~ Life To Death or Death To Life? ~
Jesus Christ used an interesting analogy regarding harvesting souls for eternity. The concept of fishing presents a number of parallels but at least one key difference.
Scripture ~ “And Jesus, walking by the Sea of Galilee, saw two brothers, Simon called Peter, and Andrew his brother, casting a net into the sea; for they were fishermen. Then He said to them, ‘Follow Me, and I will make you fishers of men.’ They immediately left their nets and followed Him. Going on from there, He saw two other brothers, James the son of Zebedee, and John his brother, in the boat with Zebedee their father, mending their nets. He called them, and immediately they left the boat and their father, and followed Him” (Matthew 4:18-22, parallel passage is Mark 1:16-20).
Many Parallels ~ (1) There exists a great variety of fish (salmon, tuna, pike, minnows, etc. – nationalities, genders, financial and social classes, etc.). (2) There are many techniques of fishing (angling, spearing, nets, etc. – mass evangelistic crusades, friendship evangelism, individual witnessing, etc.). (3) There are a variety of specific fishing methods (lures, bait, tackle, types of nets, etc. – Gospel tracts, street corner evangelism, one-on-one, print, radio, television, etc.). (4) Fish are found in various places (oceans, lakes, rivers, alone or in schools, etc. – at work, in the neighborhood, in schools, etc.). [“Schools” are a common factor where both fish and men are found!] (5) There are mixed results: in either fishing for men or for fish sometimes there is an abundant harvest and other times nothing is caught.
The Key Difference ~ The difference between catching fish and catching men is that the fish you catch are physically alive when caught and when caught die, but the men you catch are spiritually dead and when caught have life.
QUESTION: Many children in Sunday Schools sing the chorus, “I will make you fishers of men…” How about you? Do you know the Master Spiritual Fisherman? Have you been His apprentice? Are you now a fisher of men?
~ Robert Lloyd Russell, ABUNDANT LIFE NOW