Fishers of Men
Jesus commanded his apostles to be fishers of men.
But what did being fishers of men really mean?
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 performed were related to fish.
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. Being fishers of men meant finding others who were willing to follow Jesus, just like his apostles were.
The apostles understood that, although they were simply fishermen, they were going to be called to a higher calling to be fishers of men. Jesus prepared them to serve in his ministry.
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