I am proud to say that I have a new profession… I am a Fisher; forget the gender specifics! I fish for the humankind.
When we are called into the kingdom of God there is a lot of attention and emphasis on us, the new convert. And while we continue to be grounded in our Faith by staying closely connected to God and growing spiritually, we have been called into a greater purpose; a new profession. No, don’t give up your day job just yet, unless God has called you into full time ministry. The training for this role is on the job training.
And Jesus, walking by the sea of Galilee, saw two brethren, Simon called Peter, and Andrew his brother, casting a net into the sea: for they were fishers.
And He said unto them, Follow Me, and I will make you fishers of men.
And they straightway left their nets, and followed him.
Becoming a Fisher for God is simple. Qualifications: accept Jesus as your Lord and Saviour, confess and repent of your sins, turn away from your old life and live a righteous life in Christ. Too simple? Not at all! There are no catches, hidden agendas for fine print. Don’t think you are not good enough or that you don’t deserve the ultimate promotion? Yes you are and yes you do.
So what does it mean to be a ‘Fisher of Men?’ Our greatest example was and always will be Jesus Christ. At no point did He live a pomp, privileged life unconcerned with the world or the fate of others. He was focused at all times on His purpose… to educate the world about Him and the Kingdom of Heaven. He therefore travelled far and wide preaching and teaching the Gospel; daily. He remained in constant contact with God the Father and never diverted to follow His own path. The four Gospels; Matthew, Mark, Luke and John tell us of Jesus Christ, His life and works.
Jesus did not sit in the temples and synagogues daily or on a particular chosen day, Sunday or Saturday suited and booted and waiting! Waiting for the sick and needy to find Him. No, He went out of the four walls of the synagogues or His house and He travelled on the transported afforded to Him at that time… oh and He walked; a lot. As Christians we cannot get so comfortable and complacent in the four walls of our church. Our lives cannot revolve solely around our Sunday worship or whichever day of the week is designated for worship. Remember worship should be every day.
A Fisherman of the natural kind, cannot wait at home for the fish to jump out of the sea and travel to find them. They have to commit to their profession, invest in the necessary equipment, tools, resources and time. They need expert knowledge of the weather and the best locations to fish; and most importantly of all they have to get up out of the four walls of their homes and go fishing. I imagine in this age of technology they would need to staying abreast of innovative technology, with continued training and reskilling throughout their lives to be an effective fisherman.
So how does the Christian measure up to this new profession. Well first of all; secular societies are often insulted at the mention of Jesus’ name, making it difficult to spread the Word of God. There seems to be a lot of respect for other religions and faiths, but little for the Christian Faith. But that’s ok, the fisherman too has to ride the storms and cannot give up because the weather is threatening and perilous. Jesus continued with His ministry against oppositions such as the might of the Roman Empire, the King, the Jewish Leaders. Know that it is not nor ever will be easy! Don’t let fear prevent you from spreading the message of Christ far and wide. Don’t wait for someone to find you, to discover you are a Christian in the hope that they will find Christ through their own efforts! Help them by telling them about Christ and the kingdom of heaven.
Leave the four walls of your church and your home and tell people about your Faith. Let yourself be guided by God the Holy Spirit and use wisdom and discernment; but do tell them. Work situations can be easier than you think. During many discussions on a Monday morning when work colleagues would ask each other how their weekend went and what they did! Everyone openly shared their exciting weekend adventures, ‘I went to a party and got drunk off my face and don’t remember how I got home,’ or ‘I went away for the weekend and stayed in a beautiful hotel,’ or ‘I caught up with household chores and did some gardening.’ Naturally, I did something as well so I wasn’t going to stay silent. I shared my wonderful weekend too, don’t stay silent because you think someone might not want to hear it. “I had an amazing time at church, I was moderating, or ushering… there was a baptism.” I too have a voice and the many weekend escapades of the world do not interest me; but I had to listen to them every week; so I shared my experiences and my joys just like anyone else.
You have a voice so use it! Don’t stay silent and hope for the best, Jesus didn’t! Use your spiritual gifts, cast your net wide, spread the Gospel of Christ and become real Fishers of Men!