Text: Luke 5:4-6; John 21:3-7a
Prop: A poster of disciples casting a net while fishing.
Summary: Jesus teaches us how to become fishers of men.
When Jesus first began to call his disciples, he found poor men who were hard workers and several of them were fishermen. Since Jesus knows the hearts of everyone, he knew fishermen would have some qualities that would work well when it came to telling others the good news about Jesus. For one thing, fishermen are patient. Sometimes they can go for a long time without catching anything at all. They are also hard workers. They know how to use the right bait or a strong net.
(Read Luke 5:4-6) When Jesus first met Simon (Peter), he had been out all night fishing, but had caught nothing. Jesus asked permission to step in Simon’s boat and cast out a little ways from the shore, where he could teach the people who were following him. After he finished teaching, he told Peter to go out fishing again. I can hear Peter’s exasperation in his voice as he told Jesus they had no luck last night. Jesus had a surprise for Peter. He was testing his faith. He wanted to show Peter that all things are possible with God.
Simon agreed to let Jesus give the word to cast the net. When Jesus told them, they caught so many fish the net could not hold them all and it broke. Simon immediately realized this miracle was the work of God, and confessed Jesus as Lord. He didn’t feel worthy to even be in his presence. He fell down at Jesus’ knees, saying, Depart from me; for I am a sinful man, O Lord. All the men were astonished. Jesus told them, Fear not; from henceforth thou shalt catch men. He was going to make them disciples. He would teach them how to win others to the Lord God.
As God’s children, we are called to become fishers of men. God wants us to tell others about Jesus. God wants everyone to come to a personal relationship with Him, through a confession of Jesus as Lord and Savior. God uses men and women, boys and girls, to spread the good news. Let’s look at a similar story that happened to Peter after Jesus rose from the grave. (Read John 21:3-6]
Again, Peter had fished all night without catching anything. Jesus told them Cast the net on the right side of the ship, and ye shall find. When we try to do anything without God’s help, we are usually a failure. But with God’s help, we can do great things. The disciples did as the stranger on the shore told them, and made a huge catch of fish. They recognized that it was Jesus, just as he had done before. Peter caught 153 fish when he obeyed Jesus. He learned how to cast his net on the right side. Sometimes we are fishing in the wrong place. We need to be able to hear God tell us when to cast the net. He may tell us to talk to a neighbor over a fence. He may prompt us to tell a friend what God is doing for us in the school cafeteria. He may tell us just to be a friend to someone who feels lonely. Whatever it may be when God wants to use us, let’s be willing to be a fisher of men.
©1998 by Jim Kerlin. All rights reserved.