“Come, follow me,” Jesus said, “and I will make you fishers of men.” Matthew 4:19 (NIV)
Here are four observations suggested by Jesus’ analogy of fishing.
1. Some people are really good at fishing, but anyone can do it.
How many of us are fishermen or fisherwomen? Have you ever caught a fish? You don’t have to know much about fishing to catch a fish. God gives some people special gifts of evangelism. But every Christian can play a part in drawing other people to Christ.
2. Fishing requires great patience.
In the film On Golden Pond, Henry Fonda and his new grandson are trying to catch a big fish called Walter. Fonda says, “I’ve been trying to catch him for years!” You throw out a line or a net, and then you wait. You throw it out again, and you wait. Many of us have loved ones who we long to see won to Christ. Fishing requires great patience.
3. Fishermen learn how to deal with discouragement.
Luke tells us that when Jesus met the disciples, they had toiled all night and they had caught nothing. Every fisherman has a story like that. After Jesus fed the 5,000 He said to them, “You have seen me and still you do not believe” (John 6:36). You haven’t caught anything today? Well, get up early and go out again tomorrow.
4. Christ invites us to come fishing, not go hunting.
Some Christians sound more like hunters than fishermen. The analogy is significant. There is an art to fishing. Fish are drawn. Peter gives wise counsel to Christians who want to win others to Christ. We are always to speak with gentleness and respect (1 Pet. 3:15).
Which of these observations is most relevant to you today?