living as a fisherman.
But there’s still just as much a need for people to become fishers of men today as there was during the life of Jesus.
As followers of Jesus, we have the opportunity to act quickly and answer the call to fish like Peter and Andrew did. We may not always be asked to leave behind our nets and other means of making a living, but we can leave behind the bad habits and cultural practices that prevent us from living the Christian lives Jesus would have us live.
We can forsake our sins, pick up our metaphorical nets and fishing poles and seek out those who need and want Jesus. We can help build up the church of Christ in our own ways by our own examples and let our lives shine like a light on a hill for others to see.
We too can fish like the apostles.
And if we fish where Jesus tells us to, our nets will be full to bursting.
Let’s Go Fishing
We can’t properly fish without first knowing Jesus and his voice. We must know him and his ways. There are a million ways to be a fisher of men.
From growing a relationship with Jesus, living righteously, talking about your faith, to sharing media about Jesus and paying it forward, you too can be a fisher.
So start fishing. You can start by watching Season 1 of The Chosen.