I am not a fishermen, nor do I claim to be. In fact, my idea of fishing is going to the local supermarket or the local restaurant to get a supply of fish. However, recently I had the opportunity to spend some time fishing on a local pond. My experience was a productive one. We reeled in several fish that day. In fact, we did more catching than fishing.
That experience made me recall the words of Jesus when he was calling two of his disciples, Simon Peter and his brother Andrew: “As Jesus walked beside the Sea of Galilee, he saw Simon and his brother Andrew casting a net into the lake, for they were fishermen, ‘Come, follow me,’ Jesus said, ‘and I will make you fishers of men’ (Matthew 4:19; Mark 1:17). The words of Jesus resonated with me that day, and they are just as applicable for us today as they were for those with whom Jesus first spoke. It got me thinking about my responsibility to be a fisher of men.
Fishing for fish requires the right equipment. Fishing for men also requires the right equipment. We need the armor of God. God’s armor protects us from the demonic activity all around us. It helps to ward off the flaming arrows of the evil one as he tries to thwart our efforts of sharing the good news of the gospel with a lost and dying world.
We need to understand the condition of those we are trying to “catch.” As mentioned above, I am not a seasoned fishermen. When fishing for men, however, it makes no difference how “seasoned” a fisher of men we are; we will never “catch” the fish on our own. We must trust in and rely on the Holy Spirit as he works in us, in the one we are trying to “catch,” and in the fishing experience.
Finally, what we use to “catch” the fish is essential. Minnows and crickets were effective for catching fish that day at the pond. Minnows and crickets are ineffective, however, for “catching” men and women. The message of the gospel is the “net” we use to “catch” the men and women for which we are fishing. The gospel transforms lives. The gospel shines light into a dark world. The gospel offers every man, women, boy and girl the opportunity to be delivered from an eternity in hell by putting their faith and trust in the only One who can deliver them-Jesus Christ.
In closing, if you are a true follower of Jesus Christ, you have all you need to be a fisher of men. We have all been called to “make disciples.” Are we willing to cast our gospel net into a pond full of lost souls? Furthermore, when we do cast our gospel net, are we expecting God to bring in a “large number of fish that our nets will begin to tear. (Luke 5:6)?
Cast you nets!