Evangelism

Fishermen-Fishers of Men

This devotional is written by Marina Johnson. 

Luke 5:1-11

The First Disciples

5 One day as Jesus was preaching on the shore of the Sea of Galilee, great crowds pressed in on him to listen to the word of God. 2 He noticed two empty boats at the water's edge, for the fishermen had left them and were washing their nets. 3 Stepping into one of the boats, Jesus asked Simon, its owner, to push it out into the water. So he sat in the boat and taught the crowds from there.

4 When he had finished speaking, he said to Simon, "Now go out where it is deeper, and let down your nets to catch some fish."

5 "Master," Simon replied, "we worked hard all last night and didn't catch a thing. But if you say so, I'll let the nets down again." 6 And this time their nets were so full of fish they began to tear! 7 A shout for help brought their partners in the other boat, and soon both boats were filled with fish and on the verge of sinking.

8 When Simon Peter realized what had happened, he fell to his knees before Jesus and said, "Oh, Lord, please leave me—I'm such a sinful man." 9 For he was awestruck by the number of fish they had caught, as were the others with him. 10 His partners, James and John, the sons of Zebedee, were also amazed.

Jesus replied to Simon, "Don't be afraid! From now on you'll be fishing for people!" 11 And as soon as they landed, they left everything and followed Jesus.

Reflection

Today Jesus shows us how he means for his followers to be human fishermen, who win people for His kingdom. The comparison is between trusting Jesus to help them gather fish and trusting Jesus to help them gather people.

We see that it is by Jesus' power and authority that people come to faith, but that this is through the evangelistic work or agency of man. His disciples display some key characteristics:

> People were swarming to hear the word of God being shared, it was the bait being used for man-fishing!

>Obeying the commands of Jesus even when it didn't make sense (v4). If Simon had not obeyed, there would probably have been no catch. God accepts his half-hearted obedience (v5) and does the miracle anyway.

>Working together with other transformed sinners to bring people to faith. Peter had to call his mates to come and help him pull in the great catch of fish. He couldn't do it alone.

>Humbling themselves and being aware of their own sinfulness (v8). They didn't say: Check out the blessing we got when we followed Jesus, biggest catch of fish ever, we should market this! Peter recognises his own sinfulness and this doesn't disqualify him from catching men for Christ; it qualifies him.

It may be true that you aren't gifted in evangelism or called to do it full time. Simon didn't fully give up fishing when he followed Jesus, his life now included his occupation plus harvesting the mission field alongside Jesus. We see that God takes ordinary people like these fishermen and turns them into agents for catching other people for God. How do you shy away from sharing your faith with those God has put around you?

Will you trust God when He speaks and instructs, and not question Him. "Because You say so, I will let down my nets"



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