As we have been meditating on what it means to soar like an eagle, we have been learning about the traits of eagles and how they can be metaphors for our Christian walk. Last month, Robin wrote about how eagles are master fliers. This month, I am writing about how eagles are master fishermen. Eagles lock in on their prey and swoop down to catch their fish (www.bible-knowledge.com). That got me thinking about when Jesus called His first disciples. In Matthew 4 and Mark 1, Jesus was walking by the Sea of Galilee when He called Simon Peter and Andrew to be His disciples. The men were catching fish with nets. “’Come follow Me,’ Jesus said, ‘and I will make you fish for people.’” (NIV) The King James Version says, “’I will make you fishers of men.’” That does not sound much like “swooping in” to me. And I doubt our Lord wants us to think of those we witness to as prey. However, He does want us to act like the eagle and fishermen in our dedication and focus (lock our eyes on our goal). As we work long hours, all year long, we need to clean our nets (study the scriptures), weigh them skillfully (let God’s word sink in) and be patient even if it takes all night or many years to catch some.
So that got me thinking. What does He mean by the term “fishers of men”? I did some research into the methods used in fishing. Did you know that most recreational fishermen use the angling method (fish hook) while most commercial fishermen use the netting method? (www.wikipdia.com) Do you see the difference? Christians are to be using nets to catch the fish. Christians are commercial fishermen! Witnessing is our full- time job, not a hobby! I’ve never thought about it like that before. Sure, nets are a kinder, gentler way to catch fish than a spear or hook is. But also, nets just catch more. When we are fishing for men, we need to keep that in mind. We need to cast out our nets. What are our nets? Our nets are made of the Word of God. When we share the good news of Jesus, we are casting out His words. It is the Holy Spirit who draws people into His net.
According to the website www.thattheworldmayknow.com, fishermen cast different nets for different fish. Paul tells us in I Corinthians 9:22 that he became all things to all men. It may mean sharing the Gospel in words they will understand. Jesus used a lot of familiar terminology whether He was talking to fishermen, farmers, merchants, parents, etc. Think about how you can relate the Gospel as you go about your day. How can you share your story in a way that will help draw in others? But remember it is God who does the saving. We do the fishing!