Going Fishing!

18 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. 19 And he saith unto them, Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men.

Matthew 4:18-19

I enjoy fishing.  I participated in that activity quite frequently when I was much younger, and before the children were born.  My wife will fish, but she needs to catch something quickly.  If she doesn’t start catching fish, she is ready to move on or do something different.

She has always told me that she will fish with me, but if she catches anything, she does not like to take the fish off the hook, and she really doesn’t like to clean fish.

There are things in life that we feel the same way about. We don’t mind doing part of the work, but there are parts of completing the job that we don’t like.  And sometimes, we even refuse to do what is necessary to finish the job.

Peter was a fisherman by trade.  He did everything from start to finish.  And that included getting the boat ready, catching the fish, cleaning the fish, and putting the boat away,

Then Peter met Jesus and his whole life changed.  Jesus told Peter to follow Him, and he wouldn’t be fishing for just fish anymore, but he would fish for men.

One of the keys here is that Jesus wasn’t requiring Peter to do the whole job. Peter was to tell others about Jesus; he was to show others Jesus’ love; he was to point others to Jesus, but then Jesus would finish the job.  Just like a fisherman throws out bait or a lure to attract the fish to the hook, Peter was to show the light and truth of Jesus to “hook” the lost.

One of my good Alabama friends, Jeremy Sheppard, has a song he recorded entitled “I Catch ‘Em, God Cleans ‘Em.” It tells the story of a man who sees a church advertising a fish fry as he drives down the road. He stops to eat, and then a preacher gets up with a message “long on grace, short on religion.” In the song, Jeremy uses the words “I catch ‘em, God’ cleans ‘em. I bait the hook with the love of the Kingdom.”  If we will be obedient to the call of God and show others the love of God, God will take care of the rest.

Unfortunately, we sometimes try to do everything ourselves. When a fisherman cleans fish, he makes a bloody mess. If we were to try to clean each other, it wouldn’t be much better.  We can’t change a heart without cutting a person open.  We can’t change a person’s mind without some serious impact to the body.

So keeping fishing for those who are lost. Remember, all you need to do is your part to “catch ‘em” and God will do His part to “clean ’em!”

 

© 2015 Charles A. Kalkomey

January 17, 2015