Fishing for Men
Matthew 4:19; Luke 5:1-11
A follower of Christ is a
fisher of men! "Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men" (Matt.
4: 19). If you are not fishing, you are not following. Jesus promised
to make you a fisher of men. "Preachers are no longer fishers of men,
but keepers of aquariums!" With a multiplicity of duties, they seldom
take time to go fishing for men; and the fish are not coming to
What lessons there are in fishing. Luke 5 has a number of interesting
parallels. Verse I tells "the people pressed upon him to hear the word
of God." The fish are biting today. Our students at Moody are seeing
almost three times as many won to Christ as ten years ago! Multitudes
are hungering for what Christ has to offer, but they don't know where
to find it, and no one offers it to them.
The fishermen "were washing their nets" (v. 2). Any good fisherman
will keep his tackle clean and in good shape. Witnessing will help to
keep you from sin, and sin will keep you from witnessing. Simon was
told to "launch out into the deep, and !et down your nets for a
draught" (v. 4). One can love fish but never catch any himself until
he goes fishing. God wants us separated but not isolated from the
fish. . Jesus ate with sinners (Mark 2:16) that he might catch men.
Human ability is not enough, for they had "toiled ali the night" and
had "taken nothing" (Luke 5:5). Many have taken nothing because the
Holy Spirit does not have control to work through them in witnessing
power (Acts 1:8). Peter was no doubt discouraged and tired;
"nevertheless at thy word," he said, "I will let down the net." Did
you ever notice a fisherman out all day just keeping at it, even if
sunburned and worn out? A good fisherman is careful not to scare the
fish away. Good soul winners in love let down the net graciously.
One may fish with a cane pole and be able to catch those close by.
Using a rod and reel one can reach out farther. Others fish with a
trotline and set out many lines --at work, among neighbors, on buses
or trains as well as nearby in their own family. A seine is used to
fish for large numbers, as evangelists who reach the masses. Whatever
our method, let's go fishing!