For the past three weeks we have studied Luke 5:1-11 in depth. This set of
Scriptures should be to members of the church of great importance. I hope after
our study of the above mentioned Scriptures, we (members of the church) will
accept our God given responsibility and follow the teachings contained therein.
Jesus said to Peter and the others, "Thou shalt catch men" (Luke 5:10).
The word Jesus used for "catch" means to catch alive, such as a policeman would catch a prisoner alive. When a fisherman goes fishing for fish, he or she doesn’t do it for the benefit of the fish. But when we (Christians) go fishing for men, we do it for the benefit of those we "catch." i.e., the lost; and it’s important that we do this before they die.
I would like to note some parallels that can be drawn between catching fish and catching men. It is obvious when one reads Luke 5:1-11, Jesus would have us to note the parallels.
We must go where the fish are. Peter and the others were told by Jesus to "launch out into the deep." This does not mean in order to be "fishers of men" we must all be overseas miI ssionaries. But it does mean we ought to be looking for opportunities that come our way, regardless of our present location. We are wrong if we have already or will become in the future content with keeping the gospel contained inside our buildings. Regardless of how wicked one may be, we are to care for them. Jesus said, "But I say unto you, love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you" (Matthew 5:44). Paul said, "As we have therefore opportunity, let us do good unto all men, especially unto them who are of the household of faith" (Galatians 6:10). Brethren, doing good unto all men includes doing those things that benefit their soul.
Fishermen do not draw attention to themselves. When wading in the water, fishermen often seek to "blend in" so as not to allow their presence known to the fish. Paul said, "For we preach not ourselves, but Christ Jesus the Lord; and ourselves your servants for Jesus’ sake" (2 Corinthians 4:5). He also said, "According to my earnest expectation and my hope, that in nothing I shall be ashamed, but with all boldness, as always, so now also Christ shall be magnified in my body, whether it be by life, or by death" (Philippians 1:20).
We must believe we are going to catch fish — faith is a must. Fishermen rarely see the fish submerged in the water, but nonetheless, cast their bait with faith that fish are present. They may not catch fish with the first cast. We may not "catch a soul," at first, but to be successful, we have to put forth a real and continued effort. That is, we must continue to cast our bait which is the gospel of Jesus Christ. If we do not at first "succeed," we must keep trying with the faith that someone will respond. Read if you would Isaiah 55:11. We must know that God’s Word will not return unto Him void.
Good fishermen always work together. Peter and the others were apparently involved in an effort which required their cooperation with one another. Take the time to note what the apostle Paul said to the church in 1st Corinthians 3:5-9.
Courage is a must! Commercial fisherman who fish in large bodies of water often expose themselves to hazardous and even life threatening conditions. Why do they not quit? It’s their job! We as Christians must not quit! It is our job/responsibility to convert the lost to Christ. Study Acts 9:27-29; Acts 18:26; Acts 19:8 and Ephesians 6:19-20.
Finally, fishermen must use the right/correct bait. We must understand that we will not convert the lost to Christ with the wrong "bait." I’m referring to things like the promotion of gimmicks and trickery, etc. The right "bait" for our use is the pure gospel (Romans 1:16; 2nd Timothy 4:2).
I will close with one simple question. Are you as a Christian doing what needs to be done to catch men for Christ? Only you can answer the question.
By Jimmy Young
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