03 March 2013

Go Fish


The game warden had a neighbor, who was on vacation and his neighbor went fishing every day.  The warden watched as each day passed and the neighbor came home always having his limit of fish and “then some.” After several days the warden asked how he was catching so many fish each day? His neighbor said “come with me tomorrow and I’ll show you.

The next day was calm and the lake was isolated enough that they were the only fishermen there. The warden baited his hook, threw it into the water and watched the bobber bob on the waves. Suddenly there was an explosion just a couple feet off the portside of the boat. In a few moments fish were floating to the surface and his neighbor was frantically scooping them in with a net.

He was about to ask his neighbor what happened, when he saw him light a piece of dynamite and throw it into the water… followed by another explosion.

“What do you think you’re doing?” the warden shouted.

“Fishing” the guy replied.

“But you can’t do that… that’s illegal!”

At this point, his neighbor lit another stick of dynamite threw into his lap and said: “you gonna talk, or you gonna fish?”

Luke 5:1-11 is about Jesus calling His first disciples.  Jesus was standing by the Lake of Gennesaret, and there were crowds of people gathering around listening to Him teach the word of God.  It was the end of the day; the fishermen were cleaning their nets.  The Lake of Gennesaret was an important body of water.  It was about thirteen miles long and eight miles wide, and during the time of Jesus, there were nine townships that surrounded this body of water.  It was home to about 15,000 people.  Jesus wasn’t preaching in the synagogues, but, He actually went to where the people were.  Jesus got into the boat belonging to Simon, and asked him to put out a little from shore.  Then he sat down and taught the people from the boat.

When he had finished speaking, he said to Simon, “Put out into deep water and let the nets down for a catch.” Simon, the fisherman, looked at Jesus, the carpenter, as if to say “Are you crazy?  We’ve been out doing this all day long.  Fish aren’t biting.  We haven’t caught anything.”  That’s when Peter said one of the most amazing phrases you’ll find in the scripture. Peter said, “But because you say so, we will let down the nets.”  When they did, they caught so many fish that their nets couldn’t even contain them.  After Jesus had done the impossible, Simon Peter was totally overwhelmed and said, “Go away from me, Lord, for I am a sinful man.”

When I think of the word Christian, I think of a belief system.  A Christian believes Jesus is the Son of God who died and rose on the third day. That is what I think of when I think of a Christian.

When I think of the word disciple, I envision a step up from a regimented belief system.  I think of something beyond cultural Christianity: just believing in Jesus.  I think of a disciple as one who believes so much in Him that their whole life’s pursuit is to become like Him. Not only are we to become like Him, but as a disciple, we are to do what He did.

Jesus, in verse 10, said to Peter, “Don’t be afraid.  From now on, you will you will catch men.”

If you are a disciple of Jesus, you will do what He did.  If you are a disciple, you will be here for the sick, those who are in need.  If you are a disciple, you will be here for the prostitutes and the lepers, the sinners, (oh, my)… the no good, the low down, the outcast.

But, a disciple also goes fishing.  A disciple fishes for men.  Another way to say it is a disciple makes disciples.  The very last thing that Jesus said to His disciples before He ascended to Heaven in Matthew 28 was, “Go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything that I have commanded.”

A disciple makes disciples.

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