Have you ever wondered why fishing is mentioned so often in the four gospel accounts of the New Testament? Could it be that the activity of fishing is one that most people can relate to in one way or another? Even if you’ve never fished in your life, you have a general idea of what fishing is all about. A person uses certain tools like hooks, lines, bait, or nets to go into the water and catch fish.
There’s a great fishing story in Luke 5:1-11 that tells of how Jesus got into a boat with Simon Peter and said, “Launch out into the deep and let down your nets for a catch” (v.4). Peter, being a professional fisherman, told Jesus that they had fished all night and caught nothing. However, because Jesus had commanded it, Peter went fishing anyway. The results were amazing! They caught so many fish that the nets broke, other boats and fisherman had to come and help with the great catch of fish. As Peter witnessed the miracle he fell to his knees and said to Jesus, “Depart from me, for I am a sinful man, O Lord!” (v.8). Jesus’ response to Peter was both comforting and profound, “Do not be afraid. From now on you will catch men” (v.10). I’m not sure Peter completely understood what Jesus meant, but it moved him so that he abandoned all he had and followed the Christ (v11).
Even though Peter’s road to becoming a “fisher of men” (Matt. 4:19) was paved with mistakes and imperfections, he did just as Jesus had commanded. Peter’s adventures in evangelism are recorded for us in the book of Acts and the letters of 1st and 2nd Peter still inspire us to this day. Jesus’ instruction to cast out the net of the Gospel was not only meant for Peter and the apostles, but for us as well. We must be fully equipped with the fishing gear of truth and always be ready to troll the waters of the world for lost souls. So with that, “Let’s go fishing!”
Maud church of Christ