FISHERMEN

"Follow me and I will make you fishers of men (Mt 4.19)."

I hate fishing. I never get a bite and usually give up after five minutes. To me it's work! But there's another type of fishing God has called me to do. I fish for men. This leads to a story straight from the bible I would like to relate to you in my own words.

It comes from the twenty-first chapter of John where Peter decided to go fishing and other disciples followed him (v 2). They went forth and caught nothing all night long (v3), but when morning came Jesus stood on the shore and asked them if they had caught anything. They replied, "No." (v5). Jesus said, "Cast the net on the right side and you will find." They did and weren't able to pull it in for the multitude of fish (v 6).

The disciple who Jesus loved (John) said to Peter, "It is the Lord." And when Peter heard this he grabbed his fisher coat (for he was naked) and cast himself into the sea (v7). And the other disciples came in a little boat and helped them pull the net full of fishes (v8). When they got to shore they saw a fire of coals and fish laid on it, and bread. Jesus said to bring the fish they have caught. Peter drew the net to land full of great fishes, 153 in all, and the net did not break (v 9-11). Jesus said, "Come and dine." and gave the bread and fish to them, this being the third time that Jesus showed himself to his disciples after he was risen from the dead (v 12-14).

After they dined Jesus said to Peter, "Do you love me more than these?" to which Peter responded, "Yes, Lord; you know that I love you." Christ replied, "Feed my lambs." and said to him again, "Do you love me?" Peter said, "Yes Lord, you know that I love you." and Christ said to him, "Feed my lambs." Again Christ asked him, Simon, son of Jonas, do you love me. Peter was grieved and said, "Lord you know all things. You know that I love you." Jesus said, "Feed my sheep." (v 15-17).

Christ was upbraiding Peter because he was fishing for fish instead of fishing for men as Christ called him to do. Peter was ashamed and jumped into the water because not only was he caught fishing for fish instead of men, but had recently denied Christ three times (the same amount of times Christ asked him if he loved him).

Are we also guilty of fishing for fish instead of men (See NEED WORK? on www.preach-the-gospel.org)?

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