Today’s Reading: Jeremiah 14:11-16:15 (additional reading: Psalm 80:1-19 and Proverbs 25:1-5)
Through the years, I have heard a number of sermons based upon the scriptures where Jesus says to His disciples, “Come, and I will make you fishers of men.” God says in Jeremiah 16:15-17 also the he will send for fishermen. I knew that the simplest meaning was that Jesus was calling His disciples, and every member of the church to witness of the gospel to everyone we meet. But I believe that those professional fishermen had a different perspective than most of us who are only casual fishermen at best. In those words, fishers of men, the disciples understood that the same principles and techniques that are used to catch fish would apply in great part, to the preaching of the gospel and drawing men to Jesus.
What kind of preparations and actions are included in the “catching of a fish”? If we are to really become “fishers of men”, we cannot expect to win a soul if there has been no preparation or planning in advance of reaching the place where they dwell.
Just as the fisherman would be unable to catch fish without a line, hook and bait, we cannot catch men without the proper equipment. Our equipment is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, etc. Our equipment must also include the anointing of the Holy Spirit that our words and efforts carry power to draw those that are lost.
We must also understand, like the disciples, that being a fisherman is hard work and not always as rewarding as we would hope. The best times to catch fish are at dusk and dawn, the very times most of us like to rest. In the late hours of the evening and in the early hours of the morning, we can hear the cry of the heart of men, women, boys and girls as they are crying out for help. People everywhere are hurting because pain is an inescapable part of life.
Our job, as a fishermen in God’s Kingdom, is to cast out the net and let God bring those in who are ready for harvest. It is our job to bait the hook and drop it in the lives of men that they might desire the good things of God. It is our job to gently and softly beckon to lost souls using every available means to show them the goodness of God and then wait for the Holy Spirit to draw them in.