“Come, follow me,” Jesus said, “and I will send you out to fish for people.”
As I sat on a trail next to a river I contemplated the preparedness of fisherman in the first century.
The art of fishing has changed little over the course of man’s existence. Though there are several methods for fishing, the type that comes to mind is the manner in which Peter was accustomed to when Jesus called him to “fish for men”.
On the one hand, Peter was used to fishing on a boat, with a mesh net and other personnel on the boat to assist him in his profession. Netting fish is and has always been one of the best ways to fish commercially. It is possible to catch a great amount of fish in a relatively short amount of time. This net can vary in size depending on the targeted species of fish.
But would our Lord require of us to net, or would he require us to line the fish?
Matthew 17:24-27 (ESV) reminds me of the type of fishing that Jesus had in mind when He called us to labor
“When they came to Capernaum, the collectors of the two-drachma tax went up to Peter and said, “Does your teacher not pay the tax?” He said, “Yes.” And when he came into the house, Jesus spoke to him first, saying, “What do you think, Simon? From whom do kings of the earth take toll or tax? From their sons or from others?” And when he said, “From others,” Jesus said to him, “Then the sons are free. However, not to give offense to them, go to the sea and cast a hook and take the first fish that comes up, and when you open its mouth you will find a shekel. Take that and give it to them for me and for yourself.””
The time and preparedness it takes to fish with a line requires patience and persistence. Patience while the fisherman waits for the fish to bite. Understanding of the waters in which he fishes as well as the type of fish that swim in the same water. Knowledge of the water and fish gives the fisherman an overview of the food or the bite to use.
The act of fishing in itself requires persistence; constant activity, casting, retrieving and hopefully playing ( bating) a fish occasionally.
Although, the first act of the Lords fishermen is hearing Him. Peter was in a right relationship with Jesus when He told him where to go, which tool to use and what to do with the fish he will catch.
To be in the right relationship with God, we have to yield to Him. We have to submit to Him in order to receive the relationship. Then we have to receive His Spirit. When God created Adam, He made his body and then He breathed the breath of Life in to him. ( Gen. 2:7)
The same hebrew word that translates “breath” is the word used for “spirit” throughout the Old Testament. On the day of Pentecost, we also received the Spirit of everlasting life. Through the Holy Spirit we have the key to all Gifts of the Spirit.
But we have to set ourselves apart from this world. We have to renew our minds. We have to change the way we think. “Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.” (Romans 12:2 ESV)
Most important of all in preparedness is character. Truly, our character matters above all in the eyes of our Lord. The Christlikeness that we present will make or break the views on Christianity. Any gift that we have from God can be tore down or continued to be built up by our character. We must all serve Laban before we can appreciate an Abraham.
Jesus Christ is love, and to be Christlike is to be love. But what is love?
1 Corinthians 13:4-8 gives us the foundation to Love;
4 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5 It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
8 Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away.
I pray that we now go and demonstrate this love to those who are hungry for it…