What is a fisherman? Some would say a fisherman is a jerk on one end of the line waiting for a jerk on the other end. Most people would describe a fisherman as a committed person who pursues his sport with dedication and zeal. For some it’s competition, for others it’s relaxation, many use it as a sport to bring together family and friends, and for sure, it is a wonderful way to appreciate God’s great outdoors.
Our character and performance are shaped in part by our passions. For centuries there has been a unique bond with people who share the challenges and opportunities that this wholesome sport presents. There is something intriguing about a fisherman. I’m continually amazed about the number of parallels and correlation’s that exist between the first century disciples and fishermen. I believe it was no coincidence that Jesus picked eight fishermen to be among His twelve disciples (John 21). Jesus related to fishermen for several reasons. In the following paragraphs, notice the similarities between fishing for fish and fishing for men as a disciple of Jesus.
- Fishermen have a sense of adventure and exploration. Likewise, the disciple sees every opportunity to share Christ as an adventure.
- Fishermen are incredibly patient, waiting for long stretches to catch the big one. In the same way, a disciple patiently represents Christ to others through his life and words and waits expectantly for God to work in their lives.
- Fishermen have faith that every cast could produce a fish. They believe that just one more cast could be the one. Fishers of Men also live by faith not by sight (2 Corinthians 5:7).
- Fishermen are passionate about their sport and persistent in pursuing it. They will spend countless hours preparing, analyzing, and evaluating their beloved sport. Similarly, a disciple attacks his mission with dedication and zeal.
- Fishermen know and study the habits and habitats of the fish and routinely practicing their casting skills. Likewise, fishers of men are keenly aware of the culture they live in and prepare themselves to share Christ with others.
- Finally, fishermen catch fish. They’re not content to let some “trained professional” do it for them. The same can be said of the true disciple of Jesus!
Scripture Reading: Matthew 4:18-22
Personal Application: You may or may not enjoy fishing for fish. But there’s real joy in the privilege of leading someone else to Christ. If you know Jesus, you don’t need any special training to share your story with someone else. Ask God to give you an opportunity to do so today.
Jim Grassi, D. Min. and Wendell Morton
We cherish any verse in Scripture that reminds us to keep focused and intentional about evangelism and discipleship. “But you, keep your head in all situations, endure hardship, do the work of an evangelist, discharge all the duties of your ministry.” 2 Timothy 4:5