when he had gone a little further thence, he saw James the son
of Zebedee, and John his brother, who also were in the ship
mending their nets” (Mark 1:19).
John were fishermen; it was their profession; they did it for
a living. They knew there were fish in the sea and they knew
if they were to be successful, they would have to have their
nets in good condition, no holes for the fish to escape back
into the sea. It took diligence to keep the nets in ready
condition; ready to drop whenever they discovered a school of
fish. That was why they were in the ship, to catch fish, and
they came prepared.
“And he goeth up into a mountain, and calleth unto him whom he would:
and they came unto him” (Mark 3:13).
call comes from Jesus, we have to heed the invitation and
“come,” bringing all our old baggage and drop it at the feet
of Jesus to be either discarded or recycled by Him. This
enables us to become “fishers of men” in whatever capacity or
profession the Lord has chosen for us.
called James and John from the ship to an enhancement of their
on they would be fishers of men. When he called them from
the fishing ship and nets, He put them right to work for Him
in His Kingdom. They would be entrusted with the important
and delicate task of catching the “fish” that the Holy Spirit
would bait and draw into the “net.” It would be their
responsibility to keep their nets mended and ready to bring
them to shore. Any broken strands of the net would allow them
to escape, maybe forever and never be caught.
the fishers were to use was Jesus, Himself. Later in one of
their training sessions, Jesus told them, “And I, if I be
lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto me” (John
12:32). The Holy Spirit would use Jesus to draw the “fish,”
and the fishermen would control the nets and pull the nets
into the lifeboat, bringing them to the Father.
of righteous is a tree of life; and he that winneth souls is
wise” (Proverbs 11:30).
would be times when the fishers of men would have to dig a
hole in the ice to drop the bait (Jesus) in order to catch the
fish. They were met with fierce icy resistance at some
locations and even encountered ice so thick that they had to
leave and go to another place. Other times, it seemed that
the fish were just waiting eagerly for the net to drop and
pull them in. Every where they went, they carried their nets,
always prepared. Their preparation might lead them to the
dungeon of a prison after having been tried for being “fishers
of men” as they sang and lifted up praises to the One who
called them to this new job. Their commitment to their
calling led some of them to their death while looking into the
heavens and observing the Master Fisherman waiting for their
entrance into the Heavenly Palatial Palace.
the fish been caught? Absolutely not! This momentous job was
passed to the next generation after another to our time. We
are the current “fishers of men” to our generation. The
“bait” is still the same, never altered. Though the fishing
methods have undergone many changes down through the ages, the
basics are the same: The Holy Spirit draws the fish with the
“bait” of Jesus Christ; and the net is dropped by the fishers
of today, using whatever method the Kingdom Head has chosen.
There is a
great sea of fish just waiting for the modern day fishers to
mend their nets, the Holy Spirit to supply the bait, and the
full net to be drawn into the boat and safely brought to
damage our nets, making us ineffective? It could be
discouragement from unsuccessful fishing ventures in the past;
we tried and failed and Satan says, “Why try? You are tired;
you tried; you did your best.” It could even be cynicism. We
look around and see all the ungodly things happening and begin
to feel that it would be hopeless to try and change
things/people. Or maybe it’s just plain neglect. We neglect
communion with our Heavenly Father and His Word. We drift a
little farther away each day that we don’t meet with Him and
renew our mind with His Word.
damaging problem can be impatience. Any good fisherman knows
that it takes patience to sit on the bank or in the boat with
his line in the water, waiting, waiting for the strike. When
he feels that pull on his line, he becomes alive and goes into
action to bring his catch to the shore or his boat.
punch holes in the net and make it ineffective. Any of the
above potential net damages could be identified as sin;
anything contrary to God’s Word is sin. Of course the Word
clearly tells us to avoid any “weight" and the sin that besets
seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of
witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which
doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race
that is set before us” (Hebrews 12:1).
that word again—patience (persistent perseverance). If God
shows us a ‘fish in our pond,’ remember that He has supplied
the ‘Bait,’ and then we with patience wait for the strike.
Without patience, we could drive it away and make it bait-shy
and harder to land in the future.
nets mended? When the net of fish are drawn in, are we ready
to make them fishers of men also? They will need nurturing
until they are mature enough to begin their fishing
profession. Fish beget fish, and we want them to be prolific
and proficient until the end of the fishing age. There will
be many trophies for faithfulness when one day we all gather
together with the Master Fisherman. We will hear:
done, thou good and faithful servant: thou hast been faithful
over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things:
enter thou into the joy of thy lord.” (Matthew 25:21).
No sea is
too deep; no cost for net maintenance is too much to pay; no
fish too invaluable for us to not be a faithful “fishers of
generation of fishers become more effective and the venture
the most successful fishing expedition that this world has
known! The fishing season may be coming to a close.
"What A Lovely Name"