Lessons from a Fisherman

On one occasion, while Jesus was standing by the Lake of Gennesaret with the crowd pressing in on Him to hear the word of God, 2He saw two boats at the edge of the lake. The fishermen had left them and were washing their nets. 3Jesus got into the boat belonging to Simon and asked him to put out a little from shore. And sitting down, He taught the people from the boat.

4When Jesus had finished speaking, He said to Simon, “Put out into deep water and let down your nets for a catch.”

5“Master,” Simon replied, “we have worked through the night without catching anything. But because You say so, I will let down the nets.” 6When they had done so, they caught such a large number of fish that their nets began to tear. 7So they signaled to their partners in the other boat to come and help them, and they came and filled both boats so full that they began to sink.

8When Simon Peter saw this, he fell at Jesus’ knees. “Go away from me, Lord,” he said, “for I am a sinful man.” 9For he and his companions were astonished at the catch of the fish they had taken,10and so were his partners James and John, the sons of Zebedee.

“Do not be afraid,” Jesus said to Simon, “from now on you will catch men.” 11And when they had brought their boats ashore, they left everything and followed Him.Luke 5:1-11

This morning while I was reading and catching up on devotions, the passages were focused on the miracles of provision that Jesus performed. I had to stop reading because my mind focused on the two instances of Jesus providing miraculous catches of fish for Peter and the men with him before Jesus called him and after Jesus was raised from the dead.

I’m not sure if you are familiar with fishing but I am. Growing up, my momma and daddy loved to go fishing. I didn’t mind so much but I hated the bugs, specifically the mosquitoes. Getting bit took the fun out of it for me. We would find hidden streams, creeks, ponds, and lakes to go to on our quest for fish. Sometimes, those trips would not produce much fish, but that did not stop them from taking us again. Fishing is hard work, steeped in patience. You cannot expect to catch anything on your first try, although sometimes God would show up and blow your mind.

Fishing is not for the faint of heart or those seeking a quick payoff. In writing this I see that fishermen are excellent examples of the faith walk and evangelizing others. You prepare by gathering your equipment. You need a fishing rod or pole, already threaded with fishing line. You need a foam/float/bobber, lead perhaps (we used those back then), but most of all, a hook with bait. The cork/foam/float/bobber helps you identify the general area of where your line has fallen. The lead was to weigh the line down and help it sink faster. The hook is what you put the bait on to attract and subsequently catch the fish. I presume the cork/foam/float/bobber almost acts like the Holy Spirit in a sense, reminding us where we are, our Guide. The lead, although now prohibited in the natural sense of fishing, somewhat reminds me of those believers who have fully received Christ and become sold out to the point that they are engrossed in and fully committed to their walk, jumping feet first in. It also reminds me of the Word too, and the Word’s powerful way of helping you grasp hold of God, His love, and plans for you. Lastly, the hook and bait would have to be the conviction of the Holy Spirit and the power of our testimony. Sharing your testimony with others can serve as the seasoning salt to the Holy’s Spirit’s pleasing aroma. When I am convicted by the powerful testimony of God’s goodness, I am overcome with emotion and it draws me deeper into God.

Who knew all those years ago that going fishing with my parents would help me to ultimately become a fisherman too? I pray that God strengthens my abilities!

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