Fishing & Fishers Of Men

Sakura Cray Pas on Felt - Done when I was 13 years old
For The Love Of Koi – Sakura Cray Pas on Felt – A painting I did when I was 13 years old

“”Come, follow me,” Jesus said, “and I will send you out to fish for people.””

Matthew 4:19

As a little girl, my favorite hobby was fishing. I lived in a coastal region which had a bamboo bridge that went straight to the sea about 30-50 yards from the cliff. Our neighbor built a cement gazebo there and it stood even during high tide. I used to go there along with my brother and sister and we would go fishing when it was getting dark just past 5 PM. That’s when we caught a lot. I had a makeshift fishing pole made by me which was nothing more than a sturdy stick with the fishing line tied to it. I learned how to tie secure knots in elementary school and it was necessary to attach the hook.

I collected small hermit crabs in various sizes. They were no bigger than 2 centimeters and I would smash the shell and used the bottom part which seemed wormy and it worked great for what it was intended for, bait. I would catch a lot of small fishes, about 2-3 inches in length and put them right into the bucket and used some to feed my cat. They were smallish so I couldn’t fry it by itself without turning it into fish chips so the only way to cook it was into an omelet with scrambled eggs to stabilize it.

Apart from that, earlier during the day after school, I would go to the coral reefs when it was low tide and literally catch small colorful tropical fishes using my shirt as a net and would keep the fish in a tall drinking glass for as long as it lasted, typically about a week. We had an aquarium but it was out of commission. The drinking glass thing worked out for me when I wanted to have a short term pet fish as long as I had the desire to go catch it myself.

I always had a thing for fishes and fishing and if you haven’t gone fishing at all, it sure takes a lot of patience to wait for fish to bite. It’s much different when catching using a net which I also did with my brother and we used to enjoy doing that as well. It makes me wonder why Jesus chose people who were fishermen by trade as His inner circle although they weren’t all fishermen. One was a tax collector. I don’t know if the rest of the apostles other than who were mentioned were fishermen but scriptures tell us most of them definitely were (Peter, Andrew, James and John).

Believe it or not, my husband also loved to go fishing when he was young so we have this in common aside from being believers in Christ. What I’m getting at is if there is somehow a correlation to the apostles and their desire to go fishing for God in the flesh to commission them to fish for men instead. They certainly knew what it entailed to go fishing; sometimes it yielded a lot and sometimes nothing at all. It’s the same when we tell people about Jesus. Sometimes people are receptive and oftentimes people could care less to hear about the message at all.

As believers, we are all commissioned to be fishers of people whether we think we are qualified or not. This is not something one can opt out of. Without willingly participating in God’s work in this way, how else can you proclaim your story of redemption? It’s not hard to tell people about what Jesus has done in your life. As long as it comes as a willing service done out of gratitude from the amazing thing God has done for you, it is not as tedious as it seems and definitely not reserved only for the preacher type. We just have to understand that the results are all up to God.

We can do nothing out of our own manipulation. God is indeed sovereign but let’s not forget He weighs our motives most importantly. If it is done out of pure service to Him, it remains. Anything other than that is counted as nothing.

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