Fishers of Men
by Susan Bertalotto
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. And he saith unto them, Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men. And they straightway left their nets, and followed him. 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. And they immediately left the ship and their father, and followed him. Matthew 4
…he [Jesus] saw Simon and Andrew his brother casting a net into the sea: for they were fishers. And Jesus said unto them, Come ye after me, and I will make you to become fishers of men. And straightway they forsook their nets, and followed him… he saw James…and John his brother, who also were in the ship mending their nets. And straightway he called them: and they left … and went after him. Mark 1
…he [Jesus] said unto Simon, Launch out into the deep, and let down your nets for a draught…And when they had this done, they inclosed a great multitude of fishes: and their net brake…. And Jesus said unto Simon, Fear not; from henceforth thou shalt catch men. And when they had brought their ships to land, they forsook all, and followed him. Luke 5
And he said unto them, Cast the net on the right side of the ship, and ye shall find. They cast therefore, and now they were not able to draw it for the multitude of fishes.
As a child, I loved singing “I Will Make You Fishers of Men”, making the motions of casting out the line, and drawing in the fish. I have heard sermons about “fishers of men” many times. Pastors have tried for years to motivate people to obey Jesus’ command and “fish”. One pastor put on waders for his sermon illustration, with a fishing reel, bait, the whole bit. He REALLY wanted his congregants to get the point.
Or how about the sermons about choosing the right bait. The fish, called the “unchurched” in today’s churches, will only be attracted to the best bait. They don’t just jump into your boat, you have to make an effort to catch them. The “bait” in today’s seeker-sensitive, mamby-pamby churches is EXTREMELY important. Short one-hour services, light-hearted sermons, latte cart in the “lobby”, fun activities for all ages, and classes/small groups for every malady and whim – drug addiction, single life, infidelity, hiking, dancing, Beanie Babies (yes, we had a Beanie Babies small group in our church).
Read the scripture above again. My question is “Where is the bait?” Jesus spoke of NET fishing, not fly fishing, bait fishing. He never mentioned BAIT! The disciples left their clean, mended, well-tended nets out in the water all night and let the fish come in. They then pulled the nets out in the morning.
The disciples were not making the fish come into the net. The net itself had everything to do with it.
The Gospel of Jesus Christ is the power of God unto salvation
We don’t have anything to do with making salvation happen. We are only to preach the Gospel.
Read Quit Inviting People to Church By Ray Baumann